The United States were eliminated from the Concacaf U17 Championship and more importantly the U17 World Cup, after falling to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Honduras Sunday evening in Panama City, Panama.
Many will be questioning the Academy system after this group failed to qualify for the world cup. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)
If you make it that far, the Concacaf U17 Championship ultimately comes comes down to a winner take all quarterfinal, as all four semi finalists move on to the World Cup this autumn in the United Arab Emirates. The Americans came into this tournament having qualified for every one of the previous 14 World Cups in this age group, and facing the pressure of continuing that legacy.
Honduras were not intimidated in the least by that U.S. pedigree, playing their part in a very entertaining first half that saw each team dominate at times. Honduras were first on the board in the 43rd minute, off of a great strike from 20 plus yards from Christopher Alegria that U.S. keeper Jeff Caldwell couldn’t keep out of the net, despite getting a hand on it.
The Americans responded just two minutes later and what a response it was. Joel Sonora was the man with the answer, hammering home from a similar distance as Alegria, and the sides were level going into the break.
But the United States’ World Cup dream began to slip away from the in the 57th minute when Alberto Elis beat U.S. centerback Tommy Redding to a precise through ball from Brayan Velasquez, nudging the ball past Caldwell into the U.S. goal.
As the U.S. were struggling to claw their way back into the game, they committed a foul almost 30 yards from their own goal. Up stepped Kevin Alvarez to take the free kick for Honduras, and his strike would be a dagger to U.S. hopes. Caldwell couldn’t get anywhere near the blast from Alvarez, and Honduras were up 3-1 in the 68th minute.
Head coach Richie Williams (R) will surely be feeling the heat with this defeat. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)
United States coach Richie Williams used up all of his subs as he tried to avoid becoming the first American coach to fail to reach the U17 World Cup. Curiously, Williams never called Borussia Dortmund property Junior Flores’ name.
The Americans best chance to cut into the deficit came off of an 86th minute corner kick, that presented Rubio Rubin and Shaq Moore with good chances that they failed to finish. U.S. center back Conor Donovan missed a good chance in the 91st minute, and the writing was on the wall.
The good feeling around the U.S. youth program that grew out of the success of the U.S. U20’s dissipates somewhat with this outcome and coach Richie Williams will likely feel the heat. With this result and the senior result in February, Honduras are quickly becoming U.S. killers. In truth Honduras were worthy of this victory and of their place in the U17 World Cup alongside fellow Concacaf representatives Canada, Panama and the winner of Sunday night’s late match between Mexico and Guatemala.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
HON 1 2 3
HON – Christopher Alegria (Alvaro Romero) 42nd minute
USA – Joel Soñora (Christopher Lema) 45
HON – Alberto Elis (Brayan Velasquez) 57
HON – Kevin Alvarez 68
Women’s soccer fans rejoice! The weekend of the long awaited NWSL debut is finally here, pitting the Portland Thorns against FC Kansas City Blues in the inaugural match held Saturday in Overland Park, KS.
Alex Morgan will surely be a key player for the Thorns (Getty Images)
Both teams have their fair share of talent and with National team players returning from the Netherlands and other players injured or playing abroad, it’s a toss up for who could potentially take the first NWSL match victory. Nevertheless, the arrival of the new league is exciting enough with the golden question hanging of whether or not this league will be a success.
The Thorns head coach Cindy Parlow announced a 15-player roster for the game, including U.S. superstar Alex Morgan and Canadian player Christine Sinclair. U.S. WNT midfielder Tobin Heath will not be available until mid season due to her commitment with Paris Saint-Germain.
Besides having a nice batch of allocated national players, the Thorns made out pretty well with supplemental and discovery draft players that all have ample national team experience or are college stand out players. Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc and U.S. WNT defender Rachel Buehler have played more than 100 times for their national teams.
Lauren Cheney has taken on more of a playmaking role for the U.S. and Kansas surely will benefit from this. (ISI Photos/Tracy Allen)
Kansas also has a great crop of players, looking to prove themselves with an 18-player roster that includes U.S. WNT goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, MF Kristie Mewis, forward Lauren Cheney and defender Becky Sauerbrunn.
The other six teams in the league will compete in their opening matches Sunday. Tune in to GotSoccer each week to get a full NWSL report with game highlights and the latest league news.
Teams: Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Sky Blue FC (New Jersey), Seattle Reign FC, Washington Spirit, Western New York (Rochester, N.Y.)
Schedule: The league kicks off this weekend and lasts through the August 31 championship game. Each team plays a 22-game schedule, with 11 home games and 11 road games. The playoffs will feature the regular season champion at home against the fourth-place team, while the second place finisher will host the third-place finisher. The highest remaining seed will host the title game.
