Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux of the US women’s national soccer team decided to trade cleats for leotards on Halloween. The soccer stars dressed as members of the US women’s gymnastics team.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Doneil Henry and Lucas Cavallini each scored goals as Canada beat the United States 2-0 Saturday night for its first win over the Americans since 1992 in the CONCACAF men’s Olympic qualifying tournament.
The Americans could have clinched a berth in the semifinals on March 31 in Kansas City, Kan. Those winners qualify for the London games. Instead, they now must beat El Salvador, a 4-0 winner over Cuba earlier Saturday, on Monday night to advance.
The Americans came in 4-1-2 all-time against Canada in this tournament.
The Canadians played a scoreless tie against El Salvador to open the Group A tournament, and they stayed just as strong defensively against the Americans.
Henry headed the ball off a corner kick in the 58th minute, and Cavallini scored off a diving header in the 83rd minute for a 2-0 lead.
The U.S. squad played without Juan Agudelo, who U.S. Soccer officials announced before the game tore cartilage in his left knee in Thursday night’s 6-0 win over Cuba and the forward will rejoin the New York Red Bulls on Sunday with team doctors figuring out a recovery timetable. Agudelo, who scored a goal Thursday night, watched from the bench.
U.S. coach Caleb Porter will not be able to replace Agudelo on the roster since the Americans still have 19 players available and must get to 18 before an injury replacement is allowed.
Teal Bunbury, whose father played for the Canadian national team, got the start along with Jorge Villafana as they replaced Kofi Sarkodie and Agudelo.
The teams played to a scoreless first half, and Porter substituted Joe Gyau for Joe Corona, who had three goals in Thursday night’s 6-0 win over Cuba. Terrence Boyd substituted for Bunbury in the 56th minute.
The Americans thought they had gone ahead in the 48th minute when Ike Opara headed a Freddy Adu free kick into the goal. But Opara was called offsides.
They had a great chance to tie it up when Jorge Villafana found Adu for a kick on goal only to have keeper Michal Misiewicz deflect it and smother the ball. After the referee gave a yellow card to Canadian Andres Fresenga for wasting time on the ground in the 66th minute, the U.S. had another chance. But Brek Shea’s kick banged off the side of the net.
Randy Edwini-Bonsu had a chance in the 55th minute and kicked the ball over the net, and the Canadians finally scored in the 58th minute. Philippe Davies had the corner kick, and Henry jumped up in the crowd and headed the ball into the corner of the net.
The Canadians had plenty of chances. U.S. keeper Bill Hamid tipped a shot after a penalty on Amobi Okugo in the 81st minute. Then Russell Teibert sent a corner kick to Davies, who redirected it to Cavallini for a 2-0 lead.
Adu was wide on a free kick late, and not even four minutes of stoppage time gave the Americans enough time to score. Edwini-Bonsu did pick up a red card just before the end of the game.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
Hope Solo doesn’t seem to ever be lacking in confidence, and when her former women’s soccer league folded, she considered another option. And that option shows that she really believes in herself.
“I thought about it (playing in a men’s league) when our league folded,” Solo told Goal.com. “I thought about playing for a lower-division men’s club team in St. Louis.”
“And I do believe I would have been able to take care of myself and handle my own if it was a lower division.”
Full story on The Sports Bank.net
The Portuguese soccer star and great diver was on the way to Real Madrid teammate Pepe’s birthday when he had a bit of trouble with his black Lamborghini which cost his around 300k (or £200K). Ronaldo had to call in mechanics to see if they could get it started, but unfortunately money can’t buy you luck and the car was forced to be towed, like so many before it. If I ever spent 300k on a car and it broke down, I would have some words with the dealer.
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U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo signed with the Seattle Sounders women two weeks ago. Her previous team, the St. Petersburg Magic Jack or Magic the Gathering or something folded. And Solo will soon have her most famous and photogenic World Cup teammate joining her in Seattle.
The Sounders women announced Monday they have signed star forward Alex Morgan for the 2012 season.
