KSYSA Spring 2014 State Tournament Registration Open
KSYSA Spring 2014 State Tournament Registration Open avatar

Courtesy of KSYSA

Courtesy of KSYSA

Registration opened last week for Kansas Youth Soccer Association’s three Elite State Tournaments for spring of 2014.  Two of the three elite tournaments are Regional and National qualifiers and one of the tournaments provides an introduction to the Elite State Tournament system for younger players.

For more information please visit the KSYSA website.

State Cup – open to all teams in the following age and gender groups for spring 2014:

  • U13 – U14 boys and girls
  • U15 – U18 boys
  • U19 boys and girls

Regional qualifier for the National Championship Series

Presidents Cup – open to all teams in the following age & gender groups:

  • U13-U14 boys and girls
  • U15-U17 boys

Regional qualifier for the National Presidents Cup Championships

Jr. State Championships – Open to all teams and gender groups at U10 to U12.  This tournament, although not a Regional Qualifier is to introduce our younger players to the State Tournament system.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

MYSA 2014 Workshops
MYSA 2014 Workshops avatar

The official 2014 schedule for Missouri Youth Soccer Association Workshops has been released, to be held at the Courtyard Marriott in Columbia, MO on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

Check some descriptions of the Workshops below, and for more information and a complete itinerary please visit the MYSA website.

GotSoccer (Open Discussion)

Presented by: Kathy Arnold, MYSA Office Manager; Colleen Eatherton, MYSA Office Administrator. In this discussion, all aspects of the GotSoccer registration system will be explored and discussed, specifically:

  • Software basics
  • Club Programming
  • Billing Instructions
  • Registration
  • Email & Communication

USSF Coaching Courses – New Updates for 2014 & Structure

Presented by: Denny Vaninger, MYSA Director of Coaching. Heading into 2014, there have been significant changes to the U.S. Soccer Coaching Courses, especially the ‘D’ and ‘E’ licenses. Denny will go over these changes and the specifics for the entire U.S. Soccer Coaching Pyramid.

Risk Management & Legal Liability – Potential Risks in Youth Sports

Presented by: Scott Dickenson, Partner with Lathrop & Gage. In the world of Youth Soccer, there are a number of potential risks for players, parents, coaches, and clubs/leagues to take into account. Scott will analyze some of the major risks that affect these different groups as well as answer specific questions that arise during the discussion.

Discussion on Recreational Soccer in Missouri

Presented by: MYSA Staff & Board. As the basis for any organization, recreational soccer holds an important place in the soccer pyramid. In this Workshop, we will discuss the current recreational soccer landscape in Missouri as well as ideas for future programs and development throughout the state.

Discussion on Competitive Soccer in Missouri

Presented by: MYSA Staff & Board. In this workshop, the competitive soccer landscape in Missouri will be discussed. Specifically, we will discuss State Cup, Presidents Cup, the MRL, local competitive leagues and other competitive competitions in Missouri, the Midwest, and nation-wide.

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

US Youth’s Continue to Impress
US Youth’s Continue to Impress avatar

Following up on their impressive performance in winning the U17 Nike Challenge Cup last month, the U.S. opened the Aegean Cup in Turkey with consecutive wins against France and Norway.

Joe Gallardo scored to guarantee his team a victory over France. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Joe Gallardo (R) scored one of the goals to guarantee his team a victory over France. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

France are the defending champions at this U16 tournament, but the American youngsters turned the French aside with a 2-1 victory in Monday’s tournament opener. Joe Gallardo and Christian Pulisic scored the goals, with Haji Wright assisting on Gallardo’s opener and earning the penalty that Pulisic converted for the game winner. That trio were all outstanding for the U.S. last month in the Nike Tournament.

Richie William’s squad came back the next day (1/21) to dominate Norway with an impressive 5-2 victory. The Yanks actually trailed 2-1, before Orrin McKinzie Gaines equalized shortly before the halfway mark.

The youngsters have shown that they have plenty of firing power amongst them. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

The youngsters have shown that they have plenty of firing power amongst them. (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Elijah Rice had give the U.S. the early lead, and after that equalizer, the second half was all U.S. Goals from Nicolas Taitague and Alexis Velela preceded the capper from Christian Pulisic, his second tally of the tournament.

