NCAA Men’s Division I – Roundup
NCAA Men’s Division I – Roundup avatar

It was another exciting week in Division 1 Men’s College Soccer, but the unquestioned highlight came Saturday night in Akron, Ohio when Hartwick shocked Akron 2-0 to end the Zips 49 game Conference winning streak.

Akron have been consistent over the past few years. (ISI Photos/Steven Limentani)

Akron have been consistent over the past few years. (ISI Photos/Steven Limentani)

Hartwick were a power back in the day, even winning the National Championship in 1977, but that day is done and Akron have long since presided over the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC), winning a national title of their own in 2010.

But none of that mattered at Cub Cadet Field on Saturday night when the Hawks of Hartwick rode goals from Kit Tregear and Chris Walter, along with the outstanding play of goalkeeper Mateo Munarriz to a historic victory.

Colombian goalkeeper Munarriz was outstanding all night, making 13 saves, nine during the first half, when anything less from their keeper might have seen Hartwick run off of the pitch.

Mateo Munarriz

Mateo Munarriz won MAC player of the week for his performance.

But Munarriz made his biggest play of the night in the second half, with less than six minutes left on the clock, when Akron were awarded a penalty kick. The Hawks were clinging to a 1-0 lead when Reinaldo Brenes stepped up to the spot. Munarriz took an aggressive approach, dove to his left and comfortably turned aside Brenes’ effort.

Moments later Walter scored Hartwick’s second goal and the win, and a piece of college soccer history, belonged to Hartwick.

Elsewhere, things were tight at the top of the table in Division 1 Men’s College Soccer this week, where ties were the order of the day. Number one Cal hosted Pac 12 rivals Washington, the nation’s third ranked team, and number two Notre Dame were home to Maryland in an ACC battle.

Both games ended 1-1, 110 minutes just was not enough time for a winner to emerge in these tense conference match ups. This season’s Cal team are no strangers to overtime, Sunday’s game was the fourth time the Golden Bears have gone to extra’s in 2013.

Connor Hallisey  in action. Courtesy: GoldenBearSports

Connor Hallisey in action. Courtesy: GoldenBearSports

Playing Sunday at Goldman Field at Edwards Stadium, in Berkeley, Connor Hallisey fired the Bears into the lead with a 21st minute free kick from all of 30 yards.

But the nations number one team could not hold off the hard charging Huskies, who took the last seven shots of regulation time, finally striking paydirt when Taylor Peay headed home an 85th minute equalizer.

Neither of the Pac 12 powers could hit the target in the two 10 minute overtime periods, but both teams remain undefeated. 7-0-2 for Cal (1-0-1 in conference) and Washington came out 7-0-3 (1-0-1), before topping Seattle 2-0 Tuesday, October 8.

Second ranked Notre Dame are on a busy run with wins over Clemson and Indiana preceding the big showdown with the Terps. The Fighting Irish beat Indiana, last season’s College Cup Champions, 2-0 on Tuesday at home, before taking a 2-1 OT decision at Clemson, sparked by senior Harrison Shipp’s brace.

The Irish were having a difficult time breaking down the Maryland defense on Tuesday, but they finally got one past Terrapins goalkeeper Zach Steffan in the 59th minute. Vince Cicciarelli was the scorer, adding to his goal last week against Indiana.

Patrick Mullins (R) got the equalizer for Maryland and got his team a guaranteed point. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Patrick Mullins (R) got the equalizer for Maryland and got his team a guaranteed point. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Maryland responded in the 72nd minute via senior star Patrick Mullins. Mullins, a Hermann Trophy finalist for the 2012 Player of the Year, turned down a Generation adidas contract from MLS after last season to return to Maryland.

There were no more goals in this game and the tie didn’t hurt either school in the national rankings.

RANK SCHOOL (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS RECORD PREVIOUS
1 California (18) 569 7-0-2 1
2 Notre Dame (5) 556 6-0-3 2
3 Washington 528 7-0-3 3
4 Cal State Northridge 446 10-1-0 6
5 Maryland 443 5-2-3 8
6 UCLA 441 6-2-1 10
7 Creighton 437 6-2-2 4
8 UMBC 400 10-1-0 7
9 Georgetown 371 8-2-1 11
10 UAB 343 8-1-1 15
11 Louisville 249 7-2-1 17
12 North Carolina 245 3-1-5 12
13 Coastal Carolina 234 7-2-0 19
14 Northwestern 233 7-3-0 5
15 Wake Forest 227 6-2-2 20
16 Elon 224 9-1-1 21
17 Clemson 223 7-2-1 13
18 Michigan State 222 7-1-2 NR
19 Dayton 211 10-0-0 18
20 Akron 206 7-3-0 9
21 Butler 189 8-2-1 16
22 St. John’s (N.Y.) 101 5-4-1 14
23 Virginia 76 6-3-1 NR
24 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 75 9-0-1 NR
25 Providence 61 7-1-2 NR

Dropped out: No. 22 Saint Louis; No. 23 Tulsa; No. 24 Connecticut; No. 25 UC Irvine.

Others receiving votes: Saint Louis 50, Tulsa, 39, Virginia Commonwealth 18, William & Mary 17, Furman 10, Saint Francis (Pa.) 10, Delaware 10, Syracuse 8, Connecticut 7, Gonzaga 4, Memphis 3.

 

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Spotlight on Sacha Kljestan
Spotlight on Sacha Kljestan avatar

Perceptions have dogged Sacha Kljestan in his, so far failed effort, to make a prominent place for himself in the U.S. Men’s National Team. On the occasions that Kljestan has had a chance to line out for his national team, those perceptions have created their own realities.

When Sacha Kljestan burst onto the international scene in 2007 - people had high expectations. (ISI Photos/Joe Nuxoll)

When Sacha Kljestan burst onto the international scene in 2007 – people had high expectations. (ISI Photos/Joe Nuxoll)

When he failed to live up those perceptions, the midfielder, not the faulty expectations got the blame. Some, fans mostly, remember Kljestan’s days as an attacking, quarterback type of midfielder at Chivas USA, and accordingly want to see Kljestan playing a part in orchestrating the U.S. attack.

Much to the detriment of his international career, United States national team managers have tended to look at Kljestan and see a good passer and attacker, before promptly exiling him to the wing. Neither view has benefitted the 28 year old Californian.

Sacha Kljestan in action against a very strong Belgium team in May 2013. (ISI Photos/Rick Osentoski)

Sacha Kljestan in action against a very strong Belgium team in May 2013. (ISI Photos/Rick Osentoski)

The first view has seen Kljestan become something of a figure of frustration for the public, who see a genuinely skillful player, that has somehow never really shone for the national team.

The second view, the managers view, is of course the one that really matters. With Anderlecht, Kljestan quickly became a mainstay in a defensive, central midfield role. In Anderlecht’s system, alternately described as a 4-5-1 or a 4-2-3-1, Kljestan is tasked with a good share of the defensive dirty work.

