NCAA Division I Women’s Final 64
NCAA Division I Women’s Final 64 avatar

The NCAA finalized the bracket for Division I Women’s Soccer, in which 64 teams will battle it out for to become national champion when the tournament concludes on December 7 in Boca Raton, Florida.

UCLA won their first college cup in 2013 (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

UCLA won their first college cup in 2013. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Essentially, the tournament consists of four brackets of 16 teams with the winners of each bracket meeting in the College Cup to determine the champion. Let’s dive in to take a look the top four seeds of four quarters of the bracket!

Quarter 1

UCLA (18-0-2) will be favorites to defend their championship after going through the season undefeated and avoiding defeat in their last 41 matches. They begin their hunt for a second all-time title at home against San Diego.

Virginia will be hoping they can avenge UCLA after their defeat last year. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Virginia will be hoping they can avenge UCLA after their defeat last year. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Virginia (18-2-0) sits opposite UCLA as the number two seed in Quarter 1. The Cavaliers fared well in ACC play this year, with both of their defeats coming at the hand of Florida State- once in regular season play, the other in the ACC Tournament final.

Kentucky (15-6-0) and Pepperdine (15-2-3) are seeds three and four respectively after performing admirably in conference play. Kentucky lost to Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament Final, while Pepperdine defeated North Carolina and Kentucky en route to the National Championship.

Quarter 2

Texas A&M (18-2-2) are making their 20th appearance in the National Championship, but have never made it to the College Cup, which serves the semi-finals and finals of the National Championship. They take on debutants Houston Baptist in the opening round.

Penn State lost to UNC in the 2012 Final. (GotSoccer Images)

Penn State lost to UNC in the 2012 Final. (GotSoccer Images)

The number two seed in Quarter 2 is Penn State (17-3-0), who finished atop the Big Ten regular season standings before being upset by Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The number three and four seeds belong to West Virginia (16-2-3) and Notre Dame (12-5-2), who come into the Championship after battling through strong schedules in each of their conferences. West Virginia won the Big 12 Tournament after going undefeated in conference play, while Notre Dame got favorable results in a strong ACC conference including the likes of Florida State and North Carolina.

Quarter 3

ACC Champions Florida State (18-1-1) host South Alabama in the first round. Despite making seven appearances in the College Cup, they have yet to win a championship, losing to UCLA in the final last year.

FSU lost to UCLA in last year's final.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

FSU lost to UCLA in last year’s final.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The number two seed belongs to North Carolina, who will look to add to their 21 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships. The Tar Heels finished 12-3-2, with all of the dropped points coming against fellow seeded teams.

The SEC and Big Ten contribute more teams in the form of South Carolina (13-5-3) and Wisconsin (18-2-2), who occupy the third and fourth seeds respectively. South Carolina took points off big teams this season, upsetting the likes of Texas A&M and Florida. Wisconsin comes into the National Championship off a string of strong performances en route to becoming Big Ten Tournament Champions.

 

Quarter 4

Stanford (17-1-2), whose only loss of the season was against the Bruins, take on California State Fullerton and will hope to add a second Women’s Soccer Championship title to their triumph in 2011. Wins at North Carolina and against Florida will give them the motivation they need to go the distance after finishing the regular season behind UCLA in the PAC-12.

Florida are marking their 18th appearance in the Championship.(Courtesy of the University of Florida.)

Florida are marking their 18th appearance in the Championship.(Courtesy of the University of Florida.)

The Florida Gators (14-4-1) overcame a few formidable opponents before claiming the number two seed in the National Championship. Texas A&M and Florida State are just two of the many teams that fell victim to Florida during the season.

Texas Tech (14-3-2) and Washington (12-6-2) are seed three and four respectively.

An early win at Notre Dame was the highlight of Texas Tech’s season, which paved the way to a seed in this year’s Championship, while Washington overcame heavy defeats to Stanford and UCLA to finish the season with a respectable record.

National Championship Details

The first round kicks off this weekend, with the College Cup concluding in Boca Raton, Florida on December 5-7. The weather should be in stark contrast to that of last year’s edition, in which UCLA beat FSU in cold, rainy conditions in North Carolina.

This year’s competition should be as open as ever, with 31 conferences earning automatic berths. The remaining 33 teams were selected at-large. The top 16 teams are seeded and cannot play each other in the first or second rounds and the first four rounds of play will be hosted on campuses until the College Cup is help in south Florida.

UCLA will be hoping to hold onto their crown. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

UCLA will be hoping to hold onto their crown. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

All 64 teams will believe they have a chance to be a member of the final four teams participating in south Florida come early December and we are sure to encounter come entertaining games and upsets along the way.

View the rest of the qualifying teams and find more information on the Championship by visiting the NCAA Women’s Soccer Website:Click Here

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MLS Conference Finals Set
MLS Conference Finals Set avatar

It’s easy to imagine Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber sporting an ear to ear grin as he looks ahead to the league’s conference finals that will see New York face off against New England, while the Seattle Sounders go up against the Los Angeles Galaxy on the Left Coast.

Donovan and Dempsey will face off against each other in the semis.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Donovan and Dempsey will face off against each other in the semis.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

The league’s biggest markets and biggest stars have made it to the league semifinals, with storylines aplenty, including a showdown between the Galaxy and the Sounders in front of Seattle’s passionate  fans at what figures to be a packed CenturyLink Field.

The Sounders were the last of the four clubs to secure a conference final berth, advancing on the league’s newly implemented away goals rule.

Osvaldo Alonso’s header earned a 1-1 tie for the Sounders in the in the first leg of this series in Frisco, Texas, on November 2. When Monday night’s sequel ended in a 0-0 stalemate in Seattle, Osvaldo’s away goal proved to be the decisive blow.

The high flying Los Angeles Galaxy had already laid down a marker when they demolished Real Salt Lake 5-0 in the second leg of the series Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, California to claim a spot opposite Seattle in the Western Conference Finals.

Donovan will be hoping to go out on top. (Getty Images)

Donovan will be hoping to go out on top. (Getty Images)

After the opening leg of this series ended in a 0-0 draw, Landon Donovan’s hat trick set the Galaxy on its way to an easy victory in Sunday’s second act, adding further spice to the most dramatic storyline of these playoffs, the retirement of the all time American great.

Donovan and his fellow DP Robbie Keane are the Galaxy’s brightest stars, and the only MLS duo who could conceivably outshine Seattle pair Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.

Seattle edged L.A. for the Supporters Shield after a pair of bad tempered games over six days last month that ended in a 2-2 tie and a 2-0 win for Seattle. Having already claimed the U.S. Open Cup, in addition to the Shield, the Sounders are looking to complete an MLS triple by adding the MLS Cup.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been on fire for the Red Bulls.(Howard C. Smith)

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been on fire for the Red Bulls.(Howard C. Smith)

On the strength of a 2-0 first leg win New York advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, winning only its third ever playoff series, eliminating DC United 3-2 after United topped the Red Bulls 2-1 in D.C. in the second leg. DC had a remarkable one year turnaround this season to secure the best record in the East, but Thierry Henry led fourth seed New York did just enough to move on. Henry’s “will he or won’t he,” retirement saga lends another dimension to New York’s run for a first ever MLS Cup, just months before moneybags New York City Football Club enters the league to challenge the Jersey based side in the New York market.