The young Yanks can advance to the final of the Aegean Cup with a win on Thursday versus Scotland.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Will Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.)
DEFENDERS (6): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Tanner Dieterich (unattached, Tenn.), Edwin Lara (unattached; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis, Mo.; St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Nicholas Taitague (Richmond Strikers; Midlothian, Va.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas)
FORWARDS (5): Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Orrin McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.) Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U.S. MNT – Road to Brazil
U.S. MNT – Road to Brazil avatar

The United States Men’s Soccer team continued preparations for the 2014 World Cup by taking all 26 member’s of the January camp to Brazil, where the team is training and playing a brace of matches against club team Sao Paulo.

U.S. men training in Sao Paulo. (ISI Photos/Celso Bayo)

U.S. men training in Sao Paulo. (ISI Photos/Celso Bayo)

Initially Jurgen Klinsmann had intended to bring 23 of the 26 man group, made up almost exclusively of Major League Soccer players, to Brazil. But, after pronouncing himself impressed with the groups output in Carson, California workouts, the U.S. coach elected to bring the entire party on his Brazilian fact finding mission.

In keeping with past practices on closed door scrimmages, U.S. Soccer has declined to share detailed reports on the training matches. U.S. Soccer did confirm however, that the U.S. MNT fell 2-1 in the opener, before bouncing back to take the second, and final scheduled game, by the same score. Reports in the Brazilian media named Selecao international poacher Luis Fabiano, as the scorer of both of the home side’s goals in the opener.

Klinsmann and company will remain in Brazil until January 25, when they will return to California, where camp concludes with a February 1st friendly versus fellow World Cup qualifiers South Korea.

Ukraine should be a good opposition as they held England to a draw in both WC qualifying games. (Getty Images)

Ukraine should be a good opposition as they held England to a draw in both WC qualifying games. (Getty Images)

U.S. Soccer has also confirmed a March 5th away match versus Ukraine. That game will be played during the only FIFA international fixture break between now and the World Cup, making it the last chance for players on the bubble to impress Klinsmann.

The U.S. MNT are expected to play a “farewell” game in May, and will have one pre-World Cup friendly in Brazil.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

2014 Indiana Soccer Workshops
2014 Indiana Soccer Workshops avatar

Who’s ready for some fun and innovative soccer workshops?

Indiana Soccer revealed the 2014 Workshop Schedule, which will take place February 7-8, 2014 for members. The workshops, along with the AGM and Awards Gala will be held in Carmel, Indiana.

A multitude of topics will be covered in each workshop and administrators, coaches, parents and players can benefit from attending the sessions- there is something for everyone!

Sessions include coach and player development, club administration, player health issues, coaching education, marketing and fundraising. Indiana Soccer’s partners and sponsors will be on site all day providing an assortment of the products and services that can enhance your soccer experience.

Please visit the Indiana Soccer Association website for more information.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Indiana Soccer Foundation: Scholarship Opportunities for Female Soccer Players
Indiana Soccer Foundation: Scholarship Opportunities for Female Soccer Players avatar

Indiana Soccer Foundation has an awesome scholarship offer on the table for young ladies in need of financial assistance to play in the Indiana State League (ISL) and the Midwest Regional League (MRL).

Scholarship requests will be reviewed on a per season basis for coaching, club base fees, field usage/field equipment fees, officials/referee fees and other fees.

Fees that will not be considered in award selection include coach travel expenses, uniform expenses, player/family travel expenses, tournament fees and camp/clinic fees.

The maximum award per season per player is $200 and the deadline to apply is Jan. 24. Please visit the Indiana Soccer Association website for more information.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

FYSA 2014 Coaching Courses
FYSA 2014 Coaching Courses avatar

Florida Youth Soccer Association will be hosting a number of Coaching Courses in February 2014. Check out course details below and if interested in registering, please visit the FYSA website.

When: February 14-16, 2014

Location:
 Max Rodes Park, 3410 Flanagan Ave, Melbourne, FL, 32904 (321) 952-3215

Registration Deadline: A minimum of 24 coaches must be registered by January 31, 2014.

The Course Schedule will be:

Friday February 14

  • 6:00pm – 7:30pm  Lecture- Review of Methods
  • 7:30pm-  9:00pm Field-Instructors Sessions

Saturday February 15

  • 9:00- 10:30am Field-Instructor Sessions
  • 10:30- 12:00pm Field-Practice Coaching
  • 1:30- 2:30pm Lecture-Introduction of Games Analysis/ Transition
  • 2:30- 5:00pm Field-Practice Coaching

Sunday February 16


  • 9:00am – 10:30am Field-Instructor Sessions
  • 10:30am – 12:00pm Field-Practice Coaching
  • 1:30pm – 5:00pm Field-Practice Coaching

FYSA Course Attendance Policy: In order to earn a license, a coach must attend the entire course and pass the exams. In the event a coach misses part of a course, it is the responsibility of that coach to attend the missed segment at another course in order to attain a license.
The course tuition is $250.00

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U20 Women Crowned CONCACAF Champions
U20 Women Crowned CONCACAF Champions avatar

The U20 U.S. women cemented a memorable win tonight in the final game of the CONCACF Championship, defeating Mexico 4-0 for the tournament title with a clean sheet across the board.

