Sunday, May 31, 2009

More Reinforcements Arrive

The size of the travel party grew substantially this evening with the arrival of several players coming off yesterday's matches. Frankie Hejduk touched down first, and immediately hit the training table for treatment. Brian Ching and Marvell Wynne were next in line, with Chinger wearing the smile following their 3-0 win against Toronto. Landon Donovan and Pablo Mastroeni got in early enough for a regeneration session, while Carlos Bocanegra made it just in time for dinner.

Tomorrow morning - fingers crossed, considering the dreadful weather - Tim Howard, Benny Feilhaber and Jose Francisco Torres will meet the group before heading to the airport, while Danny Califf will find his own way to San Jose (feel free to roll your eyes - we just did...).

Exit Interview With Luis Robles

Luis Robles is departing camp today with a new experience behind him and an even bigger one laying ahead – his wedding on June 7 in Arizona. Born in Ft. Huachaca, Robles spent four years at the University of Portland before landing at FC Kaiserslautern in Germany. Now with a couple of seasons of moving up the ranks at the club, he got his first sniff with the national team this week. It’s fair to say that Luis has enjoyed the ride…

us: When did you first become aware the national team staff was keeping an eye on you?

Luis: “Back in December, there had been some communication about me possibly coming in for January. It didn’t work out, but I felt if I kept playing well I would get another opportunity. While Heath Pearce was in with the team in March, he was asking about my status - I had just torn ligaments in my right ankle. I was told by the goalkeeper coach that I might get a look in the summer. I thought there might be a chance, so I focused on recovery and finishing the season strong.”

us: What is the Heath Pearce connection?

Luis: “Heath and I knew each other through regional ODP, and then we played together at the University of Portland.”

us: Heath also made the jump from UP to across the pond. How did your journey start?

Luis: "I was drafted by D.C. United in 2007, but I still wanted to test the waters. I left the next day for Germany. I had a trial with a 2nd division team in East Germany, but since I arrived a few days early my agent set up a training session with reserve team at Kaiserslautern. As soon as the session was over, the first team coach invited me to stay a week, and then I got signed by the reserve team on a six month contract.”

us: And then it was back to job hunting?

Luis: “At that point, I didn’t know what FCK was going to do, so I had to look for a new team. Basically I was unemployed sitting in farm house in Germany wondering what was going to happen next. My neighbors were two horses and four sheep. On the day of the transfer deadline, they sold one of their ‘keepers and I signed again as the third string guy for the 2007-08 season.”

us: Clearly things have continued to progress…

Luis: "It’s been great. I started the year as the number two. When the starter got hurt, I came in and did well, and the team got on a good run. FCK is a very popular club. The team has been around since 1900, and has a much storied history. It’s closely linked to the success of the German national team, particularly early on. I really enjoy it there.”

us: So when did the message come from U.S. Soccer that you were being called into camp?

Luis: "A couple weeks ago I got an email from the general manager. I woke up in the morning and had an email that had the subject line national team invitation, and I kind of freaked out.”

us: Describe ‘freaked out’.

Luis: "I called my parents and my fiancé. The experience this year has been surreal, from making my pro debut, keeping the first team spot, and now getting married. The national team call up is the cherry on top.”

us: How has the experience been for you?

Luis: “These are the players I have been watching on television, and now I am training with them and introducing myself to someone who I already felt like I knew from seeing them play. All that said, as soon as training started it just felt normal. We just got down to playing football.”

us: What surprised you the most from the week?

Luis: “I didn’t know what to expect – whether there would be big egos or things like that, but everyone is very relaxed. It’s great to be back in an environment where everyone speaks the same language. I’ve had a lot of fun talking with guys at meals, and getting out a little bit. Trainings were intense, but not to the breaking point. The level is fantastic. One thing that concerned me was that the level might be too quick from the get go. I think I adapted well. I’m really impressed with how smart everyone is with the ball, and technically sound with decisions. With everything here, you can tell everyone is enjoying what they’re doing.”

Edu Unavailable For Wednesday

Maurice Edu will not travel to Miami today as scheduled, remaining in Glasgow to receive further evaluation on the knee injury he suffered in Rangers final league match on May 24 against Dundee. Edu will not be available for Wednesday's match against Costa Rica, and his status for the remaining games this summer will be determined based on the results of his examination. No decision has been made on whether there will be a replacement added to the roster.

TT answered - Punching The Clock

Well done to several of our readers, who correctly picked up that the leader in minutes played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle for the U.S. is none other than DaMarcus Beasley. In our informal survey, it took most people at least five attempts to get it right!

Beas has made 10 appearances out of 11 total matches thus far, including nine starts. Coming off injury last year, he played in both games against Barbados in June, and was one of a handful of regulars who traveled to T&T after the U.S. had clinched their place in the final round.