The FYSA 2013 President’s Cup held last weekend at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale, FL was a great success as teams and their families came out for some beautiful weather and friendly soccer competition.
Check out the winners below and you can find a full photo album of the event at the FYSA Facebook page: Click Here
For the past few months, 13-year-old Indiana Soccer referee, Matthew Burkat, has been fighting for kids his age for the right to work for youth athletic programs and his hard work was met with huge success.
This week, Governor Mike Pence signed child labor laws bill, SB 153, which exempts children that work for youth athletic programs.
It wasn’t an easy feat. Matthew testified before a House Committee after he was turned down a referee position due to labor laws. His argument was so compelling that the house voted in his favor 92-4, and a list was created for jobs kids under 14 can partake in.
Read the full heart warming story at the Indiana Soccer website: Click Here
It’s EPL Prediction time again and this week’s schedule is pretty full with the FA Cup semi-finals taking place this weekend, and another four more EPL games scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
EPL to have Goal-line technology next season
The Premier League has voted in favor of introducing goal-line technology for the 2013-2014 season.
Representatives from all 20 of the EPL’s clubs met on Thursday with the EPL to discuss the matter and voted in favor of employing the system from next season.
A number of companies were in competing to provide the EPL with the technology, but in the end British based firm Hawk-Eye was awarded the contract to provide the system.
Hawk-Eye uses seven cameras per goal to detect the ball and claims its system is “millimetre accurate, ensuring no broadcast replays could disprove the decision”.
The System already provides professional tennis and cricket with ball-tracking technology. In soccer Hawk-Eye will notify referees when a ball has crossed the goal line via a vibration and optical signal sent to the officials’ watches within one second.
The technology will be installed in all 20 EPL grounds during the close season and will also be installed and used at Wembley in time for August’s Commnuity Shield. However, the technology will have to be turned-off when EPL clubs compete in Europe as UEFA, whose president Michel Platini is an opponent of goal-line technology, and has yet to ratify its use.
EPL Managers’ attitudes disappoint England coach Hodgson
England coach Roy Hodgson has expressed his disappointment with EPL managers, claiming they seem to view international breaks as a chance to rest their star players.
“I would like to see the international break being taken seriously,” he said.
England Manager Roy Hodgson speaks during the Soccerex European Forum. (Getty Images)
Speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, the England boss questioned whether EPL coaches were right to complain about ‘burnout’ of their players.
“How many players are playing 55 games?” he asked. “When you add up all the minutes for some players, it’s not even 19 games.”
Instead, Hodgson feels EPL Clubs see the international breaks as a chance to rest and give their players a holiday.
“I’d still like to see it as a time when players go to play for their international teams. These breaks are being seen as the 10-day break that players don’t always get during the season.”
“It concerns me that we [English football] are guilty of accepting ‘it’s the international break so we can give the player 10 days off or go to Dubai’. If you’re a club manager now, you’ve got no excuse.
“You can easily plan your time around these blocks. If your players need a rest, it’s not obligatory that it has to be during the international break. It can be during the other 40-odd weeks of the year.”
“We have to be careful when talking about overplaying.
Matt Le Tissier to come out of retirement
Former Southampton playmaker Mathew Le Tissier is set to come out of retirement this weekend to help his hometown club Guernsey FC.
The 44-year old, was born on the small island in the English Channel but has not played competitive soccer since retiring in 2002.
However, Le Tissier has decided to don his soccer cleats one last time as a gesture to help the club who will play a whopping 17 games in April.
“The fixture pile-up has been a bit mad and they need all the bodies they can get,” Le Tissier told BBC Radio 5 live’s Weekend Breakfast show.
“The first squad I’ll be available for is next Sunday’s game [14 April] at home to Raynes Park Vale.
“Saturday games are out but there are probably four or five games I’ll be available for.”
Matthew Le Tissier(C) had a good scoring record against Man Utd. (Getty Images)
Le Tissier grew up on Guernsey and is an honorary president of the club, however he never played for the club. Instead, he moved to England joining Southampton where became a cult hero. He is the club’s second highest ever scorer and was named PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990.
Famed for his technical ability and eye for an amazing goal, Le Tissier was the first midfielder ever to score over 100 goals in the EPL. The midfielder was also an expert from the 12-yard spot—scoring 47 of his 48 penalty kicks as a professional.
Le Tissier added: “I was born and grew up on Guernsey.
“Hopefully my hamstring won’t snap! I’ve been doing a bit of training for the Guernsey half-marathon in June and have been pounding the streets of Southampton.
