U.S. WNT to Play Two Matches Against Mexico
U.S. WNT to Play Two Matches Against Mexico avatar

U.S. Soccer announced today that the U.S. WNT will take on Mexico on September 18 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY. They will play a first match against them on Sept. 13 at a venue that is yet to be determined.

Heather O'Reilly in action for the U.S. against Mexico. (Getty Images)

Heather O’Reilly in action for the U.S. against Mexico. (Getty Images)

The two-game series will usher in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship that will be held throughout the U.S. in Kansas City, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The top three finishers will earn berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

This will the 29th and 30th meeting between the North American neighbors. The U.S. is 16-1-1 against the Mexicans, the single loss occurring in the semifinal of the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in Cancun. This fall Mexico will be vying for a berth to the World Cup, having last participated in 2011.

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USYS National Championship Highlights
USYS National Championship Highlights avatar

GotSoccer attended the recent 2014 USYS National Championships in Germantown where teams from around the nation battled to be crowned champions.

Check out some of the best goals, saves of the tournament in GotSoccer’s compilation of highlights of the 2014 Championship.

Watch the video below.

 

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GotSoccer’s Crossbar Challenge
GotSoccer’s Crossbar Challenge avatar

GotSoccer caught up with Legends FC U-14 Girls at the USYS National Championship. They took time out to take on GotSoccer’s Crossbar Challenge.

Each player had one shot at trying to hit the crossbar. Check out how the girls got on and see if anyone was able to conquer the challenge.

 

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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

1) Nats Scrap

So, what exactly has gotten into Omar Gonzalez? You might be wondering that if you saw the big MLS Monday Night Soccer Showcase on ESPN2.

Gonzalez behaviour was surprising as he is usually calm and collected.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Gonzalez behaviour was surprising as he is usually calm and collected.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

First, the normally Gentle Giant shoved DeAndre Yedlin to Seattle’s artificial turf, then when Yedlin’s teammate and U.S. captain, Clint Dempsey intervened Gonzo had a little something for him too.

Just a few weeks ago these three were best buds. No more. As for Gonzalez, a little bit of edge might be just what his game needs.

2) L.A. Spank Seattle at CenturyLink

This has been looking like it might be the year that Seattle finally give all those fans the ultimate gift, an MLS Cup, and it still could turn out that way. But, don’t sleep on L.A.

That is the takeaway from the 3-0 whupping the Galaxy put on the Sounders Monday night in Seattle. L.A. coach Bruce Arena went back to his comfort zone, lining his team out in the familiar Galaxy 4-4-2, and it certainly was a good move on the night.

Dononvan got a goal and assist to his name. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Dononvan got a goal and assist to his name. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Landon Donovan had a goal and an assist, Gyasi Zardes and Stefan Ishizaki each scored, and the trio combined with Robbie Keane to terrorize the Sounders defense in the first half.

Seattle put the pressure on in the second half, led by Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey, and DeAndre Yedlin, but the Galaxy closed out the win and with 30 points closed within two of second place RSL in the West.

The Sounders still top the conference with 38, but L.A. announced that are right in this race.

3) Kaka Scores – in Brazil

NYC FC have been making MLS headlines of late, but Orlando’s big star Kaka, took back a little of that spotlight from New York for the Floridians, by scoring his first goal since going on loan to Brazilian side Sao Paulo.

Kaka in battling for the bal in Brazil.(Getty Images)

Kaka in battling for the bal in Brazil.(Getty Images)

Orlando have also been rumored to be in for Kaka’s countryman Robinho, but nothing has been agreed just yet.

4) Is Ronaldinho Next for MLS?

Speaking of Brazilians looking for a new home, Ronaldinho set off MLS alarm bells when he agreed to part ways with Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro.

Rondaldinho has played for many wonderful teams including Barcelona.(Getty Images)

Rondaldinho has played for many wonderful teams including Barcelona.(Getty Images)

At 34, the former best player in the world, is clearly no longer that, but if he has a decent amount left in the tank his showmanship and talents can be a worthy addition to an MLS club in need of some star power.

Ronaldinho has offers elsewhere around the globe, so he may never come to MLS, but if he does New York Red Bulls are said to be at the top of the list.

5) Red Bulls Loan Lade to Cosmos

Soccer’s battle for New York took a strange and surprising twist when the Red Bulls agreed to loan seldom used fullback Connor Lade to the New York’s North American Soccer League representative New York Cosmos.

Connor Lade. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Red Bull’s Connor Lade has been put out on loan. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

The rebooted Cosmos came back a year ago with lofty talk of giving New York’s MLS franchise a run for its money. Taking on its castoffs seems an unusual way to achieve that goal.

As for Lade, he made a good impact for Red Bulls a couple of years ago, even earning a call up to U.S. national team camp. If he can get some playing time on Long Island, the diminutive Lade might be able to get his career back on track.

