9/23/16 Indy 11 Home vs NY Cosmos Sat 8 pm, CHS Girls Pack the House Night, Sat Eve 7 pm, Champions League Match-Day 2 Tues/Wed

As the Playoffs loom just over 1 month away – your Indy 11 host a huge match vs the league leading NY Cosmos in Saturday night at the Mike at 7:30 pm (TV 8).  The 11 have a 17-game home unbeaten streak dating back to last October on the line in this battle of top 4 NASL teams.  So make your way out to the Mike and Support the 11 – limited tickets still available!

In World League Play –Man United host Leicester City in a huge match for both clubs 7:30 am on Sat NBCSN while Arsenal hosts Chelsea at the Emirates in the London Derby at 12:30 on NBC.  Also Sat 10 AM on NBCSN Man City puts its 10 game win streak on the line under Pep as they travel to Swansea.  Tuesday/Wed of next week brings us matchday 2 with some intriguing matchups in Champions League.  These are some of the top teams in Europe in the group stages working down to a Sweet 16 in the new year. It will be interesting to see if US forward/mid Christian Pulisic gets any time as Dortmund host Champions Real Madrid with Renaldo, Bale and James coming to town Tuesday at 2:45 pm on FS1.  Leicester City will host their first Champions League Leg when they face Porto on FS regional channel (Indiana) while Tottenham will travel to CSKA Moscow on FS2.  Wednesday has Borussia Mochengladbach and US mid Fabian Johnson hosting Barcelona without Messi on FS1 at 2:45 pm, while Man City travels to Celtic on FS2, Arsenal host Basel on FS Indiana and Atletico host Bayern Munich on ESPN2.  As always the games will be replayed on the Fox Sports channels all night long with the 1 hour long Champions League Hi-Lights Show Must see TV (well must DVR TV as it comes on really late most nights).  ANYONE INTERESTED IN CATCHING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEXT WEEK TUES OR WED?

The #2 Ranked Carmel Girls host Pack the House/D Wayne Akin Night vs #6 Zionsville this Saturday night at 7 pm – at Murray Stadium – all CFC and CDC kids get in FREE With Uniforms on!!

MUST SEE GAMES ON TV

 Sat, Sept 24

7:30 am NBCSN                   Man United vs Leicester City – Man U battling for relevance Leicester trying to recapture last season’s magic.

9:30 am Fox Sports2                                                 Hamburger vs Bayern Munich   – US forward Bobby Wood faces Germany’s top team.

12:30 pm NBCSN                 Arsenal vs Chelsea               – Wenger tries to defend home turf vs the Blues

8 pm  TV 8, ESPN3     Indy 11 vs NY Cosmos – must win game at home for Indy 11

Sun, Sept 25

4 pm ESPN             LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders  – Seattle desperate for wins to qualify for playoffs while LA trying to move up from 2 to 1 in West

 Tues, Sept 27                           UEFA Champions League (Group stage)

2:45 pm Fox Sports 1             Dortmund vs Real Madrid       – Defending Champs travel to Dortmund for HUGE match-up. Will Bale or CR 7 play?

2:45 pm Fox Sports 2                      CSKA Moscow vs Tottenham      – more of a must win now for Tottenham after losing game 1 at home.

2:45 pm Fox Sport State               Leicester City vs Porto       – 1st home UCL match for City Fans.

Wed, Sept 28

2:45 pm Fox Sports 1                      B Moncengladbach vs Barcelona  – Can US Johnson help Gladbach shock the world at home?

2:45 pm Fox Sports IND                 Arsenal vs Basel                                   – Arsenal at home after tying PSG in game 1

2:45 pm ESPN 2                                   Atletico vs Bayern Munich          –Huge Match-up of top 4 maybe top 6 teams. 

More GAMES ON TV

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

 

Tues, Sept 27                           UEFA Champions League (Group Matchday 2)

2:30 pm Fox Sports 1             Dortmund vs Real Madrid

2:30 pm Fox Sports 2                      CSKA Moscow vs Tottenham

2:30 pm Fox Sport State               Leicester City vs Porto

2:35 pm ESPN2                                    AS Monaco vs Bayer Leverkusen

2:35 pm ESPN3                                    Dinamo Zagreb vs Juventus, Sevilla vs Lyon

Wed, Sept 28

2:45 pm Fox Sports 1                      B Moncengladbach vs Barcelona 

2:45 pm Fox Sports 2                                               Celtic vs Man City

2:45 pm Fox Sports IND                 Arsenal vs Basel

2:45 pm ESPN 2                                   Atletico vs Bayern Munich

2:45 pm ESPN3                                    Lidgorets vs PSG, Napoli vs Benfica

2:45 pm Fox Sports +                      Whip Around Coverage both days

Thur, Sept 29

1 pm Fox Sports 1, ESPN3             Inter vs Sparta Praha

3:05 pm fox sports 1                                                Man U vs Zorya

Fri, Sept 30

2:45 pm NBCSN                                   Crystal Palace vs Everton

Sat, Oct 1  

7:30 am NBCSN                   Swansea @ Liverpool

9:30 am Fox Sports2                                                 Bayern Munich vs Koln

9:30 am Fox Soccer?                        Hertha vs Hamburger

10 am NBCSN                                         Hull City vs Chelsea, Sunderland vs West Brom,

11 am         beIn Sport                       PSG vs Bordoeaux

12:30 pm Fox Sports 2                    Bayern Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund

 Sun, Oct 2  

7 am NBCSN                                            Man United vs Stoke

9:30 am Fox Sports2                                                 Bayern Munich vs Koln

9:30 am Fox Soccer?                        Hertha vs Hamburger

9:15 am NBCSN                   Tottenham vs Man City

10:15 am                          beIn Sport                       Real Madrid vs Eibar

12:30 pm Fox Sports 2       Bayern Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund

1 pm ESPN                                               Orlando vs Montreal Impact

4 pm TV 8?                            Edmonton vs Indy 11

8 pm Fox Sports                                  Vancouver vs Seattle Sounders

MLS TV Schedule ‘

EPL TV Schedule on NBC + NBCSN

German Bundesliga TV Schedule on Fox Soccer and Gol TV

indy11_nyc

 Indy 11

Gameday Preview vs #1 NY Cosmos

NASL in Financial Trouble? SI Brian Struas

Future of Strikers, NASL in Question?