“While I’m in semi-reasonable shape, I told them that if they need me, I’ll be there.”
Reading v Southampton
Norwich v Swansea
Stoke v Aston Villa
West Brom v Arsenal
Liverpool v West Ham
Tottenham v Everton
Chelsea v Sunderland
Newcastle v Fulham
QPR v Wigan
Man Utd v Man City
A correct result is worth ONE point, while a correct score earns THREE points.
Last Week I got FOUR correct results, including ONE perfect score to give me a combined total of SIX-points.
Arsenal v Norwich
Aston Villa v Fulham
Everton v QPR
Reading v Liverpool
Southampton v West Ham
Millwall v Wigan (FA Cup)
Newcastle v Sunderland
Stoke v Man Utd
Chelsea v Man City (FA Cup)
Arsenal v Everton
Man City v Wigan
West Ham v Man Utd
Fulham v Chelsea
Arsenal v Norwich
Arsenal got a good win last week and know a win on Saturday will put them back in the driving seat to finish in a Champions League spot.
Jack Wilshere was in fine form and then injury prevailed – Arsenal will be hoping that he can continue where he left off. (Getty Images)
Just over a month back the Gunners’ hopes of a top four finish looked to be slim as they lost to Tottenham in the North London derby, leaving them languishing seven points behind their neighbors. But three consecutive wins coupled with Spurs dropping points have seen Arsenal close the gap, and the Gunners will leapfrog their North London rivals into fourth place if they win on Saturday.
Norwich have been on a bit of a slump for a while and have slowly sunk further down the EPL table. The Canaries have only won once in their last 15 games and really need to start picking up points as they lay only fours points above the relegation zone.
Midfielders Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott should be recalled to the starting line-up for Arsenal after shaking off injuries, but Thomas Rosicky, who scored twice for the Gunners last week, looks set to miss out after irritating his hamstring.
The Gunners will probably recall club captain Thomas Vermalen, who has been dropped to the subs bench in recent weeks, as Per Mertesacker is suspended after picking up a red card in last week’s win over West Brom.
Arsenal are on a good run and need to win this game with three tough games against Everton, Fulham, and Manchester United up next. Norwich play some decent soccer, but they’re lacking in confidence and only have 10-points to show for themselves in 2013.
Everton v QPR
When Everton lost to Wigan in the FA Cup a few weeks back many thought their season would start to peter out, especially as they had a pretty tough run-in, but if anything they have improved and look up for the challenge.
Everton’s Fellaini has been causing teams trouble all season. (Getty Images)
The Toffees were excellent away to Spurs last week and unlucky to concede a late equalizer. A win there would have left them in a good position to challenge for either a Champions League or Europa spot, but they are still in with a chance, and a win on Saturday would see them move within three-points of third place Chelsea.
QPR look all but relegated after conceding a last-gasp equalizer to Wigan in their last game. Manager Harry Redknapp described the last-second free kick as the ‘cruelest kick’ he had ever been involved in, and it is hard to see how the Hoops can recover from such a psychological blow.
But their fate is not sealed yet and Harry Redknapp is sure to get them fired up for the remainder of their games. They will fight and give Everton a game, but with the Toffees able to call upon Steven Piernaar and Marouane Fellaini again, after both midfielders served suspensions, I can’t see QPR leaving Goodison Park with anything.
Reading v Liverpool
Luis Suarez is currently the EPL’s top scorer and also in line for EPL player of the year (Getty Images)
Bottom club Reading, like QPR, seem consigned to life in the Championship next season. The Latics started the year with a mini-run of good results and for a while it seemed they might just make it out of the relegation zone, but they have now lost their last seven games and there really does not seem anyway back for them now.
Liverpool played out a goalless draw with West Ham at home last week, which was a tad surprising given their excellent form recently. But West Ham are a tough bunch to play against and were not exactly the most adventurous team at Anfield.
The Latics, however, have no choice but to try and win all of their remaining games, so will probably play more attacking than they usually do. The problem is they have the worst defense in the EPL, and with Liverpool boasting the EPL’s top goal scorer that could spell trouble for Reading.
FA CUP (Semi-Final)
Millwall v Wigan
Arouna Kone is Wigan’s points leader and will be hoping to be on fire for his team at Wembley. (Getty Images)
I doubt anyone would have predicted these two teams would be in the semi-final of the FA Cup at the start of the year, but that is the reason why the world’s oldest cup competition is adorned the world over—you really never know what will happen.
Some have speculated whether Wigan coach Roberto Martinez might rest players with the club sitting precariously in the EPL, but it seems unlikely as this is without doubt the biggest game in the club’s history.
Millwall are aiming to appear in only their second final—they lost the 2004 final 3-0 to Manchester United. The Lions have not had the best of seasons and currently sit 16th in the Championship, but they knocked out Aston Villa in the 4th round of the cup and a favorable draw in the cup now sees the Lions within one game of competing in Europe next season.
Millwall play typical lower league stuff, they work hard, get in your face, and are tough to play against, which may ruffle Wigan’s feathers who prefer a more cultured approach to the game.
But the wide open Wembley field should suit Wigan’s passing style of play, and that is why I think they will edge this semi-final encounter.
Newcastle vs Sunderland
Ben Arfa and co will still be licking their wounds after getting knocked out of the Europa cup on Thursday. (Getty Images)
The Wearside Derby is always a big game, but this year’s derby takes on even more significance with both team fighting to stay in the EPL.
Newcastle got a good win over Fulham last week to create a bit of breathing space between themselves and the rest of the stragglers at the foot of the table. The Magpies now sit five points above the relegation zone and need a few more wins before they can fully relax.
Sunderland played well and were a tad unlucky with the goals they conceded to Chelsea last week, but luck usually deserts you when you are at the foot of the table and the Black Cats look to in trouble now, sitting just above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Both teams will be fired-up for this game, and if previous encounters are anything to go by I would be surprised if the game ends with 11 v 11. However, I think there is too much at stake, as here both teams fighting for their EPL survival and that is why I’m going for a low scoring draw.
Stoke vs Man Utd
Giggs and Manchester United will be watching their backs and won’t want to slip up against Stoke. (Getty Images)
Both these sides lost last week and will want to get back to winning ways quick.
Manchester United lost the Manchester derby on Monday and will want to get back to winning ways to put any slim hopes Manchester City have of retaining their title to bed.
The Red Devils’ form seems to have dropped since the disappointment of losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League, with the EPL’s top scorers netting only once in each of their last three EPL games. But if they had to choose any team to play outside the bottom three it would probably be Stoke.
The Potters started the season well, and up until December boasted the meanest defensive in the league. However, they have since been in free-fall wining only twice and now sit only three points above the relegation zone.
The problem with Stoke is that they cannot create or score goals. They have been labeled as a long ball team in the past, but if it works then it is fine. The trouble for Stoke is that it is not working and they do not have a plan B.
Nevertheless, the Britannia stadium is not an easy place to go to and Stoke will no doubt try to make United as uncomfortable as possible. However, on current form the best they can hope for is a goal less draw, and that seems unlikely even with Manchester United playing below par.
Chelsea v Man City (FA CUP semi-final)
This season has not quite panned out the way both these sides were hoping, but they still have the chance to make amends with glory in the FA Cup.
Chelsea edged past Sunderland this week and are also into the Europa League semi-final after edging past Rubin on Thursday. The Blues have come into a bit of form in the last few weeks, but they face a real test when they face City on Sunday.
The current EPL champions deservedly beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and seem to be playing near to the level that brought them the title last season. They have already given up on retaining their title, but are going all out to try and win the FA Cup for the second time in three years.
However, they look set to be without creative midfielder David Silva who injured his hamstring in the derby win over United.
Chelsea seem to be the team in form and are willing to work for each other. (Getty Images)
Chelsea look set to make wholesale changes to the team that progressed into the Europa cup midweek, with Hazard, Ivanovic, Mata, and Oscar all likely to return to the starting line-up after being rested. While striker Demba Ba should also return to lead the Blues attack after being cup-tied.
This game should be compelling to watch. City need to watch Chelsea three amigos – Oscar, Mata, and Hazard – but Chelsea also need to be wary they do not get outnumbered when defending, so it will be interesting to see who will come out on top in the midfield battle.
City are in better form and playing well, but Chelsea are the current FA Cup holders and have an excellent record recently in the FA Cup, so that is why I’m backing them to just squeeze past City.
The United States advanced to the U17 quarterfinals as Group C winners after defeating Guatemala 1-0 Wednesday night at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. With both teams having already defeated the eliminated Haiti, tonight’s match would decide the Group C winner. The U.S. came in with the goal difference in their favor, having beaten Haiti 3-0, while Guatemala topped the Haitians 3-1.
USA’s young forward Corey Baird got the game winning goal. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)
Both teams had already punched their tickets to the quarterfinals and like in the U20 tournament, all four semi finalists will advance to the age group World Cup. The 2013 U17 World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates, between October 17 and November 8.