Beasley is followed in minutes by Michael Bradley and Heath Pearce, both of whom have started nine games as well.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Everton Denied in FA Cup Final

Everton's run in the FA Cup fell short at the final hurdle today, with Tim Howard and the Toffees going down 2-1 to Chelsea in the final from Wembley stadium.

Everton's afternoon started in the best possible way, with Louis Saha scoring after just 25 seconds. However, Chelsea clawed their way back into it, with Didier Drogba leveling the score in the 21st minute.

In the second half Chelsea asserted their dominance, and Frank Lampard's left-footed drive gave the London club an advantage they would not surrender.

Howard made three saves in the loss. You can see a few highlights here and we'll try to put some up later on.


Quick Hits From Saturday Morning

  • The team got their first taste of turf training in preparation for the artificial surface at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. An hour-long session under intense heat this morning included Freddy Adu and new arrivals Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan
  • Players and coaches have gathered to watch the FA Cup final between Everton and Chelsea
  • Frankie Hejduk (groin) will travel to Miami and be evaluated by the national team medical staff. Hejduk is not with the Crew for their match tonight in Seattle

Cup Final Saturday, Pt. 2

Tim Howard isn't the only American playing in a cup final today. DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu could feature for Rangers in the Scottish Cup final as they look to complete a domestic double. Rangers won the league last week, and this time around they'll look to upend Falkirk in today's final from Hampden Park.

Rangers won this competition last year, with DaMarcus Beasley contributing a goal in a 3-2 victory against Queen of the South.

Maurice Edu is facing the proverbial "race against time" in order to be fit for the game. Edu sustained a slight thigh knock in last weeks game against Dundee United. According to BBC Sport's Live Text, Edu has been left out of the lineup. No word on official lineups at this moment.

Stay tuned as we'll provide a few updates on this game and the FA Cup final throughout the day...

Training Look-in

While we get ready for our slightly-early training session this morning, here's a look at yesterday's action from Miami. Not everybody is in camp yet, with a few players playing today in some notable games, but that hasn't stopped training from being as fast-paced and intense as you would normally expect. Take a look:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tweet Chat with Jay DeMerit

You may have heard from your friends who are cool, but our Twitter feed is all the rage these days - check it out at Writing just one or two sentences at a time can be pretty tough though, so this afternoon the ussoccer twitter sprung a surprise on the twitter nation and handed the keyboard to Jay DeMerit, who held a spontaneous q&a with fans for about an hour. Here are some of the questions he got (and the answers he gave):

@ussoccer Hey Jay...what's your prediction for the Cup Final tomorrow?
@ericpz I'd love to see Timmy get the win, so hopefully Everton can score a few goals to help him out...

@ussoccer bigger accomplishment winning Confederations Cup or Quarterfinal appearance in the World Cup?
@tickel09 Hmmmmm...Can I have both?

@ussoccer How much bigger is Gooch than every other guy on the team? Is he as intimidating in person as looks on TV?
@FerrisOnline He's much bigger than everybody else and much scarier. Especially when he has a beard.

@ussoccer in your opinion, who's the best player you've ever played against personally?

@Brendanmeyer Probably Messi. In the Copa America from 2007.

@ussoccer Are they going to let you do another internship at Soccer House?
@hoover_dam Ha! Hopefully my soccer house lawnmowing days are over...

Join in the fun over at and stay tuned to see if somebody else takes command of the controls in the next few days (or weeks...we are on the road for awhile after all).

Photos from Today's Training

Some photos from today's training session. For the full gallery, head over to

TT - Punching the Time Card

One of the topics that fans love to debate about the U.S. team is whether or not enough players have been giving opportunities, the so-called "new blood" argument. Would it surprise you to know that after 11 games in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle, at least 36 different players have at least one cap in qualifying alone? There's also been 14 different goalscorers, but that's for another post...

In any case, the question for you today is at the top end of the playing time spectrum. Which man has gotten the most minutes in 2010 qualifying? If you're feeling frisky, you can throw in the total minutes played while you're at it ...

This Just In...

Or rather, them just in. (Apologies to our 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Kinsley. You taught us better...)

Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan are now in Miami, bumping the group total to 14 players. Freddy Adu arrived last evening, and was excused from training this morning for personal reasons. The next gaggle of players will not arrive until Sunday afternoon.

Meantime, Bob Bradley previewed the upcoming matches on a media teleconference call earlier this afternoon. Check back shortly for the full audio podcast.

Update: Here's the podcast with Bob Bradley. Click here to listen.

Cup Final Saturday

Tim Howard and Everton face off against Chelsea in the FA Cup Final on Saturday. You can see the game live from 10 a.m. ET on FSC. Everybody in camp is excited to see Tim in the game, and we're even training a bit earlier tomorrow so we can come back in time to catch the second half.

Everton are going for their first trophy in fourteen years while Chelsea are trying to reclaim the competition they last won in 2007. The last meeting between the two came just days after both sides had booked their spots at the Wembley final.

