EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions
EPL Week 38 – Top Picks and Predictions avatar

Rodgers expects Sterling to Stay

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers has said he expects winger Raheem Sterling to stay at the club for the remainder of his contract.

Sterling's future at Liverpool is in doubt. (Getty Images)

Sterling’s future at Liverpool is in doubt. (Getty Images)

Liverpool was due to meet with the 20-year-old on Friday, but cancelled after Sterling’s agent made comments about the player’s intentions.

Aidy Ward reportedly said the England forward would not sign a new deal even if offered “£900,000 a week”.

However, despite the comments and the cancelled meeting Rogers still believes Sterling with remain with the club at least until the end of his contract.

Rodgers said: “Raheem has two years left on his deal and I expect him to see that two years through.”

“I don’t see Raheem being unhappy. Raheem’s representative made it very clear that he wanted to speak at the end of the season.

“Our concentration is on the last game of the season and I’m sure talks will take place over the course of the summer.”

Sterling has been linked with a big money move after rejecting a new $155,000-a-week contract with the club earlier in the season.

 

Hazard and Mourinho complete Chelsea Double

Chelsea have completed an EPL double with midfielder Eden Hazard and manager Jose Mourinho being named the EPL player and manager of the season respectively.

The pair were rewarded after helping guide Chelsea to the EPL title this season with three games left to play.

Hazard has been Chelsea's best player. (Getty Images)

Hazard has been Chelsea’s best player. (Getty Images)

The award means Hazard completes a treble of individual honors having also earned the PFA Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for this season’s displays.

The Belgian international has scored 14 EPL goals this season, including the one that sealed the title against Crystal Palace, and provided eight assists. However, it is his close control and dribbling that has really got people off their seats this season – Hazard topped the dribbling success table with 170 successful dribble.

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Jose Mourniho scooped the manager of the year honor after leading Chelsea to their fourth EPL title. The Portuguese manager was voted top of a shortlist of Ronald Koeman, of Southampton, Garry Monk, of Swansea City, Leicester City’s Nigel Pearson and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger.

It is the third time Mourinho has won the award having previously won the accolade in 2004/05 and in 2005/06 when he led the Blues to their first two BPL title victories.

“I was not waiting for it, I was never Manager of the Month, but I’m happy with it,” said the Chelsea manager. “It’s a club trophy, not an individual one. It’s for me, my assistants, my players, everybody who works with me. It’s something you don’t just get by yourself.

“It’s the icing on the cake but I work for the cake. The Premier League is the real cake but obviously to be the Manager of the Season is nice.”

The Cheslea manager also revealed he hopes goalkeeper Petr Cech will stay with the club, but won’t stand in his way if he chooses to leave.

“I keep saying I would like him to stay,” said Mourinho, who also confirmed Cech would play some part against Sunderland on Sunday.

Cech has been link with a move to London neighbors and rivals Arsenal, and as a replacement for David De Gea at Manchester United who is rumored to be on his way to Real Madrid.

“In case he leaves, I have no preferences (where he goes),” added Mourinho. “I hope he is fit to play the last game of the season.”

Predictions

Week 38 (Final Week) My Predictions
SUNDAY
Arsenal v West Brom 3-1
Aston Villa v Burnley 2-0
Chelsea v Sunderland 3-0
Crystal Palace v Swansea 2-2
Everton v Tottenham 2-1
Hull v Man Utd 1-2
Leicester v QPR 3-1
Man City v Southampton 3-0
Newcastle v West Ham 2-0
Stoke v Liverpool 2-1

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point. The exact score earns THREE points.

Previews

Sunday

Arsenal v West Brom

Arsenal all but confirmed third place and automatic qualification to the Champions League with a 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland during the week. The point means Arsenal now sit three-points above Manchester United with a seven goal superior goal difference.

Cazorla has been the maestro in the middle for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

Cazorla has been the maestro in the middle for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

West Brom pulled off a terrific win against EPL champions Chelsea last week to round-off a good second half of the season. The Baggies took an scored an early goal and never looked back eventually winning 3-0.  Saido Berahino scored twice for the West Midlands club to bring his tally for the season to 14 in the EPL and it will be interesting to see if the Baggies can hold on to the young talent over the summer.

Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is out with a knee injury and could even miss the FA Cup final. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mathieu Debuchy have returned from injury, but are unlikely to feature this weekend.

West Brom have no new injury concerns and could name the same side that beat Chelsea last week.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last eight against West Brom, but the Gunners are without a win in their last three EPL games and have gone three consecutive home EPL matches without scoring for the first time since February 2009.

Nevertheless, I think they will want to give their home fans something to celebrate before they head off to Wembley and I expect them to win this game comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Chelsea v Sunderland

EPL Champions Chelsea lost 3-0 away to West Brom in their last game, but boss Jose Mourinho didn’t seem too concerned and actually blamed his side’s defeat on their rivals, who he claimed had not provided much of a challenge for his team.

The Portuguese coach has a point, as his side basically went untroubled in 2015—Chelsea were actually level on points with Man City on New Years day.

Sunderland confirmed their place in the EPL for another season with a 0-0 draw away to Arsenal—The Black Cats have been involved in nine 0-0 draws in this season’s Premier League, four more than any other side.

Sunderland manager Dick Advocate was in tears after the game, and has done a good job since taking over from former manager Gus Poyet. The Dutchman has tightened up the Black Cats defense and make them difficult to play against, and it has paid off with Sunderland unbeaten in their last five games.

Chelsea are expected to be without the EPL player of the year Eden Hazard, who had three wisdom teeth removed earlier in the week.

Chelsea will be presented with the EPL Trophy this week. (Getty Images)

Chelsea will be presented with the EPL Trophy this week. (Getty Images)

The Champions will also be without Ramires, Oscar and Kurt Zouma who are all out with injuries, while Petr Cech is doubtful because of a calf problem and Cesc Fabregas serves a one-game ban.

Midweek hero goal keeper Costel Pantilimon is ruled out with a knee problem, while Jordi Gomez, Wes Brown and Liam Bridcutt remain out with injuries, and Danny Graham is doubtful with an ankle problem.

Sunderland are unbeaten in their last two games against Chelsea and are actually the only EPL team Jose Mourinho has ever tasted defeat against at Stamford Bridge in the EPL. If the Black Cats were to repeat last season victory it would mean Chelsea would be only the second champions in the last 12 seasons to end with fewer than 86 points—Manchester United took the title with 80 points in 2011.