Breaking up tackles in front of the back four and then using his technique to keep the ball moving, maybe starting the Mauves on the attack with a good pass out of the back. That formula has allowed Kljestan to be an important part of two Jupiler League Championships with the Belgian giants. Kljestan has been ever present in the Anderlecht starting lineup since his 2010 move from Chivas USA, both in league and UEFA Champions League play.

Regardless of expectations he is still a solid and creative player. (ISI Photos/Fedor Obmaikin)

Regardless of expectations Kljestan has proved to be a solid and creative midfielder. (ISI Photos/Fedor Obmaikin)

But that European club success hasn’t translated into a regular role on the U.S. national team for Kljestan. In 2010 Kljestan suffered the disappointment of making the provisional squad for the World Cup team, only to be left out of the final 23 by his former Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley.

Bradley was let go after the U.S. lost the 2011 Gold Cup Final to Mexico and Kljestan might have figured to benefit from the change to Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann preached ball movement and maintaining possession, skills that seemed to suit Kljestan’s game.

The new boss also regularly implored his players, and potential players, to stretch beyond their comfort zones, by moving on to better leagues and earning playing time once you made your move. Kljestan seemed to have ticked those boxes before Klinsmann took the U.S. job.

Kljestan in action for Anderlecht in August 2013. (Getty Images)

Kljestan in action for Anderlecht in August 2013. (Getty Images)

So when Kljestan opened the 2013 Belgian season in good form, regularly etching his name in the scorer’s column, he might have expected a September recall to the nats. The call didn’t come, Klinsmann stuck with players who had impressed in winning the Gold Cup, particularly Mix Diskerud and Kyle Beckerman.

In his most extensive outing under Klinsmann, Kljestan logged 81 minutes against Belgium in late May alongside Jermaine Jones in his preferred position. It didn’t go well as the Belgians overran the Yanks 4-2 in Cleveland, a scoreline that flattered the home team. Kljestan’s only other appearance for the U.S. MNT in 2013 came in February, as a substitute in a 2-1 loss at Honduras to open the final round of World Cup Qualifiers.

Which is to say that Kljestan hasn’t made the most of his limited opportunities. Now injuries have caused Klinsmann to look his way again, and Kljestan has been called in for the final two World Cup Qualifiers. Michael Bradley is out injured, but Jermaine Jones will be there. So will Beckerman and Diskerud, among others, so playing time is far from guaranteed.

The U.S. has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but these games against Jamaica on October 11th, in Kansas City and away to Panama on the 15th, are far from meaningless.

For Sacha Kljestan these games represent a chance to change perceptions. Perceptions about his position, his style of play, his toughness. Perceptions that for all of his success at Anderlecht, he is just a notch below international level.

If, as they say perception is reality, Sacha Kljestan will be hoping for a chance to change perceptions when the U.S. play Jamaica on Friday and then Panama, next Tuesday.

He may not get another chance.

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U.S. WNT to Play Brazil in Final 2013 Match
U.S. WNT to Play Brazil in Final 2013 Match avatar

USSoccer announced today that the U.S. WNT will finish off the 2013 game schedule with a match against No. 4 ranked Brazil on Nov. 10 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams on U.S. soil since 2008 in San Diego when the U.S. defeated Brazil 1-0. Currently, the USA has an all-time record of 24-2-3 against Brazil.

Wambach celebrating her equalizer that took the U.S. to a penalty shoot out against Brazil. (Getty Images)

Wambach celebrating her equalizer that took the U.S. to a penalty shoot out against Brazil. (Getty Images)

There is quite a bit of  history between these two rivals, especially after the suspenseful 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal where Abby Wambach scored a monumental goal in the dwindling seconds of overtime, pushing on to penalty kicks where the U.S. clinched the win.

And that’s not the only time the U.S. women had to dig deep against top ranked Brazil. In 2004 Wambach’s overtime header nabbed Olympic gold for the U.S., and Carli Lloyd scored the game-winner against in 2008 for Olympic gold.

“Over the last several years, there’s been an intense rivalry between the two countries and a series of games that have been very tightly contested, highly competitive and of course extremely dramatic,” U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni told USSoccer. “It will be a fantastic game to finish the year off.”

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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

It was a thrilling week in Major League Soccer with playoff berths up for grabs all across the country.

1) Rapid Brown Goal for Colorado

14 seconds is pretty rapid, right? Colorado rookie DeShorn Brown scored the second fastest goal in MLS history to send the Rapids on their way to a 5-1 hammering of Seattle Saturday night in Colorado.

The Sounders were without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, but it is doubtful either of them could have prevented that quicksilver opener. Colorado went up 2-0 on a Dillon Powers header from a corner inside of 10 minutes, taken while Seattle were trying to get set.

DeShorn Brown scored the fastest goal in the MLS history. (ISI Photos/Michael Pimentel)

DeShorn Brown scored the second fastest goal in the MLS history. (ISI Photos/Michael Pimentel)

By the half it was 4-0. Seattle improved in the second stanza, and at least Eddie Johnson erased the shutout, but there was no coming back from that deficit. Things only got worse for the Sounders when Zach Scott earned an early shower when he picked up a second yellow in the 79th minute. That’s two ejections in his last two games for Scott, and he gets a two game suspension for compiling five cautions, into the bargain.

The Rapids maintain their grip on the final Western Conference playoff spot, extending their lead to four points over San Jose with three games to play. Seattle are a point back of Real Salt Lake at the top of the West, and two adrift of New York for the Supporters Shield, although the Sounders have a game in hand on both.

2) Late, Late Cahill Header Ties New England in Thriller

We all love the beautiful game, but sometimes it is the errors and the scrambled goals that provide the thrills. Saturday’s game at Red Bull Arena had giveaways that led to goals, a bad penalty call, a dubious straight red and, a 97th minute header from Cahill that put a dagger in the Revolutions playoff hopes.

New England looked like escaping from New York, er Harrison, with a 2-1 win, after 18 year old sensation Diego Fagundez picked David Carney’s pocket and claimed his 12th goal of the season in the 94th minute.

Cahill got on the scoresheet with his trademark header..(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Cahill got on the scoresheet with his trademark header..(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The Revs first goal had come in the 85th minute from a penalty, called when Jamison Olave blocked a shot with his chest, not his arm, and Lee Nguyen happily deposited the gift to tie the match at 1-1. A minute later New England sub Andy Dorman was shown the line in what had the look of a makeup call from referee Fotis Bazakos, who looked overmatched at the end of this wild game.

When the home team picked up a free kick, Bazakos was having a hard time settling the players and he ultimately sent Revs fullback Andrew Farrell to sideline because he was bleeding from an earlier incident. With Red Bull keeper Luis Robles stationed in the box, New York had a two man advantage on the crucial play.

Matt Reis’ weak clearing punch of the free kick fell to Cahill and the Aussie did what he has done so often in career, scored with his head. The win secures a playoff spot for New York, who lead in the Supporters Shield race too.

It becomes a devastating two points dropped for New England, who now find themselves in seventh place with three games to play.