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NWSL Round Up Week 16: Thorns Stumble, Boston Prevails
NWSL Round Up Week 16: Thorns Stumble, Boston Prevails avatar

Thorns Stumble this Week

The Portland Thorns had a lackluster week, earning a single point with a 1-1 draw against Washington Spirit on Wednesday in Boyds, MD and ending with a shattering 5-0 defeat at the hands of Seattle Reign on Sunday in Seattle. The Thorns remain at third place in league standings.

Japanese forward Nahomi Kawasumi scored a brace and an assist and was the star of the evening.(ISI Photos/Tony Quiinn)

Japanese forward Nahomi Kawasumi scored a brace and an assist and was the star of the evening.(ISI Photos/Tony Quiinn)

Seattle, on the other hand, have remained at No. 1 for the entire season- a comfortable nine points ahead of FC Kansas City, who is currently in second place. They swept the game against the Thorns on Sunday, with Japanese international Nahomi Kawasumi and Scottish International Kim Little running the show.

Kawasumi scored a brace in the 40th and 49th minute with Little on both assists. Little added the final goal of the game unassisted in stoppage time, and Kawasumi directed a perfect cross to U.S. allocation Megan Rapinoe, who headed it in for Seattle’s fourth goal in the 57th. U.S. forward Sydney Leroux opened scoring in the 4th minute unassisted.

German international Nadine conceded 5 goals.(Getty Images)

German international Nadine conceded 5 goals against Seattle.(Getty Images)

“I think we played well last week against Chicago, but we just didn’t finish the game off,” head coach Laura Harvey told reporters. “Whereas today we were dominant and were really dangerous as well.”

The Portland Thorns are up against Houston Dash this upcoming Sunday. The Dash played to a 0-0 draw with the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday in Lisle, IL, sitting in 8th place one point behind Sky Blue FC.

Boston Finds a Win after Multiple Losses

The Boston Breakers, though in dead last, had a nice confidence booster on Friday, defeating WNY Flash 4-2 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. The win broke a seven game winless streak, which included a loss to the Flash a month prior.

Boston's O'Reilly leads her team with 7 goals.l(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Boston’s O’Reilly leads her team with 7 goals.l(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The Flash came on strong from the get go, working Boston’s defense 5-1 on saves. They also outshot Boston14-11. But, Boston was able to keep up with the momentum, and Heather O’Reilly stepped up to score a brace and assist on one goal for the team. Lianne Sanderson and Jazmine Reeves also added goals.

Jasmyne Spencer and Carli Lloyd scored for Flash, Spencer opening in the 15th and Lloyd adding one in the 54th, but Boston was able to dig deep and get creative with their plays, keeping their composure to the last minute to find the back of the net.

Jill Loyden Thwarts Goals for FC Kansas City

FC Kansas City nabbed a close 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC to finish off the week on Sunday at Verizon Wireless Field in MO.

The Blues had a strong offensive attack, outshooting Sky Blue 12-8, but goal scoring was made almost impossible for the No. 2 ranked team due to an unbreakable back line. Sky Blue was able to keep them at bay with excellent net minding courtesy of the talented Jill Loyden, who made five big saves throughout the match.

Kansas' striker Rodriguez continued her scoring streak and is the team's top scorer.(ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Kansas’ striker Rodriguez continued her scoring streak and is the team’s top scorer.(ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

FC Kansas City got on the board first with a 34th minute goal from Amy Rodriguez. U.S. forward Lauren Holiday added the winning goal in the 70th minute. Sky Blue’s Nadia Nadim was able to hit the net in the 87th, but with time running out it wouldn’t be enough to catch FC Kansas City.

LEAGUE STANDINGS
# NWSL GP W L T PTS
1. Seattle Reign FC 19 14 1 4 46
2. FC Kansas City 20 11 5 4 37
3. Portland Thorns FC 21 8 7 6 30
4. Washington Spirit 20 8 8 4 28
5. Chicago Red Stars 20 7 6 7 28
6. Western New York Flash 20 7 10 3 24
7. Sky Blue FC 19 4 8 7 19
8. Houston Dash 18 5 10 3 18
9. Boston Breakers 19 4 13 2 14

 

 

 

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2014 USYSA National Champions Crowned
2014 USYSA National Champions Crowned avatar

Germantown, Md. – Seven days of exciting soccer came to a fitting end today as the U.S. Youth Soccer Championships concluded at the Maryland SoccerPlex with 10 more Championships decided.

It was a near sweep on the Girls side for California, with three of the Sunday’s champions coming from the Golden State.

California clubs also came out on top in Saturday’s U13 Girls Final on Saturday, with Surf Academy taking the youngest age group.

Sunday’s action kicked off on fields wet down by overnight rain that threatened to return throughout the day, but thankfully never did.

National-13-Kappes-jpgThe U17 Finals received the Stadium treatment on Sunday with the girls leading off, before the boys followed at the home ground of the NWSL Washington Spirits.

The Virginia based VSA Heat had secured the U19 Girls national title on this same field on Saturday night, and like the previous evening the Heat drew a raucous group of supporters on Sunday.

