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Soccer Insider: February 14, 2010 - February 20, 2010

U.S. roster for El Salvador friendly

The 20-man list for Wednesday night's match in Tampa: GOALKEEPERS: Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus), Heath Pearce (Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto). MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Brad Davis (Houston), Brad...

By Steve Goff  |  February 20, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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MLS responds to players' comments

MLS players broke their silence Friday about the direction of labor negotiations. Now, the league has responded with their first public comments concerning the collective bargaining agreement talks. In a nutshell, MLS is annoyed that the players broke protocol by speaking out while negotiations were on-going. It says it has...

By Steve Goff  |  February 20, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  MLS  
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Luis Gil signs with MLS

Luis Gil, a 16-year-old central midfielder who attracted interest from Arsenal and other European clubs, has signed with MLS and will be allocated through a weighted lottery Monday. Gil, a California native with Mexican roots, trained with Arsenal last year and seemed headed to the Gunners' youth academy. "We thought...

By Steve Goff  |  February 19, 2010; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  MLS  
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Conjuring Eric Cantona

Tiger Woods' speech this morning reeked of desperation to regain his family, his career, his adoring fans and media, his image, his sponsors. The setting was tense, the backdrop looked like a grade school auditorium and, midway through the 15-minute event, the primary camera blacked out. His words did seem...

By Steve Goff  |  February 19, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  England , France  
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Friday kickaround

*Mounting problems in South Africa with less than four months until the start of the World Cup: If crime, security and construction issues weren't enough, FIFA is now acknowledging that 800,000 tickets remain unsold (out of 2.9 million) and that estimates of 450,000 foreign visitors should be downgraded to 350,000....

By Steve Goff  |  February 19, 2010; 10:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team , USA 2nd division  
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Weekend TV listings

More than 40 matches available. What are you going to watch? FRIDAY Germany, Hoffenheim-Moenchengladbach 2:30 p.m. ET, GolTV SATURDAY England, Everton-Manchester United 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 Germany, Bayern Munich-Nuremberg 9:25 a.m. ESPN Deportes Germany, Hamburg-Eintracht Frankfurt 9:30 a.m. GolTV England, Wolves-Chelsea 10 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel England, Arsenal-Sunderland 10 a.m. Setanta...

By Steve Goff  |  February 19, 2010; 12:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  TV  
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Kocic waived by D.C. United

Goalkeeper Milos Kocic, a 2009 second-round draft pick who started three league matches in his rookie season, was waived by D.C. United on Thursday. The former Loyola (Md.) star also played in five U.S. Open Cup and three Champions League games last year. My take? Club officials weren't convinced that...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 7:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Video: Spectacular goal in Portugal

A few days old, but worth a look: Przemyslaw Kazmierczak, a Polish midfielder for Vitoria in Portugal, makes it look easy:...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Portugal  
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Freedom, D.C. United doubleheader possible

In what would be the only joint appearance this season, D.C. United and the Washington Freedom are in discussions about a possible doubleheader May 1 at RFK Stadium, the Insider has learned. A decision is expected next week. Last year, the MLS and WPS clubs played three doubleheaders at RFK....

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  D.C. United , Freedom , Women  
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Bonuses at stake for World Cup players

Selection to the U.S. World Cup squad means representing your nation in the planet's most important sporting event. It means being part of history, whether or not you step on the field. It means possibly playing a role in the massive upset of England in the Group C opener (well,...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  
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Charlie Davies discusses comeback

Four months since suffering severe injuries in a car accident near Washington, American forward Charlie Davies was reunited with his FC Sochaux teammates in France today and, in an interview posted on the club's Web site, he discusses his rehabilitation and comeback. Watch the video. "I have come a long...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , France , U.S. men's national team  
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Video: 7 Goals for Atlas

In Mexico, Atlas routs Indios, 7-1:...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Mexico  
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Thursday kickaround

*American forward Charlie Davies, badly injured in a car wreck outside of Washington in October, has arrived in France to rejoin his teammates at Sochaux. A timetable for a return to competitive soccer remains unclear: "Still a little ways to go but HERE WE GO," he wrote on his Twitter...

