Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lancers Announce Signings Of Seven Players

The Rochester Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of seven players.

Forward Rey "Boom Boom" Martinez played in Major League Soccer for the Colorado Rapids and for Cuba's national team.

Defender Stephen Basso, from San Jose, Costa Rica, played for MLS' DC United and in USL PRO for the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Forward Garret Pettis, from Elizabethtown, PA, played collegiately at Lipscomb University, then joined the City Islanders.

Defender Troy Cole, from Laguna Hills, CA, played collegiately at Mars Hill College and for the USL PRO's Wilmington Hammerheads.

Midfielder Pedrinho, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, played collegiately at Missouri Valley College and for the USL Premier Development League's St. Louis Lions.

Midfielder Ivory Washington, from Germany, recently attended the league's combine in Independence, MO and played for Central Christian College.

Forward Andy Tiedt, from Akron, NY, played collegiately at the University of Buffalo and for FC Buffalo in the National Premier Soccer League.

The Lancers open their 2012-13 season Saturday at the Syracuse Silver Knights and hold their home season opener against the expansion Chicago Soul November 10.

Blast Add Goalkeepers, Three Others To Roster

The Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of goalkeepers Troy Hernandez and William Vanzela, forwards Lucas Roque and Jamie Darvill, and midfielder Marco Mangione.

Hernandez last played for the Wilmington Hammerheads, who advanced to the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game.

Vanzela most recently played for Italy's Athletico Arzignano.

Roque, who moved from his native Brazil to the US in 2001, played high school soccer at Monarch High School, leading them to a district title and a spot in the Class 3A regional semifinals with 24 goals and 15 assists and advancing the team to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Class 4A-3A-2A Player of the Year award.

Darvill was a two-time Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team selection at Loyola (MD) in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, he was named to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Year Third Team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas All-North Atlantic Region First Team.

He scored 36 goals and 27 assists for the Greyhounds over 75 career games, leading them to three straight berths in the NCAA College Cup tournament.

In 2010, he played for the USL-2 Real Maryland Monarchs, now in the USL Premier Development League, and most recently played in England for Ebbsfleet United.

Mangione, son of former Blast player Nick Mangione, played high school soccer at Calvert Hill, then went to Towson University, where he was named a First Team All-Colonial Athletic Conference player after his senior season. In 2009, he was fourth in scoring in the conference with 20 points and was named to the NSCAA/adidas University Scholar All-East Region Team and the College Sports Information Directors Association's Academic All-District 2 Second Team

The Blast open their 2012-13 MISL season Saturday at First Mariner Arena against the expansion Chicago Soul.

Comets Re-Sign John

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signing of Will John for the 2012 season, which opens Friday at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO against the Wichita Wings.

John, son of former Comets star Emilio John, played at Rockhurst High School in Missouri, then spent two seasons at St. Louis University and played for the Kansas City Brass in the USL Premier Development League.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2005 Major League Soccer SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire, then left the States in 2008 to play in the Danish SuperLiga for Randers FC.

He played three game for the Comets in 2010, nearly taking them to the league championship game.

USL PRO's Phoenix FC Adds Grousis, Faria

USL PRO expansion franchise Phoenix FC announced the signings Wednesday of defender Devin Grousis and midfielder Diego Faria.

Grousis played in 2012 for the league's Charlotte Eagles.

Faria recently played in his hometown of Teofilo Otoni, Brazil for America T.O.

MLS Announces Change In Hosting Games For DC United-NYRB Series

Due to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ being without power since Monday due to then-Hurricane Sandy, Major League Soccer announced Wednesday Game 1 of their two-game, total-goal Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the New York Red Bulls and DC United will begin Saturday at RFK Stadium, with the Red Bulls now hosting Game 2 next Wednesday.

Voting Begins For 2012 MLS Goal Of The Year Award

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday fan voting has begun that will eventually decide the winner of the 2012 Goal of the Year award.

A field of 64 nominees -- the 31 fan-selected Goal of the Week winners from this season (Weeks 13-15 are considered on selection) and 33 wild-card entrants selected by MLSSoccer.com staff -- have been broken up into 16 groups of four nominees, with fans voting on four groups at a time between Wednesday and November 7 (Groups 1-4: Wednesday and Thursday, Groups 5-8: Friday and Saturday, Groups 9-12: this Sunday and Monday, Groups 13-16: next Tuesday and Wednesday), with voting in each group ending at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on the second day of each period.

Fans can only pick one winner from each grouping and the top two vote-getters from each group advance to the 32-pick Second Round November 9-12, where nominees will be placed in eight groups of four.

The top two group winners from the Second Round move to the Round of 16 November 14-21, then the top winner in each of those group make the Final Four field, to be voted on November 24-27, with the winner announced November 29.

To vote on the first round of nominees, go to http://www.mlssoccer.com/gotw/goty2012/round1/group1-4.

Week 33 MLS Team Of The Week Announced

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's Team of the Week for Week 33 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
Bill Hamid - DC United

DEFENDERS
David Horst - Portland Timbers
A.J. Soares - New England Revolution
Jay DeMerit - Vancouver Whitecaps

MIDFIELDERS
Fabian Castillo - FC Dallas
Martin Rivera - Colorado Rapids
Federico Higuain - Columbus Crew
Patrick Nyarko - Chicago Fire

FORWARDS
Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy
Kenny Cooper - New York Red Bulls (MLS Week 33 Player of the Week)
Kei Kamara - Sporting Kansas City

HEAD COACH
Hans Backe - New York Red Bulls

HONORABLE MENTION
Juan Agudelo - Chivas USA
Jairo Arrieta - Columbus Crew
Darrius Barnes - New England Revolution
Laurent Courtois - Chivas USA
Sam Cronin - San Jose Earthquakes
Nick DeLeon - DC United
Marco Di Vaio - Montreal Impact
Bright Dike - Portland Timbers
David Ferreira - FC Dallas
Thierry Henry - New York Red Bulls
Kamani Hill - Colorado Rapids
Antoine Hoppenot - Philadelphia Union
Rafa Marquez - New York Red Bulls
Mike Magee - Los Angeles Galaxy
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders
C.J. Sapong - Sporting Kansas City
Josh Saunders - Los Angeles Galaxy
Chris Wingert - Real Salt Lake
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes
Marvell Wynne - Colorado Rapids

USWNT Names Sermanni New Head Coach, Effective January 1

US Soccer announced Tuesday that, effective January 1, 2013, Tom Sermanni, two-time head coach of Australia's women's national team, will become the seventh head coach in the history of the US Women's National Team.

Sermanni will replace Pia Sundhage, who recently resigned after leading the team to two Olympic gold medals and a second-place finish at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

Current interim head coach Jill Ellis, US Soccer's women's development director, will remain head coach for the team's five remaining 2012 season games.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Sermanni played over 500 games at midfielder from 1971 to 1989 and scored over 50 goals before coaching men's and women's soccer teams throughout the world.

In his first stint with the Matildas from 1994 to 1997, Sermanni led them to 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup. Stint number two, from 2004 to this year, saw the team make the quarterfinals of the 2007 and 2012 World Cups.

He also coached in the now-defunct Women's United Soccer Association as an assistant for the San Jose CyberRays, leading them to the 2001 league championship, then became head coach of the New York Power in the league's final season of 2003, where he coached three current USWNT stars -- Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Tiffany Milbrett.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Soul Adds Five Veterans To Inaugural Roster

The expansion Chicago Soul of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing Tuesday of five veteran league players in goalkeeper Jeff Richey, defenders Tijani Ayegbusi, Chris Brisson and Will Kletzien, and forward Alexander Megson to the inaugural roster.

Richey, a 13-year veteran, has played in the league for the Milwaukee Wave, Chicago Storm, Rockford Rampage and Chicago Riot and played outdoors in the USL Premier Development League in 2000 for the Sioux Falls (SD) Spitfire, where he was an all-league selection that season, and the Milwaukee Rampage, champions of the A-League in 2001.

He also was a member of the US National Futsal Team that played in the 2008 Gold Cup in Guatemala and the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ayebusi spent the 2012 MISL season with the Wichita Wings and also played for the league with the Wave and the Philadelphia Kixx. A native of Nigeria, where he played for Julius Berger, 3 SC of Ibadan, Kwara - United FC and Sunshone Statrs FC, he will enter his 14th professional soccer season.

Brisson played for the outdoor Minnesota Thunder and the indoor Storm, Rampage and Riot.

Kletzien has played for five teams over the last five seasons, beginning in Canada with the Windsor Border Stars, followed by the Storm, Kixx, Riot and the Rochester Lancers.

Megson played for the Riot in 2010 and the Syracuse Silver Knights last season.

The Soul open their first season of play Friday at the Silver Knights, with their first home game at Sears Centre Arena set for December 7 against the Lancers.

Wings Sign MISL Combine All-Star Mesle

The Wichita Wings of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signing of their 18th and final roster player for the 2012-13 season in defender Michael Mesle, who was named a member of the 2012 MISL Combine All-Star team in Independence, MO.

Mesle started all 75 career games at Ottawa University and was a five-time Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week pick in his career.

While at Ottawa, he played in the USL Premier Development League for the Springfield Demize in 2010 and the St. Louis Lions in 2011 and 2012.

Wichita opens its season Friday at the Missouri Comets, then hosts the Comets this Sunday.

All 2012-13 MISL Games To Be Streamed Online

The Major Indoor Soccer League announced Tuesday all games of the 2012-13 season, including the playoffs and Championship Series, will be available for fans for free through the website MISLnation.com.

The website will also offer a podcast on Wednesday, MISL Weekly, to recap the previous week's action and preview the upcoming week's games.

The 2012-13 season starts Friday with the expansion Chicago Soul at the Syracuse Silver Knights and the Wichita Wings at the Missouri Comets.

On Saturday, the Silver Knights host the Rochester Lancers and the Soul travel to the Baltimore Blast.

The first week ends Sunday with the Comets at the Wings.

MLS Cracks New Overall Attendance Record For Second Straight Season

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday 6,074,729 fans attended 2012 regular season games, setting a new overall mark for the second straight season.

The league also averaged 18,807 fans per game in 2012, the seventh-highest average attendance among worldwide professional soccer league.