Indy 11 Need the Points to Catch up to Cosmos

Inside the #s

Hispanic Heritage night this Sat Night

Get your Indy 11 Playoff Tickets now

US

US Ladies Beat Netherlands 3-1 on Lloyd Goal

Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch Talks about USMNT Decision

Big Things from US Players abroad – Stars and Stripes

Is it Fair to Compare Christian Pulisic to Landon Donovan – Stars and Stripes

Johnson scores for Gladbach

 MLS

Landon Donovan Scores 1st Goal after returning from Retirement

Now that Donovan is back would he ever play for US Again?

Jose Altidore scores Magic Free Kick Goal for East Leaders Toronto

Top Under 24 players in MLS

MLS Save of the Week

MLS Table

EPL

Harry Kane is Out What now?

EPL Weekend Predictions

Top games in the EPL SI

Which Team will stand Strong in the LONDON DERBY

EPL top 20 players today

Leciester’s Drinkwater could return to Man United

EPL Rankings

World

Messi to miss 3 weeks with Groin Tear

Leicester City Keeper on Champions League

 

 

 

SATURDAY’S  Indy 11 vs. NY COSMOS –

FEATURES ANNUAL HISPANIC HERITAGE NIGHT Celebration Presented by Indiana Donor Network & Financial Center

There will be all sorts of postseason implications on the line when Indy Eleven plays host to the New York Cosmos this Saturday night in what could be the most important game yet on the 2016 calendar!  In addition to a hotly-contested game on the field between your Spring Season champion and the current Fall Season leader, the evening at “The Mike” will also include Indy Eleven’s Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Night celebration, presented by Indiana Donor Network & Financial Center and featuring an expanded Honda Fun Zone highlighting Latino cultures and the recognition of 11 “Campeones de la Comunidad” who have made a positive impact on Central Indiana.To get the most out of the evening, grab some friends and get the “Gerardo Torrado 4-Pack”that includes four tickets, a poster featuring the legendary Mexican international and access to an exclusive post-game meet-and-greet opportunity with the three-time FIFA World Cup participant … secure your package by heading to Torrado.IndyEleven.com!

DON’T MISS HISTORY! NOVEMBER 5th SEMIFINAL SINGLE-GAME SEATS ON SALE

Indy Eleven’s NASL postseason debut in November will be here before you know it! Save your spot at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium NOW with a special 2-game playoff ticket package that includes a potential The Championship Final at “The Mike” on November 13 … or go ahead and secure single-game tickets for The Championship Semifinal match on Saturday, November 5 (3:00 p.m. kickoff).

Visit www.indyeleven.com/playoff-tickets for all the ticketing options available and championship.indyeleven.com for general details surrounding Indy Eleven’s historic first postseason appearance. 

PREVIEW: #INDVNYC

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview
Indy Eleven vs New York Cosmos
Saturday, September 24, 2016 – 7:30 p.m. ET
IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

Local TV: MyINDY

Team Records  Indy Eleven:Fall Season: 7W-3D-5L, 24 pts, 4th place  New York Cosmos: Fall Season: 9W-4D-2L, 31 pts, 1st place

Last Time Out – Indy Eleven 2 : 1 Miami FC

Indiana’s Team took care of business in orderly fashion last Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Miami FC snapping a five-game winless streak.During the middle of the week, Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson stressed the importance of the team “finding themselves” again as the chase for the fall championship continues. In doing so, Hankinson re-introduced midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic into the fold, and the Bosnian earned his first start since the Spring Season on Saturday.The first half began with both sides easing into the match, but a 25th minute strike by Dylan Mares cannoned momentum in Indy’s favor. Miami FC ‘keeper Daniel Vega was clearing his lines off a restart, but his pass found the chest of Indy forward Justin Braun who laid it off for Mares, the latter doing the rest for the goal. Heading into the break up 1-0, Indy began to flex their muscle in the beginnings of the second half.Just before the hour mark, Don Smart doubled Indy’s lead after Eamon Zayed headed on a cross by Nemanja Vukovic, and the second of three “Indiana Originals” was on the scoresheet after beating the ball past Vega for the second time. Ten minutes later, Miami FC would make things interesting with a goal off a corner kick by forward Vincenzo Rennella, but Indy would repel further efforts to secure the three points. Keeping their unbeaten streak alive at Carroll Stadium, Indy Eleven extended the run to 17 games total but remain in 4th place in the Fall Season standings despite winning the top four clash.

Last Time Out – New York Cosmos 0 : 0 FC Edmonton

The New York Cosmos also successfully defended their home turf last Saturday against second place FC Edmonton in an eventful nil-nil draw.Despite out-shooting the opposition 20-10 total and 4-1 on target, New York was unable to find the back of the net with chances for starters Sebastian Guenzatti and Juan Arango and substitute David Diosa all being saved by Eddies ‘keeper Matt VanOekel. In addition, the Cosmos held a 72-28% lead in possession while completing 81.8% of their 477 passes (compared to 55.8% of 181 passes for FCE), and also held an 11-2 advantage on corners.Though unable to break down FC Edmonton in front of a crowd just shy of 3750 at Shuart Stadium, the Cosmos retain their place at first in the Fall and Combined Season standings.
  Unbeaten Again?

Indy Eleven is riding a major streak at Carroll Stadium – 17 games unbeaten – which spans all the way back to almost a calendar year ago when a win over Minnesota United in October kicked things off. On Saturday night against New York, they have the chance to extend the streak to 18, which would tie a joint all-time NASL record set by the Carolina Railhawks and the New York Cosmos in separate seasons.The run has produced moments of frustration – draws that could have been wins and nights that the ball just wouldn’t find the back of the net – but more importantly, moments of magic – the 4-2 win over Minnesota in May, the 4-1 win over Carolina that clinched the Spring Season championship, the 5-2 thrashing of Jacksonville Armada FC that exerted Indy’s dominance in August, and of course, the 2-1 win over New York that propelled the team forward in April.In order to keep the magic alive, the “Boys in Blue” are looking at perhaps their toughest test yet in this Cosmos team – a team which beat them 3-0 less than a month ago in the Big Apple – but are relishing the opportunity for revenge.

Who to Watch, Indy Eleven edition: MF Gerardo Torrado

After the loss in New York in August, midfielder Gerardo Torrado knew there was work to be done. Compounded by a 1-1 draw away to Ottawa and a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat in Carolina just a week earlier, the defeat sent Indy back to the Circle City with a determination to get things right and fight back off the break.In New York, Torrado had a good showing after completing 34/48 passes, winning 5/10 duels, collecting 5 interceptions and creating one chance. On Saturday, he will likely be in a similar defensive mindset in front of a sturdy backline charged with neutralizing a hot Cosmos attack.Torrado has shown his ability to adapt in different roles in the Eleven midfield playing with attacking, defensive, and a more neutral mindset on more than one occasion, and he must do a little of all three on Saturday if Indy is to get a good result.

Who to Watch, New York Cosmos edition: FW Juan Arango

Scoring two goals against Indy in their 3-0 win has Arango hungry to repeat the feat at Carroll Stadium. With 11 goals in 24 matches, Arango is just one shy of the Eleven’s leading scorer Eamon Zayed (12) in one less game, and his four assists also have him level with the other two of the top three in the league scoring charts.Arango showed his cool from the penalty spot for his first against Indy and put his second in a position where Eleven ‘netminder Jon Busch just couldn’t reach it, but will have to be equally as clever when the pair meet again. The Venezuelan forward has not scored in three full matches as New York has collected five points from their last three total, but still remains the biggest threat to Indy’s success this weekend.

Match-up to Mark: FW Justin Braun vs. GK Jimmy Maurer

All eyes might be on Eamon Zayed this weekend as the foward aims to continue racking up goals in his quest for the NASL Golden Boot, but the match-up to mark involves his striking partner Justin Braun and opposition ‘keeper Jimmy Maurer. Braun made his full return to fitness in a 2-1 loss away to Fort Lauderdale two weeks ago and marked his return with a late goal that nearly helped Indy pull back a point in the Sunshine State. Fast forward to last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Miami FC and again Braun was at the heart of things, getting the assist on Indy’s first goal via Dylan Mares. Now Braun faces one of the statistically best ‘netminders in the league in Cosmos’ Jimmy Maurer, who has kept four straight clean sheets.With Zayed likely attracting plenty of attention on Saturday, the opportunity is there for Braun, who will attract plenty of attention on his own, to sneak in behind the defense with darting runs that put him through on goal. On the attacking end, Indy’s gain continues to be Justin Braun’s return. 

BY THE NUMBERS: STREAKING AT CARROLL STADIUM

A closer look at Indy Eleven’s incredible home unbeaten streak  Sep 21, 2016

 

19- It’s been quite the ride for the “Boys in Blue” at Carroll Stadium in both the 2016 Spring and Fall campaigns, winning the former and staying tight in the race for the latter, and home results have played a major factor in their success. Looking all the way back to the second-to-last home game of October 2015, Indy has kept its home pitch an impenetrable surface that visiting opposition have failed to gain ground on … and here’s some numbers breaking down the nearly year-long stretch:
15 – Unbeaten Streak at Home in NASL play

Two games to round out the home slate in 2015 – wins on October 17 and 24 against Minnesota United FC (3-1) and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2-1) – and all 13 regular season games on the IUPUI campus to this point in 2016 make up the impressive run … and that’s not counting June’s U.S. Open Cup clash against Louisville (a 2-1 win) and another victory in friendly play against Liga MX champion Pachuca (1-0) in August.
12 – Wins during the streak

It’s one thing to go undefeated for awhile, but it’s another thing to do it mostly with wins rather than draws, which is exactly what the Boys in Blue have been doing. Indy Eleven has collected a 12W-3D-0L record during the 11 month (and change) stretch, which includes a 10W-3D-0L record in 2016 that has allowed Indy to collect 33 of a possible 39 points in the friendly confines of Carroll Stadium.
347 (and counting) – Days since last home loss

The last loss suffered on home turf came back on October 10, 2015, via a 1-2 defeat to San Antonio, which was followed by the wins over Minnesota and Fort Lauderdale to start the stretch. Why is that date meaningful? Well, a win or loss over the Cosmos this Saturday (on the 350th day since its last home setback) guarantees Indy Eleven will go a full calendar year without tasting defeat at home, as the squad’s next home match comes on Oct. 15 versus Carolina.
9/10 – Possible teams defeated during streak 

So far in 2016, Indy has picked up home wins over every opponent it has faced with the exception of one – the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who drew 1-1 in their only visit to the Circle City earlier this month.New York, Minnesota, Carolina, Minnesota (again), Fort Lauderdale, FC Edmonton, Jacksonville, Ottawa Fury FC, Rayo OKC and Miami FC (in that order) all have suffered losses at “The Mike” this season. Only one new team is able to be added to that list, as Puerto Rico FC will make its lone visit to “The Mike” for the season on Oct. 22 for Indy’s regular season home finale (although it won’t be the last home game in 2016).
18 – NASL’s record home unbeaten streak 

This weekend’s opponent knows something about going undefeated at home for awhile, as the New York Cosmos (August 6, 2014-September 22, 2015) are tied with Carolina RailHawks FC (September 22, 2012-July 12, 2014) for the longest such run in the league’s modern era at 18 games. While Indy Eleven’s current streak is impressive, it still isn’t even the longest active streak, as a win or draw on Saturday will pull Indiana’s Team even with the Cosmos on 16 games unbeaten at home.

As it turns out, if both teams keep their current runs going through the end of the regular season, their streaks will both reach, you guessed it, 18 games, tying the all-time record heading into the 2017 campaign.

35 – Number of Goals Scored 

During this incredible run of form, Indy Eleven has scored 33 goals in 15 games, including three occasions of four or more in one game (MNU – 4, CAR – 4, JAX – 5).No one has enjoyed playing in front of the Brickyard Battalion more than forward Eamon Zayed, who has tallied 10 of his 12 goals (2nd most in the NASL) at Carroll, including the first two hat tricks in league play in team history. Next on the list is midfielder Dylan Mares with four, and behind the Indiana native is a host of players who have contributed three goals in that run.

See the full list below:

Eamon Zayed – 10 (NYC x2, MNU, CAR x3, FTL, JAX x3)

Dylan Mares – 4 (MNU ’15, MNU, OKC, MIA)

Justin Braun – 3 (MNU, CAR, JAX)

Omar Gordon – 3 (MNU, TBR)

Don Smart – 3 (FTL ’15, OTT, MIA)

Greg Janicki – 3 (FCE, FTL, FCE)

Nemanja Vukovic – 2 (OTT, JAX)

Duke Lacroix – 1 (FTL

Colin Falvey – 1 (OKC)

Nicki Paterson – 1 (MNU)

Brad Ring – 1 (MNU ’15)

14 – Number of Goals Against

In the 15 games unbeaten thus far, Indy Eleven has also only conceded 13 goals while letting in more than two goals in one match just three times.The addition of veteran ‘keeper Jon Busch and a host of other leaders in the backline only further bolstered the talent Indy carried over from 2015, and Busch & co. have kept three clean sheets while relenting just 11 goals in their 13 matches in 2016.
6 – Number of Late Goals Earning Results

Nemanja Vukovic after 89′ vs. Fury FC
Eamon Zayed after 90′ & 95 vs. New York
Don Smart after 90’+2 vs. Fury FC
Colin Falvey after 84′ vs. Rayo OKC

Sensing a pattern here? These four games were all decided in the final minutes of the match by a different goalscorer – and all handed Indy Eleven wins.And that list doesn’t include a goal with a game well in hand but a title still up in the air – Zayed’s 85th minute strike in June against Carolina Railhawks FC, one that completed his hat-trick and catapulted Indy back to the top of the table and (eventually) to the Spring Season title, a moment that Carroll Stadium will always hold high.

NASL faces major shakeup, potential demise, amid impending exits, financial distress

BRIAN STRAUSWednesday September 21st, 2016  SI

Significant shifts in the pro soccer landscape across the USA and Canada are underway that will result in the overhaul, or perhaps the eventual demise, of the North American Soccer League.Sources have told SI.com that the NASL’s Ottawa Fury will depart for the United Soccer League and that the Tampa Bay Rowdies likely will follow. With the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Rayo OKC in financial distress—Raleigh, North Carolina’s WRAL reported Wednesday morning that Strikers’ ownership has ceased funding the club—and Minnesota United leaving for MLS, the six-year-old NASL faces a period of unprecedented adversity. And it will need to keep core clubs like the New York Cosmos, Jacksonville Armada, Miami FC and Indy Eleven on board, and then expand, if it’s going to survive.The NASL operates as the independent second tier of the pro game in the USA and Canada. The USL, which traces its roots back to the early 1990s, sits at the third tier and includes both independent clubs and MLS reserve teams. Both leagues have applied to the U.S. Soccer Federation for an upgrade in sanctioning (NASL to first division and USL to second) and the USSF board is expected to consider those requests at its meeting in New York City this Friday. However it’s unlikely, according to sources, that U.S. Soccer will sanction two leagues at the same tier.The NASL has more immediate concerns. League-wide average attendance has fallen more than 18 percent from 2015 and despite increased TV exposure on CBS Sports Network and BeIN Sports, it’s trajectory has been troubling. Minnesota, which leads the league at 8,545 fans per game, pushed for entry into MLS in large part to fend off a charge from the NFL’s Vikings. The Atlanta Silverbacks dropped into amateur soccer this season and the summer addition of Carmelo Anthony’s Puerto Rico FC hasn’t really moved the needle.The Cosmos, the NASL’s reigning champion and flagship club, have seen crowds at Hofstra University plunge to under 4,000 per game. As its Belmont Park stadium project seems increasingly unlikely to happen, New York faces an uncertain future. It may spend next season at a minor league baseball stadium in Coney Island.The NASL has argued that being labeled ‘second division’ has hampered its ability to attract fans, sponsors and the political support required for venue upgrades. It threatened antitrust litigation last year, but in an interview this week NASL commissioner Bill Peterson told SI.com that the league no longer is considering legal action.“We took a decision over the winter that we wanted to step back and try to re-engage with U.S. Soccer and discuss the [sanctioning] standards and where we fit in and our feelings about them … in a more productive manner than pulling the trigger on any sort of legal activities. And that’s what we’ve been doing,” Peterson said. “It’s incredibly important that the Federation and the NASL have a positive relationship because there are so many different aspects and facets to the game. It doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything, but it does mean we have a partnership … [A lawsuit is] not looming there as a threat, and it’s not something we want to do.” U.S. Soccer doesn’t benefit if a league struggles or folds. It doesn’t reflect well on the sport. That being said, USL certainly won’t complain if the second tier opens up. The three pro leagues are both colleagues and rivals, and Major League Soccer’s entry into Minnesota and Atlanta, along with the USL’s rapid expansion (from 14 teams in 2014 to 29 this season) certainly left many wondering if the two were trying to squeeze out the NASL.Peterson said he did not think there was a focused effort to undercut NASL, but he did say that American soccer’s fractured and evolving structure fostered counterproductive competition.“I think you have a unique relationship here. You have soccer companies that aren’t necessarily all aligned for the same reasons under the [U.S. Soccer] Federation,” Peterson said. “If you look at the federation and the pro game in another country, everyone basically has aligned themselves to focus on the same type of development, success, things like that. Here, you’ve got three soccer companies that are making decisions for the best interests of the company. And that’s a unique situation.”There have been no claims, accusations or indications that the USL is pursuing or poaching NASL clubs, but the third-tier circuit obviously is aware that its growth and relative stability could be attractive to NASL teams anxious about the future. The USL’s “third division” designation doesn’t seem to be a hindrance at the moment. Rather, it would be a safe place to land. Ottawa eventually may target a proposed Canadian league, but it prefers USL for the time being.Tampa Bay may be eyeing MLS, so a USL entry would make sense. Carolina’s new owner, medical software entrepreneur Stephen Malik, has put money into the club and seen attendance grow. If the NASL isn’t growing along with him, he then may have a choice to make about his team’s future. And he’d have natural USL rivals in Charlotte and Richmond. Carolina’s long-term future in NASL is far from guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale needs a new owner and stadium, and it would be a shock if Rayo is around in 2017. The first-year team’s local investor group has fractured and its Spanish backer, Rayo Vallecano, was relegated from La Liga.Isolated, second-place FC Edmonton is performing well on the field but faces prohibitive travel costs and average crowds of just over 2,100, the second lowest in the league. The San Francisco Deltas are on board as a 2017 expansion team and will play at venerable Kezar Stadium. But there’s so much volatility elsewhere in the NASL that it’s tough to imagine the new club strengthening the circuit significantly in 2017.One source told SI.com that as of last week, at least four NASL clubs (including Ottawa) had yet to post their bond to ensure participation next season. If four or five teams depart, Peterson and the remaining owners will have to attract new investors to survive past 2017. It’s believed that the NASL’s expansion fee is under $5 million.“We’ve never had more serious conversations happening than we do right now, in more cities than we do right now,” Peterson said regarding expansion. “We’ve probably been in a process with maybe 40 groups. These are all people that have the wherewithal to do it. You start down through the process, depending on the group, depending on the city, can take as little as three to four months or as long as 18 months to complete.”He continued, “We’re talking to potential owners on the west coast—three different cities. Some are more advanced than others. All of them have a chance of getting admitted. We still have two conversations on the East Coast—they’re not in Florida—which if they make sense you would want to do it.”Chicago, led by former MLS and NASL executive Peter Wilt, and Baltimore are among the markets pursuing an NASL team.“We had three new teams start this year. I don’t know if we’ll have new teams [beyond San Francisco] start next year, and the clock’s ticking. But we’ll have ownership groups added to the league. I’m very confident of that. And it could be three or four,” Peterson said. “I think our league, I hope it’s beyond the point of anybody doubting if it’s going to be in existence. I think the model’s demonstrated that it can be successful if you work hard at it, passionate and in the right cities.”

MLS’s model certainly took time to gain traction. At the end of its sixth season, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion folded and the league likely would have died if not for Phil Anschutz and Lamar Hunt. In 2005, its 10th season, MLS finally returned to 12 teams with the additions of Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA, each of which paid all of $7.5 million to get in. Next year, it’ll add Atlanta (team No. 21) and Minnesota (No. 22), who each paid an expansion fee of more than $100 million. The NASL can only hope that it weathers its seventh-season storm in similar fashion.The Fury didn’t respond to an email from SI.com requesting comment and the Rowdies declined to comment. Peterson was unavailable Wednesday to respond directly to the situations in Ottawa and Tampa Bay. USL president Jake Edwards also was unavailable.

Soccer: Lloyd scores her 94th international goal, U.S. beats Netherlands

THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFirst Published Sep 18 2016 08:36PM    •    Last Updated Sep 18 2016 08:36 pm

Atlanta • Carli Lloyd scored her 94th international goal, Megan Rapinoe knelt again during the national anthem and the U.S. women’s national team beat the Netherlands 3-1 on Sunday night.Rapinoe, who entered as a substitute in the 64th minute, took a knee during the anthem for the second straight national team match and fourth game overall. She has said she wanted to express solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is attempting to bring attention to racial inequality.Lloyd tied it at 1 in the 35th minute. Tobin Heath ran in open space down the right sideline and found a trailing Lloyd near the penalty spot. Lloyd, who was coming off a hat trick against Thailand on Thursday, scored her 15th goal of the year.The U.S. took a 2-1 lead in the 50th on an own goal after it appeared Netherlands defender Mandy van den Berg was tripped into the ball in front of the net.Allie Long made it 3-1 in the 78th. Rapinoe chipped it into the 6-yard box, Alex Morgan headed it back across goal and Long knocked it in.It was the team’s second game since goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for six months. Ashlyn Harris started in the United States’ 9-0 victory over Thailand and Alyssa Naeher got the nod against the Netherlands.Naeher didn’t face much pressure after the opening five minutes and finished with four saves.The Netherlands opened the scoring in the second minute when Shanice van de Sanden finished on a breakaway. She raced to a glancing defensive header and finished on a breakaway by powering it past Naeher. Van de Sanden had an open shot knocked wide by Naeher in the 79th.Lieke Martens tried to chip Naeher in the fourth minute but it went over the crossbar.The U.S. had two shots hit off the post in the second half. Ali Krieger sent in a cross in the 49th minute but Morgan Brian’s one-touch deflected off the post and Morgan’s rebound attempt was blocked. Christen Press had an open shot hit the post in the 53rd.

Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch talks about USMNT decision

Leave a commentBy Joe Prince-WrightSep 21, 2016, 11:07 AM EDT

From Santa Cruz, California, Lynden Goochis making his way in the Premier League with Sunderland.The 20-year-old midfielder has burst onto the scene at the start of this season, starting four of Sunderland’s first five games in the PL as he made his debut away at Manchester City in the opening game of the season.That success has caught the eye of U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and with Gooch previously part of the U.S. U20 setup, he’s obviously a player the USMNT is keeping a close eye on. As for Gooch, well, he’s keeping his options up for now.In an interview with the Guardian in the UK, Gooch revealed he has yet to decide if he will represent the U.S. at the international level as he also qualifies for England and the Republic of Ireland.

“I qualify for England and Ireland as well, so there’s always stuff that can happen,” he says. “But I would love to play for the US again. I had a lot of pride putting on that shirt coming from California. I played a lot of football in California and I owe a lot to the country. The door is wide open at the minute.”