The U.S. and Mexico both went into the game with coveted World Cup berths tucked into their belts after the semifinals this past week, and goals from midfielder Andi Sullivan, forward Savannah Jordan and forward Margaret Purce and an own goal added to a glorious finish.

The determination and competitive spirit was high in the first half as both teams began a battle of technical finesse versus sheer power. The U.S. got on the board just 8 minutes in after Sullivan executed a stealthy corner kick putting it in the back of the net on her own for an unbelievable goal.

With the U.S. taking the lead Mexico was undaunted, surging forward to show the world that they wouldn’t be set back. In the remainder of the half USA did control the ball for the majority, but Mexico’s organization was top notch, making it extremely difficult for them to create chances.

The second half was also a struggle with the USA having to change their approach to muster up some opportunities despite a stonewall opposition. They got the window they were looking for in the 59th minute, executing a lightning fast play to outwit Mexico. Defender Stephanie Amack counterattacked on the breakaway. She fired a cross to Jordan, who quickly one-timed a low strike into the bottom left corner for the 2-0 lead.

That second goal was all USA needed to finally break through the impeccable Mexican back line. They nabbed their third goal seven minutes later off another difficult play concocted by forward Summer Green and Purce. Green fed the ball into the box and Purce connected with a well-guided header, taking the opposition off guard to score. With the minutes winding down, the frustrated Mexican side scored an own goal to send the U.S. lead soaring to 4-0, finalizing the win and crowning them CONCACAF tournament Champions.

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
MEX 0 0 0

USA – Andi Sullivan 9th minute
USA – Savannah Jordan (Stephanie Amack) 59
USA – Margaret Purce (Summer Green) 68
USA – Own Goal (Estefania Fuentes) 90+3

Lineups:
USA: 1-Katelyn Rowland; 19-Andi Sullivan (capt.), 3-Cari Roccaro, 20-Katie Naughton, 10-Laura Liedle; 16-Stephanie Amack, 17-Rose Lavelle, 14-Rachel Hill (7-Morgan Andrews, 46); 11-McKenzie Meehan (15-Margaret Purce, 62), 5-Summer Green (12-Mallory Weber, 76), 13-Savannah Jordan
Subs Not Used: 2-Maddie Bauer, 4-Brittany Basinger, 8-Lauren Kaskie, 18-Jane Campbell
Head Coach: Michelle French

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago (capt.); 3-Greta Espinoza, 5-Paulina Solis, 13-Estefania Fuentes, 15-Eliza Gutierrez; 6-Karla Nieto, 17-Amanda Perez (8-Nancy Antonio, 60), 9-Tanya Samarzich (16-Briana Campos, 75), 10-Paloma Zermeño, 11-Fabiola Ibarra, 14-Taylor Alvarado (20-Jazmin Aguas, 53)
Subs Not Used: 2-Jaqueline Rodriguez, 4-Jessica Valadez, 7-Carolina Jaramillo, 12-Esthefanny Barreras, 18-Mariana Cadena Calvillo, 19-Cynthia Pineda
Head Coach: Chris Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 10 / 3
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 3 / 5
Offside: 1 / 2

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

NWSL College Draft – Crystal Dunn goes first
NWSL College Draft – Crystal Dunn goes first avatar

Thirty-six picks concluded a speedy 2014 NWSL college draft in Philadelpia today, and fans were able to attend as the event rolled out throughout the morning, starting with No. 1 draft pick UNC’s Crystal Dunn.