To their credit the Californians represented well in spite of being so far from home, making quite a racket on behalf of their team.

For much of this match a scoreless draw and overtime seemed almost inevitable. It wasn’t that the teams weren’t trying to attack, it was just that they seemed so evenly matched.

Finally a goal came, and it came for the Sharks in the second half. Hannah Keogh scored on a mighty header from a corner kick, and that score sparked this game to life.

With the Virginians pressing for the equalizer the Sharks maintained their composure, led by stellar defensive work from central defense pairing Hailey Harbison and Samantha Staab. Both stood out defensively and Staab wowed when she unleashed a couple of tremendous kicks with her thunderous left foot.

With the Heat growing desperate as the clock ticked down and their championship hopes ebbed, goalkeeper Michelle Micciche pushed forward to aid in the attack, stepping across the midfield stripe to launch a free kick.

When Micciche stayed upfield, she was almost caught out when a long range Sharks potshot carried wide with the Heat keeper at least 40 yards from goal.

In the end it didn’t matter as the Sharks hung on for the win.

Then it was the boys turn and despite both teams coming in off of overtime games, Manhattan PSG and FC Dallas Youth did not disappoint.

With a good crowd on hand to see the final match of the USYS championships to be held at the stadium, the New Yorkers started strong, despite having needed penalty kicks just a day before to get to this final.

Manhattan’s Jack Harrison missed a good early chance, but he would rebound to give a Man of the Match quality performance.

img7There wasn’t much between these sides in a hotly contested first half that saw PSG perhaps shade the play. FC Dallas got a boost when substitute Reece Schattle entered late in the first half and began combining well with Sergio Lara.

When Schattle was forced to leave the match after a nasty collision with PSG’s stylish and effective keeper Gerardo Amigon early in the half, it didn’t do FCD’s chances any good.

Manhattan also lost a good performer when Daniel O’Grady left with a head injury, and did not return. Hopefully both of these young men will be back on the fields at 100% soon.

Like the girls game, overtime was beginning to look unavoidable as this game continued without a goal. Finally the ice was broken when Manhattan’s big man in the middle, center back Sean Fitzpatrick, outjumped the Dallas defense and headed home for the eventual National Championship winner.

Manhattan’s goal came from a corner kick won by the indefatigable Harrison, just one reason Harrison gets the unofficial GotSoccer Man of the Match award.

Congratulations to all of the national champions, and to all of the participants who made the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships such a success.

Sunday’s results:

U14 Boys- United FA Elite (Ga.) 4-0 vs Real Colorado.
U14 Girls – NEFC Elite (Ma.) 2-0 vs Legends FC (Ca.-S)
U15 Boys – Pataedores San Diego (Ca.-S) 5-1 vs United FC Gold (Ca.-S)
U15 Girls – Jacksonville FC Elite (FL) 1-0 vs YMS Xplosion (Pa.-E)
U16 Boys – Baltimore Celtic (Md.) 2-1 PKs vs OP Eagles (Oh.)
U16 Girls – Beach FC Academy (Ca.-S) 1-0 vs Tampa Bay United (FL)
U17 Boys – Manhattan PSG (NY-E) 1-0 vs FC Dallas Youth (Tx-N)
U17 Girls – DMVC Sharks Elite (Ca.-S) 1-0 vs VSA Heat (Va.)
U18 – Boys Santa Barbara FC (Ca.-S) 3-0 vs Lehigh Valley United (Pa-E)
U18 Girls – Beach Fc Ingrassia (Ca-S) 2-0 vs Cleveland United (Oh-N)

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Four Champions Crowned at USYS Tournament
Four Champions Crowned at USYS Tournament avatar

Germantown, Maryland – The first four titlists of the 2014 United States Youth Soccer Championships were crowned Saturday night, with boys and girls winners in the youngest and oldest groups claiming the spoils.

photo1The U13 competition is both the youngest age group and the most recently added competition, only being introduced in 2013. Neither of the inaugural victors, Legends FC (Ca.-S) for the girls and Pateadores (Ca.-S) got back to the final, so we had two new winners on Saturday.

Michigan powers WAZA FC had an easier than it sounds 2-0 win over California club FC Golden State. Judging by their reaction, the young Michiganers expected nothing less, seemingly taking this championship in stride.

Maybe the WAZA boys just expected to win. WAZA beat this opponent by the same score on Tuesday, then added 4-0 and 3-0 wins on the way to the final.

The girls game was another California vs Michigan encounter, although it was a far different affair, with Surf Academy needing to go to penalty kicks to eliminate the Michigan Hawks 1-0.

img8Then there were the big boys, and girls. The U19 games were held at the Maryland SoccerPlex Stadium, a fine venue to hold a final. Virginia’s VSA Heat brought a large and vocal crowd of supporters, and in the end gave those fans plenty to cheer about in seeing off the challenge of Chicago Academy-Botafogo 1-0.