By Steve Goff  |  February 18, 2010; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , D.C. United , England , TV , U.S. men's national team  
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Video: Porto's Winning Goal

Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski picks up a back pass, resulting in an indirect free kick in the penalty area. Porto restarts immediately. Gunners fume. "I believe it was an accidental back pass," Manager Arsene Wenger said. "And then [the referee] pushed the goalkeeper away and handed the ball to the...

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2010; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  England , Euro Champions League  
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U.S. World Cup tuneup update

The Insider told you exclusively early Tuesday that the U.S. national team was planning to play its final World Cup tuneups in Philadelphia and perhaps Hartford, Conn. (against the Czech Republic) Today the USSF formally announced the Philly visit May 29 (against Turkey) and said the Czechs will be the...

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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D.C. United draws in preseason match

D.C. United was held scoreless in a preseason friendly in Bradenton, Fla. for the second straight time, this time during a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday. United opened with a 1-0 loss to Columbus on Saturday. Australian forward Danny Allsopp made his debut, as did trialist Quiarol Arzu,...

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  D.C. United  
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MLS labor negotiations in trouble?

On the surface, the MLS labor situation is not so much a dispute as it is a mere difference of opinion. The sides have been pleasant, cordial, almost vanilla in public (not unlike, say, a midseason match between Colorado and Dallas). There have been few inflammatory comments made to the...

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2010; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  MLS  
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Video: Freddy Adu scores again

From today's Greek Cup match between Aris and Xanthi:...

By Steve Goff  |  February 17, 2010; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Greece  
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Americans abroad & USA notes

GK Tim Howard 90 minutes in Everton's 2-1 home victory over Sporting Lisbon in first leg of Europa League round of 32 (second leg next Wednesday) MF Landon Donovan 90 for Everton D Jay DeMerit and Watford at QPR, postponed F Kenny Cooper 29 in Plymouth's 1-1 tie with Swansea...

By Steve Goff  |  February 16, 2010; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  
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U.S. World Cup tuneup matches in works

We know that the U.S. national team will play two friendlies in late May before leaving for the World Cup in South Africa. We know both matches will be played at home, capping two weeks stateside for the 23-man roster. What we've been eagerly awaiting are the identities of the...

By Steve Goff  |  February 16, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Tuesday kickaround

*The Silverdome, a 1994 World Cup venue that was recently sold for less than Luciano Emilio's 2009 salary, will host a four-team international tournament in late May. Ghana has allegedly committed. So let me get this straight: A World Cup-bound squad is going to travel to Detroit three weeks before...

By Steve Goff  |  February 16, 2010; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , Americans Abroad , Argentina , Canada , MLS  
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Soccer on TV

Set your DVRs, clear your schedule the next two days, the UEFA Champions League round of 16 is here (plus other offerings). The first legs of four CL matchups are set this week, the other four next week. TUESDAY AC Milan-Manchester United 2:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet/DC, Fox Sports Net...

By Steve Goff  |  February 15, 2010; 10:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Euro Champions League , Mexico , TV  
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U.S. World Cup squad taking shape

Three months from today, the 23 players selected to the U.S. World Cup squad will begin gathering for the start of training camp ahead of two friendlies and then the journey to South Africa. Most will be from foreign clubs; in one model, I have as few as 5 1/2...

By Steve Goff  |  February 15, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Video: Jose Francisco Torres' Golazo!

The free kick by American midfielder Jose Francisco Torres comes at the 4:15 mark of the condensed video, courtesy of Pachuca's Web site. Unfortunately, the embedded version of that particular package is not working properly, so you will need to click here. Or take a look at the longer YouTube...

By Steve Goff  |  February 14, 2010; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Mexico  
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Americans abroad

Onyewu, Dempsey, Davies, Cherundolo and Clark remain sidelined, but Holden is now in the picture for Bolton, Adu (despite a scratched eye) scored for Aris and Torres returned from injury to score for Pachuca. Several English-based players were off this weekend and the Scandinavian leagues have yet to re-start. GOALKEEPERS...

By Steve Goff  |  February 14, 2010; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Americans Abroad  
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Freddy Adu scores goal in Greece

Freddy Adu strikes late in the first half, a one-timer from six yards for the go-ahead goal in Aris' 2-1 victory over Ergotelis in a Greek league match. Adu started and played 62 minutes. As far as I can tell, he had not scored in official club competition since being...

By Steve Goff  |  February 14, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Greece  
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