However, I cannot see anything other than a Chelsea victory on Sunday, and I expect the Blues to put on a show before they collect the EPL in front of their home fans.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Hull v Man Utd

Hull lost 2-0 away to Tottenham last week and now know only a win can save them from relegation. However, even if the Tigers win they will still be relying on Newcastle not winning, as the Magpies sit two-points above them.

The Tigers looked like they were going to escape the drop a month ago after beating Crystal Palace and Liverpool, but they have since lost all three of their EPL games with the loss at home to Burnley looking like the result that sealed their feat.

Ashley Young has shone under Van Gaal. (Getty Images)

Ashley Young has shone under Van Gaal. (Getty Images)

Manchester United drew 1-1 at home with Arsenal, which means United will be unable to leapfrog the Arsenal, unless the Gunners lose on the final day and United win and make up a seven goal difference.

The Red Devils looked good for an hour, but then allowed Arsenal back into the game towards the end. Radamel Falcao was once again industrious, but lacked any quality service and looks like he will move on during the summer, meaning United will have to buy a forward, as Robin van Persie no longer looks like he has the appetite or legs for the top level.

Hull has no new injury concerns or suspensions could name an unchanged team to the one that lost to Tottenham last week.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is a doubt with a hamstring injury, meaning Victor Valdes could make his first start for the Red Devils.

Wayne Rooney looks likely to be missing again with a dead leg, while Jonny Evans and Luke Shaw are unlikely to play.

Manchester United has won 10 straight games against Hull, including seven in the EPL. In fact, Hull last won this fixture in November 1974, a 2-0 home triumph in the old Second Division.

However, the Tigers no nothing but a win can save them from relegation and I expect them and their fans to give everything for this game. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be enough and I expect the Tigers to lose their last home game.

Prediction: 1-2

 

Newcastle v West Ham

Newcastle looked like guaranteeing their survival last week when they took a first-half lead against already relegated QPR. However, they conceded to goals in the second-half to lose the game 2-1 and now need a win to confirm their safety.

Newcastle were in the top-half of the table before they got rid of manager Alan Pardew, but they have been awful since his departure and have gone 10 Premier League games without a win (D1, L9) for the first time since May 2009 – when they were relegated.

Newcastle celebrating their goal in their defeat to QPR. (Getty images)

Newcastle celebrating their goal in their defeat to QPR. (Getty images)

The Magpies can afford to lose or draw the game, providing Hull do not win at home to Manchester United. But if the Tigers do win, then Newcastle will need a win as Hull have a superior goal difference.

West lost 2-1 at home to Everton last week and has now won just one of their last seven games in the EPL. The Hammers were terrific in the first half of season, but they have tailed off in the second-half of the season, and speculation about the future of manager Sam Allardyce has once again surfaced.

‘Big Sam’ does not appear to play the style of soccer the West Ham fans like, but he has got them to 11th in the EPL and I don’t think they can really expect to go much higher.

Newcastle have defender Mark Williamson available again after suspension, while Siem de Jong could also return to the squad after a thigh problem but Papiss Cisse is still not fit enough to start following his knee injury.

West Ham are without defender James Collins who suffered a calf strain, but they should welcome back midfielder Kevin Nolan following a family bereavement.

Both these sides are in bad form, so it is hard to predict how this game will go. West Ham have only lost one of their last four away games to Newcastle, but their players seem like they are already on vacation. Newcastle’s player have not been much better though, but I think the with 50,000 plus Geordie fans cheering they might finally put a performance in.

Prediction: 2-0

 

 

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2015 Kohl’s American Cup
2015 Kohl’s American Cup avatar

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The 2015 Kohl’s American Cup was a smashing success this month, and recreational players gathered in Elizabethtown, KY for fun competition and time spent with friends and family.

More than 60 Kohl’s American Cup events are scheduled across the U.S., with one thing  in common: to provide a wonderful opportunity for recreational youth soccer players to experience a consistent and high quality statewide tournament without the tension of competitive pressure. The aim of the fun-filled tournament is to stimulate and teach players about soccer in an effort to increase interest and love for the game.

Check out the champions of this year’s Kohl’s American Cup. Kentucky Youth Soccer Association members can also view a photo gallery on the KYSA website.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 12.29.18 PM

 

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NJ Youth Soccer State Cup & National Championship Series
NJ Youth Soccer State Cup & National Championship Series avatar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phone:  (609) 490-0725

Email: communication@njyouthsoccer.com

logo

NJ YOUTH SOCCER CROWNS STATE CUP CHAMPIONS

MANALAPAN, NJ (May 18, 2015) ― The 2014-2015 US Youth Soccer National Championship Series and NJ Youth Soccer State Cup tournaments were decided at the Manalapan Recreation Complex this past Sunday. This event concluded the statewide competition that included hundreds of teams representing the U15 to U18 age groups.

New Jersey continues to be one of the largest state youth soccer programs in the country.  The tournaments provide levels of competition for travel program players: The National Championship Series, and at the mid-level, the NJYS State Cup. Winners in both categories will represent New Jersey in regional competition against other state champions in US Youth Soccer Region I.

The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series and NJ Youth Soccer State Cup begin a new competition for all ages (U11 through U19) in the fall of 2015.  Learn more about NJ Youth Soccer tournaments at njyouthsoccer.com.

The NJ Youth Soccer State Cup Championships for U15 – U18 teams were held on May 17th at the Manalapan Recreation Complex. Winning teams advance to regional and eventually the national championships, if successful.

The NJ Youth Soccer State Cup Championships for U15 – U18 teams were held on May 17th at the Manalapan Recreation Complex. Winning teams advance to regional and eventually the national championships, if successful.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES CHAMPIONS

  •  U15 Boys Mainland United SA Lightning
  • U16 Boys Match Fit Academy FC Black
  • U17 Boys PDA Pele
  • U18 Boys Ironbound SC Elite
  • U15 Girls SDFC Panthera
  • U16 Girls STA Morris United
  • U17 Girls NJ Stallions Dynamite
  • U18 Girls PDA Shore United

NJYS State Cup

NJ YOUTH SOCCER STATE CUP CHAMPIONS

  •  U15 Boys South Jersey Elite Barons
  • U16 Boys Westfield SA FC Premier Red Devils
  • U17 Boys Monroe Township YS WFC United
  • U18 Boys Bricktown Elite Strikers
  • U15 Girls Marlton SC Lightning
  • U16 Girls Franklin Township YSA Cougars
  • U17 Girls U.S. Parma Tempesta
  • U18 Girls  Hibernian AA Xtreme

About NJ Youth Soccer Association

New Jersey Youth Soccer, a 501(c) (3) organization affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, is comprised of more than 156,000 players from 5 to 19-years-old; 40,000+ coaches; and thousands of volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition and the spirit of good sportsmanship.