Five MLS teams averaged over 20,000 fans a game, a new league record, and eight others averaged over 19,000 a game, up from five doing so in 2011.

For the fourth year in a row, the Seattle Sounders led the league in average attendance at 43,144, also a new team record.

USL PDL's Bantams Promote Winchester To Head Coach

SC United FC Bantams of the USL Premier Development League, formerly Palmetto FC Bantams, announced Tuesday the promotion of assistant coach Gary Winchester to head coach for the 2013 season, replacing Van Taylor.

Winchester is preparing for his sixth season as women's head coach at Erskine College.

Born in Penicuik, Scotland, Winchester played two seasons at Iowa Central Community College, then two more at Lander University.

After graduation, he became the women's head coach at Emerald High School in Greenwood, SC and previously served as director of Toros Youth Soccer Club.

Nominees Announced For Week 33 MLS Save Of The Week

Voting has opened for fans to select the Week 33 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 33 are Zac MacMath (Philadelphia Union), Bill Hamid (DC United), Freddy Hall (Toronto FC), Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas), and Josh Saunders (Los Angeles Galaxy).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pontius Takes Four 2012 DC United Awards

Major League Soccer's DC United announced Monday midfielder/forward Chris Pontius claimed four of the teams 2012 season's honors -- Volkswagen Most Valuable Player, Fans' Choice, and Goal of the Year awards, as well as the team's Golden Boot.

Pontius set career-highs in 2012 in goals (12), games played (31), games started (26), minutes played (2.339), shots (71) and shots on goal (29) after dealing with season-ending injuries in 2010 and 2011.

Of his goals, six were game-winning strikes, tying a club record with Steve Rammel in 1996 and finishing tied for third in the league in that category this season.

Midfielder Brandon McDonald won the 2012 Visa Defender of the Year award after all 33 regular season games, a team-high, and logged a team-record 2,963 minutes played, eclipsing the old record of Jeff Agoos of the team's inaugural 1996 squad.

He had two goals and four assists this season, the best output from a player in his position, and led a defensive unit that had three shutouts and a 0.71 goals against average in their final seven games.

McDonald came to the team midway through the 2011 season from the San Jose Earthquakes.

Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa won DC's 2012 Coaches Award after starting nine of their last 11 games and finishing with 12 starts in 16 games, playing in 1,120 minutes and scoring a goal and an assist over those games.

Finally, midfielder Stepen King was named their nominee for MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year for his comminuty contributions, including to the USO and the United Reads program.

Chara Claims Two Postseason Awards From Timbers

Midfielder Diego Chara won two of seven awards presented by Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers during the annual Stand Together Awards Banquet Sunday in downtown Portland, OR -- Players' and Supporters' (Fans) Player of the Year.

Chara started all 28 games he played in and played an MLS career-high 2.473 minutes. On June 30, he ended a club record with his 27th consecutive start by a field player, a streak that began in 2011. He also played in his 50th match with the Timbers August 19 against the New York Red Bulls, becoming the fourth player in team history to reach that mark.

Defender David Horst was named Community Player of the Year for his work throughout the season, highlighted by serving as the honorary chairman for the United Way in 2012-13.

With seven goals, including a game-winner in his debut March 12 against the Philadelphia Union, forward Kris Boyd was named the Timbers' Golden Boot winner.

Midfielder Eric Alexander was named winner of the Unsung Hero award after having a career-high six assists to win the assist title on the roster. He played in 24 games this season, 14 of them starts, and played over 1,300 minutes. His assists resulted in goals this season by Boyd and forward/midfielder Darlington Nagbe.

Forward Brent Richards was named the Young Player of the Year, playing in six regular season games for them and nine matches for their Reserve League team, scoring four goals.

Midfielder Jack Jewsbury's game-winning goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps October 21 at BC Place in a 1-0 victory that captured the 2012 Cascadia Cup was named the team's Play of the Year.

Midfielder Steven Evans was named Player of the Year for the Timbers' U-23 USL Premier Development League franchise, tallying four goals and an assist over 15 regular season games, to lead them to a second-place finish in the Northwest Division and to the Western Conference's semifinals.

Nagamura To Miss First Leg Of MLS Cup Conference Semifinal Series

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City announced Monday midfielder Paulo Nagamura will likely miss the first leg of their 2012 MLS Cup Eastern Conference semifinal series with either the Chicago Fire or the Houston Dynamo due to a sprained ankle suffered in their final regular season game last Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union.

Nagamura started 19 of 27 games this season, his first at SKC.

MLS Announces Week 33 Goal Of The Week Nominees

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 33 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) Jacob Peterson of Sporting Kansas City (G1), Patrick Nyarko of the Chicago Fire (G2), Kamani Hill of the Colorado Rapids (G3), Jackson of FC Dallas (G4) and Mike Magee of the Los Angeles Galaxy (G5).




Cooper Brace Earns Him Week 33 MLS POTW Award

New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper, who scored two of the team's three goals in a shutout of the Philadelphia Union Saturday, was named Monday Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 33 of the 2012 season.

It is Cooper's fourth weekly award in his career and first since winning after Week 19 of the 2008 season.

2012 MLS Cup Playoff Schedule Announced

Major League Soccer Sunday officially announced the schedule for the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs:

KNOCKOUT ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Wednesday - Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Thursday - Vancouver Whitecaps at Los Angeles Galaxy

CONFERENCE SEMIFNALS (Two-game aggregate goal series)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Sporting Kansas City vs. Fire-Dynamo winner
- Leg 1: next Sunday
- Leg 2: November 7

DC United vs. New York Red Bulls
- Leg 1: Saturday
- Leg 2: November 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Galaxy-Whitecaps
- Leg 1: Thursday
- Leg 2: next Sunday

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
- Leg 1: Friday
- Leg 2: November 8

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Two-game aggregate goal series)

EASTERN CONFERENCE
- Leg 1: November 10
- Leg 2: November 17 or 18

WESTERN CONFERENCE
- Leg 1: November 11 or 12
- Leg 2: November 17 or 18

MLS CUP 2012
Single game held at highest seeded conference champion December 1

Wondolowski Wins Second Golden Boot Award In Three Seasons

Forward Chris Wondolowski of the 2012 Western Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes was named winner of Major League Soccer's 2012 Golden Boot award Sunday after tallying 27 goals this season, tying a single-season record originally set in 1996, the league's inaugural season, by Roy Lassiter.

Wondolowski previously won the award in 2010 with 18, but lost the 2011 award to DC United's Dwayne De Rosario, who tied him in goals, but won a tiebreaker in assists.

Magee Goal Gives Galaxy Win Over Sounders, Playoff Positions Settled

Mike Magee scored an 83rd minute game-winning goal off Robbie Keane as the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy finished their 2012 regular season with a 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders Sunday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Both teams now advance to the 2012 MLS Cup playoffs.

The Galaxy, the fourth seed in the Western Conference with a 16-12-6 record and 54 points, will host the fifth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps, the first Canadian franchise to earn a league playoff berth, in a Knockout Round game Wednesday.

The winner advances to a two-leg, aggregate goal conference semifinal series next Sunday and November 7 against the conference and Supporters Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes.

The Sounders, seeded third with a 15-8-11 record and 56 points, will face Real Salt Lake in a similar conference series this Friday and November 8.

The two semifinal series winners will meet in the two-game, aggregate goal conference championship November 11 or 12 and November 17 or 18.

Courtois Goal, Assist Rally Chivas USA To 2-2 Draw With FC Dallas

Laurent Courtois scored in the 90th minute off a Ben Zemanski assist, then teamed with Ryan Smith on Juan Agudelo's 94th minute strike as Chivas USA played host FC Dallas to a 2-2 draw in both teams' final Major League Soccer regular season game of 2012 in Frisco, TX.

After a scoreless first half, David Ferreira assisted on goals by Jackson in the 73rd minute and Fabian Castillo eight minutes later for a 2-0 lead.

FC Dallas ends their 2012 season with a sixth-place Western Conference record of 9-13-12 with 39 points, while Chivas finished with the conference's worst record at 7-18-9 and 30 points.

Higuain Brace Gives Crew Final Win Of Season Over Toronto FC

Federico Higuain had unassisted goals in the 17th and 62nd minute as the host Columbus Crew ended their 2012 Major League Soccer season with a 2-1 victory over the league's worst team, Toronto FC, Sunday at Crew Stadium.

Toronto tied the game in the 27th minute as Ryan Johnson connected with Andrew Wiedeman.

Columbus finished sixth in the Eastern Conference standings at 15-12-7 with 52 points, while Toronto went 5-21-8 with 23 points.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rowdies Crowned NASL Champions In Shootout Over Stars

The Tampa Bay Rowdies became the 2012 North American Soccer League champions after playing the defending champion Minnesota Stats to a shootout Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL, forced when the Rowdies tied their two-game aggregate series at 3-3 with a 3-1 second leg victory after Minnesota won the first leg last Saturday, 2-0, at NSC Stadium in Blaine, MN.

Keith Savage assisted on a 25th minute Carl Cort goal and scored in the 52nd off Andres Arango to lead the Rowdies and Mike Ambersley assisted Daniel Antoniuk on an 86th minute strike.

Lucas Rodriguez scored Minnesota's lone goal off a Miguel Ibarra assist.

Rapids Play Spoiler To Playoff-Bound Fynamo

Kamani Hill scored in the ninth minute off a Jamie Castrillon assist and Andre Akpan had an unassisted 76th minute goal as the host Colorado Rapids stunned the playoff-bound Houston Dynamo with a 2-0 victory Saturday in both teams' final Major League Soccer regular season game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.

The Rapids ended their 2012 MLS season with an 11-19-4 record and 37 points, good for seventh place in the Western Conference.

The Dynamo, the defending Eastern Conference champion, finished with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs off a 14-9-11 record and 53 points. Houston will face the fourth-seeded Chicago Fire in a Knockout Round game Wednesday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

San Jose's Wondolowski Ties Goal Scoring Record; Earthquakes Tie Host Timbers

Chris Wondolowski scored an unassisted 24th minute goal and tied the Major League Soccer single season record for goals scored at 27 with Roy Lassiter, but the 2012 Western Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes played the host Portland Timbers to a 1-1 draw in both teams' final MLS regular season game at JELD-WEN Field Saturday.