3) Vancouver’s Camilo Scores A Wonder Goal

Vancouver needed all three points from Sunday’s exciting 2-2 home draw with the Timbers, but if they don’t make the postseason, Camilo gave Whitecap supporters something to take into the long winter months with his MLS Goal of the Year Candidate.

It came on a flying side volley that owed more to Jackie Chan than to Pele, and it tied the game. Camilo had already blasted a 40 yard free kick for Vancouver’s other goal, but that took a deflection enroute. This was all Camilo. The 25 year old Brazilian has scored 18 goals this season, tied with Chicago’s Mike Magee and just one behind league leader Marco Di Vaio.

Vancouver swarmed Portland’s goal as the clock ticked down and keeper Donovan Ricketts came up with two huge late saves. In the 94th minute Vancouver thought they should have been awarded a penalty kick, I thought so too, when Kekuta Manneh went down in the box. The 18 year old Gambian was flying past the Timbers defense when a nudge toppled him.

But there was no call and Vancouver look set to miss out on the playoffs, while Portland push on toward the postseason.

4) Donovan Ties MLS Goals Mark as L.A. Crush Chivas

Landon Donovan keeps on adding to his resume, with his two goals versus Chivas USA on Saturday pulling Donovan level with Jeff Cunningham with 134 Major League Soccer goals.

Donovan has peaked at th right time for his team.(ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Donovan has peaked at th right time for his team.(ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Although it may be akin to becoming baseball’s all time Minor League home run king, the mark is yet another milestone for Donovan. Meanwhile the Galaxy embarrassed their alleged rivals, Chivas USA, 5-0 in what is laughably referred to as the SuperClasico.

This game is neither, but the Galaxy received a breakout performance from 22 year old rookie Gyasi Zardes, who assisted on L.A.’s first two goals by Robbie Keane and Donovan, before notching the third himself.

5) MLS Plays Through the International Break

The league always does, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable. Let’s check out the schedule. On October 9th, while the U.S. prepare for Jamaica, Houston hosts Kansas City and Seattle are home to Vancouver. On the 12th, Montreal and New England tangle and Philadelphia travel to D.C.

MLS teams will be missing key players during the international break.(Getty Images)

MLS teams will be missing key players during the international break.(Getty Images)

American internationals Graham Zusi and Matt Besler will be unavailable to KC coach Peter Vermes as SKC chase New York for first place in the East. Houston will be minus Honduran international Boniek Garcia and Jamaican defender Jermaine Taylor as the Dynamo continue their playoff push. And that is just one game.

A total of eight U.S. internationals, will be missing from four teams and all Concacaf teams, except Mexico will be poaching MLS players. It is nothing new in MLS, but with the playoff races so tight, teams cannot be happy.

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No Bradley or Dempsey but Klinsmann still names strong squad
No Bradley or Dempsey but Klinsmann still names strong squad avatar

On Sunday U.S. Soccer released its roster for two upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, and Clint Dempsey was not among the 20 players named to take on Jamaica Friday, October 11 in Kansas City and Panama on the 15th in Panama City.

Clint Dempsey battled to gaine fitness but unfortunately time has run out. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Clint Dempsey battled to gaine fitness but unfortunately time has run out. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Dempsey has been troubled by a hamstring injury, but as of Tuesday Klinsmann expressed confidence that his captain would be part of this group. “I have spoken to Sigi (Seattle coach, Sigi Schmid) a couple of times, and they expect him back on the weekend, and therefore we expect him back in camp on Sunday,” Klinsmann said then.

As word filtered out late last week that Dempsey would not play for Seattle on Saturday, in what turned out to be a shock blowout loss to Colorado, it became unlikely that “Deuce” would be selected for his country against Jamaica and Panama.

Fabian Johnson could not recover in time either. (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Fabian Johnson could not recover in time either. (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Klinsmann had pushed back announcing his team, likely to give Dempsey and Fabian Johnson a few more days to come around physically, but neither made the cut. Still, Klinsmann stuck to his word to bring in his best team, choosing not to experiment while calling in just 20 players, not the usual 23.

Other than the injured Dempsey, and despite having secured World Cup Qualification, Klinsmann picked a full contingent of his Major League Soccer regulars, disregarding the heated MLS playoff race.

Klinsmann will hope he can close these games with a victory and send out a message. (ISI Photos)

Klinsmann will hope he can close these games with a victory and send out a message. (ISI Photos)

“It is absolutely no issue for us,” Klinsmann said Tuesday, speaking of the MLS playoffs. “We see the busy schedule MLS is going through, but it makes no difference. This is World Cup qualifying. We want to end it on a very high note. We are going to call in the guys we believe in.”

There may yet be players added to this group after the Jamaica match, something Klinsmann also discussed on Tuesday. “There are a lot of question marks,” Klinsmann conceded, “because I think like eight or nine guys on yellows still, and injuries happen, so it might force you into some changes after the first game against Jamaica. If that is going to be the case, we make those changes, but we are not looking at the MLS schedule. We have to get our own job done.”

The U.S. has never had such a strong squad and competition for places.(Getty Images)

Players will be fighting for.(Getty Images)

Klinsmann also made it clear on Tuesday, that whoever is on this roster, they will have to earn their way to Brazil. “There’s a World Cup waiting for you in Brazil. All you need to say is Brazil. The race is on,” Klinsmann said.

“This about showing, especially the coaches, but everyone, that you deserve to go to Brazil. All these games, every training session, everything that goes on in the camp, has a meaning. They know that once they come in it’s about serious business. We want to do well. We want to improve as a team.”

Jones has looked sharp recently and surprized many when he dismissed a widely reported knee surgery he was due to have.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Jones has looked sharp recently and surprized many when he dismissed a widely reported knee surgery he was due to have.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

With Michael Bradley previously ruled out, midfield will be a proving ground. Regular starter Jermaine Jones will be available, after he was reported to be headed for knee surgery last week, reports that Jones refuted.

Jones will be expected to start at least one of the coming games, possibly paired with Kyle Beckerman, who stepped in against Mexico last month and was solid. Klinsmann may also want to look at other options, particularly with Jones’ recent fall from favor at his club team, Schalke.

Mix Diskerud is in line for some playing time after his impressive cameo versus Mexico and the recalled Sacha Kljestan is another who figures to get a look.

Klinsmann reiterated a favorite point of his in Tuesday’s remarks, that there is always another level to push toward. “We still have a long way to go,” Klinsmann said. “The benchmark was CONCACAF. We managed it. We qualified in advance, which was nice, but when you look towards Brazil, and you look at the nations that are going to qualify, and have already qualified, this is a whole different ballgame, so we have to start preparing for that.”

The U.S. celebrating after their victory over Mexico that saw them qualify for Brazil 2014. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The U.S. celebrating after their victory over Mexico that saw them qualify for Brazil 2014. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

“Competition is an ongoing, never-ending topic in our environment. We want to challenge everyone. The starting guys need to feel there is a guy behind that wants to take his spot away, and even that guy is challenged by another guy. We want to go deeper and deeper into our pool to find more players and more competition.