The Virginians were the better team on the day, although they managed just that one goal. Left fullback Autumn Berry scored it, and it was a long range bomb of a goal.

Berry was part of a airtight Heat back four, led by captain Meghan Cox, who won the Golden Ball in this age group. Cox’s central defense partner Caitlin Hite and right fullback Madison Smith completed the Heat’s Fantastic Four, one that offered almost as much going forward as in defense.

The boys game finished with the same 1-0 scoreline, as Georgia’s Concorde Fire Elite overturned last year’s loss to the New Jersey based PDA Harkes to win their second title in three years.

This match was as close as the scoreline indicated, and it took a fantastic goal from Khallil Stewart to separate the sides. Stewart did well to control a long ball over top, and then kept his composure to beat Kieran McCarthy for the winner. Goalkeeper Kyler Kelsey came up with several big plays to keep Harkes PDA off of the scoresheet and the title went to the Georgia boys.

Those exciting finals came at the end of a day that had already seen soccer fans treated to a full morning of semifinals at the Maryland SoccerPlex with semi’s held in five age groups for both boys and girls.

Action got underway early with an 8 am start on what became an ideal day to enjoy the beautiful game. Most of the games were closely contested and fans saw overtimes, one shootout and just a couple of one sided games.

As far as thrills went the U17 Boys topped the day, with FC Dallas Youth spotting Ohio side, Cup Gold, a 2-0 lead before storming back to send the match to extras where the Texans swept to a 5-2 victory.

FCD will face Manhattan SC PSG in the final Sunday morning at the SoccerPlex Stadium at 10:40 am. The city slickers advanced on penalty kicks at the expense of Fullerton Rangers.

Penalty kicks are always a cruel way to bow out of any competition, much less a national final, so it was surely a long flight home for the California boys.

But the unfortunate Rangers were not emblematic of a trend on the day, no less than seven of the 20 teams contesting Sunday’s finals are from sunny California, by far the most from any state.

Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have two representatives each, with Georgia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Virginia and hometown Maryland each placing one team in the national finals on Sunday.

Sunday, JULY 27

8:00 AM | Under-14 Boys National Championship – United FA 00 Elite (GA) vs Real Colorado National 99/00 (CO)

8:15 AM | Under-14 Girls National Championship – Legends FC 99 (CA-S) vs NEFC Elite (MA)

8:30 AM | Under-16 Boys National Championship – Baltimore Celtic 97/98 (MD) vs OP Eagles Green (OH-S)

8:40 AM | Under-17 Girls National Championship – VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA) vs DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S)

9:00 AM | Under-18 Boys National Championship – Lehigh Valley United 95 (PA-E) vs Santa Barbara FC White (CA-S)

9:40 AM | Under-18 Girls National Championship – Cleveland United White (OH-N) vs Beach FC Ingrassia (CA-S)

9:50 AM | Under-15 Boys National Championship – United FC Gold 98 (CA-S) vs Pateadores San Diego (CA-S)

10:20 AM | Under-16 Girls National Championship – Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL) vs Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S)

10:40 AM | Under-17 Boys National Championship – FC Dallas Youth 97 Premier (TX-N) vs Manhattan SC PSG 96 (NY-E)

11:10 AM | Under-15 Girls National Championship – Jacksonville FC 98/99 Elite (FL) vs YMS Premier Xplosion 98 (PA-E)

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Beach FC 97 Academy Skill Challenge
Beach FC 97 Academy Skill Challenge avatar

Germantown, Maryland – Sheuneenio caught up with GotSoccer’s #2 ranked Beach FC at the  2014 United States Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championships in Germantown, on Friday as the they prepared to take on GotSoccer’s #47 ranked Carlsbad Elite in today’s girls U-16 semifinal match.

Watch them take on the challenges and displaying some impressive juggling skills.

 

Full Schedule below:

Saturday, July 26

8 AM ET GAMES

Under-17 Girls | KC Metros Dynamos (KS) vs VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA)

Under-16 Boys | Baltimore Celtic (MD) vs Dix Hills Elite (E-NY)

Under-16 Boys | Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) vs OP Eagles Green (OH-S)

Under-17 Girls | DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) vs Carlsbad Elite (CA-S)

10 AM ET GAMES

Under-17 Boys | FC Dallas Youth 97 Premier (N-TX) vs CUP Gold 96/97 (OH-S)

Under-16 Girls | Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S) vs Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S)

Under-16 Girls | FC United Select (IL) vs Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL)

Under-17 Boys | Manhattan SC PSG (E-NY) vs Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S)

FINALS

5:30 PM: Under-13 Boys | WAZA FC East 01 Juniors (MI) vs FC Golden State PDA 01 (CA-S)

5:45 PM: Under-19 Girls | VSA Heat Blue (VA) vs Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL)

6:00 PM: Under-13 Girls | Michigan Hawks 01 (MI) vs Surf Academy I (CA-S)

8:00 PM: Under-19 Boys | Concorde Fire Elite (GA) vs PDA Harkes (NJ)