Bright Dike scored Portland's goal unassisted in the 67th minute.

The Earthquakes, the top seed in the conference, earned a bye into the conference's two-game aggregate goal semifinal series November 3 or 4 and 7 or 8 against the winner of this Thursday's Knockout Round game between the fourth-seeded and defending conference and MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy and the fifth-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps, who played host Real Salt Lake Saturday to a scoreless draw.

The Timbers ended their 2012 MLS regular season in eighth place in the conference at 8-16-10 with 34 points.

DC United Extends Unbeaten Streak With 1-1 Draw To Fire

Lionard Pajoy's 50th minute goal off a Branko Boskovic assist allowed DC United to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games as they played the host Chicago Fire to a 1-1 draw Saturday in each team's final regular season Major League Soccer game before competing in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, beginning next week.

The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute when Sherjill McDonald connected with Patrick Nyarko.

DC United finished as the second seed in the Eastern Conference with a 17-10-7 record and 58 points and earned a bye into the conference's semifinal round, a two-game aggregate-goal series with the third-seeded New York Red Bulls November 3 or 4 and November 7 or 8. The winner of that series will advance to a similar-phased Eastern Conference Championship Series.

Chicago 17-11-6 with 57 points, finished fourth in the conference and will host the fifth-seeded and defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo Wednesday in a Knockout Round game. The winner will face two-time conference regular season champion Sporting Kansas City in a two-game Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rolfe Takes Two Of Three Fire 2012 Team Awards

Forward Chris Rolfe, who returned to Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire in April after playing three seasons with Aalborg BK in the Danish Superliga, was named winner of the team's Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot awards during an awards ceremony before their home and regular season finale against DC United Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

Rolfe had eight goals and three assists, including two goals each in wins over the Philadelphia Union August 12 and the Columbus Crew September 22.

Arne Friedrich was named the team's Defender of the Year, scoring a goal in the August 12 win over the Union and helping the defense hold opponents to 40 goals in 33 games by playing in 22 of them.

Revolution "Soares" On Lone Goal Over Impact In Season Finale

A.J. Soares' 88th minute goal, assisted by Chris Tierney, gave the New England Revolution a 1-0 win over the host Montreal Impact Saturday in the 2012 Major League Soccer regular season finale for both teams at Saputo Stadium.

New England finished the season 9-17-8 with 35 points and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, while the Impact ended 12-16-6 with 42 points and in seventh place.

Cooper Brace, Henry Goal Gives Red Bulls Rout Of Union

Kenny Cooper had an unassisted 13th minute goal and was helped by Dax McCarty on a 66th minute strike and Thierry Henry tallied a goal in the 35th minute as Major League Soccer's playoff-bound New York Red Bulls played the host Philadelphia Union to a 3-0 shutout Saturday at PPL Park in Chester, PA.

At the moment, the Red Bulls have ended their season with a 16-9-9 record and 57 points, tying them for third place in the Eastern Conference standings with the Chicago Fire (17-11-6), who are currently hosting DC United at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The Union's 2012 campaign ends with a 10-18-6, 36 points, and an eighth-place conference finish.

Impact Goalkeeper Sutton Retiring After Saturday's Season Finale

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced Friday goalkeeper Greg Sutton will retire after Saturday's 2012 season finale at Saputo Stadium against the New England Revolution.

Sutton has started 50 of 53 career MLS games between Montreal, the Chicago Fire, who selected him in the second round of the 1999 MLS College Draft; the New York/New Jersey Metrostars, Toronto FC, and the New York Red Bulls.

He has spent 4.636 minutes in goal, has a 14-21-15 record, and has 11 shutouts.

Sutton also played in the outdoor A-League with the Cincinnati Riverhawks before returning to MLS in 2007 with Toronto.

From 2001 to 2006 at Montreal in USL First Division, his first stint, he became the team's all-time leader in shutouts (67), wins (72), games played (132) and minutes played (12,309), was a four-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year from 2003 to 2006, was the Impact's Giuseppe Saputo Trophy in 2003 as their Most Valuable Player, and was the league's Most Valuable Player and the team's Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, the season Montreal won their second USL-1 championship in history.

Sutton also played 16 times for his native men's national team in Canada, appearing in the 2005, 2007 and 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup events.

Week 32 MLS Team Of The Week Announced

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's Team of the Week for Week 32 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
Jimmy Nielsen - Sporting Kansas City

DEFENDERS
Andy Najar - DC United
David Horst - Portland Timbers
Matteo Ferrari - Montreal Impact

MIDFIELDERS
Marvin Chavez - San Jose Earthquakes
Brad Evans - Seattle Sounders (MLS Week 32 Player of the Week)
Jack Jewsbury - Portland Timbers
Nick DeLeon - DC United

FORWARDS
Diego Fagundez - New England Revolution
Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy
Jack McInerney - Philadelphia Union

HEAD COACH
Ben Olsen - DC United

HONORABLE MENTION
Jairo Arrieta - Columbus Crew
Jon Busch - San Jose Earthquakes
Brad Davis - Houston Dynamo
Oscar Boniek Garcia - Houston Dynamo
Omar Gonzalez - Los Angeles Galaxy
Michael Gspurning - Seattle Sounders
Kevin Hartman - FC Dallas
Gershon Koffie - Vancouver Whitecaps
Rafa Marquez - New York Red Bulls
Lewis Neal - DC United
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders
Sanna Nyassi - Montreal Impact
Jeff Parke - Seattle Sounders
Chris Pontius - DC United
Martin Rivero - Colorado Rapids
Marcelo Saragosa - DC United
Jermaine Taylor - Houston Dynamo
Sebastian Velasquez - Real Salt Lake
Christian Wilhelmsson - Los Angeles Galaxy
Josh Williams - Columbus Crew
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes

MLS Fines Benitez, Keane For Incidents In Sunday Games

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee Friday fined FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane undisclosed amounts for incidents that occurred during games this past Sunday.

Benitez was reprimanded for an "act of embellishment which brought the game into disrepute" against the Seattle Sounders, while Keane publicly complained about the officiating of their game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fans Name Jewsbury, Nielsen Week 32 MLS Award Winners

Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury and Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen were named Friday winners of Major League Soccer's Week 32 AT&T Goal of the Week and Save of the Week awards in fan voting.

Jewsbury received 53 percent of all online and text votes cast to win by a nearly 2-to-1 margin over Mauro Rosales of the Seattle Sounders, who got 19 percent of the vote.

Diego Fagundez of the New England Revolution (12 percent), Oscar Boniek Garcia of the Houston Dynamo (eight percent) and Marvin Chavez of the San Jose Earthquakes (seven percent) rounded out this week's ballot.

Nielsen, who won for a sixth time this season and was last week's winner, had 43.32 percent of the vote to defeat Michael Gspurning of the Sounders (32.14 percent) for the honor.

Luis Robles of the New York Red Bulls (10.21 percent), Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas (7.65 percent) and Freddy Hall of Toronto FC finished third through fifth.

MLS' Dynamo, Sounders, Galaxy Learn Opponents For CCL Quarterfinal Play

With the Group Stage round of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League having ended Thursday, Major League Soccer's three tournament representatives -- the Houston Dynamo (Group 3 winner), Seattle Sounders (Group 4) and the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy (Group 5) -- learned who they will face in the two-leg aggregate goal quarterfinal round March 5-7 and 12-14.

The Dynamo, seeded seventh out of eight Group Stage champions, will face second-seeded Santos Laguna of Mexico, the Group 1 champion

The Sounders, seeded third, will face the sixth-seeded UANL Tigers, also of Mexico and the Group 6 champion.

The Galaxy, seeded fourth, will take on fifth-seeded Herediano of Costa Rica, the Group 2 champion.

Stephens Scores Game-Winner For Galaxy Over Metapan In Final CCL Group Stage Game

Michael Stephens hit a game-winning unassisted goal in the 80th minute to lead the defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy to a 3-2 win over host Isidro Metapan of El Salvador to win Group 5 in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League tournament Thursday at Jorge Calero Suarez Stadium and advance to the tournament quarterfinal round this March.

Jack McBean was assisted by Bryan Gaul on goals in the 38th and 62nd minute for the Galaxy, who finished the group stage round with a 3-0-1 record and ten points.

Nicolas Munoz assisted Rodolfo Suarez on a 35th minute goal for Metapan, then had an unassisted 67th minute goal in the loss.

The Galaxy close out their 2012 MLS regular season Sunday when they host the Seattle Sounders at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Earthquakes Names 2012 Season Award Winners

Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, the 2012 Western Conference regular season and Supporters Shield champion, announced their team award winners Wednesday -- forward Chris Wondolowski as Most Valuable Player, Victor Bernardez as Defender of the Year, and Shea Salinas as Humanitarian of the Year.

Wondolowski leads the league's Budweiser Golden Boot race with 26 goals, one away from tying Roy Lassister's all-time league record for goals in a single season set in 1996, and had a new career-high seven assists.

He set a new single-season league record for game-winning goals with 11, had two hat tricks and six multi-goal games, two away from breaking another league record, and was named a four-time MLS Player of the Week and a three-time MLS Player of the Month, becoming the first player in league history to earn three or more monthly awards in the same season.

Bernardez played in each of the team's seven shutouts this season and was 13-4-6 with him in the lineup, including a 7-0-1 record against Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy, all conference foes.

Salinas has made 18 appearances in the community this season, including visits to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and a preschool for autistic children. He also met with children in the pediatric units at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara.

While suffering a pulled hamstring in August, he met and sat with a group of high-need children during a team practice.

He also serves as a spokesperson for the Kaiser Permanente-presented Get Earthquakes Fit program, a five-week program for third- and fourth-grade students.

SKC Hands Out 2012 Awards Before Final Regular Season Game

Prior to defeating the Philadelphia Union Wednesday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS to end their 2012 Major League Soccer season with a second straight Eastern Conference regular season championship and finishing with team records for wins and points, the team handed out its 2012 player awards.