Gooch’s rise has been a pleasant surprise for the USMNT and it will be intiguing to see if Klinsmann calls him up to his squad for the friendly games against Cuba and New Zealand in October.While some may be surprised about Gooch’s remarkable rise from joining the Black Cats as a 16-year-old in their academy four years ago to now being a first team regular, the California native isn’t.“I knew I was good enough from a young age,” Gooch said. “I was really confident. I had no doubts, without even training at Sunderland or knowing anyone. I think that’s a big part of it. If you have the confidence in your ability, anything can happen.”Right now, just at the start of his senior career in the Premier League, it seems like the U.S. should make a big push to get Gooch on board as quickly as possible.

5 big things from Americans abroad this week (9/12-9/18)6Christian Pulisic stars in a big week for Americans in Germany

By Roderick MacNeil  @rodmacneil Sep 20, 2016, 9:27a

1. Pulisic Shines

Let us take a few moments to reflect on the week Christian Pulisic had for Borussia Dortmund.On Wednesday, Pulisic was in the XI for a potentially tricky away match in Warsaw, becoming the youngest player ever to start in Champions League for the club. Per usual, he was far from out of place. Dortmund would dominate from start to finish, with Pulisic playing a major role throughout. After making numerous key passes, he’d cap the day with an assist on BVB’s 5th goal, en route to a decisive 6-0 win.Three days later, Pulisic would get the call again on short rest. On the day before his 18th birthday, the Hershey Kid would take over the game in the second half. His first goal of the season in the 54th minute gave Dortmund a 3-0 lead. Assists in the 78th and 88th minutes would pile on for a familiar 6-0 score line vs. Darmstadt.Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pulisic’s final stat line was impressive as well, earning him a spot in the Bundesliga’s official Fantasy Team of the Week: has Pulisic at the #10 Slot.

The recognition wouldn’t stop there. On Monday, Pulisic was voted Bundesliga MVP for Match Day 3. We’re not talking Man of the Match. More like Man of the League. With a crowded schedule continuing in the coming weeks for Dortmund, combined with the quality of these performances, we’re certain see much more of Christian Pulisic. Exciting times.

2. Johnson Down, Then Up

It was a mixed week for Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach. Things didn’t go so well in a midweek Champions League match at Manchester City. With Johnson in the starting lineup, the Fohlenelf fell hard, losing by a 4-0 margin. The goal differential will hurt most, making Gladbach already a huge underdog to advance to the knockout rounds. Advancement now will likely require a similar margin of victory in the return match, or an upset win against mighty Barcelona. Either task is daunting.Back in league play on the weekend, it was a sunnier result. Gladbach got the early lead, thanks to an 11th minute assist from Johnson on Thorgan Hazard’s goal (skip to 0:53 of the video):The home side would coast to a 4-1 victory over hapless Aron Johannsson’s Werder Bremen(more on him in a moment.) Gladbach creeps back up to 6th place on the Bundesliga table ahead of Wednesday’s clash against surprising 2nd-place RB Leipzig.

3. Jóhannsson Up, Then Down

As mentioned above, the other side of the Gladbach-Bremen clash featured USMNT forward Aron Johannsson. AronJo began this one on the bench, but entered after halftime with his club already trailing 4-0.Johannsson would help trim the margin in the 73rd minute with a perfect touch on a chip pass to Serge Gnabry, who volleyed it home with a glorious finish:The good feelings for Johannsson wouldn’t last long. Believing he’d been fouled in the 81st minute, he chased the referee toward midfield, pleading his case and gesticulating his displeasure. Whatever came out of Johannsson’s mouth, the official didn’t like, as he quickly stopped play and issued a straight red card. Johannsson would later claim his words were misunderstood, but he’ll be serving a two-game suspension nonetheless.The ban comes at perhaps an inopportune moment for the U.S. striker. Following Sunday’s dismal defeat, manager Viktor Skripnik was relieved of his duties. Through 3 games, Werder Bremen is bottom of the table, earning zero points with a -10 goal differential. Interim manager Alexander Nouri will have to make his changes with Johannsson unavailable. It’ll be on Johannsson to assure there’s still a place for him in the lineup when he returns.

4. Future Bundesliga Gaines?

The Bundesliga has become the league to watch when it comes to the USMNT’s attacking talent. There just might be another young American joining their ranks sooner than later. U.S. U18 forward McKinze Gaines is off to a flying start with VfL Wolfsburg’s U19 side. With 2 goals and an assist this week, Gaines is turning heads. Through his first five games, he’s racked up 5 goals and 3 assists.Speculation on a promotion to the senior team is probably getting way ahead of things. But if Gaines can sustain anything resembling that sort of production, an opportunity just may come way ahead of schedule.

5. Boyd Returns

Another milestone along the long comeback road for Terrence Boyd was reached this week. Boyd made his return to competitive play after nearly two years out of action. He started twice in the past week for RB Leipzig’s reserves, even going the full 90 minutes midweek in a 1-1 draw:

With RB Leipzig off to an impressive 3-0 start in its Bundesliga debut season, cracking the senior team lineup will prove challenging. However, earning extended injury-free minutes with the U23s isn’t a bad place to start.Germany’s top division is well-stocked with American attacking talent. Already, nearly every game in the league has a USMNT flavor; having Boyd back in the mix only enhances our viewing menu.

Is it fair to compare Christian Pulisic to Landon Donovan?

-Ed. Note: This is a guest post by Josh Hall. He is a writer for SB Nation’s Borussia Dortmund blog, Fear The Wall.