This race will go on until May 2014 and a month prior to the World Cup, and then we have to narrow it down, and at the end of the day name the 23-player roster going to Brazil. This is a process that will go on during our games, and also while they are at their clubs. We observe week in and week out all the players, no matter if they are in Mexico, Europe and MLS. We get the feedback from their coaches. This competition is really just starting now.”

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)

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EPL Week 7 – Preview and Predictions
EPL Week 7 – Preview and Predictions avatar

It is Week 7 in the EPL and Arsenal lead the way at the top of the league, as almost all of the teams around them conspired to drop points in week 6 – Tottenham and Chelsea played out a draw, while both the Manchester clubs suffered shocked defeats to clubs from the west Midlands.

For the second week running total of 29 goals were scored in the EPL, can the trend continue into week 7?

I guess we will have to wait and see.

NEWS

FIFA set up Qatar 2022 taskforce

FIFA have set up a task-force to look into alternative dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Qatar was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, beating nominations from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote.

Qatar impressed FIFA with their digital presentation of the future stadiums, etc. (Getty Images)

Qatar impressed FIFA with their digital presentation of the future stadiums, etc. (Getty Images)

The Gulf state originally planned to combat the fierce heat, with temperatures rising to in excess of 40C, by building hi-tech air-conditioned stadiums.

However, such plans have since been dismissed as unsustainable and fears have grown concerning the safety of both players and fans in Qatar’s scorching summer heat.

A winter World Cup has been proposed as an alternative in the past, and FIFA will now construct a taskforce who consult with medical experts, broadcasters, sponsors and influential European leagues to look for the best solution.

However, a final decision on which months the tournament could be played will not take place before the 2014 World Cup.

 

Wilshere’s behaviour unacceptable

Arsene Wenger has labeled Jack Wilshere’s behavior as unacceptable after the midfielder was photographed smoking a cigarette.

Jack WIlshere was Arsenal's best player last season (Getty Images)

Jack WIlshere was Arsenal’s best player last season (Getty Images)

Wilshere was pictured with a cigarette outside a nightclub in the early hours of Thursday morning as players wound down following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League.

Speaking at Friday morning’s pre-match media conference, Wenger said: “I disagree completely with that behavior. I don’t know really what happened, so I will need to have a chat with him about that.

“There are two things – first of all when you are a football player you are an example and as well you don’t do what damages your health.

“The fact is that you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you also damage your reputation as an example.”

There have been great players in the past that have smoked – Holland legend Johan Cruyff routinely lit up on the sidelines when he was coach at Barcelona, while former Croatia international Robert Prosinečki is rumored to have smoked over 50 cigarettes a day.

ILLLL

Strangely – Jack Wilshere took to twitter posing an image of Zinedine Zidane smoking.

Indeed, Jack Wilshere responded to the criticism by posting a picture on Twitter of France Legend Zinedine Zidane smoking followed by “But for the record…I don’t smoke”.

However, Wenger believes that times have changed and that also the culture in England makes such a position untenable.

“You don’t need to convince me because I must tell you, I travelled as a football player on coaches after games in France where you didn’t see each other, there was so much smoke on the coach. Everybody smoked, but times have changed, and the healthy worry, the example, the role models from the football players request has changed as well.” Said Wenger.

“I must say as well, English society is very sensitive to smoking, much more than France and southern (European) countries, so it is a bit more shocking here than it is somewhere else.”

Nevertheless, Wenger still feels the young midfielder will play an integral part for Arsenal this season.

“He is a very important player here, you know. All my plans for the future at the club have always been built with Jack and around Jack. We had some setbacks with him – a lot – but he is a very important player in my squad.”

Week 6

Score

My Predictions

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

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

Last week I got FIVE correct results, with TWO perfects scores, to give me a combined total of NINE-points – which is the highest total so far this campaign.

Last season’s highest Tally was 14-points, so lets see if I can get anywhere challenging that score in week 7.

This weeks is jammed packed with exciting and potentially goal loaded games. Manchester City vs. Everton is probably the pick of the bunch, while the London derby between Tottenhan and West Ham could feistiest game of the weekend.

 

Predictions

Score

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

 

PREVIEW

SATURDAY

Manchester City vs. Everton

City have had a terrible last seven days, they were surprisingly beaten 3-2 by Aston Villa and then were comfortably beaten by European Champions Bayer Munich 1-3 at home midweek in the Champions League.

The Sky Blues have been hit and miss this season, and although there are definitely not firing collectively it seems goalkeeper Joe Hart has become the fall guy.

Joe Hart has struggled with form and seems to be lacking confidence. (Getty Images)

Joe Hart has struggled with form and seems to be lacking confidence. (Getty Images)

The England keeper has made some costly and basic errors, but the players in front of him also have not helped him and City will have to get back to basics if they do not want to keep on conceding sloppy goals.

Everton meanwhile got their third consecutive win in the league and remain the only team in the EPL not to have lost a game this season.

New coach Roberto Martinez has got the Toffees playing a new passing brand of soccer, and on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku looks to have picked up where he left off last season with three goals in two games.

Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to continue with the out-of-form Joe Hart or give an EPL debut to reserve keeper Costel Pantilimon.

David Silva could play his first EPL game since August after returning from injury in midweek, while striker Stevan Jovetic is fit despite a minor problem.

Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas are doubtful with respective knee and ankle problems, while Gareth Barry is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Lukaku (R) has been in fine form for the Toffees and will definitely be a threat. (Getty Images)

Lukaku (R) has been in fine form for the Toffees and will definitely be a threat. (Getty Images)

Somebody always has your number, and in Manchester City’s case that somebody is Everton – Manchester City have only won one of their last eight Premier League games against Everton (W1, D1, L6).

Another win for Everton would give them their fourth straight EPL win—a feat they last managed between February and March 2008. That sequence included a 2-0 victory at Manchester City—and would equal their best ever start to an EPL season.

City have a great record at home and have scored in their last 53 Premier League home matches, so expect them to score. But I still think they are a little lightweight at the back and could be ripe for the picking by Everton forward Lukaku, and that’s why I’ll go for a draw here.

Prediction: 1-1

 

Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace

Liverpool got back to winning ways last week with a fine 1-3 win over Sunderland. The game was also Luiz Suarez’s first game of the season, and the striker marked his return by scoring two goals.

Suarez has continued where he left off last season.(GETTY IMAGES)

Suarez has continued where he left off last season.(GETTY IMAGES)

The Uruguayan’s return is a boost for Liverpool and the Reds can now lay claim to one of the most formidable attacking duos in the EPL—Suarez has 18 goals in his last 21 games, while Daniel Sturridge has 18 in 24 Reds’ appearances.

However, Liverpool do still seem overly reliant on their forwards and if their strikers begin to struggle it is hard to see where they will get their goals from.

Crystal Palace lost 2-0 for the third game running and really look to be struggling with the demands of the EPL. The Eagles play enthusiastically enough, but just lack that quality in the final third.