Forward Kei Kamara won two awards Wednesday as Offensive Player of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year,

On the field, Kamara led the team in goals with a career-high 11 to go with six assists and could be named the team's Budweiser Golden Boot winner when the 2012 MLS season ends. He took 132 shots, most in MLS this season and third-most in league history, and is second in the league in shots on goal with 49.

Off it, he established the HeartShapedHands Foundation this season and has provided scholarships for students at the Kei Kamara Home and School for War Orphans in his native Sierra Leone through Schools for Salone.

He was also a finalist for the Courage in Sports Award and was featured in a documentary about his life story and desire to make a difference since coming to the US as a youth.

Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and midfielder Grahan Zusi shared the team's Most Valuable Player award.

Nielsen set new club records for minutes played (2,970) and games started (33) and leads the league in shutouts (15) and wins (17), each one away from setting all-time league goalkeeping records. He finished the season with a 0.79 goals against average.

Zusi leads MLS with a career-high 15 assists, third most in franchise history, scored five goals, and had a team-record five game-winning assists, leading them to a 12-1-3 when he scored or assisted on a goal. He also tallied 147 corner kicks to lead the league and racked up the most in team history and the third most in MLS single season history. He played on the 2012 MLS All-Star team and made five appearances on the US Men's National Team.

Defender Matt Besler, who was part of a unit that allowed 26 goals over 33 regular season games, as well as allowed the fewest shots and shots on goal in the league this season, was named the Defender of the Year. He also had two game-winning assists. With him in the lineup, SKC went 16-5-8 with a 0.71 goals against average and went 8-2-4 with a 0.68 average against current playoff teams.

Three USWNT Players, Sundhage Finalists For FIFA Year-End Awards

FIFA and France Football Thursday announced US Women's National Team players Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe were named to the shortlist for 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year and former head coach Pia Sundhage has been nominated for the 2012 FIFA Women's Coach of the Year, both to be awarded January 7 at a televised ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.

Sounders Wins CCL Group With Victory Over Marathon

Samuel Ochoa, Steve Zakuani and David Estrada scored goals as Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders won Group 4 play in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League with a 3-1 victory Wednesday over Honduras' Marathon at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Mitchel Brown scored for Marathon, who finished with a 1-2-1 record and four points and ended a six-game unbeaten streak.

Seattle went undefeated at 4-0-0 with 12 points, is now unbeaten in their last five games over all competitions, and could next face MLS' Houston Dynamo in the tournament's two-leg aggregate goal series set for between March 5-7 and 12-14.

The Sounders end MLS regular season play at the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy Sunday.

USMNT Star Gomez Knocks Toronto FC Out Of CCL Tournament

US Men's National Team star Herculez Gomez scored an unassisted 73rd minute goal as Santos Laguna of Mexico's Liga MX eliminated Major League Soccer's Toronto FC from the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League tournament with a 1-0 victory Wednesday in the final game of Group 1 play at Corona Stadium in Torreon, Mexico.

Santos Laguna advances to the quarterfinal stage after going undefeated at 4-0-0 with 12 points.

Toronto ended group play with a 2-2-0 record and six points and concludes MLS regular season play this Sunday at the Columbus Crew.

SKC Wins Second Straight Eastern Conference Regular Season Title

C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara assisted Jacob Peterson on a 40th minute goal, then Kamara assisted Sapong on a game-winning 82nd minute strike as Sporting Kansas City, for the second straight season, are the regular season champions of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union Wednesday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, KS.

Antoine Hoppenot scored Philadelphia's goal unassisted in the 53rd minute.

SKC ends the regular season with an 18-7-9 record and 63 points and extended their season-long unbeaten streak to 12 games.

Philadelphia's 2012 season ends with an eighth place finish in the conference and a 10-17-6 record with 36 points.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crew Hands Out Team Awards; Gruenebaum, Gaven Win Three

Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew announced the winners of their annual team awards during an event, sponsored by adidas, Tuesday night.

Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum (Barbasol Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year, and Breakout Performance) and midfielder/forward Eddie Gaven (Budweiser Golden Boot, MLS W.O.R.K.S./US Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year, and 200 Club honoree) took home three awards.

Replacing goalkeeper Will Hesmer due to injury, Gruenebaum has started all 32 games, heading into Sunday's home and regular season finale against Toronto FC. He has tallied 2,830 minutes in goal, eight shutouts and 122 saves, leading all MLS goalkeepers.

Gaven shared the Budweiser Golden Boot award with forward Jairo Arrieta, who both have nine goals through 32 games.

Gaven was also honored for his charitable work within the Columbus community and, along with defender Chad Marshall, became the newest members of the team's 200 Club, passing the 200-game plateau, joining Jeff Cunningham and Mike Clark in the exlcusive club.

Midfielder Kirk Urso, who died earlier this year due to a congenital heart condition, was posthumously named winner of the inaugural Kirk Urso Award, where Crew players will honor the one player who most embodies his selflessness and tireless work ethic.

Defender Julius James was named the OhioHealth Comeback Player of the Year after returning from numerous injuries this season.

He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, then, at a practice in early April, suffered a collapsed lung. He has played in 12 games this season.

Finally, defender Sebastian Miranda was named by fans as the winner of the Goal of the Year award for a 20-yard header that led the Crew to a win over FC Dallas.

The Crew close out their 2012 home and regular season schedule Sunday against Toronto FC.

Strikers Re-Sign Anderson For 2013 Season With Club Options For 2014, 2015 Seasons

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced Wednesday they have re-signed forward Mark Anderson for the 2013 season with club options for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Anderson, who played his first season for the Strikers out of Barry University, scored 13 goals in all competitions, including 11 in the league, the second-most scored this season. He also started 19 of 25 appearances, assisted on three goals, and was named to the NASL's Best XI team.

USL's Highlanders Name DeFries General Manager

The Victoria Highlanders of the USL Premier Development League and W-League announced Wednesday Mark deFries has returned to the organization to become their new general manager, replacing Drew Finerty.

Accepting the new position has forced deFries to resign from his position as athletic marketing and sponsorship officer at the University of Victoria, which he held for the last three years.

DeFries was part of the Highlanders during the franchise's debut season of 1999 as sales and marketing manager.

He also serves as a board member with the Victoria International Running Society.

The Highlanders also announced they have retained PDL and U-18 team head coach Steve Simonson, W-League head coach David Dew, director of youth development Neil Sedgewick, and goalkeeper coach Bob Stankov for the 2013 season.

Red Bulls Lose Sam For Final Regular Season Game, Playoffs

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe announced Tuesday forward Lloyd Sam will miss Saturday's Major League Soccer regular season finale at the Philadelphia Union and the upcoming league playoffs after suffering a posterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee in last Saturday's scoreless draw against Sporting Kansas City to close out the home season at Harrison, NJ's Red Bull Arena.

Backe did not give a timeline for how long San would be out of action, but said surgery may not be necessary to remedy the injury.

Timbers Announces Surgical Results For Brunner, Danso

Major League Soccer's Portland Timbers announced Tuesday defenders Eric Brunner and Mamadou "Futty" Danso underwent surgeries for respective injuries this week and are done of the 2012 season.

Brunner had microfracture surgery of a chondral lesion in his right ankle and will be out six to eight weeks. He scored one goal in 924 minutes played over 13 games, ten of them starts.

Danso had arthroscopic surgery Monday on a small meniscus tear in his left knee and will miss four to six weeks. He started nine of ten games this season, playing a combined 853 minutes.

Morgan Carries USWNT To 2-2 Draw Over Germany

For the second time in four days, the US Women's National Team played Germany to a draw, this time a 2-2 affair Tuesday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT behind assists from Alex Morgan on goals in the 44th minute by Abby Wambach and the 67th minute by Tobin Heath in front of a rain-soaked crowd of 18,870, the largest crowd in state history to see them play.

Dzenifer Marozsan scored both of Germany's goals in the match -- unassisted in the 48th minute and assisted by Linda Bresonik in the 85th minute.

Saturday, both teams played to a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.

The US is now 23-1-3 on the year, unbeaten in its last 18 games, 17-6-4 versus Germany all-time, and 3-0-2 on their Fan Tribute Tour, celebrating the team winning the gold medal this summer at the 2012 London Olympics.

The US, under the direction of interim head coach Jill Ellis, continues their post-Olympic schedule with two games against Ireland -- November 28 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, OR and December 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.

Chivas USA Owners Shake Up Front Office

In last place in the Western Conference at 7-18-8 with 29 points and set to miss the Major League Soccer playoffs for a third straight season, owners Jorge Vergara and Angeline Fuentes of Chivas USA announced Tuesday Jose David will become the team's new president and Jose Luis Real will be the new director of soccer operations.

David, born in Mexico, has lived in the US for the last 13 years.

Real, former head coach of parent team Chivas de Guadalajara from 2009 to 2011, currently serves as that team's director of athletic development.

Chivas closes out their 2012 MLS season Sunday at FC Dallas.

Dynamo Advances, RSL Out In CCL Play

Andre Hainault's 65th minute goal off a Nathan Sturgis assist allowed Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo to advance to the semifinal round of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, despite playing CD Olimpia of Honduras to a 1-1 draw Tuesday in the final game of quarterfinal play in Group 3 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

The Dynamo, who won the group with a 2-0-2 record and eight points, are now unbeaten in 19 games since opening their new home May 12 and in 25 games between the stadium and Richardson Stadium at the University of Houston since July 7, 2011.

Douglas Caetano scored Olimpia's goal unassisted in the 21st minute and finished 1-1-2 with five points.

Meanwhile, another MLS team, Real Salt Lake, played Costa Rica's Herediano to a scoreless draw at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, UT, but the result allowed Herediano to win Group 2 with a 3-0-1 record and ten points. RSL finished 2-1-1 with seven points.

Orlando City Signs Heath To New Three-Year Deal

Two-time defending USL PRO regular season champion and 2011 league champion Orlando City Soccer Club announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Adrian Heath, who has been with the team since its founding in late 2010, to a new three-year contract through October 2015.

Heath is 32-4-12 overall since joining Orlando City.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

USL PRO's Blues To Play Mexico's U-20 Men's National Team In Two-Game Series

The Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO announced Tuesday they will play Mexico's U-20 Men's National Team in two exhibition games -- November 16 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, CA and November 18 at East Los Angeles Stadium.