Sunday, JULY 27

8:00 AM | Under-14 Boys National Championship

8:15 AM | Under-14 Girls National Championship

8:30 AM | Under-16 Boys National Championship

8:40 AM | Under-17 Girls National Championship

9:00 AM | Under-18 Boys National Championship

9:40 AM | Under-18 Girls National Championship

9:50 AM | Under-15 Boys National Championship

10:20 AM | Under-16 Girls National Championship

10:40 AM | Under-17 Boys National Championship

11:10 AM | Under-15 Girls National Championship

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Crunch Time at the U.S. Youth Soccer Championship
Crunch Time at the U.S. Youth Soccer Championship avatar

Germantown, Maryland – It is down to the nitty gritty now here at the 2014 United States Youth Soccer (USYS) National Championships in Germantown, Maryland with teams from U13 through U19 resting up on Friday’s day off to prepare for semi final and final play on Saturday and Sunday at the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Action from Thursday's final group games. (GotSoccer)This event is the culmination of a year’s hard work and dedication from all of these teams and coaches. According to U.S. Youth Soccer 185,000 players, on more than 10,000 teams had the chance to reach this Championship Week. That is a mighty winnowing process, one that makes any team that managed to even qualify for this tournament winners.

The week began with preliminary action on Monday, July 21, with champions to be crowned over the next two days of drama and competition.

img3The youngest age group and the oldest, the U13 Boys and Girls, and the U19 Boys will contest the tournament’s first finals, both on Saturday July 26, with the rest of the age groups playing semi final matches on Saturday.

In the U13 division, it shapes up as a battle for supremacy between Michigan and California, with Michigan’s WAZA FC facing off against California’s FC Golden State in the Boys division, while the Michigan Hawks take on California club Surf Academy for the girls title. Both games are scheduled for Saturday July 26, with the Boys kicking off at 5:30 on field 4, and the girls a half an hour later on field 3.

img10The Boys U19 Final will be a showdown between Concorde Fire Elite (Ga.) and PDA Harkes (N.J.), with the sides battling for the prestigious James P. McGuire Cup Saturday night at 8:00 on field 11 of the Maryland SoccerPlex.

DAY FOUR GAMES – SATURDAY, JULY 26

8 AM ET GAMES

Under-17 Girls | KC Metros Dynamos (KS) vs VSA Heat 96 Blue (VA)

Under-16 Boys | Baltimore Celtic (MD) vs Dix Hills Elite (E-NY)

Under-16 Boys | Santa Barbara SC White (CA-S) vs OP Eagles Green (OH-S)

Under-17 Girls | DMCV Sharks Elite (CA-S) vs Carlsbad Elite (CA-S)

10 AM ET GAMES

Under-17 Boys | FC Dallas Youth 97 Premier (N-TX) vs CUP Gold 96/97 (OH-S)

Under-16 Girls | Beach FC 97 Academy (CA-S) vs Carlsbad Elite 97/98 (CA-S)

Under-16 Girls | FC United Select (IL) vs Tampa Bay United 97 Premier (FL)

Under-17 Boys | Manhattan SC PSG (E-NY) vs Fullerton Rangers 96 White (CA-S)

FINALS

5:30 PM: Under-13 Boys | WAZA FC East 01 Juniors (MI) vs FC Golden State PDA 01 (CA-S)

5:45 PM: Under-19 Girls | VSA Heat Blue (VA) vs Team Chicago Academy Botafogo (IL)

6:00 PM: Under-13 Girls | Michigan Hawks 01 (MI) vs Surf Academy I (CA-S)

8:00 PM: Under-19 Boys | Concorde Fire Elite (GA) vs PDA Harkes (NJ)

DAY FIVE GAMES – Sunday, JULY 27

8:00 AM | Under-14 Boys National Championship

8:15 AM | Under-14 Girls National Championship

8:30 AM | Under-16 Boys National Championship

8:40 AM | Under-17 Girls National Championship

9:00 AM | Under-18 Boys National Championship

9:40 AM | Under-18 Girls National Championship

9:50 AM | Under-15 Boys National Championship

10:20 AM | Under-16 Girls National Championship

10:40 AM | Under-17 Boys National Championship

11:10 AM | Under-15 Girls National Championship

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Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard joins New York City FC
Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard joins New York City FC avatar

It has been a very active couple of days in Major League Soccer, with U.S. international DaMarcus Beasley returning to the league, English national teamer Frank Lampard signing on with expansion side New York City FC, and former U.S., international Jay DeMerit retiring from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Lampard in action for Chelsea FC.(Getty Images)

Lampard in action for Chelsea FC.(Getty Images)

Around the soccer world Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer, may be the biggest story of the three, but for fans of the U.S. MNT, Beasley the only American to play in four World Cups, and DeMerit, the ultimate underdog, would take some beating.