UND's Crystal Dunn was first pick overall as expected . (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

UNC’s Crystal Dunn was first pick overall as expected . (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

First Round
No. 1 -  Washington Spirit: Crystal Dunn (UNC)
No. 2 -  Houston Dash: Kealia Ohai (UNC)
No. 3 -  Chicago Red Stars: Julie Johnston (Santa Clara)
No. 4 -  Chicago Red Stars: Vanessa DiBernardo (Univ of Illinois)
No. 5 -  FC Kansas City: Kassey Kallman (Florida State University)
No. 6 -  Sky Blue FC: Maya Hayes (Penn State)
No. 7 -  Seattle Reign FC: Amanda Frisbie (Univ of Portland)
No. 8 -  Boston Breakers: Nkem Ezurike (Univ of Michigan)
No. 9 -  Western New York Flash: Courtney Verloo (Stanford)

Second Round
No. 10 -  Houston Dash: Rafaelle Souza (Ole Miss)
No. 11 -  Houston Dash*: Marissa Diggs (UCF)
No. 12 -  FC Kansas City: Morgan Marlborough (Santa Clara)
No. 13 -  Boston Breakers: Natasha Anasi (Duke University)
No. 14 -  Western New York Flash: Cloee Colohan (BYU)
No. 15 -  Sky Blue FC: Hayley Haagsma (Texas Tech)
No. 16 -  FC Kansas City: Jenna Richmond (UCLA)
No. 17 -  Seattle Reign FC: Megan Brigman (UNC)
No. 18 -  Western New York Flash: Kelsey Wys (Florida State University

Third Round
No. 19 -   FC Kansas City: Frances Silva (WVU)
No. 20 -   FC Kansas City: Mandy Laddish (Notre Dame)
No. 21 -   Boston Breakers: Jazmine Reeves (Virginia Tech)
No. 22 -   Chicago Red Stars: Hayley Brock (Univ of Maryland)
No. 23 -   Boston Breakers: Mollie Pathman (Duke)
No. 24 -   Sky Blue FC: Michelle Pao (Pepperdine)
No. 25 -   Portland Thorns FC: Emily Menges (Georgetown)
No. 26 -   Washington Spirit: Molly Menchel (Univ of Virginia)
No. 27 -   Western New York Flash: Annie Steinlage (Univ of Virginia)

Fourth Round
No. 28 -   Houston Dash: Jordan Jackson (Univ of Nebraska)
No. 29 -   Washington Spirit: Shasta Fisher (Univ of Virginia)
No. 30 -   Seattle Reign FC: Ellen Parker (Univ of Portland)
No. 31 -   Portland Thorns FC*: Elisabeth Sullivan (Mississippi State)
No. 32 -   Boston Breakers: Jami Kranich (Villanova)
No. 33 -   Sky Blue FC: Elizabeth Eddy (USC)
No. 34 -   Boston Breakers: Kim DeCesare (Duke)
No. 35 -   FC Kansas City: Maegan Kelly (Marquette)
No. 36 -   Western New York Flash: Kristen Hamilton (Denver)

NOTES:

  • The Portland Thorns FC traded their second round pick (#11) plus Nikki Washington to the Houston Dash in exchange for Meleana Shim.
  • The Portland Thorns FC traded their 34th pick and a 2015 2nd round pick to the Boston Breakers for Michelle Betos.
  • The Portland Thorns FC traded Tiffany Weimer to the Washington Spirit in exchange for the 31st overall pick in the draft.
Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

EPL Week 22 – Anderson to Fiorentina, Matic Returns, and much more
EPL Week 22 – Anderson to Fiorentina, Matic Returns, and much more avatar

NEWS

Man Utd’s Anderson set for Fiorentina switch

Manchester United midfielder Anderson is having a medical with Fiorentina ahead of a proposed move to the Italian club.

Anderson of Manchester United will be hoping the transfer will go through. (Getty Images)

Anderson of Manchester United will be hoping the transfer will go through. (Getty Images)

The Brazilian, who signed for United for a reported $40m fee, has made over 177 appearances and scored five goals since joining in 2007.

it was hoped Anderson might eventual replace Paul Scholes as the conductor in United’s midfield, however, the 25-year-old has failed to establish himself as a regular and has only completed 90-minutes once in the last year-and-a-half.

New Manchester United boss David Moyes has started him only three times this season, and Anderson has not featured at all for the Red Devils in the last month.

Moyes is hoping to strengthen United’s midfield with a signing or two during the January transfer window, but has admitted the Red Devils may struggle to land any of their targets as most clubs are unwilling to part with their key players midway through the season.

Fiorentina currently sit fourth in the Serie A table, 15 points behind leaders Juventus.

 

Chelsea re-sign Matic

Chelsea have completed the $34.5m signing of Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic on a five-and-a-half-year deal.

The Serbian international returns to Chelsea after leaving the Blues for Portuguese club Benfica in 2011.

Matic was valued at less than $8.2m in January 2011 when he left Stamford Bridge as a makeweight in the deal that saw David Luiz join the club, but the 25-year-old has since gone to establish himself as one of Benfica’s most important players.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said: “He has grown as a player in Portugal and has become a fantastic all-round midfielder.”