The Blues recently began their preseason schedule with a victory over Guatemalan champion Xelaju at the Independence Cup last month.

Rampage Sign Five Former Players To PASL Squad; Sign Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal With Radioactive Energy Drink

The Rockford Rampage, returning to professional indoor soccer this season in the Professional Arena Soccer League as an expansion team, announced the signings Tuesday of five players who were part of the team during their days in the American Indoor Soccer League and/or Major Indoor Soccer League -- goalkeeper/forward Ante Cop, defender Eric DeGand, midfielder Semir Mesanovic, defender/midfielder Eric Lukin, and midfielder Bojan Jovicic.

The team also announced the signing of a multi-year presenting sponsorship deal with Radioactive Energy Drink, whose logo will appear on the team's jerseys as well as on the website during Internet broadcasts.

The Rampage open their inaugural PASL season November 3 at the Ohio Vortex, then host the expansion Chicago Mustangs November 24 at Victory Sports Complex in Loves Park, IL.


Nominees Announced For Week 32 MLS Save Of The Week

Voting has opened for fans to select the Week 32 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 32 are Michael Gspurning (Seattle Sounders), Freddy Hall (Toronto FC), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls), and Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas).

Monday, October 22, 2012

MLS Announces Week 32 POTW Nominees

Major League Soccer Monday announced the five nominees for the AT&T Goal of the Week award for Week 32 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) Diego Fagundez of the New England Revolution (G1), Oscar Boniek Garcia of the Houston Dynamo (G2), Jack Jewsbury of the Portland Timbers (G3), Marvin Chavez of the San Jose Earthquakes (G4) and Mauro Rosales of the Seattle Sounders (G5).

Evans Wins First Career MLS POTW Award

Midfielder/defender Brad Evans of the Seattle Sounders earned his first Major League Soccer Player of the Week award of his career for Week 32 of the 2012 season Monday.

Evans filled in at right back and center defense during a scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake last Wednesday, then, on Sunday, he scored the first two goals in a 3-1 win Sunday against FC Dallas, with both games taking place at CenturyLink Field.

Whitecaps Announce 2012 Team Award Winners

Prior to Sunday's game at BC Place against the Portland Timbers, Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps, in conjunction with BMO Bank of Montreal, announced winners of the team's annual awards.

Forward Darren Mattocks was named the team's Most Promising Player and winner of the Dominic Mobilio Golden Boot as their top goal scorer this season, with seven goals in 19 appearances, entering Sunday. He led the team in game-winning goals with two and also scored a goal in this year's Amway Canadian Championship.

Defender Young-Pyo Lee was named the team's Player of the Year after appearing in a team-high 31 games, not counting Sunday's, and seeing 2,790 minutes of playing time. He scored a game-winning road goal April 28 against the Columbus Crew and was ranked second on the team in assists with four. Lee also was named a two-time Budweiser Man of the Match winner this season.

In honor of his award, BMO awarded Alessandro Hojabrpour of the Whitecaps' U-13 Pre-Residency team a $500 Registered Education Savings Plan.

Midfielder Jun Marques Davidson was named winner of the Jock McDonald Unsung Hero Award. Davidson, as of Sunday, started all 24 games he has played in and saw 2,115 minutes of action and was also named a two-time Budweiser Man of the Match winner in 2012.

Forward Omar Salgado, who suffered a foot injury in early June, but tallied an assist over six appearances this season, was named Vancouver's Humanitarian of the Year for his numerous appearances at club and community initiatives, despite his injury.

Sounders Name Estrada Humanitarian Of The Year

Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders announced Sunday forward David Estrada has been named the team's Humanitarian of the Year and will become eligible to name to the league's similar award for his commitment to community service this season.

Estrada has been active in the city's Hispanic communities, as well as has appeared at three of our "United We Serve" functions in partnership with Seattle Bank -- visiting the Merrill Gardens Retirement Community, preparing food boxes at the city's Hopelink Food Bank, and helping on a clean-up project in the Greenbridge community.

Sounders Deny FC Dallas Playoff Spot, Give Berth To Whitecaps

Brad Evans converted a 32nd minute penalty kick and later scored at the hour mark off assists from Christian Tiffert and Fredy Montero as the host Seattle Sounders defeated FC Dallas, 3-1, Sunday in Major League Soccer play from CenturyLink Field.

Blas Perez scored Dallas' lone goal unassisted in the 40th minute.

Seattle, now second in the Western Conference standings at 15-7-11 with 55 points, will end their regular season scheduled next Sunday at the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy before advancing to the league's playoffs.

With the loss, FC Dallas, 9-13-11 with 38 points, fell to sixth place and out of the running for a playoff berth, which, instead, went to the Vancouver Whitecaps, who, earlier in the day, lost to the Portland Timbers at BC Place in Vancouver, 1-0, to become the first Canadian team to make the MLS Cup playoffs.

FC Dallas closes their 2012 regular season next Sunday at FC Dallas Stadium against Chivas USA.

Earthquakes, Galaxy Draw In California Clasico

Martin Chavez scored a 61st minute unassisted goal, then fed a pass to Chris Wondolowski in the 73rd minute as the San Jose Earthquakes, winner of Major League Soccer's Western Conference regular season title and the 2012 Supporters Shield for having the league's best record after two Eastern Conference teams -- Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls -- played to a scoreless draw Saturday, played the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-2 draw in their California Clasico match Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium to end San Jose's home season.

San Jose is unbeaten in their last 18 home games and their last eight overall matches.

Robbie Keane, with an unassisted 59th minute strike, and Edson Buddle, scoring in the 69th minute off a Sean Franklin assist, scored Los Angeles' goals.

The Earthquakes, 19-6-8 with 65 points, will face the Portland Timbers this Saturday at JELD-WEN Field in both teams' regular season finales.

The Galaxy, 15-12-6 with 51 points, guaranteed themselves finishing in fourth place in the conference standings and, after ending their home and regular season schedules next Sunday against the Seattle Sounders, will play the Vancouver Whitecaps, the fifth and final seed in the conference standings, in the Knockout Round phase of the league playoffs.

Timbers, Whitecaps Both Win In The Same Game

The Portland Timbers won their first road game of the season Sunday off a Jack Jewsbury 39th minute goal from Franck Songo'o and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 1-0 Major League Soccer victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place to win the annual Cascadia Cup series between the two teams and the Seattle Sounders.

But Vancouver was also a winner Sunday.

Thanks to a 3-2 victory by the host Sounders over FC Dallas Sunday at CenturyLink Field, the Whitecaps captured the fifth and final playoff berth from the Western Conference, becoming the first Canadian team to make the MLS Cup playoffs.

Vancouver (11-13-9, 42 points) will, after ending their regular season schedule this Saturday at Real Salt Lake, face the conference's fourth-seed and defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy in a Knockout Round game.

Portland, in eighth place in the conference with an 8-16-9 record and 33 points, hosts the regular season Western Conference and 2012 Supporters Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crew Wins Second Straight MLSRL East Division Title, Finishes With League's Best Record

Behind goals from Dilly Duka and Ethan Finley, the Columbus Crew shut out DC United, 2-0, Sunday in the final game of the 2012 Major League Soccer Reserve League season at RFK Stadium and won their second straight East Division title with a 7-2-1 record and 22 points and finished with the league's best record among its three division champions.

The Houston Dynamo (6-2-2, 20 points) won the Central/Mountain Division crown and the Los Angeles Galaxy (6-3-1, 19) won the West Division title.

Rapids Shut Out Chivas USA At The Home Depot Center

Martin Rivera and Kamani Hill scored goals as the Colorado Rapids shut out Chivas USA, the worst team in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, 2-0, Saturday in Chivas' home season finale at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

Colorado is now 10-19-4 with 34 points and in seventh place in the conference. The Rapids close out their regular season schedule at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO next Saturday against the defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo.

Chivas, 7-18-8 with 29 points, travel to FC Dallas for their final regular season game next Sunday.

Dynamo Earns Playoff Berth With 3-1 Win Over Union

Macoumba Kandji, Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis scored goals as the Houston Dynamo, the defending Major League Soccer Eastern Conference champion, earned a return trip to the MLS Cup playoffs with a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union Saturday in their home season finale at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Jack McInerney scored the lone Union goal.

Houston is now in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 14-8-11 record and 53 points. The Dynamo close out the regular season next Saturday at the Colorado Rapids.

Philadelphia, 10-16-6 with 36 points, is in eighth place in the standings and faces conference-leading Sporting Kansas City on the road this Wednesday before ending their season at home against the New York Red Bulls next Saturday.

Neal Goal Gives United Win Over Crew, Playoff Berth

Lewis Neal's 91st minute goal off passes from Branko Boskovic and Chris Korb led host DC United to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Crew in United's Major League Soccer season-ending home victory at RFK Stadium Saturday and earned themselves a playoff berth.

Nick DeLeon and Marcelo Saragosa also scored for United, who are 17-10-6 with 57 points and in second place in the Eastern Conference standings. DC ends their regular season next Saturday at the Chicago Fire, also a playoff-bound team.

Eddie Gaven and Jairo Arrieta had goals for the Crew, who are out of playoff contention at 14-12-7 with 49 points and in sixth place. Columbus closes out its regular season and home season schedule next Saturday against the league's worst team this season, Toronto FC.

Revolution Shut Out Fire, But Chicago Goes To Playoffs

Diego Fagundez scored the lone goal of the game in the 17th minute off a Kelyn Rowe assist to give the host New England Revolution a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in New England's Major League Soccer home season finale Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, but, despite the loss, the Fire earned a playoff berth.

New England, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings at 8-17-8 with 32 points, ends their 2012 season next Saturday at the Montreal Impact.

Chicago, 17-11-5 with 56 points, is currently third in the conference standings and will play their home and regular season finale next Saturday against DC United, also a playoff-bound franchise.

USWNT Tie Germany In First Game Under Interim Head Coach

Under the direction of interim head coach Jill Ellis, development director for the US Women's National Team, the Americans played to a 1-1 draw with Germany as they continued ther Fan Tribute Tour Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, home to Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.