As fan of Borussia Dortmund and the U.S. national team, I have observed Christian Pulisic’s rise with great interest even before the hype started to build. One thing I find odd is while many people are quick to speculate that Pulisic could become the greatest U.S. player of all time, there have been scant comparisons to arguably the greatest player the U.S. has had: Landon Donovan. The only times I hear the two mentioned in the same sentence are throw-away references to Donovan being the last world-class American player. I suspect this lack of comparison is due to the polarizing nature of Donovan within the U.S. soccer community.This unfortunate reality demonstrates the level of emotional stock we American fans placed in him, and how so many of us felt let down by what we saw as unfulfilled potential. Perhaps most American fans are hesitant then to compare Pulisic with Donovan because we felt we have been burned many times before. The wreckage of promising American careers that tells the cautionary tale of teenage hype is so well documented it would be superfluous to mention in this forum. What separated Donovan from that ignominious long line and what currently separates Pulisic is the inarguable product on the pitch; the delight that watching those two ply their trade on the largest stages in the world brings to American fans. So why not compare the two?Technically speaking, I haven’t seen a player as poised and positive as Pulisic in U.S. colors since the Landon Donovan era. Every time he receives the ball, there is this palpable tension, an almost physical bating of breath as you expect something remarkable to happen. And when he plays that curled, inch perfect ball threaded between the goalkeeper and outstretched legs of the defense, or takes that silky-smooth first touch to tee up a perfect finish, that tension explodes orgasmic like in heretofore unexperienced emotive bliss for deprived American fans.While certainly he does not possess the same kind of magic that only a Messi can produce, the sight of watching an American fearlessly receive the ball, turn into space, and rampage vertically down the field with a conviction and self-confidence born of experiential performance is something that, let’s face it, is largely foreign to us. Pulisic’s ability to pass, dribble, tackle, and his first touch is pretty much on par with Donovan in his prime.Tactically, Pulisic is eons beyond kids his age. He shows the tactical flexibility that Donovan had as well. Equally comfortable on the wing as in the center of the field as a number 10, the comparisons between the two are apt (although Donovan was far more effective on the wing and Pulisic has yet to be used by his club or country in the middle). Physically, both are relatively small and rely on their superior technical ability rather than the brute physicality, speed, and/or raw athleticism that American fans are used to seeing in their DeAndre Yedlins, Jozy Altidores, and Brian McBrides, all great players, but all only capable of just so much on the international level. When viewed from a technical and tactical perspective the comparisons are completely justified.The one area that completely separates the two and the factor that has me so hopeful is that of the psychological. Here is where Donovan becomes polarizing. No one ever questioned his ability on the field, but when it came to the decisions he made in his career, or the consistency of his performances (eg. 2006 World Cup), he has been subjected to more scrutiny than I think he could bear. He has been very forthright in his battles with his mental health and has highlighted an area in which most professional athletes likely struggle. He has spoken out on his bouts of depression and how the decision to stay at home to play where his mental well-being was assured was the right one for him.I completely respect that and am grateful to him for bringing attention to such an emotionally uncomfortable subject in the high-stress world of professional team sports. But an unimpassioned observer would be intellectually dishonest to say that he truly reached the dizzying heights of his sporting potential with his decision to forgo a career in Europe. Of course it could be argued that had he made a career in Europe he could have failed due to his emotional and mental framework, and who are we to cast aspersion on a man whose natural and genetic makeup has a predisposition to a delicate emotional health state? These are the types of questions that a figure even more polarizing, Jürgen Klinsmann, has asked further dividing American passions and opinions on the soft-spoken Californian midfielder.Landon Donovan’s mental makeup, without judgement or aspersion, is the only thing that separates Christian Pulisic from him, and is the reason why I am so hopeful for the future. With Pulisic, the one thing that has impressed me far beyond his technical and tactical prowess has been his ability to psychologically handle the transition of playing in a development program in the U.S. to becoming a full time professional footballer in Germany… at the age of 17.He has not just adapted and survived in this environment, but has thrived within a top-ten club team in the world, fought for places through their U17, U19, and U23 sides, and has bashed down the wall to the senior team as an American teenager. He has learned to speak German competently enough to give very coherent interviews. He has learned to deal with the pressure and hype associated with his rapid ascent. He has learned to give the correct, nuanced, and politically astute answers to prying and delicate questions from reporters asking about transfer rumors. Succinctly, he has become a complete professional in a world class league. And he is only 17.Pulisic is an American prodigy who has taken the difficult, but necessary route; one that is not unique in America but unique in a youngster as talented as he. And it is the route that is normal and understood for players like Antoine Griezmann, who left his home of France for opportunities abroad in the Basque region of Spain, of Lionel Messi who departed Argentina at a very young age for a new life at La Masia, and many other youths who have left their comforts in pursuit of professional football. There seems to be nothing stopping him except perhaps a string of poor performances and a falling off the depth chart at Dortmund, but for such a professionally minded player, whose only youthful indiscretion consists of a questionable taste for the music of Justin Bieber, even a footballing setback like that could be quickly overcome.Is it fair to compare the two? I say it is.

Premier League Power Rankings: So. Much. Movement.

12 (3) Man United: A poor week for Jose Mourinho as he lost three on the spin, Rooney is struggling and so too are Pogba and Fellaini in midfield. Needs a big win against Leicester on Saturday to shut up the “Einsteins” out there.
11 (2) Chelsea: Not a great week for Chelsea who drew at Swansea and thenlost at home to Liverpool in a poor display. Conte’s boys beat Leicester in the EFL Cup but plenty of work to do. Arsenal away next up. Huge challenge.
10 (18) Southampton: What a difference a week makes. Claude Puel’s side won three on the spin with victories in the Europa League, PL and EFL Cup and they kept three clean sheets. Charlie Austin is on fire as they head to West Ham.
9 (17) West Brom: Much-needed win for Tony Pulis‘ side against West Hamand Pulis will celebrate his 1000th game as a manager against Stoke. Baggies suddenly seem like scoring goals. 
8 (13) Leicester City: Much better from Claudio Ranieri‘s side who beat Club Brugge in the Champions League and then beat Burnley comfortably in the PL. Slimani is the new hero at the KP.
7 (8) Crystal Palace: Two wins on the spin in the PL for Pardew’s side as their offensive masterplan is clicking into place. They’ll be confident heading to Sunderland this weekend.
6 (9) Watford: The Hornets will be confident too. Two wins on the spin and afirst league win vs. Man United since 1986 has Mazzarri’s boys flying high. Tricky test at Burnley awaits.
5 (5) Tottenham: Pochettino’s side fluffed their lines at Wembley in the UCL but remain unbeaten in the PL as Alli, Eriksen & Rose signed new deals.Kane’s injury a real worry though. 
4 (6) Arsenal: As Wenger celebrated 20 years at Arsenal, his side have clicked through the gears. Three wins in a row has the Gunners pushing in the right direction ahead of a big London derby vs. Chelsea.
3 (4) Everton: Ronald Koeman has sprinkled the magic dust over the Toffees who remain unbeaten and have 4 wins from 5 in their best-ever start to a PL season. Keeping Lukaku fit is key.
2 (7) Liverpool: Well, well, well, Jurgen Klopp’s side is rampant right now with Mane, Lallana, Henderson et al. flying. Big wins vs. Leicester and at Chelsea. Now, can they keep it up against Hull?
1 (1)