On 4 July 2013, Matic was named Primeira Liga Player of the Year, after having won the monthly award three times over the course of the season, and just last week was voted second in the FIFA Puskas award for best goal of the year.

“I am very happy for this opportunity. I just want to say I will give my best to help the team and make the Chelsea fans happy,” said Matic.

Mourinho identified the need for a defensive midfielder upon his return to Chelsea and Matic fits the bill, as he is a specialist at breaking up play in front of the defense, but also possess elegance and technique in bringing the ball forward.

 

Predictions

Week 21

Score

My Prediction

SATURDAY
Hull v Chelsea 0-2 1-2
Cardiff v West Ham 0-2 2-0
Everton v Norwich 2-0 3-0
Fulham v Sunderland 1-4 2-1
Southampton v West Brom 1-0 2-0
Tottenham v Crystal Palace 2-0 1-0
Man Utd v Swansea 2-0 1-1
SUNDAY
Newcastle v Man City 0-2 2-3
Stoke v Liverpool 3-5 1-2
MONDAY
Aston Villa v Arsenal 1-2 0-1

A correct result is worth ONE point. A correct score earns THREE points.

Last week I got SEVEN correct results, including ZERO perfect scores, to give me a combined total of SEVEN-points.

Week 22

My Prediction

SATURDAY
Sunderland v Southampton 2-1
Arsenal v Fulham 3-0
Crystal Palace v Stoke 1-1
Man City v Cardiff 4-0
Norwich v Hull 2-1
West Ham v Newcastle 1-2
Liverpool v Aston Villa 4-0
SUNDAY
Swansea v Tottenham 1-1
Chelsea v Man Utd 2-1
MONDAY
West Brom v Everton 1-2

 

SATURDAY

Arsenal v Fulham

EPL leaders Arsenal will be hoping to extend their lead at the top with a win against fellow Londoners Fulham.

The Gunners put in a gutsy display away to Aston Villa on Monday night winning 2-1. Two goals within a minute put Arsenal into a 2-0 lead in the first half, but a goal from Christian Benteke 14-minutes from time set up a grandstand finish and Arsenal had to dig deep to hold on for all three-points.

Oliver Giroud ® was on the scoresheet for Arsenal last week.(Getty Images)

Oliver Giroud ® was on the scoresheet for Arsenal last week.(Getty Images)

It was the kind of gutsy performance that has been lacking from Arsenal over the last few seasons and is the type of performance they will probably have to put in a few more times if they want to win the EPL for the first time in ten years.

Arsenal will probably fancy their chances against struggling neighbors Fulham who were beaten 4-1 at home last week to Sunderland. The Cottagers have the worst defense in the EPL with 46 goals conceded in 21 games and are not really scoring too many at the other end either. However, they do have players in their team capable of scoring and those players might be the key to keeping them up this season.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Rosicky could play in a protective mask after he suffered a broken nose against Aston Villa on Monday.

Fulham pair Maarten Stekelenburg and Fernando Amorebieta are doubts with respective ankle and knee problems, but club captain Brede Hangeland looks set to make his first start since October to bolster the Fulham defense.

Arsenal have a phenomenal record against Fulham on their home turf—the Gunners have never lost at home to Fulham in any competition spanning 110 years (W22, D5), though they have not beaten the Cottagers at the Emirates since 2010.

Arsenal are playing well and Fulham are struggling, so this game should be fairly straightforward.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Man City v Cardiff

Second place Manchester City host Cardiff as they try to continue their pursuit of leaders Arsenal.

City beat Newcastle 2-0 away last week, though they were a tad fortunate with the referee controversially disallowing Cheick Tiote’s wonder strike after he adjudged a Newcastle player for being in an offside position.

Aguero came off the bench mid-week in the FA cup tie and should feature this weekend.(Getty Images)

Aguero came off the bench mid-week in the FA cup tie and should feature this weekend.(Getty Images)

The Manchester club followed that win in the league with a 5-0 victory over Blackburn in the FA Cup to take their goal tally for the season to an incredible 99 goals.

Cardiff City lost 2-0 at home to West Ham last week and a trip to the Etihad is probably the last place they would like to visit to try and get a result. However, they did beat City at home earlier in the season when no one gave them a chance, so you never know.

Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva are fit to face Cardiff despite missing the midweek FA Cup victory against Blackburn.

Cardiff will be without Andrew Taylor and Jordon Mutch who are both injured for their trip to Manchester, while new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must decide whether to give first starts to new signings Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli.