The association features recreational, travel soccer programs at multiple skill levels; Olympic Development Programs (ODP); tournaments including the National Championship series; coach and referee training and certification programs; and TOPSoccer, a program for children with special needs. The New Jersey U.S. Youth Soccer ODP provides training and competitive programs for players of the highest caliber for the purpose of increasing the success of the U.S. National Teams.

 

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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

Some very surprising results highlight this week’s MLS action, but let’s get started with some big news out of L.A.

• LAFC Announce Stadium Plan – Push Back Start Date to 2018

Chivas USA replacement LAFC have announced plans to build a $250 million soccer stadium at the Sports Arena site near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in downtown Los Angeles in time for the 2018 MLS season.

That date is a year behind the team’s originally projected start date of 2017, when the new club were set to enter the league along with Atlanta.

LAFC Tweet.

LAFC Tweet.

Although the 22,000 seat stadium will be eligible for some tax breaks the club says that the stadium will be privately financed. The estimated price has already risen by $100 million in seven months for the project, which also includes restaurants and a soccer museum.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the two groups that need to approve the deal, the Coliseum Commission and the L.A. City Council, are said to be on board.

2) Now About Those Results!

Weekend play kicked off at Yankee Stadium on Friday night with the desperate NYCFC hosting a Chicago Fire team on a two game losing streak of its own.

When the Fire took a 2-0 lead by the 27th minute, 10 man NYC looked like it was headed to a soul crushing loss. But stoppage time goals at the end of the first half and the end of regulation stunned Chicago and gave NYCFC a potentially season saving draw.

Then on Saturday, Montreal crushed Real Salt Lake 4-1. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised about this one, but then again we are not accustomed to seeing RSL struggle like this.

Making matters worse for RSL, this was Montreal’s first win of the season. Of course, the Impact have played just six MLS games in 2015, so their campaign is just getting underway.

The league schedule maker was kind enough to keep Montreal’s load light in deference to the club’s run to the CONCACAF Champions League Final. The Impact came up short against Pachuca, but the experience gained should stand to Montreal as the season progresses and don’t be surprised to see Montreal begin to climb the Eastern Conference standings.

Sunday’s result in Orlando was the shocker of the weekend, with the Lions mauling the defending champion L.A. Galaxy 4-0.

Robbie Keane (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Robbie Keane is still out for L.A. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

L.A. continue to miss the injured Robbie Keane along with the departed Landon Donovan and Marcelo Sarvas. However, those absences can’t explain the hurting Orlando put on the Galaxy Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.

40,000 fans were on hand to witness Orlando’s first home win, and what a win it was. Goals from Eric Avila and rising rookie sensation Cyle Larin staked the home team to a 2-0 halftime lead.

Surely, Bruce Arena would pull some type of a rabbit out of his hat for the second half. Right? Not really, no. Instead of an L.A. comeback the expansion crew added two goals to set the stunning final scoreline, Orlando SC 4 – Los Angeles Galaxy 0.

3) And What About Clint?

What about him? He just keeps on scoring. Whether it is goals or assists the gunslinger from Nacogdoches keeps racking up points. At least one or the other in his last 10 games.

Clint Dempsey once again was on the scoresheet. (ISI Photos/Joshua Weisberg)

Clint Dempsey once again was on the scoresheet. (ISI Photos/Joshua Weisberg)

In Saturday’s 2-0 road wind over first place Vancouver Dempsey assisted on the first of Chad Barrett’s two goals, giving him five helpers and seven goals for the season.

That puts Deuce in a tie with Kei Kamara for the MLS lead in goals and level with four others as the league’s top assist man.

Topping off a fine couple of days for Dempsey, on Sunday the U.S. international had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Seattle Mariners game. How’d he do? He threw a strike of course.

4) San Jose Surprise

The Earthquakes may not go from worst to first in 2015, but they look well on their way to moving up from worst to pretty darn good.

The Earthquakes (ISI Photos/Casey Valentine)

The Earthquakes are doing well this season. (ISI Photos/Casey Valentine)

Last year’s last place Western Conference club are currently fourth in the competitive West. Just four points out of first place after Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Columbus.

New coach Dom Kinnear coached the original Earthquakes, before moving with the franchise to Houston. And while Kinnear is new behind this team’s bench, Chris Wondolowski leading the team in goals is reassuringly old hat for the Quakes.

5) Pfeffer Puts U20 World Cup Pain Aside to Win It For Union 

Philadelphia’s young midfielder was in the unfortunate position this week of waiting for Gedion. Really, Pfeffer was waiting to see if FIFA would give the all clear for Arsenal super prospect Gedion Zelalem to play for the U.S. in the U20 World Cup.

Pfeffer showed his professionalism by earning his team all 3 points. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Pfeffer showed his professionalism by earning his team all 3 points. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

When Gedion, and U.S. Soccer got the happy news, Pfeffer was left holding a sack full of sadness. How did the 20-year-old Pfeffer respond? Like a pro. Philly’s first ever homegrown product came on as a substitute to score the winning goal in injury time to give struggling Philadelphia a badly need 1-0 win over DC United.

Big 5 Bonus Item
Altidore Out With Hammy

Bad news for Toronto FC and U.S. MNT fans, Jozy Altidore will be out for a while. Altidore limped off after 21 minutes of TFC’s 1-1 draw at New England, and the prognosis is four to five weeks on the shelf for the powerful striker.

Altidore w (Getty Images)

Altidore was just beginning to get into the swing of things. (Getty Images)

You’ll remember that Altidore suffered a similar injury in the opening match of the World Cup against Ghana, an injury that kept cost the Americans their top striker for the rest of the tournament.

This injury will deprive TFC of its goal scoring leader just as Altidore was beginning to sync up nicely with fellow DP’s Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco.

Altidore will also miss upcoming national team friendlies in the Netherlands and Germany, his injury could impact his readiness for July’s Gold Cup.

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NWSL Week 6- Recap and Goals of the Week
NWSL Week 6- Recap and Goals of the Week avatar

For the first time this season, goals were few and far between in the NWSL. Six goals were scored over the course of four games, with four of them coming in a 2-2 draw.

The Seattle Reign, who have one win in their last four games, took their first break of the season, while the U.S. WNT beat Mexico Sunday night in California.

Western New York Escape Kansas City With A Point

A week after Kansas City beat the Flash on the road, the teams met in Kansas City and neither team found the net on Thursday night.

Seven yellow cards were issued on the night, in which there were several altercations between the opposing players.