NYRB will face a hot New England team that crushed Columbus 7-3 over two legs. MVP candidate Lee Nguyen, U.S. World Cup midfielder Jermaine Jones, and a revitalized Charlie Davies set the tempo for the Revolution as the Revs buried the injury weakened Crew.

With the league honoring the FIFA international break playoff action does not resume until November 29, when Red Bulls and the Galaxy host the Conference Final openers.

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Klinsmann Names 25 for Euro Trip
Klinsmann Names 25 for Euro Trip avatar

United States Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a 25 man traveling squad for a two game set this month against Colombia and Ireland.

Colombia should be a good opposition for the Americans.(Getty Images)

Colombia should be a good opposition for the Americans.(Getty Images)

The Americans open the series at Craven Cottage in London, England, where they take on James Rodriguez and Colombia this Friday, November 14, before heading over to Dublin, Ireland, to face the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, November 18.

Despite a concession from Major League Soccer to stand down for these FIFA international dates, Klinsmann has selected just three players from MLS clubs that are still chasing the MLS Cup.

New England duo Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen will be crossing the Atlantic, as will young Seattle/Tottenham fullback DeAndre Yedlin.

Dempsey will not trade with the U.S.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Dempsey was not selected and will not travel with the U.S.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

U.S. MNT captain Clint Dempsey has been denied a homecoming at Craven Cottage, where he made a name for himself with Fulham. Dempsey’s coach Sigi Schmid will be happy to see his veteran spared the long trip, especially if the Sounders see off FC Dallas tonight, and advance to the Western Conference Finals versus the Los Angeles Galaxy.

New England coach Jay Heaps will have to wait and see how Jermaine Jones, his influential 33 year old midfielder handles the travel, although like Nguyen and Yedlin, Jones may be released back to his club after the Colombia game.

League MVP candidate Nguyen receives his first call up under Klinsmann, and the comeback kid will be hoping to earn his first U.S. cap(s) since he picked up three back in 2007.

The 21 year old Yedlin is reportedly close to securing a Latvian passport, which would allow the speedster to join Tottenham as soon as January. Yedlin signed with the London club following his breakout performance for the U.S. at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Klinsmann has again included NASL attacker Miguel Ibarra and college star Jordan Morris. The two are part of a curious, six man forward group headed by Jozy Altidore.

Rubio Rubin was a stand out performer for the U17's in 2011.(ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Rubio Rubin was a stand out performer for the U17’s in 2011.(ISI Photos/John Dorton)

Altidore, who continues to ride the pine at Sunderland, is joined by youngsters Bobby Wood, Rubio Rubin, and 31 year old San Jose Earthquake striker Chris Wondolowski, still trying to live down his missed game winner in the dying seconds of World Cup play against Belgium.

Rubio has been impressive for Utrecht, in the Netherlands, but the rest of the group certainly have plenty to prove, which may well be Klinsmann’s point.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburg), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)

FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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EPL Week 11’s Previews and Predicitons
EPL Week 11’s Previews and Predicitons avatar

It’s Week 11 in the EPL and after a quarter of the season Chelsea leads the way and remain the only side in the EPL still unbeaten, but there is still a long way to go and there are sure to be a few swings and roundabouts before the season ends in May.

Steven Gerrard was so devastated by Liverpool's loss last season that he did not attend the PFA awards where his team mate Suarez picked up the player of the year award.(Getty Images)

Steven Gerrard was so devastated by Liverpool’s loss last season that he did not attend the PFA awards where his team mate Suarez picked up the player of the year award.(Getty Images)

This week’s big game see Liverpool take on Chelsea, as they try to avenge last season’s defeat by the Blues which cost them the EPL title. But that is not the only match taking place this weekend and there are sure to be a lot goals, excitement, shocks and controversy in the EPL’s other games, so sit back grab a nice warm cup of cocoa as GotSoccer takes you through some of the news, predictions and previews of week 11.

News

West Ham takes monthly awards

West Ham has won the monthly EPL manager and player of the month awards for October.

Sam Allardyce picks up the manager of the month award after leading West Ham to victories over QPR, Burnley and champions Manchester City, as they recorded three wins from three in October.

Diafra Sakho has been a huge influence in West Ham's rejuvenation. (Getty Images)

Diafra Sakho has been a huge influence in West Ham’s rejuvenation. (Getty Images)

New striker Diafra Sakho made it a clean sweep for the Hammers by picking up the EPL player of the month award for October. The Senegalese forward, who signed from Metz during the summer, scored in all three victories and equaled Mickey Quinn’s 22-year-old EPL record of scoring six goals in his first six starts.

“It’s been a surprise for everybody, even himself, even though he probably wouldn’t admit it,” Allardyce said. “He’s fit – he missed last week’s game – he’ll come back into the side against Aston Villa on Saturday and hopefully continue where he left off for a week and score.”

While Allardyce never doubted the quality of his new additions he is surprised at how fast they have settled.

‘I’d have expected them to have got to this level together in December or January but not all to have made such a big contribution as they have. That has made the rest of the players play even better as well. You always play better with better players. That’s no disrespect to the players I’ve had in the last couple of years but these lads are younger with qualities better suited to the Barclays Premier League.”

Last season Allardyce faced pressure from the West Ham fans that were calling for him to be fired because of his negative tactics, and many believe their turnaround in form is due to a shift in their style of play. However, the former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United manager insist he hasn’t changed his outlook of soccer.

“My philosophy has never changed,” said Allardyce. “How the team plays best and how the best way of playing suits the team individually and collectively, the goal is always to get better and better, and always to play to win more games and be entertaining.

“It’s never changed. So my philosophy is always about staying focused, trying to make the team better.”

 

Hodgson critics Wembley NFL games

England boss Roy Hodgson has questioned the FA’s decision to host an NFL game at Wembley six days before England’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday, which will be the third such NFL event hosted at England’s national soccer stadium this year.

“I don’t really think you could expect me to say ‘excellent, delighted, well done’,” said Hodgson.

“If I was asked if it was a good thing or not, I would have to say not.”

The FA re-laid the surface of Wembley four-years ago following complaints from then England manager Fabio Capello, however, Hodgson feels the field is still not in great shape.

“The pitch, unfortunately, is not in the best of nick anyway, which we’re all a bit unhappy with.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play at Wembley. (Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play at Wembley. (Getty Images)

The NFL is now in its eighth year of its partnership with Wembley, and has a further three games lined up for 2015, one of which will take place on 4 October – just five days before England host Estonia in their last home Euro 2016 qualifier.

Wembley is also set to host two rugby games at next year’s Rugby World Cup – New Zealand v Argentina on 20 September and Ireland v Romania a week later, as well as the Rugby League Challenge Cup final in August.

“It is a decision Wembley has made and I know the ground staff will work very, very hard to give us the best pitch they can give us,” said 67-year-old Hodgson, who hopes Club England managing director Adrian Bevington will report to the FA board on the matter.

“Hopefully in the future the pitch will recover to its normal level and when it has done that we will be better able to support this type of activity,” he added.