City have won every single home game in the EPL scoring 38 goals and conceding just six in the process. They have never played Cardiff at the Etihad, but were unbeaten in their previous stadium, Maine Road, against the Bluebirds.

Prediction: 4-0

 

Liverpool v Aston Villa

Liverpool maintained their 100% record in 2014 by picking up their first ever win against Stoke in the EPL.

The Reds won the game 5-3 with Luis Suarez once again in the thick of the action, however, it was the goal scoring return of fit again Daniel Sturridge that caught the eye and will also be worrying opposing defenses, as they now have two red hot forwards to contend with.

Aston Villa lost 2-1 at home to leaders Arsenal, but showed great spirit towards the end of the game and were perhaps a tad unlucky not to end the game with a draw. Christian Benteke scored his first goal  in 14 hours and 45 minutes, and Villa will hope he can return to the goal scoring form that saw him score 14 goals in the last 18 games of last season.

Sturridge looked sharp on his return from injury.(Getty Images)

Sturridge and Suarez were in sync and look like a phenomenal force.(Getty Images)

Daniel Sturridge is expected to start for Liverpool, while Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho could also return to the squad after both missing three matches because of injury.

Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker will not feature after suffering concussion against Arsenal on Monday, though new loan signings Grant Holt and Ryan Bertrand could be given debuts.

Aston Villa have lost just once in their last five trips to Anfield, but I have a feeling they will be comfortably brushed aside tomorrow.

Prediction: 4-0

 

SUNDAY

Swansea v Tottenham

Swansea lost 2-0 away to Manchester United and will be hoping to pick up three-points at home to stop them drifting into the relegation battle at the foot of the table.

The Swans have failed to hit the dizzying heights of last season as the demands of juggling European and domestic soccer have taken their toll. The loss of striker Michu has also had an effect, though new signing Wilfried Bony has hit some form recently.

Tottenham have looked like a new team since Sherwood took over. (Getty Images)

Tottenham have looked like a new team since Sherwood took over. (Getty Images)

Tottenham beat fellow Londoners Crystal Palace 2-0 at home to maintain their good form in the league—Spurs are unbeaten in their last five EPL games, winning four and drawing one. New manager Tim Sherwood has changed the tactics by employing two strikers up top and it seems to be working with the North Londoners scoring 11 times in their last five games since Sherwood took over.

Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm, striker Roland Lamah and defender Dwight Tiendalli may return for Swansea after respective knee, abductor and hamstring injuries, but Jonathan de Guzman is definitely out with an ankle problem.

Andros Townsend could return to the Tottenham squad after featuring for the U-21 side earlier in the week on his return from injury.

Spurs are unbeaten against Swansea in six league encounters, which suggests this should be an easy game for the north Londoners. However, The Swans have slowly improved this season and I expect them to give Tottenham a tough game.

Prediction: 1-1

 

Chelsea v Manchester United

The stand out fixture of Week 22 is without a doubt this one, as Champions Manchester United travel down to London to face title contenders Chelsea.

The Blues have yet to hit top form this season, but have quietly gone about their business and amassed a healthy amount of points. The west Londoners won 2-0 away to Hull last week to take them within two-points of leaders Arsenal and could potentially go top of the EPL with a win over United.

Man Utd's Adnan Januzaj ® looks like a definite star of the future. (Getty Images)

Man Utd’s Adnan Januzaj ® looks like a definite star of the future. (Getty Images)

Manchester United bounced back from three consecutive defeats with a solid 2-0 win over Swansea at Old Trafford. The Champions were a tad lackluster in the first half, but the tactical switching of Adnan Januzaj in the second half proved to be the key to unlocking the Swansea defense, with the teenager heavily involved in both goals.

New signing Nemanja Matic will not start for the Blues against Manchester United, but Frank Lampard could return from a calf problem.

Manchester United will be without striking duo Wayne Rooney (groin) and Robin van Persie (thigh) for the trip to Stamford Bridge. While Ashley Young, Marounne Felliani, and Nani all remain out with injury.

Manchester United have won more games than Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with 30 wins to Chelsea’s 22, but they have yet to win a game against Jose Mourinho in his two-spells in charge of Chelsea.

Chelsea have dropped only two-points at home this season and look to be steadily improving as the season progresses. Manchester United continue to be inconsistent and look very ordinary without their strikers van Persie and Rooney.

If United had van Persie and Rooney fit for this game they might have a chance of snatching a win at Stamford Bridge, but without the duo I think the Red Devils will struggle to create and put away their chances, meaning they will have to wait a little longer to collect their first win over Mourinho in the EPL.