Full story on The Sports Bank
When Hope Solo reported for her first U.S. women’s soccer team training camp last week since her Hollywood-spotlight turn on Dancing with the Stars, she was back in her comfort zone.
“The moment I walked onto the field, I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m getting dirty again, it’s OK to have muscles, it’s OK to get scratched up, I can wear my sweats,’” she says.
Solo and her teammates, who galvanized sports fans last summer with their dramatic runner-up finish at the World Cup, are preparing for next month’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver.
NEW YORK (AP) — Set to make 100 appearances for the United States a decade after his international debut, only now does captain Carlos Bocanegra know the value of leadership.
The 32-year-old Bocanegra will become the 12th American — and only fourth defender — to achieve the feat when the team plays Slovenia in a friendly Tuesday night in Ljubljana.
Bocanegra will join Jeff Agoos (134), Marcelo Balboa (127) and Paul Caligiui (110) as the only American defenders with 100 caps.
“I remember watching basketball or NFL when I was growing up,” he said during a telephone interview Monday, “and it was kind of like, ‘Great veteran leadership from this guy. He’s been around the league. He knows how to play the game.’ And I’m going: What the hell are these announcers talking about? Get the young guys in there, the flashy ones.
“You realize once you do get a bit older and you play on different teams it’s nice to have a mix. You need some veterans on the team, and some guys who have been there and been through experiences. And you need the guys who don’t know any better, and they just go for it.”
He needs one goal to match Balboa’s 13 for most among U.S. defenders.
“It’s funny. I still feel 21,” Bocanegra said.
With only one win from six matches since Jurgen Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as coach in July, the Americans are coming off a 1-0 loss Friday at 15th-ranked France. Slovenia is ranked 27th, seven places above the U.S.
After attending high school in Rancho Cucamonga, California, Bocanegra played at UCLA under Sigi Schmid, now the coach of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders. Bocanegra started his professional career with the Chicago Fire in 2000, then went to England with Fulham (2004-08) before switching to France with Rennes (2008-10) and Saint-Etienne (2010-11).
“Obviously, I would love to have my pro team be out of Rancho Cucamonga and be based at home and go to the Sunday barbecues with my buddies and swimming and all that stuff,” he said. “But I’ve been so lucky and so fortunate to be able to see the world through soccer with the travel in other cultures and live in other cultures, experience other cultures. It’s really just kind of opened my world and broadened my horizons. I don’t think it would have been like this if I stayed in the States.”
In August, he made a somewhat surprising move to Rangers in the relatively weak Scottish Premier League. Winning a title was his motivation — his last one was the 1997 NCAA championship with UCLA, and the closest he came in Europe was when Rennes lost the 2009 French Cup final 2-1 to Guingamp.
“It’s just something I’d really like to have in my list of accomplishments at the end of my career,” he said. “This opportunity came up with Rangers, and the possibility of playing in the Champions League. I’ve never done that either. I’d just love to be able to tick that off my list.”
Tuesday’s match will be in the 25th different country he’s played in with the national team and it will be his 54th as the American captain, a role he took on when Claudio Reyna retired from international football after the 2006 World Cup. Bocanegra had been reticent about discussing the century mark until this week.
“I never thought about it when I was younger,” he said. “Jurgen has said a few things this week and a few of the guys said a few things. My parents and my family and everyone, they’re always supportive. They know not to bug me too much about it until it happens.”
He thought back to Sam George, a Fire midfielder he played with whose younger brother Seth was a teammate at UCLA. Sam George gave Bocanegra some advice that’s stuck with him throughout the years, the games and the countries.
“Hey, you’re not in California anymore nor is anyplace in the world going to be like this, wherever you go.” Bocanegra recalled. “So suck it up, get over it, and let’s get on with it.”
Copyright Associated Press
The United States got Jurgen Klinsmann a victory in his fourth try as American coach.
Clint Dempsey scored in the 36th minute and goalkeeper Tim Howard made several key saves in a 1-0 exhibition victory over Honduras on Saturday night.