Beasley (Getty Images)

Beasley has been constant for Klinsmann and has proven how worth to the U.S.(Getty Images)

Beasley, whip thin and whippet quick, burst onto the U.S. soccer landscape in 2000 as an exciting young attacker for the Chicago Fire. Beasley managed to force his way into Bruce Arena’s plans for the 2002 World Cup in Japan/South Korea, and promptly combined with fellow 20 year old Landon Donovan to throw a scare into the soccer establishment, as the U.S. went all the way to the quarterfinals.

From there Beasley tried his hand in Europe, most successfully with PSV Eindhoven, where he made his mark in Champions League play. Run DMB had some success with Glasgow Rangers, less with pre-Sheik Manchester City, and none at all with Hannover 96. That last sent Beasley to Puebla, Mexico where he revived his career and earned a shocking recall to the national team as a fullback.

Beasley justified Jurgen Klinsmann’s most audacious move to the degree that Beasley played every minute of the 2014 World Cup at left fullback, delivering a composed, professional performance at his new position.

Now Beasley returns to MLS as a Houston Dynamo. Beas landed a DP contract from the Dynamo, and who can say he hasn’t earned it?

Jay DeMerit’s path to the U.S. MNT was so unlikely that someone made a movie out of it, The Jay DeMerit Story. And why not? DeMerit was playing non-conference soccer and rooming with a friend in England when their humble squad played a friendly against Watford, a humble enough bunch themselves.

DeMerit in action for Vancouver Whitecaps. (Getty Images)

DeMerit in action for Vancouver Whitecaps. (Getty Images)

The rugged DeMerit impressed, and Watford signed him up. Eventually DeMerit scored the goal that got Watford into the English Premier League. DeMerit ended up starting at center back for the U.S. in South Africa, surely a story ripe for Hollywood.

And that leaves Lampard. One of the greats of the English Premier League era, the goal scoring midfielder accumulated more goals than anyone in Chelsea history, while picking up over 100 caps for England.

At 36 years old Lampart may not be the player he once was, he played in just the final meaningless World Cup game in Brazil for the Three Lions. But Lampard played well enough for Chelsea last season to make the World Cup squad, and he should have plenty left to make his mark in MLS.

Lampard with kids at his unveiling. (Courtesy of NYCFC)

Lampard with kids at his unveiling. (Courtesy of NYCFC)

“I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world,” said Lampard. “The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City – I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it.”

And as busy as these few days have been in MLS, remember, the summer transfer season is just getting warmed up.

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U.S. U17 MNT Take Center Stage
U.S. U17 MNT Take Center Stage avatar

Last week Tab Ramos led the U.S. MNT U20 side to victory in the four team NTC Tournament in Carson, California, topping Chile, Bermuda and Australia to take the spoils. Now it is the turn of U17 supremo Richie Williams and his charges to take center stage, as U.S. soccer looks again to the future.

(ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Williams is taking the opportunity to look at a variety of players.(ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Williams has named two rosters for the upcoming Open Nordic Tournament starting July 28 in Kolding, Denmark, and the third Copa Mexico de Naciones, which kicks off Aug. 2 in Mexico City.

18 players were called in to rep the red, white and blue in Denmark, with the tournament getting underway July 28 against host’s. A 20-player squad will head south of the border for the third Copa Mexico de Naciones, with the USA opening against China on Aug. 2.

The tournaments overlap, and four players have been tabbed by Williams for double duty, goalkeeper William Pulisic, defender Edwin Lara and forwards McKinze Gaines and Elijah Rice.

Christian Pulisic was voted the tournament's MVP. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Christian Pulisic has been a standout performer at this level. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

The U17’s are unbeaten thus far in 2014 in international competition with a 7-0-2 record. The group went 3-0-1 and defeated Turkey 2-1 in the Aegean Cup championship in January. In early April, the young Yanks toppled Bosnia 4-1 in the Katalinski Memorial Tournament title match in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to finish off a 2-0-1 performance at the tourney. The U.S. U17’s then logged back-to-back wins against Croatia on April 8 and 10.

Almost all of the players on the combined rosters were born in 1998, with the exception of defenders Lara and Tyler Adams, midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez, and goalkeeper Eric Lopez, all of whom were born in 1999.

Here are the schedules and rosters for the two tournaments.

U.S. U17 MNT’s Open Nordic Tournament Schedule:
Monday, July 28: USA vs. Denmark
Tuesday, July 29: USA vs. Norway
Thursday, July 31: USA vs. Faroe Islands
Saturday, Aug. 2: Placement match

U.S. U-17 MNT’s Copa Mexico de Naciones Schedule:
Saturday, Aug. 2: USA vs. China PR
Sunday, Aug. 3: USA vs. Argentina
Monday, Aug. 4: USA vs. Paraguay
Wednesday, Aug. 6: TBD
Friday, Aug. 8: TBD
Sunday, Aug. 10: Placement match

U.S. U17 MNT Rosters by Position:
Open Nordic Tournament:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy Academy; Westminster, Calif.), William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.)
DEFENDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Nikkye DePoint (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Edwin Lara (Juventus; San Leandro, Calif.), AJ Palazzolo (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Miles Stray (Real Salt Lake AZ; Point Reyes, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJCSA; Totowa, N.J.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.)
FORWARDS (4): McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Kai Koreniuk (Vitesse; Ormond Beach, Fla.), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.)