United States coach Richie Williams made just two changes to the side that beat Haiti in the opener, inserting the highly rated attacker Junior Flores at the expense of Alan Winn and using Joel Sonora for Elijah Martin in the middle of the park. Flores has a higher profile than most of his teammates, having signed with German giants Borussia Dortmund, although his impact on this game was minimal.
A tightly contested first half ended deadlocked at 0-0, with U.S front man Rubio Rubin and Sonora coming closest to making the breakthrough with two good efforts for the U.S. late in the opening period. The Americans had their hands full with Guatemala’s talented midfielder Samayoa, but they managed to keep him at bay with good team defense.
The young Yanks came out aggressively after the intermission, with Williams’ half time team talk seemingly getting through his squad. Just four minutes into the second half the Americans vaulted into the lead with a goal from Corey Baird off of great work from Rubio Rubin. The dangerous Rubin raced down the left wing past the Guatemala defenders, before sending a fine cross to Baird, who finished calmly to put the U.S. up 1-0.
The U-17′s have kept 2 clean sheets thus far this tournament. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)
Baird’s goal would hold up as the only score of the match, sending the Americans into the knockout quarterfinals against the loser of tonight’s late match between Mexico and Honduras, with Haiti taking on the winners. Both games will be played on Sunday, testing the depth and resilience of the young squads. With the format in place for this tournament, the quarterfinal takes on a huge significance.
As in the U20 Concacaf Championship, advancing to the quarters should be relatively straightforward, but once teams make their way to the that stage, anything can happen. The United States will have every reason to feel good about their chances going forward after back to back shutouts, outscoring their opponents 4-0 over two matches.
Another year has come and gone without a Concacaf Champions League title for Major League Soccer, after the Los Angeles Galaxy fell to Monterrey 1-0 last night, 3-1 aggregate, following Seattle’s 1-1 tie, 2-1 aggregate loss, Tuesday to Santos Laguna.
These results in the semifinal round of Concacaf Champions League play over the last two nights set up a final rematch between two Mexican clubs and show that Major League Soccer still has plenty of work to do, if the league ever intends to reach Commissioner Don Garber’s goal of becoming one of the 10 top soccer leagues in the world.
Santos’s Hercules Gomez (L) and Darwin Quintero (R) celebrate their first goal against Seattle. (Getty Images)
Both of the MLS clubs will look back on the opening home legs and know that better work in their own buildings would have left each of them a smaller hill to club once they arrived in Mexico. As it was, Seattle were done in by their inability to convert several early chances in Tuesday night’s 1-1 tie in sweltering Torreon, at Estadio Corona. Eddie Johnson lasted about an hour after sitting out the home leg, and showed some attacking menace, but the U.S. international missed a golden opportunity to give Seattle an early advantage in the seventh minute. Midfielder Shalrie Joseph also missed on a header and Steve Zakuani seemed to spend his entire evening spurning goal scoring opportunities.
The Sounders would pay the price for a ridiculous foul committed by overmatched defender Zach Scott, on Eddie Johnson’s international teammate Herculez Gomez. Scott amateurishly hacked down Gomez to set up the Santos goal. Darwin Quintero hit the crossbar with his free kick and Gomez pounced to knock home the rebound, although replays showed that the goal belonged to Quintero.
That was it for punchless Seattle who will have the injury excuse to comfort themselves, if they choose to go that route, but will remember the missed goal chances if they are being honest.
Needing to score two away goals last night after their late match meltdown last week at home, the Galaxy never seriously threatened the Monterrey goal last night, other than an early Omar Gonzalez try off of a corner.
Aldo de Nigris was the hero on the night – Scoring the winner in the 81st minute and sending Monterrey through to the final. (Getty Images)
The Galaxy had Landon Donovan on from the start last night, and the former L.A. captain was reasonably sharp as he gets back into the swing after his self imposed exile. More problematic for the visitors though, was current captain Robbie Keane’s arm waving petulance, in the face of some admittedly poor refereeing. The experienced Irish international has played top flight professional soccer for a long time now, but the veteran resembled nothing so much as a hot headed teenager with his tirades against referee Robert Moreno last night in Monterrey.
The Galaxy were solid in the first half, but they still needed those two goals heading into the second half. Los Rayados may have sat back a bit in the opening stanza, but the home team came out flying on the re-start. Only some heroic defending from the Galaxy’s rising star Omar Gonzalez, playing in front of his Mexican family and friends, kept L.A.’s hopes alive as the second half unfolded.
Of course it was Gonzalez that put the Galaxy in this hole, when he zoned out to allow Aldo de Nigris to score the 91st minute winner in the first leg of the two game series. Last night the towering defender was everything he has been projected to be, and somewhere U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, not to mention Gonzalez’ agent, had to be smiling.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena emptied his bench of attacking options as the clock wound down last night, turning to veteran Mike Magee and youngsters Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean, but two time defending CCL champions Monterrey held firm, as they look to claim a three peat.
This tournament holds some real challenges for MLS sides, with the Mexican league further into its season than the American league at this time of year and the leagues self imposed salary cap constraints at the top of the list. Further, statistics show that Major League Soccer teams are playing better in this tournament every year. Still, at some point winning a game in Mexico needs to become less like a quest, and more like, well, winning a game on the road.
Until then, MLS will continue to watch Mexican teams hoisting the Concacaf Champions League Cup, and Garber’s top 10 dream will remain just that, a dream.
Eight teams were whittled down to four yesterday as a pulsating round of Champions League quarter-final second leg games were completed.
Messi did not start the match and Barca looked mentally vulnerable. (Getty Images)
Europe’s big boys, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund all managed to negotiate their way safely through to the semi-finals, but not without picking up a few bruises and scares on the way.
The draw for the semi-finals will be held on Friday, in Nyon, Switzerland, from 13.00CET.
Juventus 0-2 Bayern (agg: 4-0)
Mario Mandžukić was outstanding for Bayern and sealed the victory. (Getty Images)
Bayern Munich reached the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in four years with an impressive display against Italian champions Juventus.
The Bavarians, who led 2-0 on aggregate from the first leg, were once again dominant, and made it safely through to the semis after second-half goals from Mario Mandžukić and Claudio Pizarro.
Juventus started brightly, but the gulf in class between the sides was once again clear to see as Bayern defended comfortably and restricted the home side to long-range efforts.
Arjen Robben almost opened the scoring on the hour mark when his curling effort hit the upright of the goal. However, just a few minutes later Mario Mandžukić put the tie beyond the Italians, nodding in from close range after Buffon made a superb stop to keep out Javi Martínez’s volley.
Thomas Mueller should have added a second minutes later, but miscued his effort after being found by Robben. However, Bayern were not to be denied and added a second when substitute Claudio Pizarro fired past Buffon in stoppage time.
Galatasaray 3-2 Real Madrid (agg: 3-5)
Ronaldo got two on the evening to take the game out of reach for Galatasaray.(Getty Images)
Spanish Champions Real Madrid survived a scare to make it through to a record 24th semi-final.
The record nine-time winners got off to the perfect start when Cristiano Ronaldo fired in his 10th goal of the competition from close range after only eight minutes.
Real were expected to make light work of their opponents after they arrived in Turkey with a 3-0 lead from the first leg. They seemed comfortable for the first hour, playing with measure and assurance. However, the game turned on its head in the 57th minute with a spectacular goal from Galatasaray’s right-back Emmanuel Eboue.
Wesley Snjeider played the ball back to the onrushing Ivory Coast international, who unleashed a thunderous first-time effort from just outside the box into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
The goal galvanized the Turkish champions, and they almost added a swift second, but Snjeider scuffed his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
However, the Former Real Madrid player made amends ten minutes later coolly slotting past Diego Lopez after a brilliant first touch put him through on goal.
Didier Drogba added a third less than a minute later with an audacious back-heel finish, to set up a blockbuster finish.
But Galatasaray failed to add anymore goals to their tally, and Ronaldo settled Madrid’s nerves by adding a second late on after being found by a good cross from Karim Benzema.
Dortmund 3-2 Malaga
Dortmund’s polish striker Lewandowski (R) was a handful all evening. (Getty Images)
Borussia Dortmund scored two goals in added time to complete a sensational comeback and secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 1998.
Malaga were given little hope of progressing before the game after seeing out a 0-0 draw in Spain. However, the Spanish side looked to be heading into the semis in their maiden season when Eliseu slotted in with only eight minutes left on the clock, but two goals in the space of a minute from Reus and Santana sent the Germans through to the semis in a grandstand finish.
There was little hint of the drama that would unfold later during a largely uninspiring opening, but the game then sprung into life when Malaga’s Joaquin scored midway through the first-half, drilling in a low effort from just out-side the box.
The goal prompted Dortmund into life, who now needed a win in order to progress, and they were rewarded for their endeavor just before the break when a neat flick from Reus sent Lewandowski free on goal, with the Polish international rounding the onrushing keeper before finishing into an empty net.
Dortmund pressed forward in search of another goal, and were denied twice by two magnificent saves from Malaga’s keeper Willy. But their task was made all the more difficult when Eliseu slotted into an empty net—requiring the home side to score two goals—and with less than ten minute left to play it seemed Dortmund’s hopes of winning their second Champions League would have to be put to bed for another season.
However, the Germans, who are the only team yet to lose a game in this season’s Champions League, were not quite ready to give up hope and threw everyone forward with one last throw of the dice.
Dortmund looked out of breath and hope, until a defensive error allowed Reus to prod home in the 91st minute. A minute later Santana fumbled in a goalmouth scramble to complete one of the most amazing comebacks ever in European football.
Malaga, however, were left fuming and feeling robbed as all four of Dortmund’s attackers appeared to be offside for the winning goal.
Barcelona 1-1 PSG (agg: 3-3)
Barcelona’s Iniesta (R) did some good work but until Messi came on Barca seemed a little low in confidence and short on ideas. (Getty Images)
Barcelona squeezed past PSG on the away goal rule to become the first side ever to make it to six consecutive Champions League semi-finals.
Lionel Messi started on the bench after straining his hamstring in the 2-2 first leg draw in Paris, and Barca looked impotent in attack without his mercurial presence.
The Catalans predictably dominated possession, but failed to really threaten their French opponents, with Farbregas looking tame as the team’s attacking focal point.
In fact, it was the visitors who created the best chances, with Brazilian Lucas Moura, in particular, causing the Spanish Giants all sorts of problems. Nevertheless, both sides went in at the break all square.
However, Barcelona were soon a goal down when Pastore poked PSG in front five minutes after the break. The Argentinean beat the offside trap before neatly dinking the ball over the on rushing Valdez.
Barca continued to look tooth-less in attack after the goal, and introduced Messi with 28-minutes left to play. The Argentine initially looked to be suffering a bit of ring rust, squandering a good opportunity with a heavy touch. However, just 10-minutes into his introduction he was involved in a goal for the Catalans, dribbling past two players before threading a pass through to David Villa who laid the ball back for Pedro to lash past Sirigu.
PSG threw everyone forward at the finale in search of a winner, but Barca were not to be denied their sixth consecutive appearance in Europe’s premier cup competition.
Barcelona and Real Madrid could meet in the Champions League final at Wembley after being kept apart in the semi-final draw.
Barcelona drew Bayern Munich, with Real Madrid set to play Borussia Dortmund.
The games will be played on 23 and 24 April, with the return legs on 30 April and 1 May.
National Women’s Soccer League teams officially unveiled their opening day rosters on Monday. Click on the links below to look at each team’s roster. Some players are missing due to injuries, rehab, overseas and school commitments. The maximum active roster size is 20 players. Some teams only listed 18.
Washington Spirit in action against the University of Virginia. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)
Less than 24-hours after announcing their opening day roster, the Washington Spirit signed forward Jasmyne Spencer.
“We’re excited to see what Jasmyne will add to our offense,” Spirit coach Mike Jorden said. “She’s a very talented young player, and we expect her to be a valuable part of our attack as we begin NWSL play.”
The Spirit also announced they have waived defender Skyy Anderson.
Boston Breakers announced that defender Bianca D’Agostino has suffered a partial ACL tear and will miss a portion of the season.
The U.S. WNT defeated the Netherlands 3-1 at Kyocera Stadium in the Hague this afternoon, wrapping up their short trip to Europe for two friendlies and stretching their unbeaten record to 31 matches.
Tobin Heath scored the opener for the young US. squad..(Getty Images)
As we have seen in this year’s matches so far, head coach Tom Sermanni gave the big shots a break and put the youngsters on the pitch for ample playing time and a taste of glory.
“We score goals and we have a lot of potent players,” Sermanni told USSoccer. “These first three months have been really valuable for me and games like tonight are invaluable to continue to assess players.”
Tobin Heath scored the opening goal that put the U.S. in the lead and Christen Press created her usual stir, scoring the brace that solidified the victory. Heath nabbed her 67th U.S. cap in this game, while Press continues to impress, making a name for herself as an incredibly talented goal scorer.
“I think we were prepared for them to play out the back and I think we had a set game plan on how we would pressure them and I think it worked very well tonight,” Press told reporters.
Christen Press cannot stop scoring for the U.S. and has definitely paid Sarmanni back for taking a chance (Getty images)
It was a docile first half, and the U.S. women looked focused and calm, unlike in their thriller in Offenbach a few days ago. The ball stayed primarily towards the Dutch net, although their defense was golden and they were able to rouse up a few goal opportunities of their own.
The U.S. pressed the opposition hard and had several chances to score, reaping their first reward in the 35th minute. Sydney Leroux crossed to Press, who was unable to maintain a steady grip and quickly passed off to Heath. In response, she executed a nice shot past Dutch defense and into the net to put the U.S. in the lead 1-0.