Brazilian midfielder Lucas is suspended for Liverpool after amassing five yellow cards.

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway says he is without two key players through injury, but has refused to name them.

Crystal Palace have won three of their last four games against Liverpool, including a League Cup win at Selhurst Park in 2005 and FA Cup victory at Anfield in 2003. However, the Eagles are on a winless 16 away games run (D5, L11), which dates back to a 1-0 victory at Birmingham in October 2004, so this should be a happy homecoming for Luiz Suarez.

Prediction: 3-0

 

Sunderland vs. Manchester United

Both these sides lost in their own back yards last week and will hope to bounce back with a good performance in week 7.

Jozy Altidore will be hoping he can impress for Sunderland before he flies off to play for the USMNT(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Jozy Altidore will be hoping he can impress for Sunderland before he flies off to play for the USMNT(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Sunderland were well organized and competitive for large spells of their game against Liverpool before losing 1-3 to the Reds. The Problems for the Black Cats is that it is hard to see how or where they will get a goal—especially with striker Steven Fletcher out injured.

Meanwhile, Manchester United suffered their first defeat to West Brom in the league since 1984 to give them their worst ever start to an EPL season.

The Red Devils were terrible in defense, with Rio Ferdinand in particular looking off the pace. However, they looked better midweek against Shakhtar Donetsk, but they need to start improving quickly or risk being left behind by the frontrunners.

On-loan striker Fabio Borini returns to the Sunderland squad after being ineligible to play against parent club Liverpool last weekend, but Steven Fletcher (dislocated shoulder), Wes Brown (calf) and Andrea Dossena (thigh) are still out.

Rooney has played with intent and has been Man Utd's most dangerous player. (Getty Images)

Rooney has played with intent and has been Man Utd’s most dangerous player. (Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney should return to the fold after missing out midweek with a shin injury, though Rio Ferdinand is a doubt with a groin problem.

Manchester United may be struggling with their form, but they have not lost to Sunderland in the EPL since 1997 and I expect them to win this one.

Prediction: 0-2

 

SUNDAY

Norwich vs. Chelsea

Norwich got a good 1-0 win at home to Stoke last week and will hope to maintain their fine home form against Chelsea—the canaries picked up 33 of their total 44-points last season at Carrow Road.

Torres (L) was lucky not to face any punishment for his disgraceful behavior.

Torres (L) was lucky not to face any punishment for his disgraceful behavior.

Chelsea managed to come back from a goal down last week to draw with Tottenham away. The Blues were outplayed in the first-half, but came back strongly in the second period and looked like they could have won the game before Fernando Torres’s controversial red card.

Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong faces a late fitness test on the hamstring injury, but Javier Garrido and Nathan Redmond are both fit again.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is suspended and injured, while Eden Hazard is struggling with an ankle injury.

Norwich have a good home record—they have only lost twice in the EPL in 2013—however, the Canaries have failed to beat Chelsea in the last 9 meetings between the two and I fancy Chelsea to just edge this one.

Prediction: 1-2

 

Tottenham vs. West Ham

Tottenham drew 1-1 last week with their neighbors Chelsea and will hope they can go one better against their neighbors from east London.

Eriksen has been one of the many positives about Tottenham this season. (Getty Images)

Eriksen has been one of the many positives about Tottenham this season. (Getty Images)

The north Londoners thoroughly outplayed Chelsea for the first 45-minutes, with new signing Christian Eriksen impressing once again. However, they looked tired in the second-half and will need to maintain their intensity throughout games if they want to challenge the big boys at the top.

West Ham lost 1-0 away to Hull as their poor away form continues to haunt them—The Hammers have not won in their last eight away matches in the Premier League and have failed to score in their last four away from Upton Park.

The east Londoners just cannot seem to score goals, especially away from home—Every one of the other 159 teams in the top seven divisions in England scored more away goals than West Ham last season—and desperately need front man Andy Carroll back from injury.

Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul is out with a knee injury, while Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue are not expected to return to the first-team squad until after the international break.

Joe Cole available again for West Ham after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, but forward Andy Carroll and midfielder Alou Diarra remain long-term absentees.

Tottenham have only lost once in their last 12 EPL meetings with West Ham, who have not won at White Hart Lane since 1999. But the Hammers will be no pushovers and will definitely give Spurs a good physical game.

Nevertheless, I think Spurs have the greater quality and will come out on top.

Prediction: 2-0

 

West Brom vs. Arsenal

West Brom will be looking to enact some revenge on Arsenal who beat them just over a week ago in the League Cup in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

The Baggies will be confident they can get the job done after their magnificent win away to Manchester United, which doubled their win tally in the EPL this season.

Ozil's signing has brought a confidence to this Arsenal team.(Getty Images)

Ozil’s signing has brought a confidence to this Arsenal team.(Getty Images)

Arsenal got a good 1-2 win away to Swansea last week and a terrific midweek win over Napoli to give them their 12th straight win in all competitions. Mesut Ozil seems to have settled in well with the team and is at the heart of all their good attacking play at the moment.

On-loan striker Victor Anichebe looks likely to shake off an injury sustained against Manchester United, though winger Scott Sinclair is definitely out with a hamstring problem.

Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is out with a hamstring injury, meaning Carl Jenkinson will likely slot in at left back position.

West Brom have lost two of their three home games this season, but are playing well and are currently on a two game winning run. However, Arsenal have not lost any of their last six visits to The Hawthorns in all competitions (W4, D2), and I expect them to just nick this one.

Prediction: 1-2

 

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U.S. MNT – U18 Squad Name for French Tournament
U.S. MNT – U18 Squad Name for French Tournament avatar

United States Soccer named their 18 player roster to compete in an international U18 tournament in Limoges, France running from October 9 through October 13.

Poland and the Czech Republic join the United States and hosts France in the four nation event. The U.S. open play on October 9th against the home team, then meet the Czech Republic on the 11th, before closing out versus Poland on October 13th.

Rubio Rubin was a stand out performer for the U17's (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Rubio Rubin was a stand out performer for the U17′s (ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Three of the players selected to represent the U.S. are in European systems, Rubio Rubin (F.C. Utrecht), Kyle Scott (Chelsea) and Emerson Hyndman (Fulham). If that last name sounds familiar, you may be thinking of his grandfather, Schellas Hyndman, the FC Dallas coach.

Javier Perez is the U.S. U18 coach.

U.S. U-18 MNT ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Conor Donovan (Capital Area RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chase Gasper (Bethesda Olney; Alexandria, Va.), Shaquell Moore (IMG Academy; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Tommy Redding (Chicago Magic; Oviedo, Fla.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake AZ; Escondido, Calif.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham FC; Plano, Texas), Kyle Scott (Chelsea FC; Winterbourne, Bristol), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Tyler Turner (IMG Academy; Meriden, Conn.)
FORWARDS (5): Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG; Muskego, Wis.), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea SC; Garland, Texas), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithona, Ga.)