Copa Mexico de Naciones:
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion; Allentown, Pa.), Tanner Dieterich (Unattached; Nashville, Tenn.), Edwin Lara (Juventus; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (Unattached; Los Angeles, Calif.)

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2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship Hosts Revealed
2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship Hosts Revealed avatar

USSoccer announced today that the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship will be hosted in Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C Oct. 15-26. Out of eight nations represented in the tournament, three will receive berths to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

This will be a great opportunity for U.S. fans to see the players. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

This will be a great opportunity for U.S. fans to see the players. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Eight countries will be divided into two groups of four. The top two finishers in each group will move to semi-finals. All countries will play one match in each of the three first-round venues. Sporting Park in Kansas City, Toyota Park in Illinois and RFK Stadium in Washington D.C will host two doubleheaders. The semifinals held Oct. 24, the third place match and the championship games held Oct. 26 will be held at PPL Park in Philadelphia.

Two finalists and the third place match winner will receive berths to the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Fourth place will move on to a playoff match with a South American team to earn a fourth berth.

In the tournament, the U.S. WNT will face Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and four semifinalists from the CFU Women’s Caribbean Cup held in Trinidad & Tobago Aug. 19-26. A final CONCACAF schedule will be revealed at the Final Draw on Sept. 5 in Miami, FL.

Sunil Gulati expressed his delight in hosting the tournament. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Sunil Gulati expressed his delight in hosting the tournament. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

“We are honored to serve as the local organizing committee for this tournament as we continue to support and grow women’s soccer in this region on a large scale,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a press release. “The second season of the NWSL has been exciting to follow, and this tournament provides fans with another opportunity to see some of the best women’s soccer players in the world compete on the international level. With the tremendous success and popularity of the men’s World Cup here in the United States this summer, we are looking forward to carrying that momentum right through to the Women’s World Cup in Canada and beyond.”

 

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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

1) Sporting KC – “We’re the Best!”

That was more or less what Sporting KC executive Robb Heineman crowed when the signings of Graham Zusi and Matt Besler were announced.

Is Heineman right? He may well be. By signing two U.S. MNT stars to Designated Player contracts Sporting demonstrated that MLS clubs can retain top talent, even when attractive foreign offers are out there.

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler's re-signing was a huge boost for Kansas.  (Getty Images)

Graham Zusi and Matt Besler’s re-signing was a huge boost for Kansas. (Getty Images)

And the fans are sure to appreciate KC’s move. Sporting average 20,007 fans per MLS match at Sporting Park, not bad considering that capacity is 18,467.

And, of course the fans are flocking to see a winner. SKC finally delivered on its promise by winning the 2013 MLS Cup, and the defenders are currently sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference with 35 points.

The best? Sporting Kansas City are certainly in the conversation.

2) NYC FC Rumors

With Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer David Villa set as the clubs first player, NYC 2 recently signed a couple of solid players in Jeb Brovsky and Josh Saunders.

But those aren’t the type of moves that the love child of Manchester City and the New York Yankees intend to be known for, so that brings us to Frank Lampard and Xavi.

Spanish midfielder Xavi seems set to stay at Barcelona. (Getty Images)

Spanish midfielder Xavi seems set to stay at Barcelona. (Getty Images)

Neither has been announced yet, and it seems as if the Xavi deal won’t. After months of flirting with MLS, first New York Red Bulls and then NYC FC, the playmaking midfielder has decided to stay on at Barca. Although “Super Frank” Lampard, Chelsea’s number one goalscorer, still looks destined for New York City Football Club.

Any day now, Lampard is expected to put pen to paper. In March 2015, when NYC FC begin play Villa will be 33, and Lampard 36. So, not on the upside.

Still, if Claudio Reyna and Jason Kreis and their Manchester City overlords can surround this duo with some decent young players, NYC could bring an entertaining brand of soccer to Yankee Stadium and MLS in 2015.

3) DC United

How about a word or two of praise for DC United? After enduring an epically awful season in 2013, United have turned it around, all the way around. Coach Ben Olsen, who everyone wanted fired after last season, kept his head, and his job, and look at DC now.

Ben Olsen(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Ben Olsen has proven that DC’s patience was worthwhile.(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Just one point behind SKC for the top spot in the East, United are in excellent position to get to the playoffs, after finishing 33 points behind the final Eastern Conference qualifier in 2013.

With 34 points from 19 games DC have already more than doubled last year’s season total of 16, collected in 34 miserable games.

So whatever happens the rest of the way, well done DC.

4) Run DMB Back to MLS?

DaMarcus Beasley appears to be in negotiations with Major League Soccer to return to the league that gave him his start so many years ago.