Ellis took over the team after the resignation of longtime head coach Pia Sundhage, who chose to return to her native Sweden to pursue coaching opportunities there.

Abby Wambach put the USWNT up in the second minute off an Alex Morgan assist, but Germany scored the game-leveling goal in the 14th minute as Simone Laudehr fed a pass to Anja Mittag.

The US, 23-1-2 this year, is now 17-4-5 all-time versus Germany.

The two teams meet again Tuesday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT.

Stars Take 2-0 Lead In NASL Championship Series Over Rowdies

Amani Walker scored in the 67th minute off Simone Bracalello and Martin Nunez fired off a 90th minute goal off a Connor Tobin pass as the defending North American Soccer League champion Minnesota Stars took a 2-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the first leg of the 2012 NASL Championship Series Saturday at NSC Stadium in Blaine, MN.

The Rowdies host Game 2 of the aggregate goal series next Saturday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Schmid Suspended, Fined For Commenting On Officiating

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced Friday Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid has been suspended for Sunday's home game against FC Dallas and fined $2,000 for inappropriate public comments about the officiating in their Wednesday home game against Real Salt Lake.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mullin Done For Final Two Rapids Games After Knee Surgery

Following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday, Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids announced midfielder Brian Mullin will miss the team's final two games of the 2012 regular season -- this Saturday at Chivas USA and next Saturday against the Houston Dynamo -- and will be out four to six weeks.

Mullin started 25 of 28 regular season games in 2012, scoring two goals and seven assists.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Morgan Named WSF Team Sportswoman Of The Year

US Women's National Team forward Alex Morgan, who has scored 24 goals so far this year, third-most in a calendar year in team history behind Michelle Akers (39 in 1991) and Abby Wambach (31 in 2004), was named Wednesday the 2012 Women's Sports Foundation Team Sportswoman of the Year at their annual awards ceremony in New York City.

Wambach won the award last year.

Lancers Re-Sign 11 For 2012-13 Season

The Rochester Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signings Thursday of 11 players for the 2012-13 season: goalkeepers Patrick Hannigan and Gavin McInerney; defenders Kyle Manscuk, Jake Schindler, Elliot Fauske and Brayton Knapp; midfielders Jeremy Ortiz, Gary Boughton and Doug Miller, and forwards Jefferson Dargout and Mauricio Salles.

Hannigan was the team's Defensive Player of the Year with 393 saves.

The four returning defenders combined for 47 points last season.

Knapp was named the league's January 2012 Defensive Player of the Month.

Ortiz (45 points) and Boughton (23) return for their second seasons in Rochester.

Miller was second in team scoring with 25 goals and 66 points and was named their Most Valuable Player.

Salles was the team's Offensive Player of the Year with 81 points and earned several league postseason awards.

The Lancers open their 2012-13 season at the Syracuse Silver Knights November 3 and will host the expansion Chicago Soul November 10.

NASL Announces Week 28 POTW Nominees, Van Oekel Wins Week 27 Award

The North American Soccer League announced Thursday the nominees for Week 28 of their Play of the Week competition.

Fans can go to www.nasl.com to see the Week 28 nominees and select their favorite highlight.

The nominees are Matt Luzunaris of the Carolina RailHawks, Stuart Campbell and Luke Mulholland of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Daryl Sattler of the San Antonio Scorpions, and Simone Bracalello of the Minnesota Stars

Matt Van Oekel of the Stars was named the winner Thursday of the Week 27 competition.

USMNT To Finish 2012 Season Against Russia

The US Men's National Team announced Thursday they will play their final game of 2012 November 14 against Russia in Krasnodar, the first time the teams have played in a friendly since a 2-1 loss in Moscow April 26, 2000.

The US is 2-0-2 in their series dating back to February 1993.

The game will air at 10 a.m. Eastern time on ESPN2, ESPN3.com, and Univision Deportes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Soul Adds Midfielders McKinney, Stewart

The expansion Chicago Soul of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the signings Wednesday of midfielder Justin McKinney and Matthew Stewart.

McKinney was invited to the team's inaugural training camp, which began October 1, after being named to the All-Star Team at the annual MISL Combine, held recently in Independence, MO.

He played collegiately at Cincinnati, where he was named their 2006 Newcomer of the Year and the 2010 Legion Of Excellence Award winner and led the Bearcats to a 2006 Big East Conference championship.

He began his professional career in 2010 with the Charlotte Eagles in USL PRO.

Stewart is a two-time MISL champion with the Milwaukee Wave (2003-04 and 2011-12) and former captain of the US National Futsal Team.

Before Stewart's second stint with Milwaukee, he was captain for the Rockford Rampage, then in the MISL, now in the Professional Arena Soccer League, and led the team in points (35), assists (nine) and three-point goals (two).

He also spent time during his 16-year career with the MISL's Chicago Storm (2004) and the San Diego Sockers (2000-2003), the El Paso Patriots in the USL Premier Development League (1997-98, 2002) and the Houston Hotshots in the Continental Indoor Soccer League (1999-2000).

The Soul open their first season November 3 at the Syracuse Silver Knights and play their first home game at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, IL December 7.

Highmark Stadium Signs With Ticketmaster

Highmark Stadium, new home of the USL PRO's Pittsburgh Riverhounds and the Pittsburgh Passion of the Women's Football Alliance, announced Wednesday they have named Ticketmaster to manage ticketing services for all home games.

Strikers Re-Sign Pecka For 2013 Season, Club Option For 2014

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League announced the re-signing Wednesday of Brazilian midfielder Wellington "Pecka" Paeckart for the 2013 season with a club option for the 2014 season.

He scored one goal over 24 regular season games, 18 of which he started.

He was third on the team this season in games played (24) and seventh in total minutes (1,576).

Hernandez Signs With PASL's Mustangs

The expansion Chicago Mustangs of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced the signing Wednesday of Nestor Hernandez, a Chicago native who attended Guerin Prep and Morton West High School before becoming a three-time All-American at NCAA Division 2 Lewis University.

The Mustangs will open their inaugural season at home November 10 at Grand Sports Arena against the Illinois Piasa.

Lancers Announce TV, Radio Deals For 2012-12 MISL Season

The Rochester Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Wednesday Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will air all of the team's home games and Fickle 92.3 FM will air all of their regular season games this season, with all broadcasts sponsored by the Dick Ide Family of Dealerships.

TWC will air replays of all home games at 3:30 p.m. local time on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel On Demand.

Piasa Names Former Goalkeeper Norsic As Head Coach

The Illinois Piasa of the Professional Arena Soccer League announced former goalkeeper Jason Norsic was named head coach for the 2012-13 season Wednesday after co-head coaches Joe Reiniger and Justin McMillian resigned due to scheduling conflicts.

Norsic currently works for Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and runs STL Goalies, a goalkeeper training school.

He played prep soccer for Triad High School in Troy, IL, then split his college career between Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, IL and McKendree University in Lebanon, IL.

Norsic played in the Major Indoor Soccer League (St. Louis Steamers), PASL (St. Louis Illusion, Illinois Piasa) and the Premier Arena Soccer League (Swanner United FC, Illinois Piasa FC).

The Piasa open their 2012-13 season November 3 at The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon, IL versus the Detroit Waza.

NASL Names Campos Golden Ball Winner

The North American Soccer League announced Wednesday forward Pablo Campos of the 2012 regular season champion San Antonio Scorpions has been named the league's Golden Ball winner as their leading goal scorer this season with 20 of the team's league-leading 46.

Dempsey Duo Powers USMNT To Final Round Of World Cup Qualifying

Clint Dempsey had two goals -- a game-winning 18th minute shot and a 36th minute insurance play -- and assisted on Carlos Bocanegra's tenth minute tying goal as the US Men's National Team finished won Group A of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament's semifinal round with a 4-1-1 record and 13 points in a convincing 3-1 win over Guatemala in Kansas City, KS to advance to the six-team final round of qualifying, taking place between February and October of 2013.

The US will be joined by Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Honduras and Mexico in the hexagonal round, with the top three teams in the group after ten games played earning berths for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the fourth-place team having to earn their way in by winning a two-game series against the winner of the Oceania region's qualifying tournament.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

PDL's Bantams, Youth Soccer Club Merge

The Palmetto SC Bantams of the USL Premier Develeopment League announced they will merge, beginning with the 2013 season, with South Carolina United FC, who has already over 4,600 players ages 4 to 19 under their umbrella, and the team has been renamed South Carolina FC Bantams.

They will split their planned 2013 USL PRO home game schedule between Columbia, SC and Greenwood, SC.

Sockers Re-Sign Farber For One More Season

The three-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers announced the re-signing of midfielder Brian Farber for his third season under a one-year deal Tuesday.

Farber, the league's all-time points leader (154 points on 96 goals and 58 assists over 51 career games), finished fourth in the league scoring race this year (27 goals, 17 assists for 44 points over all 16 regular season games) and has played in 20 regular season games with the Sockers, scoring 33 goals and 24 assists over 57 games.

The Sockets open their 2012-13 season November 3 at their new home, Valley View Casino Center, formerly the San Diego Sports Arena, against the expansion Sacramento Surge.

Blast Sign Donatelli, Nunez

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast announced the signings Tuesday of midfielder Tony Donatelli and forward Tito Nunez.

Donatelli had three goals and four assists for ten points this season with the USL PRO champion Charleston Battery. He also played outdoors for the Rochester Rhinos (2011 USSF Division 2 Pro League and the USL First Division's Montreal Impact (2009 and 2010) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (2006 through 2008), winning titles in 2006 and 2009.

Indoors, he had 37 goals and 22 assists for the Philadelphia Kixx, winning an MISL title in 2007.

Collegiately, Donatelli finished in a tie for first place in career assists (20) and eighth overall in points at Temple, where, in his senior season, he was named to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team, the All-Mid-Atlantic Region first team, and was the Philadelphia Soccer Seven Player of the Year.

Nunez will be making his indoor soccer debut with the Blast.

Drafted by Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake as the 17th overall pick in the 2008 Supplemental Draft, he played for two seasons before joining the Rhinos in 2010 in USL1 and the NSC Minnesota Stars in 2011 in the North American Soccer League, then joined the USL PRO Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2012.