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Special Ticket Deals for Colorado Rapids’ vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Special Ticket Deals for Colorado Rapids’ vs. Seattle Sounders FC avatar

All coaches/managers and captains of Adult Colorado Soccer Association teams are invited to attend an informative reception held prior to the Rapids’ vs. Seattle Sounders match this Saturday, Oct. 5 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park.

The reception will run from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm with the match kicking off at 8pm. During the reception, the introduction of and focus will be on the Silver Mug tournament at the Pro Soccer Challenge- Rapids pre-season match vs. Chivas USA on Feb. 16.

Following the reception, coaches will receive free entrance to the game (two free tickets per team) and will also receive one free drink ticket and complementary snacks. Players can attend the match for a discounted price of $20 per ticket.

For more information on attending the event and to learn about the Silver Mug International Adult Tournament please visit the Colorado Soccer Association website.

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U.S. MNT – Spotlight on Aron Johannsson
U.S. MNT – Spotlight on Aron Johannsson avatar

Each week as the United States Men’s Soccer Team continues on the road to Brazil, GotSoccer will highlight one player in the national team pool. For the first entry we will look in on a relative newcomer to U.S. Soccer, Aron Johannsson.

Mobile, Alabama at night

Mobile, Alabama at night where Johannsson’s parents attended college and the place of his birth.

Although he was born in Mobile, Alabama, where his parents were attending college, Johannsson’s family returned to Iceland when he was a young child. Johannsson recently changed international soccer allegiances, filing a one time switch to play for the U.S., having suited up previously for Iceland in U21 competition.

The Icelandic Soccer Federation (KSI) were none too pleased at the thought of losing Johannsson and took the unusual step of issuing a statement that, among other things, urged the Icelandic public and media to pressure Johannsson to reverse his decision.

Aron Johannsson in his debut game for the USA. (ISI Photos/Feđa Krvavac)

Aron Johannsson in his debut game for the USA. (ISI Photos/Feđa Krvavac)

Johannsson did not heed the KSI’s call and went on to debut for the U.S. MNT in a 4-3 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 14. Three weeks later the dynamic young striker took the field as a late game sub in the U.S. team’s 3-1 World Cup Qualifier loss at Costa Rica.

Johannsson was part of the roster, but did not see action four days later, when the U.S. defeated Mexico 2-0 to secure a berth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. If Johannsson continues to play like he has this season for his new club AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, there is a very good chance that he will play a part for the U.S. next summer in Brazil.

Aron Johannsson has had more club playing time since Altidore's move to Sunderland. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Aron Johannsson has had more club playing time since Altidore’s move to Sunderland. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Johannsson moved to the Netherlands last January from his club in Denmark; Aarhus. Interestingly, AZ’s top scorer at the time was American number one Jozy Altidore, and Johannsson slotted in as Altidore’s backup. When Altidore moved on to Sunderland in the EPL, Johannsson stepped in as Alkmaar’s lead striker and the transition has been a smooth one.

Well, for Johannsson anyway. Sunderland are sitting at the bottom of the English Premier League, costing flamboyant manager Paolo Di Canio his job, while Altidore has yet to get into the scoring column for the Black Cats.

Eighth place AZ have fared better than Sunderland, with a respectable record of 4 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie, but apparently that was not good enough, because manager Gertjan Verbeek was fired by AZ this week.

Verbeek got the ax despite leading his team to a 2-1 win Saturday over first place PSV Eindhoven. The win was secured by Johannsson’s team leading fifth league goal of season.

Johannsson’s goal was a gem, a 25 yarder that caught the PSV keeper just off of his line. And the game winner came on the heels of Johannsson’s midweek hat trick in a 4-1 victory over Sparta, in the KNVB Cup. Those four goals make it 10 for Johannsson in all club competitions, the type of record that will make the 22 year old hard to ignore come June.

But the U.S. are deeper than ever at forward, and June and Brazil are still a long way off. Johannsson will have to contend with Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson, and a healthy Herculez Gomez. Terrence Boyd is scoring goals in bunches for Rapid Vienna and Klinsmann often likes to use Landon Donovan at the striker position.

As of now though, Johannsson looks like a solid pick to be on that United States charter flight to Brazil. U.S. MNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann had this to say after Johannsson’s U.S. debut, a 30 minute run out versus Bosnia-Herzegovina. “He (Johannsson) is a player that can surprise a lot of opponents. He’s unpredictable, he’s confident. He’s seeing the game really well ahead, so he slips where the ball will go.”

“I think he really showed in that half an hour,” Klinsmann said “that he has a lot of special tools in his game.”

Johannsson has continued to use those tools to carve up Eredivisie defenses. If he keeps it up, Johannsson has a good chance to carve out a place for himself in Klinsmann’s final 23 man roster for Brazil.

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DC United Stun Real Salt Lake in Open Cup Final
DC United Stun Real Salt Lake in Open Cup Final avatar

D.C. United, the team with the worst record this season in Major League Soccer, stunned title contenders Real Salt Lake on their own turf 1-0, to win the Centennial Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night in Sandy, Utah.

RSL dominated possession most of the way, but it was DC who scored the only goal of the game, on a Lewis Neal blast in the 45th minute. DC defensive midfielder Perry Kitchen came up big all game on both ends of the Rio Tinto pitch, and it was his pass that started the match winning play.

DC's Neal runs to celebrate his goal and the game winner. (ISI Photos/George Frey)

DC’s Neal runs to celebrate his goal and the game winner. (ISI Photos/George Frey)

Kitchen played a wide ball to John Thorrington who crossed for Dwayne De Rosario. With DeRo occupying the Salt Lake defender, the ball caromed to an open Neal, and Neal took it from there.

United’s unlikely win is the third U.S. Open Cup Championship, and the 13th major title, in franchise history. Nothing in this lost season indicated that a title was in the cards for a DC team that has earned just 15 points from 30 league games to date.

Real Salt Lake could just not break down DC's defense. (ISI Photos/George Frey)

Real Salt Lake could just not break down DC’s defense. (ISI Photos/George Frey)

By contrast Real Salt Lake are tied with Seattle on top of the Western Conference with 51 points, a staggering 36 more than their opponents on Tuesday night. RSL were certainly the more likely club to score on the evening, they have hit the target 54 times so far in this season. For their part, DC have rung the bell just 20 times, while conceding on 52 occasions in MLS play.

Salt Lake had trouble converting their possession advantage into chances on Tuesday, and when they did, DC keeper Bill Hamid and his defenders came up big. Hamid denied Alvaro Saborio in the 80th minute for his biggest save of the night, before the game finished with a flurry of action. First Chris Corb took the ball off of Ned Grabavoy’s foot with a late saving tackle. Then Hamid had to be alert, catching Devon Sandoval’s bicycle kick in the 90th minute, before defender James Reilly and the goalpost combined to keep out Saborio’s header in the last action of the match.

DC United’s surprise victory earned the last place club a place in next year’s Concacaf Champions League, giving their suffering fans something to cheer in what had been a lost season, before they shocked the U.S. soccer world Tuesday night in Sandy, Utah.