“It’s huge for all of us. You don’t ever want to go a long period of time without winning,” Howard said. “We performed well, I think, and we’re trying to set a foundation, but ultimately you have to win. That was the focus coming in.”
Since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley on July 29 after the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Americans had tied Mexico, and lost to Costa Rica and Belgium.
Full story at ESPN
BRUSSELS — The U.S. national soccer team lost to Belgium 1-0 Tuesday, leaving Jurgen Klinsmann without a win in three games since he was hired as the Americans’ coach.
This was the first road game for the U.S. since Klinsmann came aboard. The Americans earlier tied Mexico and lost to Costa Rica.
Nicolas Lombaerts’ half volley in the 55th minute was the only goal in an exhibition game dominated by the Belgians on the rain-soaked field.
“It was an interesting game for both sides,” Klinsmann said. “For the first 25 minutes the U.S. had a good passing game going, but then the individual Belgian class started to show. The players have learned a lot from the game.”
Klinsmann, a former German star and coach, is looking to assemble the players who will play in the World Cup qualifiers that start next June. He pointed to such promising players as Juan Agudelo, Jose Torres, Brek Shea and Timmy Chandler.
An inexperienced U.S. team rarely threatened, and second-half substitutes Agudelo and Kyle Beckerman did little to energize play.
Still, the Americans had their best chance five minutes before the end. A midfield cross found its way to Edu, who headed the ball past Mignolet. But the referee disallowed the goal because Clarence Goodson was ruled to have handled the ball inside the box.
The U.S. played aggressively only in the opening minutes. In the sixth minute, Clint Dempsey’s free kick was fumbled by Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Ten minutes later Torres curled a free kick from the right just past the far post.
In the 25th minute, Timmy Simons struck a low ball from the right edge of the area that U.S. goalie Tim Howard deflected. Seven minutes later, Dries Mertens crossed the ball into the area to an unmarked Marouane Fellaini, whose shot was stopped by Howard.
Belgium coach Georges Leekens said the U.S. played well for the first 15 minutes.
“Then we got a grip and we really wanted to win at home after the Azarbaijan match,” he said.
Belgium drew against Azerbaijan on Friday, weakening its chances of qualifying for next year’s European Championship.
Belgium: Simon Mignolet, Laurent Ciman, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Lombaerts, Timmy Simons, Eden Hazard (Marvin Ogunjimi, 61), Marouane Fellaini (Romelu Lukaku, 61), Igor De Camargo, Axel Witsel, Dries Mertens.
United States: Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Timmy Chandler, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Robbie Rogers (Kyle Beckerman, 46), Maurice Edu, Jozy Altidore (Juan Agudelo, 46), Jose Torres (Jeff Larentowicz, 75), Brek Shea.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
Bob Bradley has been fired as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team after five years.
The announcement came Thursday from U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.
The U.S. is coming off a poor showing in the Gold Cup, including a stunning 2-1 loss to Panama and a 4-2 loss in the championship game against Mexico.
Bradley was chosen as coach in January 2007 and went 43-25-12 overall. He helped the lead the team to the Round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Source: USA Today
U.S. women’s soccer coach Pia Sundhage doesn’t divulge much about her starting lineups before the next match, especially when she hasn’t even told her players, who don’t learn who’s starting until the night before the match.
Read more at USA Today
After dominating women’s soccer for much of the past two decades the USA had to watch while the rest of the world caught up in recent years. The Americans are the reigning Olympic champions, but have lost in the semifinal of the last two World Cups.
Read more at Yahoo Sports
The Swagger Factor, says Abby Wambach, is huge. And the U.S. women’s soccer team, she says, has its swagger back.”I think we found it against North Korea,” says Wambach, 31, who has scored 118 goals in her decade as an American forward. “There was probably a little doubt by some of us how this tournament would go. But I think that doubt is out the door now. Our confidence is up and shining.”
Read more at USA Today