Howard has had an excellent year minding the Everton net. Setting club records and notably saving two penalty kicks against former-club Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal.

Last Sunday, Howard was the subject SportsCenter's Sunday Conversation. In case you missed it, watch it here.

Random cool photo gallery: Fixing the FA Cup trophy.

Photos from

Studio 90 for May 29, 2009

The latest episode of Studio 90 is up on In this edition of the show MNT players talk to media from training, Gooch looks forward in a one-on-one interview, and players at the Development Academy Spring Showcase ask MNT Players questions ranging from...well, you'll see. Check out the full episode here.

All to Do in the Second Leg...

José Franscico Torres and Pachuca fell 1-0 to Pumas last night in the first leg of the final in Mexico. Torres played 90 minutes for Pachuca, who will need to overcome the deficit in the second leg of the final on Sunday.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pachuca Set for First Leg of Final

José Francisco Torres and Pachuca travel to México City tonight to face UNAM in the first leg of the Primera División final. Pumas, the former club of MNT assistant coach Mike Sorber, dispatched Puebla in the semifinal, while Pachuca rolled into the final thanks to wins over Indios and Chiapas.

Watch the game live here. Or tune in to Telemundo from 10 p.m. ET to catch what should be an exciting first leg.

Here in MNT camp, we'll be channel switching between Pachuca and the MLS Game. Chicago Fire take on Chivas USA on ESPN2 starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. Should be an exciting night of soccer...

Pictures from Today's Pre-Rain Training

It's raining again this afternoon. Surprised? We're not. We did manage to get in a full session though, with guys doing some small sided games (what else would you do with only 11 people?) and finishing exercises. Tomorrow's training corps will increase by one: Freddy Adu has arrived this afternoon from France. For the full gallery of pictures check out

On This Day in U.S. Soccer History

A 22-year-old Clint Dempsey scored his first goal for the full national team. netting the USA's lone strike in the 2-1 loss to England on May 28, 2005. Dempsey now has a baker's dozen to his credit, including four goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

Here's a fun look back at a much younger Clint Dempsey

Coincidentally, the U.S. had played England once before on May 28 - in 1959. That result wasn't quite as close ...

Italy Squad Revealed...Sort Of

Marcello Lippi has released a squad for Italy's friendly against Northern Ireland, but the roster is devoid of many of the big names you would expect in the Confederations Cup. That's because he's decided to keep them fresh for the tournament in South Africa, and on Thursday elected to name two teams.

Here's how it works:

These 13 players are guaranteed to be on the Confederations Cup squad but will not play in the June 6 friendly.

Goalkeepers (2): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Marco Amelia (Palermo)

Defenders (3): Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid, Spain), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan)

Midfielders (4): Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)

Forwards (4): Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich, Germany)

The second squad consists of 21 players who will use the June 6 friendly against Northern Ireland to vie for the final 10 places on the Confederations Cup roster.

Goalkeepers (2): Morgan De Sanctis (Galatasaray, Turkey), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

Defenders (7): Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool, England), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Lyon, France), Andrea Esposito (Lecce), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Davide Santon (Inter Milan)

Midfielders (8): Marco Biagianti (Catania), Matteo Brighi (AS Roma), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Daniele Galloppa (Siena), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Pasquale Foggia (Lazio)

Forwards (4): Giuseppe Mascara (Catania), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Sergio Pellissier (Chievo), Giuseppe Rossi (Villareal, Spain)

Italy Set to Release Squad

We're off to training in a few minutes, day two of training sessions with eleven people. First though, Italy will be releasing a squad for its upcoming friendly against Northern Ireland. The game is set to take place on June 6th, so the squad will probably be pretty similar (or exactly the same) to the one that Marcello Lippi will name for the Confederations Cup. Italy will also face fellow Confederations Cup team New Zealand in a friendly on June 10th.

The U.S. opens the Confederations Cup against Italy on June 15th. You can see the game live on ESPN.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ESPN Getting it Done

Once again, the Worldwide Leader in Sports has come through for U.S. fans. After much effort to work the schedule, the USA-Costa Rica qualifier will be shown live on ESPN on June 3 at 10 p.m. ET.

ESPN also announced the full broadcast for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise all matches of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 14-28 And to go one step better, all the matches will be available in High Definition.

ESPN will televise the the match between the United States and 2006 FIFA World Cup champion Italy (June 15, 2:25 p.m. ET), while ESPN2 will carry the match against Brazil (June 18, 9:55 a.m. ET) and Egypt (June 21, 2:25 p.m. ET).

For the complete listings, log on to

Photos from Today's Training

Here are a few shots from today's aforementioned 11-man training session. Head over to to see the full gallery.

May 27, 2009: Studio 90 News

Here's today's edition of Studio 90 news from Miami:

And Just Up The Road ...