It was smooth sailing, with the U.S. keeping close possession until Press got the ball. She took a magnificent shot from the back line, sending a screamer into the Dutch net for the second U.S. goal, just a minute before the half time whistle echoed throughout the stadium.
The Dutch came out fighting at the start of the second half, but were unable to break a strong U.S. backline.
The 60th minute brought some more action from the stars and stripes with Press leading the way. Taking matters into her own hands off of a free kick by Julie Johnston, she gracefully weaved the ball in and out of Dutch defense and fired the lethal shot into the bottom left corner of the net for the final U.S. goal.
Sydney Leroux got two assists and shows the huge strength and depth that Sarmanni has.(ISI Photos/Rick Osentoski)
With thirty minutes left, it looked like the end had been finalized, but the persevering Dutch were not going down without a fight and got a little just reward of their own!
With ten minutes left in the half, Spitse delighted the home crowd when she rushed into the U.S. box, chipping the ball over goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, into the net for the lone Dutch goal of the game.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
NED 0 1 1
USA – Tobin Heath (Sydney Leroux) 36th minute
USA – Christen Press (Sydney Leroux) 45
USA – Christen Press 60
NED – Manon Melis (Leonne Stentler) 81
NED: 1-Loes Geurts; 2-Dyanne Bito, 3-Daphne Koster (capt.) (14-Leonne Stentler,57), 4-Mandy van den Berg, 5-Claudia van den Heiligenberg, 6-Anouk Dekker (19-Daniëlle van de Donk, 46), 7-Kirsten van den Ven (22-Sylvia Smit, 80), 8-Anouk Hoogendijk, 9-Lieke Martens (20-Marlous Pieëte, 83), 10-Sherida Spitse, 11-Manon Melis Substitutions Not Used: 12-Kim Dolstra, 13-Mirte Roelvink, 15-Siri Worm, 16-Sari van Veenendaal, 17-Desiree van Lunteren, 18-Tessel Middag, 21-Chantal de Ridder, 23-Laura du Ry
Head coach: Roger Reijners
Stats Summary: USA / NED
Shots on Goal: 11/1
Corner Kicks: 11/2
Kentucky Youth Soccer has announced dates and details for their 2013 summer camps!
U6 to U16 players of all levels can attend these informative four-day camps that will focus on fundamental techniques, tactics, dribbling skills and so much more. Attendees will receive a Kentucky Youth Soccer Camp T-Shirt, Soccer Ball, Water Bottle, Goody Bag, Participation Certificate and the opportunity to win lots of fun prizes throughout the week.
The early registration fee is $90. If spot are still available, the price will up to $100 until the camp is sold out. The camp will run each day 9:00am – 12:00pm and players are divided up by age and ability.
Check out dates below, and to register please visit the KYSA website: Click Here
2013 Camp Schedule
Marshall County | June 10-13 | Registration $90 till April 15
Owensboro | June 10-13 | Registration $90 till April 15
Elizabethtown | June 24-27 | Registration $90 till April 22
Oldham County | June 24-27 | Registration $90 till April 22
Jessamine County | July 22-25 | Registration $90 till May 14
Anderson County | July 22-25 | Registration $90 till May 14
Michigan State Youth Soccer Association has opened tryout registration for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) & ODP 101 through Friday, July 26, 2013.
The MSYSA Olympic Development Program is a national program to identify and develop youth players to represent their state, region and country in soccer competitions.
Tryouts will take place from August 2-4, 2013 at Canton Independence Park in Canton, Michigan. The cost to register and tryout is $100, if registered by July 15, 2013. A $50.00 late fee will be assessed if registered after July 15, 2013. Registration ends July 26, 2013.
The MSYSA ODP 101 Program is for players within the birth date range of January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2005. The program is designed to provide additional technical training to those players seeking new challenges and help identify the level of youth soccer players in Michigan.
The cost to register for the MSYSA ODP 101 Program is $300, if registered by August 15, 2013. Registration includes two Under Armour t-shirts and 8 training sessions with MSYSA ODP Staff Coaches!
Please visit the MSYSA website to read the full press release with more details on registration and tryout dates: Click Here
The NSCAA Club Standards Project is an evaluative process focusing on youth soccer organizations, designed to raise the standards and expectations for coach and player development.
It consists of a series of webinars for Coaches, Directors and Administrators responsible for club, coach and player performance. The presenters are significantly involved in youth soccer administration and coaching.
Participation in the Preliminary Assessment is free and all organizations will receive more than $2,500 in benefits provided by the project sponsors and partners.