 

“Three years to rebuild Man Utd” says van Gaal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says it could take up to three years for the club to reach their full capacity.

United has taken just 13-points from their opening 10 games, which is their worst start to a league campaign since 1986. Louis van Gaal admits the club’s results have been below the standards expected by the club’s fans, but feels the club is still in transition.

Louis van Gaal has found his appointment much more challenging than he anticipated.(Getty Images)

Louis van Gaal has found his appointment much more challenging than he anticipated.(Getty Images)

“It’s not good enough,” van Gaal, 63, said. “But on the other hand, we are in a process, as I have said from the beginning.

“The process shall take more than one year; it shall take three years.”

“I feel for the fans in the first place and the board because they have a great belief in me, my staff and my players,” he added.

The former Holland coach told the media to judge him after ‘three-months’ earlier in the season, though he later said that it was ‘stupid’ to tell the media to judge after such a short period of time.

The Red Devils spent $237.4m on players during the summer, but have only won three games in the EPL so far. The currently sit 10th in the EPL table, five points adrift of the coveted Champions League spot.

Predictions

Week 10

Result

My Predictions

Luke

Neil

Mabs

SATURDAY
Newcastle v Liverpool 1-0 0-2 1-3 1-2 3-2
Arsenal v Burnley 3-0 3-0 4-0 3-1 4-0
Chelsea v QPR 2-1 4-0 2-0 5-0 5-0
Everton v Swansea 0-0 2-1 3-1 3-2 3-2
Hull v Southampton 0-1 1-2 1-1 0-2 2-2
Leicester v West Brom 0-1 2-2 0-1 1-1 1-1
Stoke v West Ham 2-2 0-1 1-2 0-2 0-1
SUNDAY
Man City v Man Utd 1-0 3-2 2-1 3-2 2-1
Aston Villa v Tottenham 1-2 1-1 0-2 1-3 2-1
MONDAY
Crystal Palace v Sunderland 1-3 2-1 2-0 1-1 3-1
TOTAL SCORE 7-points 7-points 5-points 4-points

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

Last week Luke and I got FIVE correct results, including ONE perfect score to give us a total score of SEVEN-Points. That score ended my Neil’s two-week winning run and brought me my eighth win in ten weeks.

Can I make nine win this week or will a challenger take top spot? We will have to wait and see. Feel free to leave your predictions at the bottom of the page.

Week 11

My Predictions

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

SATURDAY

Liverpool v Chelsea

Last season this fixture all but ended Liverpool’s hopes of winning the League for the first time in 24-years when the Red’s lost 2-0 to Chelsea. We’re only 10-games into the current season but already the titles long beyond the Reds, nevertheless this game could be Brenden Rogers’ biggest game yet as Liverpool Manager.

Rogers sent out a B-team against Real Madrid midweek, which many saw as the Liverpool manager conceding defeat before kick-off and resting his players with a hope to getting a good result against Chelsea. If Liverpool win at the weekend all will be forgiven, but should they lose then the pressure will really be on Rogers.

The Reds lost 1-0 away to Newcastle last week before going down by the same score to Real Madrid midweek. They currently sit 7th in the EPL 12-points off of visitors Chelsea.

Chelsea have been a tad shaky of recent but are still unbeaten in the league. (Getty Images)

Chelsea have been a tad shaky of recent but are still unbeaten in the league. (Getty Images)

The Blues edged past their west London neighbors QPR last week winning 2-1 to maintain their unbeaten run. However, the EPL leaders were not at their best and midweek were disappointing in the Champions League drawing 1-1 with minnows Maribor.

Liverpool are set to recall a Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli who were left out of the starting line-up against Real Madrid, but Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined with a calf problem.

Chelsea look set to start Diego Costa despite the striker being left out of the Spain squad to recover from his persistent hamstring trouble. Elsewhere, Loic Remy, John Obi Mikel and Cesar Azpilicueta all return on Saturday.

Liverpool have been poor this season, while Chelsea have been excellent. However, the Blues have shown signs of fatigue in the last week and Liverpool might fancy their chances having rested a lot of their starters midweek.

But the Blues have a good record of recent against Liverpool—Chelsea have lost just one of their last six league and cup games against Liverpool (W3, D2), and while I think Liverpool will be more than up for this game, their defense is so leaky—The Reds have kept just two clean sheets in their last 16 league games—because of that Chelsea are bound to score a goal or two.

Prediction: 0-2

 

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United mini run came to an end last week with a defeat to neighbors Man City. The Red Devils played most of the game with ten men and a makeshift defense after Chris Smalling was red carded and Marcos Rojo dislocated his shoulder. Nevertheless, the Red Devils showed great spirit and were unlucky not to get anything from the game.

Visitors Crystal Palace lost 3-1 at home to Sunderland on Monday and are now without a win since September. The Eagles have been playing decent enough and have been unlucky with a few decisions, but their biggest problem has been their defending—they have conceded two or more goals in each of those four matches, and in eight of their 10 league games this season.

Di Maria has been United's most outstanding player thus far and they will be hoping that he can shine this weekend. (Getty Images)

Di Maria has been United’s most outstanding player thus far and they will be hoping that he can shine this weekend. (Getty Images)

Manchester United defensive troubles continue with Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Rafael are all injured and Chris Smalling is banned. Meaning Michael Carrick and Paddy McNair are likely to play in the center back roles, with Antonio Valencia at right-back and Luke Shaw at left-back.

Palace are without suspended captain Mile Jedinak, who was sent off in Monday’s defeat against Sunderland. While, Wilfried Zaha is ineligible against his parent club.

United have never lost to Palace in the EPL (W8, D2) and will be confident of getting back to winning ways. However, the Red Devils are operating with a makeshift defense at the moment, so Palace might just feel the time is right for them to visit. Nevertheless, United still look scary going forward and I expect them to win this one comfortably.

Prediction: 3-1

 

QPR v Man City

Manchester City have had an odd couple of weeks, first they went three games without a win and everything was doom and gloom and then they won the Manchester derby and everything was rosy again. I expected them to kick on after that victory, but they put in their poorest performance yet this season with a 2-1 home loss to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and seem like a team in disarray.

QPR lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the west London derby last week, but were good value for money and were unlucky not to come away with a draw. The Hoops have looked a lot better in recent weeks especially in defense, and offer a threat up top in the form of Bobby Zamora and Charlie Austin.

QPR’s Joey Barton and Nedum Onuoha could both return to face former club City. Midfielder Jordon Mutch is also fit again, but Rio Ferdinand will complete a two-match ban.

David Silva (R) is out with injury and will miss this week's tie. (Getty Images)

David Silva (R) is out with injury and will miss this week’s tie. (Getty Images)

Frank Lampard has recovered from a thigh problem and could return for City, but captain Vincent Kompany is out is out with a calf injury, while David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov are also out.

All seven of QPR’s points this season have come at home (W2 D1 L2), and they may fancy their chances of springing an upset against this out of form City team. However, City are unbeaten in their last four EPL meetings with QPR (W3, D1), and despite their recent struggles I expect them to win this comfortably.