He split his collegiate career between Compton Community College and the University of California-Santa Barbara.

The Blast open their 2012-13 MISL season at home November 3 against the expansion Chicago Soul.

MLS Disciplinary Committee Issues Punishments For October 6 Incidents

Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee Monday handed down three decisions on punishments involving two players and one franchise that took place in games played October 6.

In the first incident, San Jose Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez was issued an undisclosed fine in addition to the automatic $250 fine and one-game suspension for receiving a red card after he refused to the field in a timely manner during second-half stoppage time in their game at the Colorado Rapids.

He will be forced to miss this Sunday's home game against the defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Incident number two involved New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber verbally and profanely abusing a referee after being given his second yellow card, causing his ejection in the 88th minute of their game against the Philadelphia Union.

Like Hernandez, he was fined an additional amount and will still miss New England's home game this Saturday against the Chicago Fire.

Finally, the Montreal Impact were fined an undisclosed amount for unprofessional conduct of the their coaching staff in their games against the Houston Dynamo.

No additional fines or suspensions were handed down in this case.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rowdies Announces Partnership With Ad Agency

The Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League announced a partnership Monday with Dunn & Company to serve as their advertising agency of record.

The agency will focus on developing the Rowdies brand name throughout its fan base and the community at large as well as forge deeper relations with the corporate community.

MISL's Comets Re-Sign Former UMKC Players

The Missouri Comets of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Monday they have re-signed former University of Missouri-Kansas City stars Coady Andrews and John Sosa.

Andrews split his collegiate career between UMKC and Mid-American Nazarene University and played in 22 games for the Comets last season.

Sosa, one of three Comets to play in all 24 regular season games last season, had 16 points on four goals and eight assists. He played at UMKC from 2007 to 2010.

The Comets open their 2012-13 MISL season at home November 2 against the Wichita Wings at Independence Events Center.

Stars Sting Scorpions, Advance To NASL Championship Series Versus Rowdies

For the second straight season, the Minnesota Stars will advance to the North American Soccer League's Championship Series after defeating the 2012 regular season champion San Antonio Scorpions 2-1 in the second leg of the league semifinal series Sunday at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio and winning by the same aggregate score after both teams played to a first leg scoreless draw.

Pablo Campos put the Scorpions on the board in the 25th minute off a Jonathan Greenfield assist for the eventual halftime lead, but tied the game for the Stars on a 76th minute own goal.

Simone Bracalello scored the unassisted game-winning goal for Minnesota in the 83rd minute.

The Stars will now face the Tampa Bay Rowdies in a two-game aggregate-goal series for the Soccer Bowl trophy, beginning Saturday at NSC Stadium in Blaine, MN before heading next Saturday to Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Impact's Martins Done For Season Due To Sports Hernia Surgery

Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact announced Saturday midfielder Felipe Martins will miss the team's final two games due to upcoming sports hernia surgery.

He played in 30 of 32 games this season, scoring four goals and leading the team in assists with ten.

Johnson Out For Tuesday's USMNT Game Versus Guatemala

Still suffering from the flu, which caused him to miss their World Cup semifinal qualifying round game with Antigua and Barbuda Friday, the US Men's National Team announced Sunday defender Fabian Johnson will not play in Tuesday's game at Guatemala.

The US team was without forward Landon Donovan, midfielder Brek Shea and defender Edgar Castillo Friday due to injuries.

Rowdies Advance To NASL Championship Series After 5-4 Aggregate Win Over RailHawks

The Tampa Bay Rowdies extended their overall undefeated streak to eight games and their home game unbeaten streak to 11 games after playing the Carolina RailHawks to a 3-3 draw Saturday in their second leg of the 2012 North American Soccer League semifinal playoff series at Al Land Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL and now advance to the two-game aggregate goal NASL Championship Series against the winner of Sunday's semifinal between the regular season champion San Antonio Scorpions and the defending league champion Minnesota Stars.

The Scorpions and Stars played to a scoreless draw last Saturday at NSC Stadium in Blaine, MN and the series moved to Heroes Stadium in San Antonio.

Luke Mulholland led the Rowdies with an assist on Mike Ambersley's 65th minute goal, then scored an unassisted goal in the 84th minute. Shane Hill also scored unassisted for Tampa Bay in the 39th minute.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dynamo Wins MLSRL Central/Mountain Division On Weaver Brace

Cam Weaver had a fifth minute penalty kick and scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute off an Alex Dixon assist as the host Houston Dynamo won the Central/Mountain Division of Major League Soccer's Reserve League with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire Saturday at Houston Amateur Sports Park.

Victor Pineda had an unassisted 29th minute goal for Chicago's lone point.

The Dynamo finished the season 6-2-2 with 20 points, while the Fire ended in fourth place at 4-6-0 with 12 points.

McBean Brace Guides Galaxy To MLSRL West Division Title

Jack McBean had a brace and Pat Noonan, Tommy Meyer, Rafael Garcia and Andrew Boyens added goals as the Los Angeles Galaxy captured the 2012 Major League Soccer Reserve Division's West Division championship after a 6-0 rout of the Vancouver Whitecaps Friday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.

The Galaxy ended their ten-game season with a club record 6-3-1 mark and 19 points.

Vancouver finished in last place in the division at 3-5-2 with 11 points.

Johnson Uses Head -- Twice -- In USMNT WCQ Win Over Antigua & Barbuda

Forward Eddie Johnson of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders moved into a tie for second place all-time in World Cup Qualifying game goals with ten as he scored two headers to lead the US Men's National Team to a 2-1 victory over Antigua & Barbuda in semifinal play Friday at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Shore, Antigua.

It was Johnson's first multi-goal game for the USMNT since scoring a hat trick in an 8-0 win over Panama October 13, 2004.

Johnson's first goal came in the 20th minute off an assist from Sporting Kansas City's Graham Zusi, but Antigua & Barbuda sent the game into halftime with a 1-1 score as Dexter Blackstock connected on a 25th minute goal.

Johnson broke up the tie in the 90th minute off a pass from Alan Gordon of the San Jose Earthquakes.

The US is now tied with Guatemala, their opponent in the final Group A semifinal match for both Tuesday, at 3-1-1 with ten points and goal differentials of +3.

Antigua & Barbuda are in last place in the group at 0-4-1 with a point.

Friday, October 12, 2012

USL PRO Announces Dates For 2013 Combine

USL PRO announced Friday they will hold their seventh annual player combine, presented by Umbro, January 24-27, 2013 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

102 of the top college players will be competing for the chance to land a pro contract at the event and, among those attending, the league will invite all members of the 2012 USL Premier Development League's All-League Team to compete.

Others interested in being considered for the invitation-only event will be able to fill out an online application under the Events tab at www.uslsoccer.com starting Monday through December 7.

Those invited to attend will receive local transportation, three daily meals, lodging and uniforms.

Lancers Elevate Hesch To Head Coach

The Rochester Lancers of the Major Indoor Soccer League Friday elevated assistant coach Jim Hesch to head coach for the 2012-13 season, which begins November 3 at the Syracuse Silver Knights and at home November 10 against the expansion Chicago Soul.

Hesch played collegiately at Southern Connecticut University, where he led his team to a 1990 national championship, and Cortland State, where he was a first-team All-American.

He then played professionally for the MISL's Harrisburg Heat, where he was named an All-Star and had the eighth-best single season point totam in team history), the Buffalo Blizzard, and the Philadelphia Kixx, where he was on their 2002 MISL Championship team.

Hesch spent ten years as head coach at Canisius College and became their all-time coaching wins leader in 2007. Before joining the Lancers, he was an assistant coach at the University of Buffalo.

King Scores Lone Goal In United's MLSRL Win Over Union

Stephen King scored the game's only goal off an eighth minute assist by Yann Ekra as host DC United shut out the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, in Major League Soccer Reserve League play Friday at DC United's training facility.

United is in fifth place in the Eastern Division standings at 3-4-1 with ten points and next host the Columbus Crew October 21.

Philadelphia, 3-4-2 with 11 points and tied for third with the New York Red Bulls (3-5-2), plays their home and season finale this Wednesday at Chester Park against Toronto FC.

Keane, Nielsen Named MLS' Week 31 Award Winners

Major League Soccer fans selected Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen winners of the league's Goal and Save of the Week awards for Week 31 of the 2012 season Friday.

Keane gave the Galaxy their league-leading sixth GOTW award as a franchise this season by gaining 47 percent of online votes cast.

Barry Robson of the Vancouver Whitecaps was second with 15 percent of the vote, Philadelphia Union stars Gabriel Gomez and Antoine Hoppenot each earned 13 percent, and Marvin Chavez of the San Jose Earthquakes finished fifth with 11 percent.

Nielsen won for his fifth time this season, previously winning in Weeks 7, 13 through 15, 18 and 19, and received 45.07 percent of the vote, nearly double what Donovan Ricketts of the Portland Timbers (25.03) earned.

Hernan Pertuz of FC Dallas, the lone non-goalkeeper on the ballot this week, was third with 14.55, followed by Troy Perkins of the Montreal Impact (11.31) and Andy Gruenebaum of the Columbus Crew (4.04).

Silver Knights Re-Sign Ubiparipovic, Hall

The Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced the re-signings Friday of forward and 2012 league Rookie of the Year Sinisa Ubipariovic and defender/assistant coach Ryan Hall.

Ubiparipovic played in all 24 regular season games last season and led them in goals, assists and points and also was named to the league's All-Rookie Team.

Hall had two goals and 21 goals in 18 games last season.

The Silver Knights open their 2012-13 season at home November 2 against the expansion Chicago Soul.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Silver Knights Sign Local Talent Bourdeau

The Syracuse Silver Knights of the Major Indoor Soccer League announced Thursday they have signed Baldwinsville, NY native Nate Bourdeau to a contract for the 2012-13 season.

In 2007, he led Baker High School to the New York Section 3 Class A soccer championship and was named to all-region and all-state first teams, as well as being named the Central New York Player of the Year by the Syracuse Post-Standard.

He ended his career at Baker with 66 goals and 37 assists.