Prediction: 2-1

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

2014 MLS SuperDraft
2014 MLS SuperDraft avatar

Philadelphia PA – Jamaican international goalkeeper Andre Blake made Major League Soccer history today when he was selected by the Philadelphia Union with the first pick in 2013 SuperDraft, becoming the first goalkeeper ever selected at the top of the league’s draft.

#1 overall piick Andre Blake with Philadelphia's head coach Hackworth. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

#1 overall piick Andre Blake with Philadelphia’s head coach Hackworth. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The SuperDraft was actually held up while DC United and the Union negotiated the deal, with United coach racing back and forth before finally reaching an agreement to trade the SuperDraft’s top pick to the Philadelphia Union.

The Union clearly rate the young Jamaican net minder very highly, with Zac MacMath manning the position, goalkeeper is not an obvious area of need for the Union. DC then used the second pick, acquired from Philadelphia to selected Cal center back Steve Birnbaum, to back up and learn from United defenders, Bobby Boswell and Jeff Parke.

The biggest surprise of the SuperDraft saw two time defending Hermann Trophy Award winner Patrick Mullins fall all the way to number 11 where New England happily grabbed the University of Maryland legend. Mullins seemed happy enough with the turn of events, believing that he will fit in well with the young Revolution attack.

GotSoccer was on hand live from Philadelphia and we captured some of the days highlights on video.

Round 1 Results

2014 MLS SuperDraft – Round 1
Pick Team Player Position
1 Philadelphia Union (via DC) Andre Blake GK
2 D.C. United (via PHI, CHV) Steve Birnbaum DF
3 Vancouver Whitecaps (via TOR) Christian Dean DF
4 New England Revolution (via CLB) Steve Neumann FW
5 Montreal Impact (via DAL) Eric Miller DF
6 FC Dallas (via PHI) Tesho Akindele FW
7 Vancouver Whitecaps Andre Lewis MF
8 Seattle Sounders (via CHI) Damion Lowe DF
9 San Jose Earthquakes JJ Koval MF
10 Toronto FC (via PHI, DAL, MON) Nick Hagglund DF
11 New England Revolution (via COL) Patrick Mullins FW
12 Colorado Rapids (via NE) Marlon Hairston MF
13 Chicago Fire (via SEA) Marco Franco DF
14 Columbus Crew (via LA) Ben Sweat DF
15 Philadelphia Union (via TOR, NY) Pedro Ribeiro MF
16 Houston Dynamo A.J. Cochran DF
17 Portland Timbers Schillo Tshuma FW
18 Real Salt Lake Ryan Neil DF
19 Colorado Rapids (via NE, KC) Grant Van De Casteele DF

 

Round 2 Results

2014 MLS SuperDraft – Round 2
Pick Team Player Position
20 Chivas USA (via DC) Thomas McNamara MF
21 Seattle Sounders (via CHV) Jimmy Ockford DF
22 New York Red Bulls (via TOR) Chris Duvall DF
23 Los Angeles Galaxy (via CLB) Kyle Venter DF
24 Toronto FC (via DAL) Daniel Lovitz MF
25 Philadelphia Union Kevin Cope MF
26 Portland Timbers (via VAN) Taylor Peay DF
27 Philadelphia Union (via CHI) Robert Derschang DF
28 San Jose Earthquakes Joe Sofia DF
29 D.C. United (via MON) Victor Munoz MF
30 Vancouver Whitecaps (via COL) Mamadou Diouf FW
31 New England Revolution Alec Sundly MF
32 Houston Dynamo (via SEA) Mark Sherrod FW
33 Colorado Rapids (via LA) Jared Watts MF
34 New York Red Bulls Eric Stevenson MF
35 Colorado Rapids (via HOU) John Berner GK
36 Portland Timbers Aaron Long MF
37 Montreal Impact George Malki MF
38 Sporting Kansas City Adnan Gabeljic FW

 

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Agudelo Heading to Europe
Agudelo Heading to Europe avatar

The long, drawn out Juan Agudelo saga has ended not with a bang, or even a whimper, but rather a tweet.

Juan Agudelo ‏@JuanAgudelo2h
There’s no other club that has supported and believed in me like @stokecity FC has. #SignedToday – 6 month loan imminent #Europeanfootballer

First a brief re-cap. Back in August, while playing for the New England Revolution, the talented young American striker signed a pre-contract with Stoke City, set to take effect in January.