The Honduran team has assembled in what has become their preferred training camp venue for national team preparations - Sunrise, Fla. Head coach Reinaldo Rueda has enlisted 23 players to get ready for the June 6 match in Chicago, including Toronto FC midfielder Amado Guevara. The Hondurans are in third place in the group on four points, which includes a 3-1 win against Mexico. The Catrachos will train here until June 4, when they shift to Chicago. The Honduras roster:

Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Júnior Morales, Ricardo Canales

Defenders: Mario Beata, Víctor Bernárdez, Erick Norales, Osman Chávez, Maynor Figueroa, Oscar Bonieck, Emilio Izaguirre, Mauricio Sabillón.

Midfielders: Amado Guevara, Ramón Núñez, Roger Espinoza, Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas, Julio de León, Danilo Turcios,

Forwards: Georgie Welcome, Allan Lalín, Carlo Costly, Carlos Pavón, Walter Martínez.

Starting XI

That's how camp opened up today in Miami, with 11 European-based players getting their first taste of the South Florida sun - for reference purposes, it's hot. With several reporters on hand, the hour-long session began the acclimation process for the next 10 days. The Chivas USA players are the next scheduled to travel to Miami following their top of the tables clash against Chicago on Thursday night (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m. ET). The vast majority of the group will arrive Sunday, not in time for the USA's final training session before the team departs for Costa Rica. For those keeping score, here's a list of the first 11 in Miami:


You May Have Heard There's a Game Today...

Manchester United vs. Barcelona. UEFA Champions League Final. You can see it live from 2:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. We asked a few of the guys in MNT camp for their predictions and you may be surprised by the uniformity of their responses. And speaking of uniforms, in such a close game it's probably the little things that matter (see the last response...)

If you needed any other reason to get excited for the game, check out this great Champions League Top Plays from ESPN:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Short Interview with Maurice Edu

Here's a short clip from a press conference with Rangers' midfielder Maurice Edu.

Rangers are preparing for Saturday's Scottish Cup final against Falkirk on May 30.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Celebrate an SPL Title with Rangers

Rangers captured the Scottish Premier League title yesterday, giving DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu much to celebrate (along with the rest of the blue half of Glasgow). Here is the final few minutes and post-game celebration:

Tim Howard Piece from ESPN

In case you missed this one on Sunday, here it is again:

Highlights: Fulham 0, Everton 2

Highlights of Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard on the final day of the Premier League season as Everton defeat Fulham:

Highlights: West Ham 2, Boro 1

Highlights of Jonathan Spector in West Ham's win over Middlesbrough:

Pachuca Head to Final in Mexico

José Francisco Torres and Pachuca needed a 90 minute goal from Blas Perez to get by Indios and advance to the finals of Mexico's Primera División. Pachuca will play Pumas in the final, another two-leg affair, with games on May 28 and 31.

Celebrate A Championship with Standard Liege

Despite a 2nd consecutive Belgian League title in a row, celebrations were pretty muted in Liege last night. Or not.

Full Highlights of the Game:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Celebrate Another Season of Bundesliga Soccer with 'Gladbach


It was a big day for a trio of U.S. national teamers in Europe. In additional to their formal invitation to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Oguchi Onyewu have also been crowned league champions! In Scotland, Rangers captured their 52nd league title with a 3-0 victory against Dundee United. Maurice Edu went the distance for the eighth straight game in the victory that pushed Rangers four points clear of rivals Celtic. In addition their first league trophy in four years, Rangers receive an automatic berth into the group stage of next year's Champions League. They will be joined in that stage by Standard de Liege, who after a 25-year drought have now captured the last two Belgian league titles. Gooch helped Standard get the shutout in a 1-0 victory against Anderlecht in the second leg of their playoff series, giving Standard a 2-1 aggregate victory. The win provides a sweet ending to Onyewu's five-year spell at Standard, the hulking center back now looking forward to his next career challenge.

MNT Roster for Upcoming WC Qualifiers

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 24 players that will train in advance of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras. The U.S. will be seeking its first-ever victory away to Costa Rica when they meet at Estadio Saprissa in the fourth match of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Kickoff on June 3 is set for 8 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on the ESPN Networks and Galavision.


GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 9/7 SO)

DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 19/2), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA: 1/0), Danny Califf (Midtjylland: 4/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 17/2), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 14/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 9/0), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United: 2/0), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Freddy Adu (Monaco: 5/1), DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers: 24/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 9/4), Maurice Edu (Rangers: 4/0), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus: 0/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 9/0), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 13/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 4/0)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Xerez: 6/5), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 15/6), Charlie Davies (Hammarby: 1/1), Clint Dempsey (Fulham: 15/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 28/9)
*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

Big Sunday for MNT Players Abroad

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Costa Rica Releases Roster for WC Qualifier

Costa Rica's Roster for the Upcoming World Cup Qualifiers

Goalkeepers: Daniel Cambronero (Puntarenas), Ricardo Gonzalez (Herediano), Keilor Navas (Saprissa)

Defenders: Dario Delgado (Puntarenas), Junior Diaz (Wisla Krakow, Poland), Freddy Fernandez (Perez Zeledon), Dennis Marshall (Herediano), Gonzalo Segares (Chicago, Major League Soccer), Esteban Sirias (Liberia), Michael Umana (Ramonense), Harold Wallace (Liberia)

Midfielders: Armando Alonso (Saprissa), Cristian Bolanos (Start, Norway), Celso Borges (Fredrikstad, Norway), Pablo Brenes (Brujas), Walter Centeno (Saprissa), Esteban Granados (Cartagines), Warren Granados (Ramonense), Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne, Australia), Pablo Herrera (Alajuelense), Cristian Oviedo (Alajuelense)

Forwards: Andy Furtado (Herediano), Andy Herron (Herediano), Bryan Ruiz (Gent, Belgium), Alvaro Saborio (Sion, Switzerland)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Crunch Time for 'Gladbach

One more game for Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach and the club can count itself in for another season in the Bundesliga. Gladbach are three points ahead of Arminia Bielefeld and have super goal difference of four goals. A tie (or anything better) by 'Gladbach against visiting Borussia Dortmund will keep Bradley and his teammates safe. Check here tomorrow (and our twitter feed as well) for updates...

Highlights: Anderlecht 1, Standard Liege 1

Highlights from yesterday's playoff in Belgium:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brazil Releases Roster for Confederations Cup

Brazil's head coach Dunga has released a squad of 23 players for the upcoming Confederations Cup. There's no Ronaldinho or Ronaldo in the team, but most of the big stars are there. The U.S. and Brazil have been drawn into Group B of the Confederations Cup, and the two sides will meet on June 18 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur), Victor (Gremio)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Alex (Chelsea), Juan (AS Roma), Lucio (Bayern Munich), Luisao (Benfica), Kleber (Internacional), Andre Santos (Corinthians).

Midfielders: Anderson (Manchester United), Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg), Ramires (Cruzeiro), Elano (Manchester City), Felipe Melo (Fiorentina), Julio Baptista (AS Roma), Kaka (AC Milan)

Forwards: Alexandre Pato (AC Milan), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Internacional), Robinho (Manchester City).

Honors Even after First Leg in Belgium

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege battled to a 1-1 draw with Anderlecht in the first leg of the Belgian League playoff final. The two teams finished level on points after last weeekend, and are playing a two leg playoff to determine the league title. Liege will host the second leg on Sunday.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Highlights: Nantes 1, Rennes 1

After this weekend's draw, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes are still in with a shout of making the Europa League next year. They will need to make up some points in the last two games, however.

Highlights: Everton 3, West Ham 1

Tim Howard's Everton gets the victory here, while Jonathan Spector makes a second half appearance for West Ham.

Celtic Draw Gives Advantage to Rangers

Maurice Edu and Rangers did their part this weekend, beating Aberdeen 2-1 on Saturday.
Not so much for Celtic, who failed to break down Hibernian's defense during a 0-0 draw. The results mean Rangers are top of the table going into the final game in the Scottish Premier League.

After winning the Old Firm derby game last weekend, Rangers sputtered in midweek, drawing 1-1 with Hibs. That draw gave Celtic a leg up over Rangers, but the Hoops' failure to win this weekend means they may have just blown their shot at a fourth consecutive title.

Of course, there's still one massive game to go and, if this week is any indication, there could just be one or two twists left. Here's how it looks going into the final day: Rangers are leading Celtic by two points, meaning any Rangers win will give them the title. If Celtic fail to win, then Rangers will also be crowned Champions. If Rangers draw and Celtic win, Celtic will take the title by virtue of goal difference.

Rangers face Dundee Utd away while Celtic hosts Hearts. Both games kickoff at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dramatic Circumstances in Belgium

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege won their game against Gent yesterday, earning a playoff with Anderlecht for the Belgian League title. What we didn't point out yesterday was the late drama in Liege's victory. Well, here it is:

As you can see in the video, Gooch gave away a penalty in injury time of the second half with Liege leading 1-0. With the season on the line, goalkeeper Sinan Bolat came up huge for Liege to stop the spot kick. Bolat, on loan from Genk, dove to his left to parry away what turned out to be a pretty weak penalty from Bryan Ruiz. Side note: Ruiz, who has had an excellent season with Gent, could feature against the U.S. MNT next month. A minute later the final whistle sends fans, players and staff into raptures. Talk about a clutch save!
Full highlights of the game:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fulham Charge for Europa League; Dempsey Named Fulham's Player of the Month

Fulham kept up their fine form in the Premier League by defeating relegation-threatened Newcastle United 1-0 at St. James' Park. A first-half goal from Diomansy Kamara was the difference as Fulham romped to a second consecutive win in the league. The three points kept Fulham in seventh place and ensured the Cottagers of their best-ever Premier League finish. Five years ago Fulham finished ninth in the table but Saturday's win means they can do no worse than eighth place.

Clint Dempsey played 90 minutes for Fulham on Saturday after picking up an award from the club earlier this week. Dempsey was named Fulham's Player of the Month for April, a month in which he scored two goals in a memorable Easter Sunday win against Manchester City.

Dempsey and Fulham will be in action one more time this year as they look to secure the final Europa League spot for next season. Manchester City and West Ham were knocked out of contention today, leaving only Fulham and Tottenham left to contest seventh place. Fulham hold the advantage over their London rivals, but nothing is sewn up yet. Here are the scenarios:

Fulham qualify for the Europa League if:
  • they beat Everton next Sunday
  • they tie and Tottenham beat Liverpool by less than five goals on Sunday
  • they lose and Tottenham fail to win.

Saturday Results

Friday, May 15, 2009

Short Weekend Preview

Hahnemann Released by Reading

MNT Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann will leave Reading this summer after the club elected not to renew his expiring contract. Announced on the club website, Hahnemann's exit comes on the heels of manager Steve Coppell's resignation. Hahnemann made over 300 appearances for Reading since joining in 2001.

Along with Coppell, whom the goalkeeper praised for his influence on the club, Hahnemann helped the club to a record setting promotion campaign in 2006 and a memorable first season in the Premier League. Reading exceeded all expecations by finishing in eighth place in 2006-07, while Hahnemann made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League.

Club chairman Sir John Madejski shared a few thoughts on Hahnemann's departure. "Marcus has been a key player for us for a number of years now, and like Graeme [Murty, a former club captain who was also released] he has been a great ambassador for our club and very popular with supporters. They will forever be well remembered."
Pictures courtesy of

Torres Scores in Pachuca Victory

The quarterfinals of the Mexican Primera División Liguilla have kicked off and Pachuca started off on the right foot, winning 3-1 against Jaguares of Chiapes in the first leg of their series. José Francisco Torres was all over the field for the Tuzos, firing a shot in just the second minute that Jaguares goalkeeper Edgar Hernández managed to save and send out for a corner kick.

Torres took the kick, playing a short ball to Damian Álvarez, who in turn crossed it in to Paul Aguilar. Aguilar out-jumped the ‘keeper and finished off the header for Pachuca’s first goal in the third minute.

In the 21st minute, Torres got a goal of his own, receiving the ball just outside the 18-yard-box and blasting a shot that went into the lower left corner of the net, past the diving Hernández. Pachuca’s last goal came off an own goal from Gilberto Mora. The two teams face off again at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 17, at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca, live on Telefutura.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goal: Cottbus 0, 'Gladbach 1

Couldn't find the full highlights but here's the late winner from Borussia Mönchengladbach's victory yesterday:

The win takes them three points clear of the relegation zone.

Highlights: Hibernian 1, Rangers 1

Brief highlights from yetserday's 1-1 draw between Hibernian and Rangers. Rangers fought back from a goal down to grab the tie, but they'll probably still view this opportunity as two points lost. Celtic are ahead of Rangers on goal differential with two games remaining. Here's how it looks: Rangers host Aberdeen at Ibrox on Saturday while Celtic go to Hibs on Sunday. The final game sees Celtic hosting Hearts and Rangers traveling to Dundee United.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Results

Podcast with Gooch

We caught up today with MNT defender Oguchi Onyewu, who is preparing for a title showdown in the Belgian top flight. With one game remaining Gooch's Standard Liege is tied on points with Anderlecht. If the two teams finisht the season tied, then there will be a 2 legged playoff to determine a winner. We talked with Gooch about the chase for a second consecutive title in Belgium, his recent goalscoring form, and his five years in Belgium.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Midweek Action

Lots of games this Wednesday, so stay tuned as leagues around Europe go down to the wire.

  • In Scotland, Maurice Edu and Rangers will look to leapfrog Celtic in the top spot. Celtic won yesterday, but Rangers can go back to the summit of the table with a win against Hibs today.
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach escaped the relegation zone on Saturday with a win against Schalke. Now Michael Bradley's team will look to put some daylight between themselves and the other clubs near the bottom: 'Gladbach travels to Energie Cottbus in tonight's Bundesliga six pointer.
  • Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes will try to recover from a shock cup final defeat this past weekend with a game against Caen. Rennes still have a shot at qualifying for the Europa League, but they'll need to pick up some major points heading into the final stretch.
  • Speaking of the Coupe de France, here are some highlights from the game:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reading Fighting for Promotion

Marcus Hahnemann and Reading face Burnely tonight in the second leg of the promotion playoff semifinals. Reading need to overturn a 1-0 deficit at the Madejski Stadium. The game kicks off in around half an hour, with coverage live on Setanta Sports. We'll update you here with what's going on, so if you're afraid of spoilers...stay away!

While you wait for the game to kickoff, here's some footage from the first game:

Still 0-0, but 15 minutes in Reading have had the best chance. They worked the ball to Tabb who tests Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen. Hahnemann hasn't had much to do so far as Reading are dominating possession.

30 minutes and it's still scoreless. Reading have most of the ball but Burnley are defending resolutely.

0-0 at halftime...everything to play for still.

Five minutes into the second half and things look bleak for Reading. Martin Paterson with a stunning strike from distance to give Burnley a 1-0 lead on the night and a 2-0 aggregate advantage. Hahnemann could do nothing there - that ball was beautifully curled into the back of the net from about 25 yards.

Things have gone from bad to worse for Reading. Steven Thompson with an awesome half-volley from just outside the area has given Burnley a 3-0 lead on aggregate. Again no chance for Hahnemann with that one - the ball was dipping all the way and just caromed off the crossbar before bouncing down over the line.

And it's all over. Reading are out of the playoffs, losing 3-0 on aggregate to Burnley.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Howard Sets Clean Sheet Record

Tim Howard etched his name into Everton's record books earlier this season and this weekend the MNT number one surpassed another mark. Howard earned his 16th clean sheet of the season in Everton's 0-0 draw with Tottenham, passing Neville Southall's previous high of 15 shutouts in one campaign.

Howard was quick to give praise to the defenders in front of him. "I'm very pleased. Pleased for the guys who battle in front of me. They are the ones that deserve the credit," said the goalkeeper to evertonTV on "I didn't have much to do at all against Tottenham and that's a testament to how those guys play. The guys have been doing it all season."

Everton manager David Moyes also had a few words to say on the record. Everton are chasing fifth place (and automatic qualificaiton for the group stage of next year's Europa League). The Toffees face West Ham Utd. next Saturday.

Premier League Highlights

Highlights from Clint Dempsey and Fulham's 3-1 win against Aston Villa:

Highlights from Tim Howard and Everton's 0-0 draw with Tottenham:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gooch Scores as Standard Liege Wins

Oguchi Onyewu got on the scoresheet in Standard Liege's 2-0 victory against Club Brugge. Onyewu...get ready for it...scored with a header in the 72nd minute.

Now, Standard Liege is tied with Anderlecht on top of the table in Belgium. Tie-breakers around the world are different, but here's what we can find about the system in Belgium: "If teams have the same amount of points and wins, a test-match can be played in two legs to determine the final order in the standings." We're not sure if this is exactly the case or not (unrecognized academic source!) but we'll do a bit more research to figure it out. Or we'll ask you guys out there: do you know how they settle a tie in the Belgian league?

Rennes Suffers Cup Heartbreak

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes were denied their first trophy in 38 years, losing 2-1 to Guingamp in a dramatic Coupe de France final. Bocanegra headed Rennes in front at the Stade de France, after he got on the end of a freekick midway through the second half. But lower division Guingamp did not give up, with Eduardo grabbing two goals in the space of 11 minutes to turn the tide. While a win would have guaranteed Rennes a place in Europe, they'll now have to rely on finishing high enough in Ligue 1. Rennes will need to finish in the top five to qualify for Europe; they're currently in seventh place.

Saturday Results from England

Old Firm Success

Maurice Edu and Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 to move to the top of the Scottish Premier League table. Edu, who made his debut in the fixture, played the full 90 minutes. Rangers used a Steven Davis goal to go two points clear of their rivals, and the team will try to keep its momentum going when they take on Hibernian next Wednesday.

Friday, May 8, 2009

President Obama Discusses USA Bid 2018/22

In an exclusive Univision interview conducted by renowned journalist Jorge Ramos at the White House on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, President Barack Obama talked about soccer in the U.S. and the possibility of the country playing host to the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

The United States, Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia have formally declared their desire to host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain have each submitted joint bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, while Qatar and South Korea have applied as candidates to play host only to the tournament in 2022.

U.S. Soccer is able to offer fans a unique opportunity to watch this video courtesy of The Univision Network.

Podcast with Maurice Edu

Maurice Edu has enjoyed a bit of an extended run in the Rangers starting lineup and the timing couldn't be better. Rangers are surging in the Scottish Premier League, closing the gap to one point with Celtic at the top of the table. The two Old Firm sides meet this weekend in the storied Glasgow derby, and Edu looks set to feature at Ibrox. We caught up with Edu from Glasgow as the MNT midfielder looks for a successful end to his first season abroad. Listen to's full podcast with Maurice Edu here...

Also, we have some extended highlights of Rangers' victory over Hearts from this past weekend. Edu played the full 90 minutes:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Confederations Cup Update

Here's another Confederations Cup update (Cupdate?):

New Zealand has released its squad for the Confederations Cup and there are a few familiar faces. Four players are currently playing in MLS: Andrew Boyens with New York, Simon Elliott with San Jose Earthquakes, Duncan Oughton with Columbus Crew and Jarrod Smith with Seattle Sounders. Ryan Nelsen, the All Whites captain, used to play for D.C. United before making the move to Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.