 

Premier League player Power Rankings: The top 20 players, right now

Leave a commentBy Joe Prince-WrightSep 20, 2016, 1:40 PM EDT

For the first time this season we are going to select the top 20 players in the Premier League, right here, right now.Remember, Power Rankings are based purely on the output of players at this moment in time. Reputations mean nothing. This list is all about results.So, without further delay here’s a look at ProSoccerTalk’s Premier League Player Power Rankings (try and say that 10 times fast) so you can chuck a handful of these in your fantasy teams, settle some arguments with friends or watch some of these smaller named players a lot closer in the weeks to come.Let us know if you agree in the comments section below.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
  2. Diego Costa (Chelsea)
  3. Raheem Sterling (Man City)
  4. Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
  5. Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City)
  6. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
  7. Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
  8. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
  9. Michail Antonio (West Ham United)
  10. Nicolas Otamendi (Man City)
  11. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
  12. Etienne Capoue (Watford)
  13. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
  14. Marcus Rashford (Man United)
  15. Fernandinho (Man City)
  16. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
  17. Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
  18. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
  19. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur)
  20. Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton)
  1. Man City: These guys are legit.Despite his very public spat with Yaya Toure’s agentPep Guardiola has 8 wins from 8 as City’s boss. Top of the league and full of goals, De Bruyne is running the show. Hand them the title already…!?

Arsenal face Chelsea, champs Leicester’s trip to Manchester United

Chelsea will look to hit back after last week’s 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool when they travel to bitter rivals Arsenal on Saturday evening. Manchester United, meanwhile, are stuck in a rut. Yes, they won against League One Northampton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, but it’s two defeats in a row in the league ahead of the visit of champions Leicester.Elsewhere, Manchester City have a 100 percent record under Pep Guardiola, and the latest team to try and stop them, Swansea, lost 2-1 to Saturday’s opponents in the EFL Cup, too.Can the Swans win at the second attempt? Vote on their result and the rest of the action in our match polls.ARSENAL: The Gunners have responded well to the 4-3 opening weekend defeat to Liverpool, but Chelsea provide the sternest test yet. Arsene Wenger’s men do have some momentum, and the midweek win over Nottingham Forest showed they have depth and quality to call on if needed. It’s imperative they don’t capitulate in familiar fashion to traditionally tricky opposition. It’s a test of Arsenal’s Premier League mettle, but one they should feel pretty confident about.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea — Andrew Mangan

CHELSEA: Recent results between Arsenal and Chelsea will give the Blues a psychological edge going into the game — but will it be enough this time? Both defences have a suspect element to them which has typically been countered by attacking prowess. This means a boring 0-0 encounter is unlikely. With so much at stake and avoiding defeat a priority for both managers, a high scoring draw is a distinct possibility. Prediction: Arsenal 3-3 Chelsea — Mark Worrall

MAN UNITED: Leicester City have had uneven form in recent weeks, succumbing 4-1 to Liverpool in between two wins, while United have lost their past two in the league. These two teams with wounded pride and porous defences seem set for a draw.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-2 Leicester — Musa Okwonga

LEICESTER: The last time Leicester travelled to Old Trafford they got a vital point and days later they were Premier League champions. This time City face an out-of-sorts United side with a point to prove. It should be an intriguing encounter, especially with Claudio Ranieri up against former foe Jose Mourinho. The last time the pair met, Leicester beat Chelsea 2-1 and Mourinho was sacked shortly after. Expect a cagey encounter. Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Leicester — Ben Jacobs

SWANSEA: Having lost the “battle of the B-teams” in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, Swansea will be looking to avenge themselves in league play against a full-strength Manchester City on Saturday. Francesco Guidolin lately has favoured unduly cautious football, but the last time City failed to score in a league game was way back in March.
Prediction: Swansea 1-4 Manchester City — Max Hicks

MAN CITY: City return to Swansea’s Liberty Stadium three days after winning there in the EFL Cup and must try not to let Vincent Kompany’s injury scare them or the next round match against Manchester United take their minds off the big task: Turning nine wins out of nine into 10 wins out of 10.
Prediction: Swansea 0-2 Manchester City — Simon Curtis

LIVERPOOL: In form Liverpool have shown they can overcome the Premier League’s top sides and now they need to prove they can also beat the teams they are expected to beat. Having lost already this season to a newly promoted club, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be anxious to make sure there is no repeat when they face Hull City at Anfield, and they won’t make the same mistakes they did against Burnley.
Prediction: Liverpool 4-0 Hull City — David Usher

HULL CITY: A trip to Anfield looks to be among the toughest assignments the Premier League has to offer on current form. Hull City will set up to be hard to break down, just as they did against Manchester United and Arsenal, but Liverpool have the attacking quality to hurt Mike Phelan’s men. Hard to make a case for anything but a home win.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Hull City — Phil Buckingham

MIDDLESBROUGH: Boro will aim to regroup after two defeats on the trot as they continue their quest to prevent slack defensive displays from letting them down. Goalkeeper Victor Valdes will have to be at his very best to help the team come anywhere close to a clean sheet, and fans will hope to see midfield stalwart Adam Clayton back from injury. Tottenham’s attacking efforts may be somewhat hampered by injuries, particularly to star striker Harry Kane.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-2 Tottenham— Catherine Wilson

TOTTENHAM: While Tottenham are now missing Harry Kane, they have a number of attacking midfielders in good form — Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Son Heung-Min have all shone this week — so they should get chances. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have lost their past two Premier League matches and their last home game was a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Spurs can match that.
Prediction: Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham — Ben Pearce

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