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

RSL 0 0 0

DCU 1 0 1

DCU – Lewis Neal 45th minute

Lineups:
RSL: 18-Nick Rimando; 17-Chris Wingert, 6-Nat Borchers, 16-Carlos Salcedo (49-Devon Sandoval, 81), 2-Tony Beltran; 5-Kyle Beckerman (capt.), 20-Ned Grabavoy, 26-Sebastian Velasquez (23-Khari Stephenson, 69), 11-Javier Morales; 8-Joao Plata (13-Olmes Garcia, 57), 15-Alvaro Saborio
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Cole Grossman, 14-Yordany Alvarez, 24-Jeff Attinella, 28-Chris Schuler
Head Coach: Jason Kreis

DCU: 28-Bill Hamid; 2-James Riley, 5-Dejan Jakovic, 15-Ethan White, 22-Chris Korb; 23-Perry Kitchen, 24-Lewis Neal, 13-Chris Pontius (30-Conor Doyle, 86), 8-John Thorrington; 18-Nick DeLeon, 7-Dwayne De Rosario (capt.) (12-Luis Silva, 75)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Dennis Iapichino, 19-Kyle Porter, 21-Daniel Woolard, 25-Jared Jeffrey, 31-Joe Willis
Head Coach: Ben Olsen

Stats Summary: RSL / DCU
Shots: 10 / 2
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 15 / 17
Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
DCU – James Riley (caution) 21st minute
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution) 45+1
DCU – Nick DeLeon (caution) 58
DCU – Chris Korb (caution) 80
RSL – Nick Rimando (caution) 90

 

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NCAA Women’s Division I- Weekly Recap
NCAA Women’s Division I- Weekly Recap avatar

Don’t get too comfortable, as we delve into a new month, each week promises thrilling and unpredictable results for Division I women’s soccer as teams push forward with the 2013 College Cup in sight.

It was a week for the underdogs, as top ranked teams University of Florida and Wake Forest experienced losses and University of Virginia continued to dominate the No. 1 spot in the rankings.

Virginia Settles in at the Top with 2 Wins in 1 Week

Virginia unseated UNC as the No. 1 ranked team two weeks ago, and with two wins this past week, show they do not plan to budge.

They collected their first win against Duke 3-2 in Durham, NC last Thursday with goals scored by junior midfielder Morgan Brian, sophomore forward Makenzy Doniak and senior forward Gloria Douglas.

Brittany Ratcliffe made sure her team kept their number one spot. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Brittany Ratcliffe made sure her team kept their number one spot. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

On Sunday the Cavaliers travelled to Charlottesville, VA where they defeated No. 22 Maryland 1-0 and extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games.

Sophomore forward Brittany Ratcliffe supplied the winning goal at the end of the first half, and defense kept that one point lead strong. Freshman goalkeeper Morgan Stearns made three saves for Virginia for her 4th shutout of the season. Virginia is currently the only unbeaten, untied team in the nation.

Missouri Upsets No. 8 Florida

It was an exciting weekend for the Tigers, as they clinched a 1-0 win against top ranked Florida in Columbia, MO Sunday.

Missouri's Kaisy Clark leads her team with 12 points on the season. (Courtesy of Missouri soccer)

Missouri’s Kaysie Clark leads her team with 12 points on the season. (Courtesy of Missouri soccer)

Junior midfielder Kaysie Clark produced an early goal in the 9th minute and even though the Gators outshot them 21-10, Missouri defense was a brick wall, earning them a 4th shutout for the season. This was the Tigers first win against a top 10 team since 2011 when they beat No. 7 Ohio State, ironically 1-0 as well.

No. 5 FSU Shut Out Miami, Tie with Clemson

The Seminoles finished off the week with an explosive 4-0 win against Miami at home on Thursday, and tied 1-1 with Clemson Sunday at Riggs Field.

FSU dropped 2 spots from last week and now lie at number 5. (ISI Photos/ Tony Quinn)

FSU dropped 2 spots from last week and now lie at number 5. (ISI Photos/ Tony Quinn)

Three goals scored in the first half against Miami put the Seminoles in a comfortable position. A brace was supplied by forward Berglind Thorvaldsdottir with one added by freshman forward Anna McClung, and a second half goal scored by junior midfielder Marta Bakowska-Mathews.

Clemson gave the Seminoles a run for their money Sunday, grabbing an early lead with an 11th minute goal from senior midfielder Vanessa Laxgang. As the game progressed unchanged, it looked like Clemson might nab the win, but FSU came from behind with an 86th minute equalizer from Dagny Brynjarsdottir to end in a tie.

Boston College Shake Up No. 9 Wake Forest

Boston's Meehan goal led to Wake Forest defeat and them dropping 4 spots in this weeks rankings. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Boston’s Meehan goal led to Wake Forest defeat and them dropping 4 spots in this weeks rankings. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The eagles earned a 1-0 win over Wake Forest in Newton, Mass last Thursday, outshooting them 16-6.

Sophomore defender McKenzie Meehan put one away in the 23rd minute to give Boston the lead, and the Demon Deacons just couldn’t pull out an equalizer. Wake Forest goal keeper Aubrey Bledsoe did an impressive job though letting the ball slip past once, she collected eight saves for a new season high.

No. 10 Georgetown and DePaul Lock in a Draw

Both teams put up a valiant fight in this Big East Conference opener last Thursday, ending in a 1-1 draw on Washington Shaw Field.

DePaul's Ashleigh Goddard (23) opened conference play with a goal and a valid tie for  her team in the Big East. (ISI Photos/

DePaul’s Ashleigh Goddard (23) opened conference play with a goal and a valid tie for her team in the Big East. (ISI Photos/

Senior midfielder Ashleigh Goddard immediately put the Blue Demons ahead in the 2nd minute with a close range left sided shot. They held that lead into the second half where the Hoyas picked up momentum, attacking the opposition with added spunk. They received three corner kicks and were rewarded on the third. Junior midfielder Daphne Corbez took the shot and senior defender Mary Kroening headed the ball straight into the back of the net to equalize.

RANK SCHOOL (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS RECORD PREVIOUS
1 Virginia (32) 775 11-0-0 1
2 Stanford 739 8-0-1 2
3 UCLA 707 9-1-0 4
4 Notre Dame 677 9-1-0 5
5 Florida State 659 9-0-3 3
6 North Carolina 625 9-2-0 6
7 Penn State 590 9-1-1 8
8 Florida 503 8-2-1 7
9 Georgetown 476 9-0-2 10
10 Portland 459 8-1-1 14
11 California 444 6-0-3 11
12 Virginia Tech 414 9-1-2 16
13 Wake Forest 392 8-2-1 9
14 Texas Tech 337 10-1-1 15
15 West Virginia 299 8-2-2 23
16 Denver 283 9-1-1 19
17 Santa Clara 282 6-3-1 20
18 Wisconsin 275 7-1-2 18
19 South Carolina 249 9-1-1 22
20 Baylor 239 8-1-2 12
21 Michigan 143 7-2-1 13
22 BYU 80 5-3-1 17
23 Nebraska 77 8-2-1 NR
24 UCF 68 8-2-1 NR
25 Mississippi 59 9-2-1 24

Dropped out: No. 21 Maryland; No. 25 Kentucky.