New Zealand Roster by Position
Goalkeepers (3): James Bannatyne (Petone/Team Wellington), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory), Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix)

Defenders (7): Andrew Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), David Mulligan (Wellington Phoenix), Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers), Steven Old (Kilmarnock), Aaron Scott (Melville United/Waitakere United), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix)

Midfielders (7): Andy Barron (Petone/Team Wellington), Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Jeremy Christie (Wellington Phoenix), Simon Elliott (San Jose Earthquakes), Chris James (Tampere United), Duncan Oughton (Columbus Crew)

Forwards (6): Kris Bright (Panserraikas FC), Jeremy Brockie (North Queensland Fury), Chris Killen (Celtic FC), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Jarrod Smith (Seattle Sounders FC),Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion)

South Africa head coach Joel Santana has announced a provisional squad for the hosts. This roster, with 30 players, will be trimmed to 23 before the start of the tournament. The main absence is Benni McCarthy, the Blackburn Rovers striker has been left off the team. MNT fans will notice Steven Pienaar on the squad. A teammate of Tim Howard's at Everton, Pienaar has had an excellent season the Premier League and scored during Everton's victory this weekend.

South Africa Roster by Position

Goalkeepers (4): Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs)

Defenders (10): Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers), Bryce Moon (Panathinaikos), Nasief Morris (Recreativo Huelva), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders (12): Lance Davids (SuperSport United), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Benson Mhlongo (Orlando Pirates), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Masilo Modubi (Westerlo), Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nkosi (Maccabi Netanya), Steven Pienaar (Everton), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Elrio van Heerden (Club Brugge), Bernard Parker (Red Star Belgrade)

Strikers (4): Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa), Mabhuti Khenyeza (Ajax Cape Town), Katlego Mashego (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New FIFA Rankings - Same Positions

The new FIFA Rankings are out today and the top 39 places are unchanged. Spain is still ranked highest in the world, while the U.S. maintains its spot in 15th. That's the highest ranking in CONCACAF, with Mexico in 25th place coming closest.

Here's how the top 20 looks:
1. Spain
2. Germany
3. Netherlands
4. Brazil
5. Italy
6. Argentina
7. England
8. Croatia
9. Russia
10. France 11. Portugal
12. Czech Republic
13. Greece
14. Turkey
15. United States
16. Uruguay
17. Paraguay
18. Switzerland
19. Cameroon
20. Bulgaria

The world rankings of teams in the Hexagonal: 15. United States, 25. Mexico, 39. Honduras, 41. Costa Rica, 74. Trinidad & Tobago, 102. El Salvador

A random stat: The MNT will be playing in Group B of the Confederations Cup, featuring Brazil, Italy and Egypt, which has an average world ranking of 15. The average ranking of Group A, with Spain, South Africa, Iraq and New Zealand, is 61.

Tim Howard on SoccerAM

This is a few weeks old, but here's Tim Howard answering some fun questions about his Everton teammates. Watch the quick interview here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Edu Interview

Maurice Edu spoke to the Daily Record about the massive Old Firm game on the horizon. Edu featured for 90 minutes during Rangers' 2-0 victory against Hearts, and the midfielder is set to retain his place for the game against Celtic this Saturday.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Highlights: Sunderland 0, Everton 2

Highlights from Tim Howard and Everton's easy 2-0 victory against Sunderland

Rennes Pushing for Europa League

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes are making a late push for a fifth place spot in Ligue 1, and a berth in next season's Europa League (the re-stylized UEFA Cup). Rennes beat PSG 1-0 on Sunday, to move within four points of Toulouse who are currently in fifth position.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Everton Up to Fifth

Everton are up to fifth place in the Premier League after Sunday's 2-0 win against Sunderland. Tim Howard made two saves in keeping a clean sheer, while Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini notched goals at the other end. Everton moved ahead of Aston Villa in the table, though Villa are in action tomorrow night. We'll be back with highlights later on...

Highlights: Bayern Munich v. Borussia Mönchengladbach

Highlights from 'Gladbach's 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich yesterday:

Highlights: Zulte v. Standard Liege

Highlights from Standard Liege's 0-0 draw with Zulte Waregem

Highlights: Chelsea v. Fulham

Highlights of Clint Dempsey and Fulham's 3-1 loss to Chelsea:

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson talks about the game...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weekend Results

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gladbach Set to Face Bayern Munich

Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach head to the Allianz Arena on Saturday to take on Bayern Munich. The game is a big one for both teams - 'Gladbach are trying to jump clear of the relegation zone, while Bayern are looking to keep pace with the leaders at the top of the table. It's been a newsworthy week in Munich, with a coaching change and talk of Ribery leaving the club. You may remember the last time the two sides met. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Bradley getting the tying goal late in the match. You can tune in to Gol TV on Saturday to see the game live from 11:30 a.m. ET.