 

SUNDAY

Swansea v Arsenal

Swansea got a good draw away to Everton last week and continue to punch above their weight in the EPL. The Swans have been tremendous at home this season collecting 10-points from a possible 15.

Arsenal comfortably beat Burnely 3-0 last weekend at home and could have won by a lot more. The Gunners were also cruising midweek in the Champions League, winning 3-0 against Belgian outfit Anderlecht, but then managed to throw that lead away to eventually draw the game 3-3. Arsene Wenger accused his players of complacency afterwards and said midfielder Aaron Ramsey should concentrate more on his midfield duties rather than trying to score goals.

Swansea are without midfielder Jonjo Shelvey after the midfielder picked up a red card against Everton last week. But Jordi Amat and Dwight Tiendalli are back in full training following respective knee and groin injuries and could feature.

Wilshere should play some part in the game. (Getty Images)

Wilshere should play some part in the game. (Getty Images)

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta is ruled out with a hamstring injury, but Jack Wilshere should be back after missing the last two games and Theo Walcott could make his first start since January.

Swansea are playing well at home and will be confident ahead of the visit of Arsenal, especially as the Gunners are still playing with a makeshift defense. However, the Londoners are unbeaten in the last five meetings in all competitions since a 2-0 home defeat in December 2012. Arsenal have not been playing well in recent weeks, but have still managed to pick up results and I think they will just about edge this one tomorrow.

Prediction: 1-2

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2014 MLS Cup Playoffs
2014 MLS Cup Playoffs avatar

The Major League Soccer playoffs continue this weekend with places in the Conference finals at stake. The away goals rule complicates matters this year, although it brings the league in line with most of the rest of the soccer world.

David Beckham hoists the cup after winning the 2012 MLS Cup Championship. (Getty Images)

David Beckham hoists the cup after winning the 2012 MLS Cup Championship. (Getty Images)

Last week’s results put New England and New York firmly in charge of their own destinies, while Seattle and Los Angeles also hold lesser advantages.

Let’s take a quick look at the matchups.

11/8
DC United vs New York Red Bulls (2:30 ET)

New York head down I 95 to take on their old rivals with a 2-0 lead following last week’s decisive win at Red Bull Arena.

DC had some injury problems for that first game, and particularly missed Luis Silva, who was replaced by an ineffective Eddie Johnson. Still coach Ben Olsen wasn’t making any excuses, saying afterwards, “New York put a whopping on us.”

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been on fire for the Red Bulls.(Howard C. Smith)

Bradley Wright-Phillips has been on fire for the Red Bulls.(Howard C. Smith)

If DC are to reverse this result they will need a better share of the midfield battle, where Dax McCarty and Eric Alexander gave New York a solid edge in the dirty work battle. United will also need to slow veteran Thierry Henry, who if he is in fact retiring, seems bent on leaving with an MLS Cup.

Playmaker Peguy Luyindula and goal machine Bradley Wright-Phillips (3 goals in 2 playoff games this year) will also need to be addressed by DC.

Prediction: N.Y. to advance

11/9
New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew (5:00 ET)

The Columbus Crew have made admirable progress this season under new coach Gregg Berhalter and new owner Anthony Precourt, but the Crew have dug too deep of a hole, traveling to New England down 4-2.

Lee Nguyen has shone in the MLS this season. (ISI Photos)

Lee Nguyen has shone in the MLS this season. (ISI Photo/Andrew Katsampes)

New England got two goals from Charlie Davies, MVP candidate Lee Nguyen burnished his credentials with his 10th match winner or the year, and Chris Tierney struck with a beauty of a free kick.

Jermaine Jones again showed his value to the Revolution continuing with his tenacious and abrasive ways, and although a late Columbus pk from Gonzalo Higuain gives the Crew slim hope, the four away goals allowed last Saturday will signal the end of the Crew’s playoff run.

Prediction: New England to advance

11/9
Los Angeles Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake (7:30 ET)

Flying in the face of poor playoff attendance league wide, Real Salt Lake fans flocked to Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday. Still despite the crowd’s enthusiasm, a dominant RSL couldn’t put a shot past L.A. keeper Jaime Penedo.

Dononvan will be hoping he can close his career on a winning note. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Dononvan will be hoping he can close his career on a winning note. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

The 1-1 draw lends L.A. a slight advantage as they head home to the StubHub Center, unless RSL can use the away goals rule to upend L.A.

The Galaxy are unlikely to be overrun at home as they were in Utah, and the feeling here is that Salt Lake will rue all those missed chances from game one.

Prediction: Los Angeles to advance

11/10
Seattle vs FC Dallas (10:30 ET)

In this match Seattle’s Marco Pappa both giveth and taketh away, first gifting FCD a penalty kick and then delivering a perfect free kick assist for the equalizer.

A foolish, and poorly executed tackle by Pappa, set the stage for Dallas to take the lead in the 34th minute through Michel’s well struck penalty kick. 20 minutes later Pappa was given a chance to make amends, and he did so with a perfectly placed free kick that Cuban hardman Osvaldo Alonso headed home for the leveler.

Dempsey will be hoping to lead his team to some silverware. . (Getty Images)

Dempsey will be hoping to lead his team to some silverware. . (Getty Images)

Dallas looked like they had snatched a late, late winner, but Seattle keeper Stefan Frei came up huge to deny a stoppage time rasper from FCD striker Fabian Castillo.

Now the clubs head to Seattle and what is expected to be a raucous CenturyLink Field crowd. That crowd, and stars Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and company should just about see the Sounders through to a mouthwatering Conference Final showdown with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Prediction: Seattle to advance

One note, the MLS playoffs are taking a breather for the coming FIFA international break. The Conference Finals will get underway on 11/23 with leg one play. Second leg matches will be held on 11/29 and 11/30, with teams, and times to be determined. The MLS Cup is scheduled for 12/7.

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Uhuru Football Academy Equipment Drive
Uhuru Football Academy Equipment Drive avatar

Courtesy of AYSA

Courtesy of AYSA

Uhuru is a National & International 501C3 Nonprofit organization that provides education and sports opportunities to disadvantage youths in Liberia.

We’re currently hosting an equipment drive fro the next 18 months. Our goal is to distribute 5000 cleats,5000 soccer balls, 3000 shin guards, 5000 socks, shorts, training vest, uniforms, socks, shorts, uniforms, 3000 cones, disc, pugs goals, full size goals, nets and water bottles, 200 lab tops 6000 school supplies pencils, pens, note pads, text books, backpack. You can donate anything that is gently used. Your donation will be greatly appreciated by the students of Uhuru.

Please donate generously. For more information visit the Arizona Youth Soccer Association website.

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World Soccer5’s USA 2015
World Soccer5’s USA 2015 avatar

Courtesy of CSA

Courtesy of CSA

For more information, please visit the Colorado Soccer Association website.

 

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MSYSA 2015 Spring State Cup
MSYSA 2015 Spring State Cup avatar

Plymouth, Michigan (October 16, 2014) – The Michigan State Youth Soccer Association will host more than 3,000+ players from 200+ teams as they compete in the US Youth Soccer MSYSA State Cup, which will be played in the Spring of 2015.

This will be the first of three legs in the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series. This spring season, MSYSA will host the following age groups: Under 13 Boys and Girls, Under 14 Boys through Under 18 Boys and Under 19 Boys and Girls. Additionally, MSYSA will host the 2015 Jr. State Cup this spring for teams in the U10 through U12 age groups.

The US Youth Soccer Association MSYSA State Cup Champions will qualify to compete for a regional title in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships hosted in Fox Cities, Wisconsin on June 20-24, 2015. Those who are crowned champions at the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships in the Under 13 through Under 19 brackets earn a place to compete in the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships to be played on July 21-26, 2015 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

2014 was an exciting and successful year for Michigan teams with the U13 Waza Boys crowned Champions and the U13 Michigan Hawks Girls crowned Finalists! MSYSA invites you and your team to participate in the 2015 MSYSA Spring State Cup Tournament.

The MSYSA State Cup Tournament is intended to provide teams a high level of competition for teams in the Under 13 through Under 19 age groups. If you or other teams you may be aware of, are interested in participating in the tournament, please make certain you register your team(s) before February 2, 2015 (December 15, 2014 for teams in the Under 19 age group). The cost per team to register if $455 (Under 19 teams: $455 + $3,000 bond).

The MSYSA State Cup is for current MSYSA league affiliated teams and MSYSA League affiliated members only. Preliminary matches will commence on March 14, 2015 and end on May 3, 2015. The MSYSA State Cup & Jr. State Cup Round of 16 and Quarterfinals will take place on May 16-17, 2015. The MSYSA State Cup & Jr. State Cup Semifinals & Finals are scheduled to take place on May 30-May 31, 2015.

Additionally, the cost to register for the MSYSA Jr. State Cup is $400 for teams in the Under-10 age group and $445 for teams in the Under-11 and Under-12 age groups. The deadline to apply for the MSYSA Jr. State Cup is February 2, 2015 at 4:30pm.

For more information on registering and to read the full press release, please visit the MSYSA website.

 

 

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Overcome Obstacles and Make a Difference!
Overcome Obstacles and Make a Difference! avatar

Need some inspiration? Check out this heartfelt video launched by TMB bank  to encourage you to get out there, overcome obstacles and make a difference!

Anything is possible, and in 1986 a group of soccer-loving kids that lived on a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee” set out to make their dreams of playing a reality, despite living on a floating village with no pitch to practice on.

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Sky Blue FC Partners with NJ Youth Soccer Girls Young Olympians Program
Sky Blue FC Partners with NJ Youth Soccer Girls Young Olympians Program avatar

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 6.30.38 AM

Morristown, N.J. (Tuesday, November 4, 2014) – Sky Blue FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) officially announced on Tuesday that the team has entered a partnership with New Jersey Youth Soccer (NJYS) for its Young Olympians Program. Developed in 2013, the Young Olympians was created specifically for the U-11 and U-12 age groups, providing training curriculum that is mirrored after the Olympic Development Program (ODP) that is executed by the NJYS.

“Being the only professional women’s soccer club in New Jersey, it makes perfect sense for our two organizations to work together in promoting the beautiful game,” said Tony Novo, President and General Manager of Sky Blue FC.  “New Jersey Youth Soccer has developed players who have excelled at every level of our sport, including here with us at Sky Blue FC and also with the U.S. Women’s National Team. We are very excited to see what the future holds for women’s soccer in the State of New Jersey as we combine our efforts with the growth of the game as our main focus.”

As part of the partnership, members of the Sky Blue FC coaching staff will participate in the regional tryouts for the Young Olympians Program that will be conducted on November 15th and 22nd, assisting NJYS with player evaluations.  Sky Blue FC coaching staff will also be involved in winter and spring training sessions.  Additionally, all trialists for the Young Olympians will receive a complimentary ticket to Sky Blue FC’s opening home match of the 2015 NWSL season.

“Incorporating Sky Blue FC’s professional coaching and training experience into our ODP program offers an additional layer of expertise specifically geared to our growing girls program,” said Rick Meana, Director of Coaching for NJ Youth Soccer.  “Girls playing soccer today need to have proper role models in our sport; Sky Blue FC offers that to our program.”

All U-11 and U-12 girls who are interested in attending the November tryouts for the NJYS Young Olympians Program can sign up by visiting https://www.gotsport.com/asp/application/reg/?ProgramID=29502&Type=PLAYER.

For all of the latest news on Sky Blue FC, visit the team’s newly launched website at www.SkyBlueFC.com, and make sure to follow the team on social media @SkyBlueFC.

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Inspiring Henry Remains Silent on Retirement
Inspiring Henry Remains Silent on Retirement avatar

Watching Thierry Henry play at such a high level, in what are rumored to be the final weeks of his glorious career, one might be tempted to get nostalgic over the Frenchman’s performance.

Henry in 2000 playing for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

Henry in 2000 playing for Arsenal. (Getty Images)

But the former Arsenal legend does not traffic in such cheap sentimentality, no Henry is too much the hard headed realist for that. Let others ooh, and ahh at the artistry Henry continues to bring to the game, even now at 37 years old.

The back heel pass that set up Bradley Wright-Phillips for the opening goal in the New York Red Bulls home playoff win over DC United on Sunday, the long, inch perfect pass that landed on Peguy Luyindula’s foot behind the United defense to create the game’s second. It’s all in the job description for the veteran.

Henry © has shown that he still has it..(Getty Images)

Henry © has shown that he still has it..(Getty Images)

No, Henry leaves it for others to to bring the superlatives. After Wednesday’s match this is what Dax McCarty had to say regarding his teammate. “When number 14 is feeling in the mood you can’t stop him.” “He’s been in the mood the last couple of weeks,” the defensive midfielder noted. “Like I’ve said before, he’s as close as there is to unstoppable in this league.”

Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles has had a great vantage point to take in Henry’s heroics, particularly on Sunday with his teammates dominating the ball far from his goal. “It is pretty incredible as a spectator to see what he’s doing at 37 years old. As a teammate you just really appreciate those moments, because not only is he a huge part of what we are trying to accomplish here, but he’s been doing this for four and a half years.”

Robles was just considering Henry’s Red Bull years, leaving aside for now talk of the totality of Henry’s long, storied career.

Staying in the present, the keeper continues to talk Henry. “It doesn’t matter who we are playing right now, I think we can beat them. The way he’s able to orchestrate our offense, the way he was able to find open guys, switch the point of attack.”

Henry in action for Red Bulls in March 2014(Getty Images)

Henry in action for Red Bulls in March 2014(Getty Images)

“I was just telling the guys,” Robles went on, “that those 15 minutes where I was just sitting there watching; because I didn’t really have much to do; it doesn’t matter who we are going to play, because as long as Thierry plays like this I think we have a great chance.”

A recent formation switch by Red Bull coach Mike Petke has seen Henry operating wide left, something familiar from his days at Arsenal. At times it has almost seemed unfair, as Henry has tormented MLS fullbacks these last few weeks.

On Sunday DC United fullback Chris Korb was the victim. Korb worked hard and had some decent moments, but when Henry faced the younger man down, one v. one, there was only going to be one winner.