Bourdeau scored three points over 19 games in his freshman season at Boston College, then transferred to Rutgers, where he was named to the All-Big East Conference Team in his senior season of 2011. He also scored two game-winning goals that season and led the Scarlet Knights to a second round NCAA College Cup win over Boston College.

Syracuse opens their season at home November 2 against the expansion Chicago Soul.

USL PDL's FC Tucson Announces MLS Teams To Compete In Desert Diamond Cup

FC Tuscon of the USL Premier Development League and Desert Diamond Casino announced Thursday Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders will play in the third annual FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament in February 2013 at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Phoenix, AZ.

Teams will play in a round-robin format on the event's first three matchdays (February 13, 17 and 20), then play in a consolation or championship game February 23, with the title clash to be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Here is the tournament schedule:

FEBRUARY 13
New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders
New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake

FEBRUARY 17
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution

FEBRUARY 20
Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution
Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls

FEBRUARY 23
Consolation game - third place vs. fourth place
Championship game - first place vs. second place

Blast Re-Signs Coaching Staff, 11 Players For 2012 Season

The Major Indoor Soccer League's Baltimore Blast announced Thursday they have re-signed head coach Danny Kelly and assistant coach David Bascome for their seventh straight season and have re-signed 11 players from last year's team.

The players are forwards Machel Millwood, Aduato Neto, Lucio Gonzaga, Adriano Dos Santos and J.T. Noone; midfielder Max Ferdinand, and defenders Mike Lookingland, Pat Healey, Ptah Myers, Mike Deasel and Stephen DeRoux.

Millwood, the longest-tenured Blast player in his ninth season, had 71 points last season on 26 goals and 16 assists.

Neto, in his sixth season, was third on the team in points with 49. He was also the league's 2006 Most Valuable Player.

Gonzaga returns for his fifth season after missing the entire 2011-12 season while recovering from knee surgery.

Dos Santos, in his third season, had 19 points last season on six goals and seven assists.

Noone, in his second season, had 33 points last season of 14 goals and five assists.

Ferdinand led the team in scoring last season with 72 points and was named a First Team All-MISL player. In 2010, he was named the league's Rookie of the Year.

Lookingland, the reigning league Defender of the Year, had 34 points last season.

Healey, the 2009 Rookie of the Year in the National Indoor Soccer League, led the team in blocks last season with 33.

Myers, back for his second season and ninth overall, had 11 points and 18 blocks last season.

Deasel, a rookie in 2011-12, had 14 points on four goals and four assists.

DeRoux had 22 points on ten goals and an assist and was named to the league's All-Rookie Team last season.

The Blast opened their 2011-12 season November 3 at First Mariner Arena against the expansion Chicago Soul.

NASL Announces Week 27 POTW Nominees; Altman Wins Week 26 Award

The North American Soccer League announced Thursday the nominees for Week 27 of their Play of the Week competition.

Fans can go to www.nasl.com to see the Week 27 nominees and select their favorite highlight.

The nominees are Mike Ambersley and Daniel Antoniuk of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Darryl Sattler of the San Antonio Scorpions, and Matt Van Oekel of the Minnesota Stars.

Kyle Altman of the Stars was named the winner Thursday of the Week 26 competition.

RSL, Dynamo End MLSRL Seasons With 5-5 Draw

Host Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo finished their ten-game 2012 Major League Soccer Reserve League seasons Wednesday at America First Field in Sandy, UT with a 5-5 tie and identical records in the Central/Mountain Division of 4-4-2 with 14 points.

Emiliano Bonfigli had a hat trick for RSL with Davia Viana and Sebastian Velasquez adding goals, with Houston countered with Cam Weaver hitting a trifecta and Colin Clark and Aex Dixon tallying single goals.

Castillo, Johnson Out For USMNT Friday; Johnson Could Play Next Tuesday

The US Men's National Team's roster for Friday's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification semifinal game at Antigua and Barbuda from Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in St. John's has dropped by more players as defenders Edgar Castillo and Fabian Johnson have been ruled out by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Castillo, who plays in Mexico for Club Tijuana, had an MRI Wednesday that found an unspecified foot injury and he was sent back.

Johnson, who plays for Germany's Hoffenheim, has the flu, but could play for the US team next Tuesday when they face Guatemala on the road.

The USMNT has already lost Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan and FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea for the two games.

Donovan suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 2-1 Major League Soccer loss to Real Salt Lake and Shea has been sidelined for Dallas since September 29 with an abdominal strain.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

FC Dallas Ends MLSRL Season With 2-1 Win Over Fire

Matias Jara scored a game-winning 40th minute goal off assists from Scott Sealy and Victor Ulloa as FC Dallas closed out their 2012 home and Major League Soccer Reserve League schedule with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire in Frisco, TX Wednesday and currently has the lead in the Central/Mountain Division with a 6-3-1 record and 18 points.

Bobby Winslow opened the game for Dallas with a fourth minute unassisted goal, but Chicago leveled the game in the 36th minute as Tony Wells and Dan Gargan teamed on Dominic Oduro's 36th minute goal.

The Fire, 4-5-0 with 12 points, is in fourth place in the division and ends their season Saturday at the Houston Dynamo.

Hoffman Quartet Carry Union To 6-0 MLSRL Rout Of DC United

Chandler Hoffman scored four goals and Jimmy McLaughlin and Josue Martinez scored a goal and assisted on the other's goal as the host Philadelphia Union shut out DC United 6-0 in Major League Soccer Reserve League play from Chester Park in Chester, PA Tuesday.

Philadelphia is now 3-3-2 with 11 points and is tied for third in the Eastern Division standings with the New York Red Bulls, who completed their ten-game league schedule 3-5-2.

DC United is in last place in the division with a 2-4-1 record and seven points, but host the Union Friday.

Sockers Sign Sutton To One-Year Deal

The three-time defending Professional Arena Soccer League champion San Diego Sockers announced the signing Tuesday of veteran defender Antonio Sutton, who joined the team in mid-January 2012 after playing three seasons for the league's California Cougars, leading them to the 2008-09 season's Ron Newman Cup title and where he was a player/coach from 2009 to 2011.

He scored no points in four regular season games last season with San Diego, but started all three games of the league's playoffs and assisted on a goal in the 2011-12 championship game.

The Sockers open defense of their title November 3 at their once and future home, Valley View Casino Arena, formerly the San Diego Sports Arena, against the expansion Sacramento Surge.

Week 31 MLS Team Of The Week Announced

Major League Soccer announced Tuesday the members of the league's Team of the Week for Week 31 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
Kevin Hartman - FC Dallas

DEFENDERS
Adam Johansson - Seattle Sounders
Arne Friedrich - Chicago Fire
Nat Borchers - Real Salt Lake

MIDFIELDERS
Marvin Chavez - San Jose Earthquakes
Christian Tiffert - Seattle Sounders
Barry Robson - Vancouver Whitecaps
Eddie Gaven - Columbus Crew

FORWARDS
Sherjill MacDonald - Chicago Fire
Chris Wondolowski - San Jose Earthquakes (MLS Week 31 Player of the Week)
Fabian Espindola - Real Salt Lake

HEAD COACH
Jason Kreis - Real Salt Lake

HONORABLE MENTION
Corey Ashe - Houston Dynamo
Miller Bolanos - Chivas USA
Calen Carr - Houston Dynamo
Marco Di Vaio - Montreal Impact
Dilly Duka - Columbus Crew
Roger Espinoza - Sporting Kansas City
Brad Evans - Seattle Sounders
Gabriel Gomez - Philadelphia Union
Robbie Keane - Los Angeles Galaxy
Steven Lenhart - San Jose Earthquakes
Jack McInerney - Philadelphia Union
Fredy Montero - Seattle Sounders
Javier Morales - Real Salt Lake
Blas Perez - FC Dallas
Troy Perkins - Montreal Impact
Dane Richards - Vancouver Whitecaps
Camilo Sanvezzo - Vancouver Whitecaps
C.J. Sapong - Sporting Kansas City
Josh Saunders - Los Angeles Galaxy
Carlos Valdes - Philadelphia Union
Jorge Villafana - Chivas USA

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Donovan, Shea Out For USMNT's Final Two WCQ Games

US Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced Tuesday Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan and FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will not play in the team's final two 2012 FIFA World Cup qualifying semifinal round games Friday at Antigua and Barbuda and next Tuesday in Guatemala, due to injuries, and they will not be replaced on the team's roster.

Donovan suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 2-1 Major League Soccer loss to Real Salt Lake and Shea has been sidelined for Dallas since September 29 with an abdominal strain.

Tigunho Reunites With Moura At Wings

Another Tuesday, another player from the Major Indoor Soccer League's Missouri Comets signs a new deal with the rival Wichita Wings.

This time, the Wings signed forward Tiguinho, who scored 27 points over 13 games last season.

He also was named the league's Player of the Week January 31, 2012 after scoring nine points in a single game.

Last Tuesday, Wichita signed the league's defending Most Valuable Player in Geison Moura.

Expansion Mustangs Sign First Player

The expansion Chicago Mustangs of the Professional Arena Soccer League Tuesday announced the signing of their first player in Jay Lee Harris, a native of London, England who has played professional soccer in England, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, and Thailand.

NASL Coaches Name Best XI Of 2012 Season

Selected by the league's eight coaches, the North American Soccer League Tuesday announced the Best XI for the 2012 season:

GOALKEEPER
Jeff Attinella - Tampa Bay Rowdies

DEFENDERS
Kyle Atlman - Minnesota Stars
Ryan Cochrane - San Antonio Scorpions
Paul Hamilton - FC Edmonton
Takuya Yamada - Tampa Bay Rowdies

MIDFIELDERS
Luke Mulholland - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Walter Ramirez - San Antonio Scorpions
Walter Restrepo - Fort Lauderdale Strikers (unanimous selection)
Nick Zimmerman - Carolina RailHawks (unanimous selection)

FORWARDS
Mark Anderson - Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Pablo Campos - San Antonio Scorpions (unanimous selection)

Nominees Announced For Week 31 MLS Save Of The Week

Voting has opened for fans to select the Week 31 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 31 are Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew), Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City), Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact), Hernan Pertuz (FC Dallas) and Donovan Ricketts (Portland Timbers).