Jones was lucky to escape only with a yellow card. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Jones was lucky to escape only with a yellow card. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The Flash were lucky not to be down a player in the 82nd minute. Rookie forward Shea Groom made a desperate lunge for the ball when Flash substitute goalkeeper Chantel Jones came out to gather the ball.

Groom caught the goalkeeper, which prompted Jones to push Groom to ground when she got up on her feet. A small melee ensued, with Kansas City players coming to the defense of their teammate, but Jones escaped with only a yellow.

The game finished 0-0, with Kansas City now on a 4 game shutout streak and sitting in third place, while the result leaves the Flash at the bottom of the table.

Chicago Come Back To Draw 2-2 With Dash

Rachael Axon and Kealia Ohai’s goals were canceled out by a brace from Sofia Huerta in an entertaining game in Houston.

Huerta scored a brace for Chicago and earned her team a point. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Huerta scored a brace for Chicago and earned her team a point. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

The first goal of the game came in the 28th minute when Ohai was taken down in the box and Axon stepped up to dispatch the penalty kick.

Ohai got a goal of her own 15 minutes into the second half on a counterattack that caught the Red Stars off guard.

Houston struggled to clear the ball during the game, which invited Chicago players to push up on every opportunity. On this occasion, however, the Dash made a block on the goal line and cleared the ball up to Melissa Henderson, who charged up the field before squaring the ball to Ohai, who finished past Michele Dalton in goal.

Sofia Huerta scored her second brace in two games to get the Red Stars a deserved point.

The first came from a great touch from Jen Hoy, which left Huerta with an easy finish from a tight angle.

Her second goal came with 9 minutes left. Huerta found the ball at her feet 12 yards from goal, took a few touches away from her two markers and shot low across goal, getting a slight touch from Bianca Henninger on its way into the back of the net.

Chicago remains at the top of the table, while Houston are searching for their first win since the opening game of the season.

Portland Lose First Game Of The Season To Boston

The Boston Breakers got a stoppage time goal from Kristie Mewis to hand the Thorns their first loss of the season.

The game was fairly uneventful for an hour-and-a-half, up until Mewis lobbed the ball over Thorns goalkeeper Michelle Betos to win the game.

Kristie Mewis got the lone goal of the game for Boston. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

Kristie Mewis got the lone goal of the game for Boston. (ISI Photos/Robin Alam)

The goal came after a long clearance by a Breaker defender to the other end of the field. Betos came off her line to head the ball away, but was challenged by Maddy Evans, who clashed heads with the goalkeeper.

The ball found itself at the feet of Mewis, who finessed her shot over Betos into the goal, sending the 2,669 fans in delirium and lifting the Breakers to 6th place.

Portland drops a spot in the standings thanks to their loss and the result in the last game of the weekend.

Spirit Win In Stoppage Time Over Sky Blue FC

Another stoppage time winner was scored in D.C. as Francisca Ordega scored in the 93rd minute to lift the Spirit over Sky Blue.

The game was similar to the Portland-Boston in that there were few chances in the game, with a header off the post the sole threat in the opening half.

Nadia Nadim was a pest for Sky Blue FC, but could not find a way past Kelsey Wys in goal, who made 9 saves on the night.

Francisca Ordega got the game winner for Washington. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Francisca Ordega got the game winner for Washington. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Crystal Dunn was involved in a goal for the sixth time this season, as she played a ball towards Ordega, who touched the ball around goalkeeper Brittany Cameron and volleyed home.

The result leaves the teams at opposite ends of the table, with Washington at second place and Sky Blue second bottom.

Team

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Draws

GD

Points

Chicago

5

3

0

2

5

10

Washington

6

3

2

1

1

9

Kansas City

6

3

2

1

1

8

Portland

5

2

1

2

3

7

Seattle

5

2

2

1

4

7

Boston

5

2

3

0

-6

5

Houston

5

1

2

2

-1

4

Sky Blue FC

6

1

3

2

-3

3

Western New York

5

1

3

1

-4

3

 

Goals of the Week: Week 3

Every week, GotSoccer will give you the top three goals of the week. We will factor in skill, difficulty, and importance to determine the top three finishes of the week.

#3: Kristie Mewis (Boston) vs. Portland Thorns 5/16/2015

You need that something special to beat an undefeated team and you need something special to score a stoppage-time winner. Mewis killed both birds with one shot, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper to get the three points for Boston.

#2: Sofia Huerta (Chicago) vs. Houston Dash 5/15/2015

Your team just conceded a second goal and there are only 30 minutes left in the game to claw your way back. The best response is to score a goal (obviously), which Huerta did after taking a great pass from Jen Hoy and finished from a tight angle. The former Mexican international scored a second to get Chicago a deserved point.

#1: Kealia Ohai (Houston) vs. Chicago Red Stars 5/15/2015

Ohai’s goal to give Houston a two-goal lead exemplified the perfect counterattack. Chicago had pushed the most of their players up on a corner kick, but regretted that decision after the clearance found Melissa Henderson, who sprinted down the field before squaring to a wide-open Ohai. The forward took a heavy touch but still manage to squeeze the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper.

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U.S. Impress Against Mexico
U.S. Impress Against Mexico avatar

Substitute Lori Chalupny scored less than a minute into the second half sparking a second half onslaught as the U.S. WNT broke open a 1-1 game, going on to defeat Mexico 5-1 Sunday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Coming off last Sunday’s uninspiring victory over the Republic of Ireland, U.S. coach Jill Ellis tinkered with the lineup against a young, improving Mexico team.

Sydney Leroux looked hungry and was rewarded with a brace. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Sydney Leroux looked hungry and earned herself a brace against Mexico. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The new look U.S. lineup came flying out of the traps versus Mexico with new forward duo Christen Press and Sydney Leroux dangerous from the get go. Morgan Brian was freed from her recent defensive midfield role, springing to life on the right wing.

Megan Rapinoe started opposite Brian, and with Carli Lloyd the quintet spurred the U.S. into playing better than they have in recent memory. Still, the goals weren’t coming.

Mexico’s experienced young keeper Cecilia Santiago came up big several times, particularly frustrating Rapinoe. For their own part the Americans were not taking the chances presented to them.

Rapinoe created the opener for the U.S. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Rapinoe created the opener for the U.S. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Finally, Rapinoe slipped a finely weighted through ball that Leroux to ran onto and finished in style. With Alex Morgan missing this game, Ellis started Leroux hoping that the Canadian born forward, slowed recently by injuries, would begin to resemble the dangerous striker that U.S. fans have come to know.

Leroux’ goal combined with the excellent U.S. performance signalled the perfect time for Mexico to capitulate, but not tonight. Mexico responded to the U.S. goal with their best soccer of the match.

Mexico, who have a 1-31-1 record against their northern neighbors, equalized from a brave header by Ariana Calderon. U.S. keeper Hope Solo will have to live with a large portion of the blame, wrongly coming off of her goal line on a 39th minute free kick.

The 1-1 halftime score was certainly a surprise, given the the history of the rivalry and how well the home team had played. And yet Mexico, badly outplayed as they were, were still in this game.

The U.S. will be happy with their overall performance and more importantly the result. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The U.S. will be happy with their overall performance and more importantly the result. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Jill Ellis made three changes after the break, sending on Wambach, Chalupny and veteran center back and team captain Christie Rampone. Less than a minute from the restart Ellis looked like a genius. Leading 2-1 the Americans never looked back, getting second half goals from Wambach (2) and Leroux as Mexico’s resistance finally waned.

The U.S. has one more game before Canada 2015 begins, facing the Korea Republic May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Ellis will be encouraged by Leroux’ two goal performance, especially with Morgan’s continued absence raising doubts about the striker’s reliability for the World Cup.

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        1          4          5
MEX                                       1          0          1

USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)      28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra)        39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach)       46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick)           58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian)         61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath)          72 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

U.S. World Cup Schedule:
June 8 – versus Australia in Winnipeg
June 12 – versus Sweden in Winnipeg
June 16 – versus Nigeria in Vancouver

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Four U.S. Cities Named to Host Men’s 2015 Olympic Qualifiers
Four U.S. Cities Named to Host Men’s 2015 Olympic Qualifiers avatar

The CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship is coming to a city near you this October. Well, not if you live east of Kansas City, Kansas.

Rio Tinto Stadium will host the final. (Getty Images)

Rio Tinto Stadium will host the final. (Getty Images)

CONCACAF has named Denver, Kansas City and Los Angeles to host the eight teams in the group stages, while Salt Lake City was granted the all important tournament semifinals, as well as the finals and third place match.

The tournament will run from October 1-13, featuring two four team groups battling to represent CONCACAF at next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals, with the two finalists qualifying directly for Rio, with the winner of the third place match facing Colombia for an additional Olympic place.

The United States will head Group A while defending CONCACAF and Olympic Champions Mexico, will top Group B. Group A will start play on October 1 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Mexico and Group B begin the next day at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

In addition to the U.S., Mexico and Canada, three teams from Central America and two from the Caribbean will complete the eight nation field, with qualifiers in those regions scheduled set for August.

With those qualifiers complete the draw for the October tournament will go ahead in mid-August, and the complete tournament schedule and kick-off times will be finalized.
Below is the tournament schedule, so far.

CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship 2015
October 1- Group A MD 1- Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
October 2- Group B MD 1- StubHub Center, Carson, CA
October 3- Group A MD 2- Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
October 4- Group B MD 2- StubHub Center, Carson, CA
October 6- Group A MD 3- Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
October 7- Group B MD 3- Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
October 10 – Semifinals – Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
October 13 – 3rd place and Final- Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT

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LSA Members Night Out
LSA Members Night Out avatar

Courtesy of LSA

Courtesy of LSA

For more information please visit the Louisiana Soccer Association website.

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R.Y.A.N Benefit Soccer Game
R.Y.A.N Benefit Soccer Game avatar

  • Name of Event:  R.Y.A.N. Benefit Soccer Game
  • Theme:  Remember You’re Always Needed
  • Date:  Saturday, June 27
  • Time: 10:00 am
  • Place:  Olathe District Activity Center (ODAC)
  • Cause:  Suicide Awareness and Prevention

This event is in memory of Ryan Michael “Scott” Hill, a 2013 graduate of Olathe South, who took his own life in June of 2013.  Sadly, suicide has affected too many young lives in the Olathe community the past two years.  The goal of this event is to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to provide support to families and friends who have lost loved ones to suicide.  Proceeds from the event will be donated to Suicide Awareness Survivor Support (SASS) and EveryDay Matters (EDM), an organization that provides information and support for those suffering from mental health issues, including suicide.

Generous donors like you make it possible for SASS and EDM to provide local individuals and families in need with assistance and critical services.  We hope that we can count on your support to help us raise suicide awareness and prevention.

Please visit the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association website for more information

 

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MSYSA 2015 Advanced Academy ID Weekend
MSYSA 2015 Advanced Academy ID Weekend avatar

Michigan State Youth Soccer Association will be hosting the 2015 Advanced Academy ID Weekend  for ODP Girls and Boys July 31 and Aug 1-2 at Independence Park in Canton, Michigan.

Players born in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003 birth years are eligible for 2015 – 2016 ODP.  Players wishing to tryout for the program should attend all of the following identification sessions.

To register, please visit the MSYSA website.

Courtesy of MSYSA

Courtesy of MSYSA

NOTES: 

  • Players must attend all tryout dates and times.
  • Check in will start 30 minutes prior to each age groups first time-slot.
  • Cost is $100.00 if you register before 7/10/15.
  • $50.00 late fee will be applied to all registrations after 7/10/15.
  • Registration will close on 7/24/15.
  • Players who fail to register and pay by the deadline will not be allowed to participate.  Unfortunately, each year we turn players away who have missed the deadline.  REGISTER EARLY!
  • Refund Policy: Refunds will be honored for documented medical emergencies only (written doctors note required).  A $50.00 administrative fee will be withheld for any approved refund.  No refunds one week prior to event.
  • If you
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2016 NJ Youth Soccer ODP Tryouts
2016 NJ Youth Soccer ODP Tryouts avatar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phone:  (609) 490-0725

Email: communications@njyouthsoccer.com

logo

2016 NJ YOUTH SOCCER OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TRYOUTS JULY 25-26 & AUGUST 8-9

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (May 13, 2015) ―Open tryouts for NJ Youth Soccer’s 2016 Olympic Development Program (ODP) will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 25-26 and August 8-9 at the College of New Jersey in Ewing.

  •  9:00am – 10:30am 2003 birth year
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm 2002 birth year
  • 1:00pm – 2:30pm 2001 birth year
  • 2:30pm – 4:00pm 2000 birth year
  • 4:00pm – 5:30pm 1999 birth year

In cooperation with U.S. Youth Soccer, the ODP program identifies a select pool of 1999 to 2003 elite-level boy and girl players from which a state team will be selected in early 2016.

State team players will be considered for U.S. Youth Soccer Region 1 teams which may also offer opportunities for international competition. In recent years, selected NJ players have traveled to South Africa, Turkey, Italy and Argentina for competition. Girls and boys selected for the Regional ODP team pools are also candidates for the U.S. National Team selection process.

Candidates are evaluated on four key soccer components: technique, tactics, athletic ability, and psychological component (attitude).  Players are selected by NJ Youth Soccer ODP coaches who are recognized for their ability to identify and train players with superior skills.

Tryout times are based upon age group and pre-registration costs $40. To pre-register and learn more, visit the ODP page of www.njyouthsoccer.com or call (609) 490-0725 x1.  Becoming your best on the field involves observing the best when you are off the field.  To assist with that development, players registered for tryouts will receive discount tickets to select 2015 New York Red Bulls and Sky Blue FC matches this summer.

About NJ Youth Soccer Association

New Jersey Youth Soccer is comprised of more than 150,000 players from 5 to 19-years-old supported by thousands of coaches and volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition and the spirit of good sportsmanship.

The NJ Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) offers selected top players born in 1999 to 2003 the opportunity to play at the State, Regional and National level. Tryouts for the 2016 state team will be held July 25-26 and August 8-9 at the College of NJ.

The NJ Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) offers selected top players born in 1999 to 2003 the opportunity to play at the State, Regional and National level. Tryouts for the 2016 state team will be held July 25-26 and August 8-9 at the College of NJ.

 

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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

With the European leagues winding down and summertime approaching, transfer season is in the air. And we’ll get to that, but first let’s say a conflicted…

• Goodbye Eddie Johnson

Conflicted because on the one hand it is a sad day indeed when a 31 year old has to retire from his chosen profession due to heart trouble, as Eddie Johnson has now had to do.

This news was expected, EJ has not trained or played with DC United this year, and his heart condition had been reported. Still, there is no way not to feel bad for the onetime next big hope of U.S. Soccer.

On the other hand, how do we evaluate a career like Johnson’s? Do we remember the way he burst onto the U.S. MNT scene with seven goals in his first six World Cup Qualifiers for the MNT in 2004/2005?

Or is Johnson’s failed stint with Fulham, which included two unsuccessful loans in Britain and one good spell in Greece, what sticks when you think of Johnson?

Johnson just can't help himself.. (ISI Photos/David Bernal)

Johnson looks like he is on his way out. (ISI Photos/David Bernal)

Conflicted? Johnson won the MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award, twice! Who does that? First in 2007 with K.C. Wizards, then in 2012 when he led Seattle in goals with 14 after returning from Europe.

And Johnson’s comeback wasn’t limited to the club ranks. Johnson’s return to form caught Jurgen Klinsmann’s eye too, and his international career was back from the ashes.

Johnson was called in to face Antigua and Barbuda in October 2012 and scored both goals in a 2-1 U.S. victory, sparing the U.S the embarrassment of losing to the tiny nation.

In fact, it could be said that if not for Johnson the U.S. would not have qualified for Brazil, he also scored the winner on September 10, 2013 which assured the U.S. MNT of qualification.

In the end Johnson was left off the World Cup squad in 2014 as he had been in 2010, leaving 2006 as Johnson’s World Cup legacy. No goals in two appearances seems so little when so much more had been promised.

Sadly, that may be the epitaph for Eddie Johnson’s career.

2) Toronto Come Home …

Altidore (Getty Images)

Altidore’s goal was not enough to stop his team losing to Houston. (Getty Images)

And lose. It was a disappointing result for TFC in their long awaited 2015 home opener, but there will be better days, right? Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Sunday and hung on to spoil Toronto’s party despite Jozy Altidore’s late headed goal.

Toronto opened the season with seven straight road games while BMO Field was expanded and renovated. Now holding 30,991 TFC’s home has the highest capacity of any of the league’s soccer specific stadiums.

Sunday’s loss to Houston drops TFC to 3-5-0, and there have been grumblings that coach Greg Vanney’s job was in jeopardy.

That never made much sense, given the extended road trip. Now Vanney and company will have no such excuses. With 16 of its 26 remaining games at home TFC will have a chance to settle in at BMO. If that settling in isn’t soothed by quite a few wins, then Vanney will justifiably be on the spot.

3) Goodbye Too to DeRo

And speaking of retirement and Canada, MLS says goodbye this week to one the best players the league has known, Dwayne De Rosario.

Canada’s all time leading goal scorer, Toronto FC’s all time leading goal scorer, four time MLS Cup winner, and 2011 MLS MVP with DC United.

Dwayne De Rosario (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

Dwayne De Rosario (#14) scoring record is impressive. (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

The numbers are impressive, but hardly tell the whole story. One of the top two or three best ever Canadian players ever, DeRo’s scoring record is all the more remarkable for the fact that he played most of his career as a midfielder.

He won his MLS titles with the original S.J. Earthquakes/Houston Dynamo. His best years were in Houston, and he still went on and scored 27 goals for TFC in 57 games, and won that MVP Award with DC.

During his first stint in Toronto, De Rosario tried to force a move to Glasgow Celtic but the Canadian club weren’t having it.

De Rosario was part of Toronto’s failed star grab in 2014, a faded local hero brought in with Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley. We know that didn’t work out and when TFC declined to renew DeRo for this season, his fine career was essentially finished. On May 10th De Rosario made it official.

Unlike the week’s other retirement there are no conflicted feelings. De Rosario leaves the game as one of the best MLS has seen and one of the best his nation has produced.

4) Transfer Rumors

Like we said earlier, the European leagues are finishing up, and the annual big money game of musical chairs will soon be underway.

U.S. international Oguchi Onyewu has been released by English Championship club Charlton Athletic. Onyewu has studiously avoided MLS in his long professional career, sitting on benches throughout Europe these last several years.

Now at 33, his glory days well behind him, will Gooch consider MLS? Will he have any takers?

Also set free by English Championship clubs were 21 year old U.S. YNT prospect Will Packwood, by Birmingham and Zak Whitbread 31, from Derby.

Will Packwood (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Will Packwood could make an immediate impact with any team he joins. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Packwood is in a different category from the two veterans. Just last season the central defender was seeing regular first team minutes, and he remains in the hunt for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. New England is said to be a likely landing spot for Packwood.

There are also some international names said to be in the mix for a move to MLS. James McClean, a handy Irish international may be coming to the N.Y. Red Bulls. Kevin Prince Boateng will not be. That direct from coach Jesse Marsch.

The most exciting name being tossed around? Carlos Tevez. The Juventus star is Italy’s leading scorer and has recently been recalled to Argentina’s national team, having been foolishly omitted from the country’s World Cup team.

One move that has been made is Sebastian Lletget from West Ham to L.A. The 22 year old San Franciscan went to the London club in 2009, but failed to make an impact.

So let’s get that music cranked up and start looking for a seat.

5) Who’s on 1st? In Philadelphia The Question Is – Who’s in goal?!

Well it’s not Rais M’Bolhi. Not too long ago Philadelphia had an embarrassment of riches at the goalkeeper position.

Number one Zac MacMath was a solid young American keeper, then the Union drafted Jamaican prospect Andre Blake from UConn in the SuperDraft.

Rais M'Bolhi initial signing was a suprixe to many at(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Rais M’Bolhi initial signing was a suprixe to many at Philly.(ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

When Philly signed Algeria’s World Cup star Rais M’Bolhi the general reaction in soccer circle was, “what’s with all the goalies?”

Then MacMath was loaned to Colorado, M’Bolhi failed to settle, or to keep the ball out of the net, and then Blake got hurt.

Local boy John McCarthy was a nice story when he got the job, but McCarthy wasn’t great and then he too got hurt. M’Bolhi had been sent on sabbatical, would he now be recalled?

No. Coach Jim Curtin said that the Algerian was finished in Philadelphia.

Last Saturday Brian Sylvestre, a short term loan acquisition from the Carolina RailHawks was in goal in Vancouver. Sylvestre made an impressive seven saves, but still lost 3-0. His backup was league pool keeper Trey Mitchell.

Not surprising then that Philadelphia have more points than just Montreal, who have played six games fewer than the Union’s 11. Philadelphia also have by far the worst goal difference in the league at negative 11.

This Sunday Philadelphia, desperate for a win, host first place DC United. The question remains, who’s in goal?

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10 Man Red Bulls Win Inaugural New York Derby
10 Man Red Bulls Win Inaugural New York Derby avatar

New York is Red, for now at least, after Sunday night’s 2-1 victory for the Red Bulls over New York City FC in the first ever meeting of the two Gotham clubs.

There was an electric atmosphere in the stadium. (ISI Photos/Michael Lawrence.)

There was an electric atmosphere in the stadium. (ISI Photos/Michael Lawrence.)

A sellout crowd packed Red Bull Arena with noise and color as the first edition of the Don Garber Bowl got off to a promising start.

Even if transportation snafus delayed some travelers as they made their way from “the city,” to the Red Bulls beautiful soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey.

Eventually the fans did arrive to the tune of an announced attendance of 25,217 and they brought the noise. The Third Rail, the official supporters group of the Yankee Stadium based NYCFC were said to have 1,500 members on hand, a number the eyeball test had no problem with.

Stationed at the opposite end of the field from the South Ward based home supporters groups, the visitors gamely did their best to compete with the more established Red Bulls fan groups, despite being outnumbered while their team was badly outplayed.

On the field the Red Bulls treated the referee’s opening whistle as a starter’s gun, swarming the visitors with coach Jesse Marsch’s high press. From the start New York City FC were in serious trouble on its left flank, where R.J. Allen had gone from emergency signing to emergency starter in a two week period, and last night Allen was quickly in trouble in his matchup with Lloyd Sam.

Wright-Phillips was able to finish Sam's cross. (ISI Photos/Michael Lawrence)

Wright-Phillips was able to finish Sam’s cross. (ISI Photos/Michael Lawrence)

Sam has been outstanding this season for the Red Bulls, answering Marsch’s call to be more of a goal scoring threat. Last night though, it was good old fashioned wing play that Sam provided, his cross to a wide open Bradley Wright-Phillips setting up the Red Bulls with a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

After being outplayed for the opening 25 plus minutes City were clawing their way back into the match, and but for a (correct) offside call would have equalized through Chris Wingert. But the game took a fateful turn in the 18th minute when center back Matt Miazga was handed a yellow card for a challenge on NYC’s rookie forward Khiry Shelton.

Shelton went down under a sliding tackle from Miazga and referee Alan Kelly immediately went to his pocket for a yellow card. Miazga was furious, telling Got Soccer afterward, “I thought he (Shelton) sold it a little bit.” When Miazga tried to make that point to the referee, Shelton objected, leading to the first flash point of this nascent rivalry, a point Miazga conceded. “Yeah,” the center back laughed, “I actually thought about that.” However for fans spoiling for a rematch Miazga cautioned that the incident is, “part of the game.” Miazga sounded ready to move on saying, “it is what it is, we both talked a little smack.”

The problem for Miazga and the Red Bulls came when he fouled Shelton again, drawing a second yellow and an early shower in the 36th minute, leaving the home team a man down for the remainder of the 90.

The City boys could do little with the extra man, as their goal scoring woes continued. Star man David Villa was on from the start, but the Spanish legend was not 100% and he may have set a record for failed back heels on the night.

Diskerud (L) and Co could not take advantage of being a man up. (ISI Photos/Mike Lawrence)

Diskerud (L) and Co could not take advantage of being a man up. (ISI Photos/Mike Lawrence)

Mix Diskerud also struggled to convert the man advantage into meaningful possession, but that did little to minimize the shock in the arena when NYC manager Jason Kreis removed his two biggest names minutes apart in the second half.

First Diskerud was pulled in the 64th minute with Kreis saying later, “I thought Mix was just not great tonight.” Four minutes later a clearly surprised and displeased David Villa got the hook, giving his coach an unhappy look as he came off the field. Later Kreis said that he was protecting the veteran from injury and in his post-game remarks the the NYC captain also was keen to diffuse any controversy.

Kwadwo Poku had come on for Diskerud with Patrick Mullins taking over from Villa, and that duo made an immediate impact.

Poku passed wide to first half victim, fullback Allen who put a dangerous ball in front of the Red Bulls goal. Mullins crashed the goal, netting for the second time this season, and with 14 minutes left to play it was game on.

That New York FC couldn’t find a second goal was less a surprise, than it was the story of the club’s season. Sitting in seventh place the expansion side has lost six games, only the disaster that is the Philadelphia Union have more losses with seven. Hurry up Frank Lampard.

Meanwhile, New York’s original MLS franchise ran its record to 4 wins 1 loss and 4 ties, good for third in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls have an excellent goalkeeper in Luis Robles, are solid in defense and the midfield and have a real goal scorer in Bradley Wright-Phillips.

The rivalry can only be good for the league. (ISI Photos/Mike Lawrence)

The rivalry can only be good for the league. (ISI Photos/Mike Lawrence)

The gulf between the two New York clubs is clear and substantial, but the early returns are promising for the New York rivalry. Even a bitterly disappointed Jason Kreis acknowledged as much calling Sunday night, “a great moment for the league.”

The rematch is set for June 28th at Yankee Stadium. Ticket demand for round two is so high that NYCFC has already announced that the upper bowl will be opened.

The fans have made it known that they will show up, now it is up to New York City FC, especially its offense, to do the same.

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NWSL Week 5 – Recap and Goals of the Week
NWSL Week 5 – Recap and Goals of the Week avatar

The NWSL continued to roll on in the absence of the U.S. WNT, who played their first of three Send-Off games in San Jose on Sunday afternoon.

The national team are now in preparation for the World Cup. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The national team are now in preparation for the World Cup. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The lack of star power in the teams did not stop the fans from flocking to the stadium to see another exciting weekend of women’s soccer action.

The Houston Dash were the team to miss out on the action as they served their first bye week of the season.

Kansas City Shutout Flash On The Road

Liz Bogus’ second goal of the season proved to be the winner after the Western New York Flash were held scoreless at home.

Liz Bogus got the game winner for Kansas. (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Liz Bogus got the game winner for Kansas. (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Bogus received the ball from Mandy Laddish and sprinted towards goal and lashed a finish past Sabrina D’Angelo at her near post.

The rookie goalkeeper could not do much to prevent the goal, as the ball was hit high and hard.

While Kansas City will be happy with the three points, they will have little time to recover as they take on the Flash again on Thursday at home.

The loss leaves the Flash second-bottom of the table, while the Kansas City sit second in the table after winning their third straight game.

Red Stars Remain Undefeated In Win Over Boston

Despite having four starters away on international duty, Chicago beat the Breakers 3-0 in front of 16,017 fans.

The attendance is the highest recorded so far this season, and third highest in NWSL history, falling 3,000 short of the record set by the Portland Thorns last season.

Sofia Huerta (L) in action for Mexico in 2013. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Sofia Huerta (L) in action for Mexico in 2013. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Sofia Huerta (2) and Cara Walls tallied the three goals in the second half to record their first points of the season.

The first came in the 56th minute when Huerta gathered a through ball from Vanessa DiBernardo, rounded the goalkeeper and put the ball in the empty net.

The Mexican international turned provider as she played the ball to Walls, who turned her marker and finished beautifully past stand-in Boston goalkeeper Jami Kranich.

Kranich, who was playing in place of U.S. international Alyssa Naeher, conceded a third goal of the contest when Huerta raced to the back post to finish a cross from Arin Gilliland.

The result leaves the teams at opposite ends of the table, Boston sitting last with 3 points, while the Red Stars lead the league with 10 points from four games.

Last Minute Penalty Gives Sky Blue Point Versus Seattle

The Seattle Reign almost left New Jersey with three points, but Jessica Fishlock’s handball on the line led to a red card and an equalizer from the penalty spot from Sky Blue FC.

Lauren Barnes had put the Reign ahead in the 76th minute courtesy of a low shot from 22 yards that found its way past Brittany Cameron in goal.

Cameron somehow let the ball bounce past her, but she was spared her blushes by Fishlock, whose handball was spotted by the linesman in the dying seconds of regulation.

A goalmouth scramble followed a Sky Blue corner in the 89th minute, but with the center referee unsighted, the linesman spotted a handball on the goal line from Fishlock, which led to her dismissal and chance for Nadia Nadim to equalize from the penalty spot.

Nadim cooly slotted home her pk to salvage a point for her team. (ISI Photos/Bill Barrett)

Nadim cooly slotted home her pk to salvage a point for her team. (ISI Photos/Bill Barrett)

Nadim did her part and Seattle pushed for a go-ahead goal in the five minutes of stoppage time, but could not find it, despite having a penalty claim of their own.

The team and coaching staff surrounded the officiating crew following the final whistle, but it obviously could not change the result.

The draw meant Sky Blue leapt Houston to 6th place, while Seattle fell to 4th place in the standings.

Portland Fight Back To Draw Washington At Home

The Thorns continued their undefeated start to the season, coming back from two goals down to tie the Spirit in front of 14,236 fans.

Crystal Dunn scoring streak continued as she pounced on a defensive mistake to finish from the edge of the box.

The goal is Dunn’s 4th of the season, which is tied for the league-lead. The run of form from Dunn led to invitation from U.S. WNT coach Jill Ellis to cover for the injured Tobin Heath. Her performances of late are hard to ignore and if she keeps it up, it would be naïve of Ellis to leave the former #1 overall pick off the roster.

The Spirit’s lead was extended by Francisca Ordega, who finished off a breakaway to score her first goal of the season.

Mana Shim has stepped up to the challenge and is proving to be the star play maker for Portland. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Mana Shim has stepped up to the challenge and is proving to be the star play maker for Portland. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Mana Shim, who is proving to be the playmaker in the Thorns midfield, was involved in both of the Portland goals.

She scored the first goal after Sarah Jackson’s shot was parried away by goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, putting in the rebound from six yards out.

Shim then played the killer through ball to Allie Long in the 51st minute, who squeezed the ball past the onrushing Wys to put the Thorns back on level terms.

The Spirit will feel let down that they gave up a two goal lead away to one of the best teams in the league, but they return home to face Sky Blue FC to improve upon their 5th place, while the Thorns travel across the country to play the Boston Breakers.

Team

Games Played

Wins

Losses

Draws

GD

Points

Chicago

4

3

0

1

5

10

Kansas City

5

3

2

0

1

9

Portland

4

2

0

2

4

8

Seattle

5

2

2

1

4

7

Washington

5

2

2

1

0

7

Sky Blue FC

5

1

2

2

-2

5

Houston

4

1

2

1

-1

4

Western New York

4

1

3

0

-4

3

Boston

4

1

3

0

-7

3

Goals of the Week: Week 3

Every week, GotSoccer will give you the top three goals of the week. We will factor in skill, difficulty, and importance to determine the top three finishes of the week.

#3: Liz Bogus (Kansas City) vs. Western New York Flash 5/8/2015

When shooting from an angle, you should do one of two things: shot low to the far post, or shoot high to the near post. Bogus did the latter, blasting the shot high at the goalkeeper’s near post to give FC Kansas City a lead they would not relinquish.

#2: Crystal Dunn (Washington) vs. Portland Thorns 5/9/2015

It seems the majority of the goals that Dunn has scored this season have come from defensive mistakes. But Dunn’s finish on Saturday night after gathering an errant pass was great shooting across goal into the top corner. Dunn has made a great transition to the forward position, notching 4 goals and an assist through 5 games.

#1: Cara Walls (Chicago) vs. Boston Breakers 5/9/2015

When Walls received the ball with her back to goal from Sofia Huerta, there did not seem to be much danger. But she swiveled around her marker and hit a shot that went over the goalkeeper’s head, off the crossbar and over the line. The goal was Walls’ first as a pro and she’ll have trouble scoring a better goal this season.

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