Others receiving votes: Washington State 58, Texas A&M 44, Kentucky 31, Pepperdine 15, Georgia 12, Clemson 12, Maryland 9, Connecticut 9, Ohio State 7, La Salle 6, Colorado 3, Arizona State 3, Missouri 3, Long Beach State 2, Marquette 2.

 

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NCAA Men’s Division I – Cal Men Making History
NCAA Men’s Division I – Cal Men Making History avatar

The unpredictable men’s college soccer season continued this week as Cal rose to number one, displacing last week’s top dogs North Carolina, who fell all the way to number 12 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.

The Tar Heels slide down the rankings came after a disappointing week that saw the Heels suffer a 1-0 road loss to William and Mary, before coming home and settling for a 1-1 draw versus ACC rivals Wake Forest.

Alec Sundry celebrates scoring. (

Alec Sundry celebrates scoring. (Courtesy of Cal Bears)

Meanwhile Cal senior midfielder Alec Sundly scored his second Golden Goal of the season to secure a 1-0 victory over Santa Clara and propel the Golden Bears to the number 1 ranking.

Cal’s dominance is reflected in goalkeeper Justin Taillole’s game. The Cal keeper earned the shutout without having to make a single save. Santa Clara managed just four shots in over 99 minutes of play before Sundly finished from Max Oldham’s set up to send everybody home.

Cal have their work cut out for them if they intend to retain their new lofty perch. After hosting Oregon State on Thursday, the Golden Bears can look forward to a showdown with the third ranked Washington Huskies on Sunday, also at home.

Creighton (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Creighton drop one place to number 3.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

And in a nod to just how difficult maintaining your ranking can be, let’s take a look at UMBC. When the coaches poll was released on Tuesday, the 9-0 Retrievers were at number 7. The NCAA’s RPI poll has UMBC at number 3, behind just Creighton and UCLA. In either case a great achievement for the rising program.

That night UMBC fell to another program on the up, losing 1-0 to Delaware. The win is believed to be the first ever by the Blue Hens over an opponent ranked in the top 10 nationally, and it brings Delaware’s record to 8-1.

Maryland top the ACC holding on to their 8th place spot. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Maryland top the ACC holding on to their 8th place spot. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The matchup pitted the two top goal scores in the country against one another. UMBC’s Pete Caringi III and Delaware marksman Guillermo Delgado came into the match with nine goals apiece, with Delgado’s 21 points leading the nation. Neither added to their impressive stats, with Delgado’s teammate Joe Dipre scoring the lone goal on a overtime deflection.

Delaware, who will hope to be ranked on the strength of this win, don’t play again until they travel to James Madison on October 9th. Meanwhile UMBC will be looking to protect their spot in the nationwide polls this Saturday when they open their America East Conference schedule at 6-1-2 Hartford.

RANK SCHOOL (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS RECORD PREVIOUS
1 California (21) 567 6-0-1 2
2 Notre Dame (2) 542 4-0-3 4
3 Washington 511 6-0-2 5
4 Creighton 506 5-1-2 3
5 Northwestern 461 7-1-0 7
6 Cal State Northridge 439 8-1-0 6
7 UMBC 387 9-0-0 11
8 Maryland 356 3-2-3 8
9 Akron 354 7-2-0 10
10 UCLA 336 5-2-1 13
11 Georgetown 331 6-2-1 12
12 North Carolina 324 3-1-4 1
13 Clemson 289 7-1-1 16
14 St. John’s (N.Y.) 275 5-2-1 9
15 UAB 253 6-1-1 14
16 Butler 232 7-1-1 23
17 Louisville 187 6-2-0 18
18 Dayton 184 8-0-0 19
19 Coastal Carolina 160 6-2-0 20
20 Wake Forest 128 5-2-1 24
21 Elon 121 7-1-1 NR
22 Saint Louis 99 5-2-0 21
23 Tulsa 91 5-2-1 15
24 Connecticut 79 3-2-2 22
25 UC Irvine 48 5-1-2 NR

Dropped out: No. 17 VCU, No. 25 New Mexico.

Others receiving votes: Michigan State 45, Virginia Commonwealth 44, Furman 40, William & Mary 35, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 16, Virginia 15, Boston College 12, Providence 8, Saint Francis (Pa.) 6, Stanford 6, Evansville 4, Penn State 3, Gonzaga 1, Old Dominion 1

 

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U.S. WNT Roster Released for Three Friendlies
U.S. WNT Roster Released for Three Friendlies avatar

U.S. WNT Head Coach Tom Sermanni announced the roster for three friendlies in October, the first against Australia Oct. 20 in San Antonio, TX and two more against New Zealand Oct. 27 in San Fransisco, CA and Oct. 30 in Columbus, OH.

Morgan and Leroux have shone in the NWSL and will be looking to continue for the national team(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Morgan and Leroux have shone in the NWSL and will be looking to continue for the national team(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Out of the 25 players listed on the roster 18 will suit up for each match. It’s a colorful list to say the least, with the usual favorites Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and all time leading scorer Abby Wambach leading the way. The superstars of the NWSL add to the pot, featuring MVP Lauren Holiday, Defender of the Year Becky Sauerbrunn and Goalkeeper of the Year Nicole Barnhart.

Stephanie Cox in action for the U.S. int 2011. (Getty Images)

Stephanie Cox in action for the U.S. int 2011. (Getty Images)

New faces on the roster include defenders Leigh Ann Robinson and Stephanie Cox. Robinson earned her first cap with the USA Sept. 3 against Mexico. Cox, a World Cup veteran, returns to the field after giving birth to her first baby in April.

You can’t forget the college favorites UNC defender Crystal Dunn and Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian. They have pulled their weight on the pitch beautifully this year with Dunn collecting seven caps and Brian scoring her first goal in her second cap on Sept. 3.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Adrianna Franch (WNY Flash), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Meghan Klingenberg (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Tyresö), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Lyon)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

 

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MYSA E License Coaching Courses
MYSA E License Coaching Courses avatar

Missouri Youth Soccer is offering two E license-coaching courses in December 2013.

The 18-hour long U.S. Soccer Coaching certification course will cover the elementary principles of coaching and will be administered by MYSA.

According to the U.S. Soccer website, participants can expect the following from the National E license course:

  • Develop the core coaching competencies necessary to effectively teach the 9-12 year old athlete and team.
  • Understand the characteristics and needs of an athlete in the Basic Stage of U.S. Soccer’s Long Term Athlete Development Model.
  • Establish a foundation of knowledge and experience in order to proceed through the sequence of coaching development courses.

MYSA will hold both E license courses December 14-15, 2013 from 8am-5pm. One will be held at William Woods University in Fulton, MO and the second will be held at Whitfield High School in St. Louis, MO. Cost to attend is $175.

For more information please visit the MYSA website.

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