Beasley (ISI Photos/Matt West)

Beasley return to the MLS would be a welcomed move. (ISI Photos/Matt West)

When Beasley debuted for the Chicago Fire in 2000 he was a speedy winger. Four World Cups later, Beasley is still speedy, but now he’s a fullback.
But is he a DP? If he is, he can skip the allocation process, giving the veteran more say over of his MLS destination. If he’s not, it’s into the pool for Beasley, where Toronto pick first.

TFC can trade Beasley’s rights if they want. If not, Columbus are up next followed by Dallas, DC, and then Chicago and on down the line.

5) Orlando Puts Some Manners on Their Own Fans

In March 2015 the Orlando City Lions SC will join NYC FC as Major League Soccer’s newest teams, but before they do club management wants their fans to behave.

MLS  (Getty images)

Future MLS team Orlando City create a fans advisory group. (Getty images)

Earlier in this USL-PRO season fan groups were told to tone down the language. That preceded the recent suspension of supporters group the, Ruckus, for fighting.

The group was later reinstated, with four brawlers TKO’d until December 2015. The club has also formed a fan advisory group.

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U.S. Roster Announced for U20 Women’s World Cup
U.S. Roster Announced for U20 Women’s World Cup avatar

The 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup is less than a month away and U.S. head coach Michelle French has released the 21-player roster for those representing USA in Edmonton, Montreal, Moncton and Toronto, Canada Aug. 5-24.

Stanford's Jane Campbell ® made the cut. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Stanford’s Jane Campbell ® made the cut. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

The U.S. ladies will have their hands full in Group B, taking on Germany first on Aug. 5 and Brazil Aug. 8 at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton before jetting off to Moncton Stadium to finish against China PR on Aug. 12.

The evaluation process to choose the elite 21 was completely through, with almost 80 players evaluated in training camps and matches. Overall, 13 different colleges and 17 youth clubs are represented.

Cari Roccaro was only 17 when she represented the U.S. in Japan. (ISI photo)

Cari Roccaro was only 17 when she represented the U.S. in Japan. (ISI photo)

Two players on the U.S. U20 team that won the 2012 U20 World Cup in Japan- co-captain Cari Roccaro and defender Stephanie Amack, lend vital experience and leadership to the roster. Roccaro leads with 30 caps and played in all three knock out matches in the prior World Cup. Mack, although did not see playing time in Japan, was part of the team that went through to the final, and will play a significant role this time around.

Six talented and capable forwards have been named, five of which have scored a combined 82 goals during the 2013 college season. Lindsey Horan, who missed the 2012 tournament due to a knee injury, will have her chance to shine this time around and is seen as a key asset due to her professional experience playing for Paris Saint-Germain.

2014 CONCACAF Championship MVP Rose Lavelle leads a tough midfield group, which includes Taylor Racioppi, Andi Sullivan, Carlyn Baldwin and the squad’s youngest player Mallory Pugh. Sullivan was a starter in the 2012 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.

Three established goalkeepers will travel to Canada, including Katlyn Rowland, who helped UCLA to the NCAA title in 2013. Jane Campbell started at the 2012 U17 World Cup and Rose Chandler will make the trip, graduating high school a year early to attend Penn State this fall.

Lindsey Horan ® has already played for the senior team. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Lindsey Horan ® has already played for the senior team. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

“Because we have players that have previously played in the U-20 World Cup, and we have Lindsey Horan who is playing professionally, and we have players who had a great amount of time with the U-17s, in a lot different areas we have players that lead,” French told USSoccer. “That’s not just vocally, but in how they conduct themselves on and off the field. As a staff, to know that we can rely on a number of different people to lead, is a great benefit to this team.”

U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jane Campbell (Stanford; Kennesaw, Ga.), Rosemary Chandler (Penn State; Atlanta, Ga.), Katelyn Rowland (UCLA; Vacaville, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Stephanie Amack (Stanford; Pleasanton, Calif.), Brittany Basinger (Penn State; Purcellville, Va.), Christina Gibbons (Duke; Raleigh, N.C.), Katie Naughton (Notre Dame; Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Kaleigh Riehl (BRYC; Fairfax Station, Va.), Cari Roccaro (Notre Dame; East Islip, N.Y.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Carlyn Baldwin (Tennessee; Oakton, Va.), Nickolette Driesse (Florida State: Wayne, N.J.), Rose Lavelle (Wisconsin; Cincinnati, Ohio), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Taylor Racioppi (PDA; Ocean Township, N.J.), Andi Sullivan (Bethesda SC; Lorton, Va.)
FORWARDS (6): Makenzy Doniak (Virginia; Chino Hills, Calif.), Summer Green (North Carolina; Milford, Mich.), Lindsey Horan (PSG; Golden, Colo.), Savannah Jordan (Florida; Fayetteville, Ga.), McKenzie Meehan (Boston College; Scituate, R.I.), Margaret Purce (Harvard; Silver Spring, Md.)

 

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