Just three days before beating DC in the home leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Henry led New York to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference Play-in game. Henry was back in action after achilles problems had sidelined him for the Red Bulls regular season finale on October 26, in Kansas City, a 2-0 win for the Bulls.

Sporting KC’s 23 year old fullback Kevin Ellis must have been wishing Henry didn’t recover quite so quickly, or so well, as the legend took him to school in that 2-1 Red Bull victory.

The KC Homegrown player has enjoyed something of a breakout season in 2014, and hopefully he can apply the lessons learned from the Henry experience, but on the day it was simply unfair.

Since signing a Designated Player contract with New York in July 2010, Henry has never made it as far even as a conference final. Last season’s Supporters Shield is the only team success achieved during his MLS stay, to date.

Will Henry sign on for another year with the Red Bulls? It is a topic Henry has resolutely declined to address. When Red Bull executive Gerard Houllier stated last month that Henry would retire, the former Liverpool managers remarks sparked something of a furor, just not with with the subject of those rumors. When he was asked to comment on Houllier’s remarks, Henry shrugged, “ask him.”

Henry will bow out quietly. (Getty Images)

Henry will bow out quietly. (Getty Images)

No, for Henry there would be no press conference before or during the season to announce his plans, no emotional retirement tour, no collection of mementos, and tributes from opponents, al la Landon Donovan.

Again, not his style.

What Henry wants is simple enough, to win. After the Red Bulls most recent loss, 3-1 to Columbus back on October 19, Henry wouldn’t admit to any personal emotions in what could have been his final game at Red Bull Arena.

Henry said that night that it would mean, “nothing personally,” to him to earn at least one more home game in New Jersey. “It would be good for the fans to have another game here,” Henry deflected, “and the team.”

With a 2-0 lead after the first game of the two match aggregate, New York can close out DC United, at Washington’s RFK Stadium this Saturday afternoon.

Advancing would mean that Henry would be deeper into the MLS playoffs than he has been in his Red Bull career, and he will have earned one more home game for the fans, the team, and yes, himself.

Henry is not underestimating his opponents. (Getty Images)

Henry is not underestimating his opponents. (Getty Images)

Heading into the the DC game , Henry is unlikely to indulge in nostalgia. “For me nothing is done yet.” “We went to L.A. and lost 4-nil, so if DC does the same thing we are out,” Henry recalled, looking back eight games for inspiration.

Landon Donovan’s retirement was the big storyline heading into these 2014 MLS Playoffs. With his former teammate David Beckham, U.S. MNT star Donovan has long been the face of the Major League Soccer. Henry has never connected with the American public in the quite the same way as that duo, and the Hollywood ending fans are picturing likely involves Donovan raising the MLS Cup one final time.

But a result on Sunday would put Henry, and the Red Bulls, one step closer to a first MLS Cup Championship. Henry would be the first to remind that there is plenty of work still ahead.

Still, it is hard not to look ahead to an MLS Cup featuring New York and Los Angeles. Donovan and Henry. It would be an MLS marketers dream, and a fitting coda to Henry’s MLS career. It’s just hard to envision Henry getting too choked up over it.

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NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer- Roundup
NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer- Roundup avatar

As divisional play draws to a close, UCLA remain atop the NCAA Men’s RPI Rankings despite dropping points in both games they played this week, while Indiana could not overtake them after dropping points to minnows Wisconsin. Here is a recap on the week’s notable matchups!

No. 1 UCLA slips up against No. 8 Stanford (10/30)

No. 8 Stanford traveled to Los Angeles and left with a valuable point, after drawing against No. 1 UCLA on Thursday night.

A goal by Stanford’s Corey Baird a quarter of an hour in was canceled out almost immediately as UCLA equalized through striker Seyi Adekoya.

UCLA remain at the top of the table. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

UCLA remain at the top of the table. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Baird’s goal came after his initial shot came off the post. When the ball landed at his fit after hitting the woodwork he finished instinctively, Baird acrobatically finishing from inside the box.

It only took thirty seconds for UCLA to draw level when Adekoya did well to control a cross from Andrew Tusaazemajja and slot the ball past onrushing Stanford Cardinal goalkeeper Andrew Epstein.

Epstein would deny Adekoya before halftime, coming off his line to snuff a chance when the Bruin forward was clean through.

Adekoya and Baird exchanged goals in an exciting second half. Adekoya scored the go-ahead goal in the 59th minute following a defensive miscue between Epstein and one of his defenders. Leo Stolz, whose free kick was well saved just three minutes prior, flicked a ball over the top, which was headed on by Adekoya. When the Stanford defense failed to clear, Adekoya pounced on his header to toe-poke it past the goalkeeper.

In 77th minute Baird forced overtime when a cross from Zach Batteer was headed into the net.

Overtime did not yield a winner and the Pac-12 rivals had to settle for a point apiece.

No. 3 Syracuse Come From Behind against BC (10/31)

Boston College fell to No. 3 Syracuse in overtime courtesy of a golden goal by senior Skylar Thomas.

Diego Medina-Mendez got the goal for Boston but it was not enough. (ISI Photos//Andrew Katsampes)

Diego Medina-Mendez got the goal for Boston but it was not enough. (ISI Photos//Andrew Katsampes)

Boston led through Diego Medina-Mendez, despite Syracuse controlling the game. Medina-Mendez’s sent in a drilled cross that took an odd bounce to go past Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono.

Syracuse drew level courtesy of a penalty kick that was dispatched clinically by Nick Perea after Oyvind Alseth was fouled in the box.

Though Boston College goalkeeper Alex Kapp could do nothing about the penalty, he did all he could for the duration of the match to keep Syracuse from winning in regulation, making four second-half saves to force overtime.

In the 103rd minute Kapp did well to save a shot from Alex Halis, but could do nothing as the rebound fell to Skylar Thomas who buried the rebound in the open net to secure the victory, as well as a share of the ACC Atlantic Division title.

No. 2 Indiana Fails to Beat Wisconsin (11/1)

Wisconsin battled No. 2 Indiana to a 2-2 draw, picking up their first point against a Big Ten opponent.

The Hoosiers have found their form this season after a poor 2013. (Courtesy of Indiana Sports)

The Hoosiers have found their form this season after a poor 2013. (Courtesy of Indiana Sports)

The Badgers came into the game 0-6 versus Big Ten teams, while Indiana came into the match ranked second in the nation.

Wisconsin went ahead via a Drew Conner penalty kick after Tom Barlow was hacked down in the 18.

Indiana left it late to equalize in the first half, with Matt Foldesy heading the ball past Wisconsin goalkeeper Casey Beyers with nine seconds remaining.

Wisconsin came out on fire in the second half, but conceded a goal from distance after Tanner Thompson curling shot went past Beyers.

Wisconsin drew level to force their sixth overtime of the season when Jacob Brindle redirected a cross from Adam Kauko into the back of the net.

No. 1 UCLA Upset by No. 17 Cal

No. 1 UCLA dropped points in its second consecutive match after losing at home 1-0 to No 17. California.

The lone goal game early in the second half when UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards spilled the ball and Connor Hallisey pounced on the rebound to secure a famous result.

UCLA were swept by Cal for the first time since 2006, after Cal’s 3-2 win over the Bruins on October 10. Despite the loss, UCLA remain atop the Pac-12 standings.

Here are updated NCAA Men’s Soccer RPI Rankings:

RANK SCHOOL CONFERENCE RECORD ROAD NEUTRAL HOME NON-DI
1 UCLA Pac-12 10-4-4 7-2-1 0-1-0 3-1-3 0-0-0
2 Indiana Big Ten 11-2-4 5-0-1 2-0-0 4-2-3 0-0-0
3 Georgetown Big East 10-3-4 5-1-1 0-0-1 5-2-2 0-0-0
4 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast 10-4-3 3-2-1 1-0-1 6-2-1 0-0-0
5 California Pac-12 10-3-1 4-3-1 0-0-0 6-0-0 0-0-0
6 Stanford Pac-12 10-2-3 4-2-1 0-0-0 6-0-2 0-0-0
7 Charlotte Conference USA 13-2-1 6-1-1 0-0-0 7-1-0 0-0-0
8 Syracuse Atlantic Coast 14-2-1 6-1-1 0-0-0 8-1-0 0-0-0
9 Virginia Atlantic Coast 9-5-2 2-3-1 1-0-0 6-2-1 0-0-0
10 Creighton Big East 13-2-2 4-0-2 0-0-0 9-2-0 0-0-0
11 Washington Pac-12 11-3-1 5-1-1 0-0-0 6-2-0 0-0-0
12 Clemson Atlantic Coast 10-6-1 3-3-1 0-1-0 7-2-0 0-0-0
13 North Carolina Atlantic Coast 12-4-1 5-3-0 0-0-0 7-1-1 0-0-0
14 Providence Big East 10-3-2 4-2-1 0-0-0 6-1-1 0-0-0
15 UC Irvine Big West 12-4-2 4-3-2 3-0-0 5-1-0 0-0-0
16 Saint Louis Atlantic 10 11-3-2 1-3-2 0-0-0 10-0-0 0-0-0
17 Maryland Big Ten 10-5-2 1-3-1 0-0-0 9-2-1 0-0-0
18 Xavier Big East 11-4-2 4-3-1 0-0-0 7-1-1 0-0-0
19 Michigan St. Big Ten 9-4-4 3-2-2 0-0-0 6-2-2 0-0-0
20 UAB Conference USA 9-6-1 4-2-0 0-2-0 5-2-1 0-0-0
21 Penn St. Big Ten 11-4-1 3-2-1 0-0-0 8-2-0 0-0-0
22 Northwestern Big Ten 8-3-5 2-3-3 0-0-1 6-0-1 0-0-0
23 UNCW Colonial 12-3-2 7-0-1 0-0-0 5-3-1 0-0-0
24 Coastal Caro. Big South 11-5-0 6-3-0 0-0-0 5-2-0 0-0-0
25 Kentucky Conference USA 10-3-4 5-1-2 0-1-0 5-1-2 0-0-0
26 Ohio St. Big Ten 7-6-4 2-4-1 1-0-0 4-2-3 0-0-0
27 Akron Mid-American 10-5-1 3-4-1 0-0-0 7-1-0 0-0-0
28 George Mason Atlantic 10 11-3-3 2-2-3 1-0-0 8-1-0 0-0-0
29 Louisville Atlantic Coast 8-6-3 2-4-0 0-0-0 6-2-3 0-0-0
30 Wake Forest Atlantic Coast 10-7-0 1-3-0 0-0-0 9-4-0 0-0-0

 

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NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer- Roundup
NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer- Roundup avatar

The NCAA Women’s Soccer landscape remains the same after UCLA won both games to remain at the summit of the NCAA Women’s RPI Rankings, while their Pac-12 rivals, Stanford, won their two matchups to stay tied with the Bruins in the conference standings. Here are the recaps on the noteworthy game from the past week.

No. 4 Stanford narrowly defeat Oregon (10/30)

The Stanford Cardinal had Lo’eau LaBonta to thank as she scored a goal in overtime to defeat Oregon 1-0.

The victory means that Stanford goes into the last regular season game one game behind UCLA, who sit atop the Pac-12 standings.

Chioma Ubogagu has had a stellar career for Stanford and has made a huge impact on the program. (ISI Photos/David Bernall)

Chioma Ubogagu has had a stellar career for Stanford and has made a huge impact on the program. (ISI Photos/David Bernall)

Despite outshooting Oregon over the course of the game 26-4, Stanford could not find a way past the Oregon defense, lead by Beaver goalkeeper Abby Steele.

Steele made several impressive stops, but could do nothing as LaBonta put away the rebound after Taylor Uhl’s shot was blocked.

The defeat left Oregon third from bottom in Pac-12 standings and no. 65 in the RPI standings.

No. 9 Notre Dame held to a draw at Boston College (11/1)

Allyson Swaby was the hero of the night for Boston. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Allyson Swaby was the hero of the night for Boston. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Boston College came from a goal down to tie No. 9 Notre Dame 1-1 in Newton, Massachusetts.

The Fighting Irish went ahead through Katie Naughton, whose diving header off Brittany Von Rueden’s corner kick found the back of the net in the 63rd minute.

Eleven minutes from time, Allyson Swaby scored on a controversial call to level the score line. After an initial shot clanged against the crossbar Swaby, who appeared to be offside, put away the rebound.

This was the first away goal that fighting Irish have conceded in over 700 minutes, keeping a clean sheet in every game since their regular season opener at Illinois in August.

No. 5 North Carolina win at Syracuse (11/2)

They required overtime, but No. 5 North Carolina escaped Syracuse with a 2-1 win to share the ACC regular season title with Florida State.

The Tear Heels went ahead in the 17th minute when Summer Green slotted home from just inside the box.

UNC seem to peaking at the right time. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

UNC seem to peaking at the right time. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Despite dominating proceedings, Syracuse leveled the game in the 72nd minute Stephanie Skilton played in Maya Pitts, who shot past goalkeeper Lindsey Harris.

Overtime beckoned as the teams remained deadlocked after 90 minutes.

North Carolina secured victory only five minutes into the first overtime period when Paige Nielsen shot across goal to the left corner.

North Carolina finish the regular season 12-2-2 (9-0-1), with their one ACC draw coming against Florida State, whom they tied 1-1 on October 23. They join Florida State, Virginia, and Notre Dame in the ACC Women’s Championship on November 7-9.

No. 1 UCLA eases past No. 17 Washington (11/2)

No. 1 UCLA traveled to Seattle and left with a win after scoring six against No. 17 Washington.

The result was never in doubt as UCLA went up 2-0 inside the first seven minutes.

Taylor Smith’s toe poke was quickly followed by Sam Mewis left-footed finish after being put clean through by Caprice Dydasco.

Taylor Smith ® in action for UCLA. (ISI Photos/Steven Limentani)

Taylor Smith ® in action for UCLA. (ISI Photos/Steven Limentani)

The third goal came in the 30th minute after a great, fluid play from the Bruins. After Taylor Smith’s backheel found Mewis, she crossed into the middle of the box to Zoey Goralski, who immediately sent a pass to Sarah Killion, who one-timed it past Washington goalkeeper Megan Kufeld into the corner.

UCLA scored three more after halftime, with the soggy conditions contributing to Washington’s downfall. Kufeld could not hold onto a cross and when a UCLA forward’s attempt to score was stopped by the mud, a scramble ensued. The ball eventually went in the goal courtesy of a Washington foot, resulting an own goal.

UCLA ended the game similarly to how it started- with two goals in the final minutes.

The Bruins’ fifth goal came after another Washington defensive mistake, with an attempted clearance went straight to Gabrielle Matulich, who had the easy task of slotting home.

Two minutes from time saw UCLA finish the rout with a sixth goal. This time it was Kylie McCarthy with the honors as she skipped past a defender and side-footed past Madi McNamara, who was brought on for Megan Kufeld.

UCLA can claim the Pac-12 title outright with a win in their last game of the season against USC.

Here are updated NCAA Women’s Soccer RPI Rankings:

RANK SCHOOL CONFERENCE RECORD ROAD NEUTRAL HOME NON-DI
1 UCLA Pac-12 17-0-2 6-0-1 1-0-0 10-0-1 0-0-0
2 Stanford Pac-12 16-1-2 5-1-1 1-0-0 10-0-1 0-0-0
3 Texas A&M Southeastern 15-2-2 5-1-0 0-0-1 10-1-1 0-0-0
4 Penn St. Big Ten 17-2-0 7-0-0 0-1-0 10-1-0 0-0-0
5 North Carolina Atlantic Coast 12-2-2 5-1-1 2-0-0 5-1-1 0-0-0
6 West Virginia Big 12 14-2-2 3-1-1 1-0-0 10-1-1 0-0-0
7 Florida St. Atlantic Coast 16-1-1 7-0-1 0-0-0 9-1-0 0-0-0
8 Virginia Atlantic Coast 17-1-0 6-1-0 0-0-0 11-0-0 0-0-0
9 Florida Southeastern 14-4-0 7-4-0 0-0-0 7-0-0 0-0-0
10 Texas Tech Big 12 14-3-1 4-2-0 3-0-0 7-1-1 0-0-0
11 South Carolina Southeastern 12-4-3 3-1-3 1-0-0 8-3-0 0-0-0
12 Wisconsin Big Ten 15-2-2 6-1-1 1-0-0 8-1-1 0-0-0
13 Pepperdine West Coast 14-2-3 6-0-2 0-1-1 8-1-0 0-0-0
14 Notre Dame Atlantic Coast 12-4-2 6-0-2 0-0-0 6-4-0 0-0-0
15 Washington Pac-12 12-6-1 6-2-1 1-1-0 5-3-0 0-0-0
16 Virginia Tech Atlantic Coast 14-5-0 8-2-0 0-0-0 6-3-0 0-0-0
17 UCF AAC 16-3-0 5-3-0 1-0-0 10-0-0 0-0-0
18 Washington St. Pac-12 10-4-3 7-1-1 0-0-1 3-3-1 0-0-0
19 Kansas Big 12 15-4-0 5-2-0 0-0-0 10-2-0 0-0-0
20 DePaul Big East 15-0-3 7-0-2 0-0-0 8-0-1 0-0-0
21 Kentucky Southeastern 13-5-0 4-4-0 0-0-0 9-1-0 0-0-0
22 California Pac-12 13-4-2 5-1-1 2-0-0 6-3-1 0-0-0
23 La Salle Atlantic 10 12-4-2 5-2-1 0-0-0 7-2-1 0-0-0
24 UConn AAC 12-4-4 4-2-2 0-0-0 8-2-2 0-0-0
25 South Fla. AAC 12-6-1 4-3-0 1-0-0 7-3-1 0-0-0
26 Auburn Southeastern 11-5-3 3-3-1 2-0-0 6-2-2 0-0-0
27 Arizona Pac-12 10-6-2 3-4-0 1-0-1 6-2-1 0-0-0
28 Oklahoma St. Big 12 10-8-1 1-5-1 0-1-0 9-2-0 0-0-0
29 Missouri Southeastern 11-5-3 4-3-1 0-1-1 7-1-1 0-0-0
30 Clemson Atlantic Coast 13-3-2 5-2-1 1-0-0 7-1-1 0-0-0

 

 

 

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CONCACAF U20 Men’s Final In Jamaica in January 2015
CONCACAF U20 Men’s Final In Jamaica in January 2015 avatar

CONCACAF has announced the groups and schedule for the regions U20 Men’s Championship to be held in Jamaica in January 2015. The 12 nation tournament also servers as the World Cup qualifiers for the region. The tournament runs from January 9-24, with matches played in Kingston and Montego Bay.

(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

The U.S. should look to do well in Group A.(ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

The U.S. MNT U20 team have been placed in Group A, along with the hosts, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Panama, and Guatemala.

Mexico headline Group B, which also includes Canada, Haiti, Cuba, Honduras and El Salvador. Despite all of their recent success. Costa Rica have not qualified for this finals.

This is a new format for the CONCACAF U20 Championship. Past tournaments had featured four groups of three teams.

In this new structure the first-place teams in each group automatically qualifies for the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U20 Championship Final. The second and third place teams in each group will be reseeded based on group stage results. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

U.S. U20 coach Tab Ramos will begin prepping his squad for the tournament with a trip to Marbella, Spain, from Nov. 10-19 for three international matches. The Young Yanks will play Russia’s U20 national team on Nov. 12, the Republic of Ireland’s U21 squad on Nov. 15 and Canada’s U20s on Nov. 18. The U-20 MNT roster for the Spain trip will be announced in the coming days.

Tab Ramos consulting with his bench during a match. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Tab Ramos consulting with his bench during a match. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

“As we get into Spain, that will be a great opportunity to see some of our European-based players, so I’m excited about finally getting that camp in Europe,” Ramos said, in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “Come December,” Ramos continued, “when we are putting things together, I believe we will have a group that will help us qualify for the World Cup. It is a deep group, so we will definitely have some difficult decisions to make.”

The U.S. finished runner-up to Mexico at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. That group qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where the team was drawn a difficult Group A that included France, Spain and Ghana. Though the USA did not advance out of the group, it did play eventual champion France to a 1-1 draw. Defender’s France were eliminated in qualifying, and will not be on hand to defend its title.

The USA has earned second place in the qualification tournament six times (1980, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2009, 2013), but has yet to win a CONCACAF U20 Championship title.

The U.S. has qualified for 13 FIFA World Youth Championships/FIFA U-20 World Cups. The USA’s best World Cup finish was a fourth-place performance at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.

24 nation’s will contest the Men’s U20 FIFA World Cup in seven cities across New Zealand from May 30- June 20.

2015 CONCACAF U20 Championship

Group A: Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Panama, USA, Guatemala

Group B: Haiti, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador
USA’s Group A Schedule:

Friday, Jan. 9: Guatemala, 6:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Jan. 11: Panama, 6:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Jan. 14: Aruba, 6:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Jan. 18: Jamaica, 9 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Jan. 21: Trinidad & Tobago, 6:30 p.m. ET

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