Juan Agudelo's move to Stoke has been challenging.(Getty Images)

Juan Agudelo’s move to Stoke has been challenging.(Getty Images)

But Agudelo’s plans were thrown into a tizzy when the British Home Office turned down Stoke’s Work Permit Appeal last November. Speculation began immediately, would Agudelo return to New England, or perhaps move on to play in another, less restrictive European league?

Now comes news that Agudelo has in fact signed with the determined Potters, who will send the striker on a six month loan to a club expected to be in The Netherlands, Belgium or Spain.

The rest of the plan sees Agudelo shoring up his resume for another run at that work permit, while Agudelo is undoubtedly plotting to impress Jurgen Klinsmann and make a late run at the U.S. World Cup roster.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

U20 Women Dominate Group A Play Against Guatemala
U20 Women Dominate Group A Play Against Guatemala avatar

The U.S. U20 women wrapped up the final game of Group A play tonight at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers in Georgetown, Cayman Islands, running away with the win against Guatemala 10-0.

The U.S. ladies dominated right off the bat, keeping the ball close and working the field collectively to score goals.

The game was full of goals and it was another convincing win.(ISI Photos/Renee McKay

The game was full of goals and it was another convincing win.(ISI Photos/Renee McKay

It didn’t take long either. In the first half, forward McKenzie Meehan, defenders Stephanie Amack and Brittany Basinger and forward Savannah Jordan supplied goals. In the second half, midfielder Rachel Hill scored off a pk, forward Margaret Purce added a goal, Meehan scored a hat trick and midfielder Mallory Weber a brace to round out the win.

The game was eight minutes in when Meehan opened scoring with a smooth, well-directed shot from outside the box to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead.

Guatemala countered back aggressively, but the U.S. could not be denied. In the 22nd minute Morgan Andrews executed a high-flying right side corner, and Amack towered above the rest, heading the ball in for the 2-0 lead.

The U.S. created yet another chance just nine minutes later, but the brave Guatemalan goalkeeper deflected the ball back out into the box. Basinger was ready for it, knocking in a difficult, tight shot to add a security goal.

To finish off the half, the U.S. was granted a penalty kick after Purce was tripped up on a break away. Jordan took the fateful shot, and it sailed into the top left corner of the net to put USA at a comfortable 4-0 going into the break.

The U.S. domination continued on into the second half with goals raining fast and furious. Hill upped the score 5-0 just three minutes in. Another nasty tumble resulted in a second penalty kick for the U.S. She stayed at the helm, and had no trouble finding the back of the net.

Right after Hill, Purce was able to finagle the ball away from the goalkeeper to tap in, three minutes later Meehan scored a brace and in the 61st min Weber scored from seven yards outside of the box after capitalizing on a cross from Hill to set the ever-growing lead to 8-0.

The unstoppable U.S. force continued. In the 67th minute Purce headed the ball and it bounced off Meehan’s back and into the net- rendering an unusual assist for the forward. Meehan scored a hat trick eight minutes later to the finish the game 10-0 and solidify the Group A win for the USA.

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Morgan Brian Named MAC Hermann Trophy Winner
Morgan Brian Named MAC Hermann Trophy Winner avatar

The 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy winners were announced last Friday, with UVA junior midfielder Morgan Brian receiving the prestigious award as the current best female player in NCAA Division I soccer.

Morgan Brian has had the an amazing year in soccer and was rewarded by winning the Hermann! (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Morgan Brian has had the an amazing year in soccer and was rewarded by winning the Hermann! (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

A voting system was utilized to decide the male and female recipient. NCAA Division I soccer coaches voted and a weighted fan vote registered on the official MAC website attributed to the selection process. Brian went up against last year’s winner, UNC defender Crystal Dunn, who is a senior.

The award was well deserved for Brian, who had a star-studded year at the collegiate and national team level. She led the ACC in scoring with 46 points on 16 goals and a conference best 14 assists. Other honors include First team All-ACC and NSCAA First Team All-American. She helped the Cavaliers to the College Cup semis this year, but they were knocked out of the final round.

Brian’s accomplishments don’t stop with just college soccer. The talented midfielder made three appearances with the U.S. WNT in 2013 and scored her first international goal against Mexico on Sept. 3.

“Winning this award means a lot to me,” Brian told UVA reporters. “As they said during the presentation, this is the most prestigious award in college soccer. To end such an unbelievable season for our team with this honor is humbling. When you see all the jerseys at the club of the past winners, players like Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly, it is exciting to join this group.”

 

 

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment