Huge news for Carmel FC – with the addition of former Indy 11 Manager, US National Team and former Indiana University star Goalkeeper Juergen Sommer as Director of Soccer Operations to work along with DOC Matt Coyer. Sommer, who was the first American goalkeeper to play in the English Premier League and was named GK of the year back in 1993, will be responsible for all Carmel FC programming and will also play a major role consulting in CDC recreation soccer programs. (More to come on this). CFC and CDC families don’t forget this is Dick’s Sporting Goods Weekend 20% off – check your email and good luck to those CFC teams playing Fusion Fall Festival this weekend!
MLS playoffs are in full swing and have had some great games so far. If you have never watched MLS soccer – tune in for a playoff game this weekend it’s a different atmosphere. Leg 2 games to decide who advances to the Conference Finals are all Sunday. Toronto vs NY Red Bulls 3 pm on ESPN, NYCFC vs Columbus Crew 5 pm on ESPN, Portland vs Houston 7:30 pm on FS1. Sunday also features 2 huge games in the EPL with Man U facing Chelsea at on NBCSN and Arsenal hosting Man City at on NBCSN.
Congrats to the England U17 boys as they win the World Cup – at least the US was knocked out in the Quarterfinals by the team that ended up dominated the Tourney. Good sign of things to come with the U20s and the U17s making the Quarterfinals this past year. The Indy 11 finished the season in exciting fashion with a tie vs North Carolina at the MIKE last Saturday. Sure hope we have a team next season – we’ll wait to see if its in the NASL or USL or what?
Locally Fans will have a chance to see big 10 Championship Collegiate soccer this weekend and next at Grand Park in Westfield. The Men’s Championships are next weekend and should include top 5 ranked IU, while the ladies championships are this weekend:
BIG 10 LADIES FINALS
Friday, November 3:
1:30pm Ohio State vs Penn State
3:30pm Northwestern vs Wisconsin
Sunday, November 5: 2:00pm Championship.
Tickets: $12 for adults, $7 for students
Groups of 15 or more: $10 for adults, $5 for students
Congrats to the U11 Boys Gold and coach Mark Flanders (right) for Championship at Nightmare at the Rock last Weekend.
Congrats to Coach Dustin Palmer and his U13 Girls Blue for this Championship at Socctoberfest
Congrats to Bill Spencer’s U14Girls Gold for reaching the Finals at Soctoberfest.
Clint Dempsey comes up huge to lead Seattle into the conference finals
SEATTLE — Three thoughts on the Seattle Sounders’ 2-0 Western Conference semifinal win against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Dempsey turns in one for the ages
There had been speculation prior to kickoff as to whether this could be Clint Dempsey’s final match at CenturyLink Field. It is the Sounders’ call whether or not to pick up the 34-year-old’s team option for 2018 — and after earning close to $3.89 million this season, that decision is going to be agonized over in the front office.
Dempsey’s arrival in the summer of 2013 was a watershed moment in the modern history of the club, a personification of its long-term ambitions. It would be unfair to label him a bust, or anything close to it. The Texan has netted nearly 50 goals in more than four seasons in Seattle, and he helped deliver the memorable Open Cup/Supporters’ Shield double back in 2014.
There is a bit of a sense, however, that he hasn’t completely lived up to the outsized hype that heralded his arrival. Through no fault of his own, Dempsey missed out on last year’s dramatic MLS Cup run with an irregular heartbeat, and he had yet to deliver the type of transcendent moment that so defines legacies.He went a long way toward changing that on Thursday night with a classy double that came at a time his team was struggling to find a goal.Vancouver’s stubborn rearguard frustrated Seattle for more than 145 minutes stretched over the two legs of the series, and it was beginning to look as though the Sounders would never find their way through. The 39,587 rain-soaked fans girded themselves for the possibility of extra time, and penalty kicks beyond it.Then in the 56th minute, Dempsey found himself in a little pocket of space atop Vancouver’s box. He shimmied himself free, swung his left leg back and splashed a perfectly placed strike into the corner of the Whitecaps net. Then 32 minutes later, when a ‘Caps goal still could have knocked Seattle out, Dempsey added the insurance tally from close range.He wheeled away in triumph, kicked the ball toward the heavens and broke into a wide grin, a snapshot that will live long in these parts.
- Carl Robinson’s negative tactics backfire
The Whitecaps played for a scoreless draw last Sunday at BC Place, turning that first leg into a 90-minute slog in front of their own underwhelmed fans. The team mostly packed numbers behind the ball on Thursday, too, only pushing men forward once they went behind.In some ways, that’s just how Vancouver plays. It defends with discipline and burns you on the break. Especially in the first leg, with Seattle depleted due to injury, it could have stood to be a bit more ambitious.Robinson put all his chips on the idea that Vancouver could steal an away goal, and with it, the series. Had it worked out, he would’ve had some justification in gesturing toward the scoreboard. The ends justify the means, all’s fair in love and soccer, etc. In defeat, he and his charges were left with little to fall back upon.They turned what would have been a thrilling series between local rivals into a war of attrition, and now they’ll have a long offseason to consider what might have been if they’d only been a bit more aggressive.
- Portland-Seattle conference final beckons
Get ready for the real possibility of multiple weeks of Seattle-Portland hype.The Timbers have to hold up their end of the bargain, of course, on Sunday against the Houston Dynamo at Providence Park. But if Portland does advance, and with the international break looming on the other side of the weekend, prepare for the MLS hype machine to shift into overdrive.The league’s most passionate local rivalry would decide the Western Conference, with the two most recent MLS Cup champions going toe-to-toe to produce another finalist.Houston still might have something to say about that, but soccer fans will be excused if the prospect of a Portland-Seattle conference final topped their playoff wish list.Matt Pentz is a Seatt
When the clock strikes Deuce: The dependably dangerous Clint Dempsey
November 3, 20173:55AM EDTCharles BoehmContributor
You’ve heard the old saw about Clint Dempsey a thousand times by now, the one handed down to us by the grizzled Bruce Arena, a testament to the ingenuity and bravery of the stone-faced striker from Texas: “He tries sh*t.” As far as three-word descriptors go, it’s a moving compliment, and an apt phrase for a one-of-a-kind player in the annals of American soccer.
But it actually obscures an important truth about Dempsey: The famously unpredictable attacker is actually pretty reliable, especially when it comes to big moments.Thursday night, Dempsey’s brace led Seattle to an Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal victory against Vancouver. He raised his career postseason tallies to 6 goals and 3 assists in 7 career MLS playoff campaigns, alongside his already-sterling 71 and 41 in 172 career regular-season games. Few players in the league have earned more of a right to be trusted when a goal absolutely, positively has to be dug out, as was the case for the Sounders in Leg 2 of that continuously cagey series.
Dempsey is 34 now, and he remains the most dependable performer in the clutch for both club and country, despite months – maybe years – of talk about his advancing years and aging legs and the awkward questions facing him and the Sounders as that historic Designated Playercontract of his winds towards its end.
The litany is even familiar to us: His future is uncertain. He might have to accept a supersub role. This is really Nico Lodeiro’s team now. His club finally won the big one last year – without him, thanks to that heart condition that raised the specter of forced retirement, however briefly. His US national team failed to qualify for Russia 2018 in the most humiliating fashion imaginable. And of course, he’s not getting any younger.
ESPNFC’s headline blared out the encapsulated version this week: “Time is running out for Clint Dempsey to make his mark in MLS Cup playoffs.”This isn’t actually a new phenomenon for the kid who honed his cheeky, swaggering style of play on the hardscrabble, sun-baked fields and trailer-park driveways of East Texas. He’s spoken vividly over the years of the race against time, the urgency of being the one at the periphery, a clock over his shoulder as he hustles to get noticed, hustles to prove that he’s worth the spot, hustles to stay king of the hill in the face of relentless competition and advancing age.
From Nacogdoches to Furman to New England to Fulham to Tottenham to Puget Sound, with memorable diversions to Germany and South Africa and Brazil. Roaming the right flank in midfield, leading the line, drifting in the hole, in and out of his preferred position, in and out of the starting XI.Somehow he’s gotten his hands on nearly everything his childhood self could’ve dreamed of and more, and still retains that restless, furtive, slightly angry aura – still the outsider, even as a million-dollar man. Even with a championship ring sitting on the desktop at home.“He didn’t get to be a part of the run to the MLS Cup last year, one that you can tell just hurt him, and one that he didn’t really feel was his,” said former USMNT colleague Stu Holden during the final moments of Thursday’s FS1 broadcast. “So he has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, wanting to make sure he leads this team to back-to-back championships.”
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer boiled it down a bit further.“He’s been through a lot. And he’s hungry. He’s hungry.”Packed with talent, but somehow still lacking in killer instinct, Seattle let the Whitecaps hang around in this series far longer than they deserved to. Showing precious little ambition or attacking cohesion, Vancouver rarely seemed threatening to the defending champs, but they remained unbowed as the minutes ticked away in Leg 2, dustily defiant like a bloodied bull trotting around the ring.
Seattle needed a closer, a matador. And no one else in the building can do the job like Deuce.
As our own Sam Stejskal reported earlier this season, the Sounders have an option year on Dempsey in 2018. They may check that box enthusiastically, or perhaps might try to talk him down to a smaller, more budget-friendly salary number. Some have even raised the possibility of him calling time on his career altogether – though that prospect seemed distant, even faintly ludicrous under the rainy Seattle skies on Thursday, as he yet again did what he does best.“While they’ve been in negotiations, we were told yesterday by Seattle that they have ‘a warm, fuzzy feeling’ about him coming back next year,” noted Holden, “which makes it seem – and we know they’ve been in advanced discussions – but that Clint Dempsey will be back here next season. At what number, we do not know, but that is good news and he’s certainly proving his worth, yet again, to this franchise.“When you need him, he has turned up.”There’s hardly anyone like Deuce – in MLS, in a Sounders uniform, in US soccer history. And it hardly seems like he’s done making noise.Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.
MLS Playoff Schedule
It’s playoff time. Following the conclusion of the 2017 MLS regular season, the postseason is set to begin ahead of MLS Cup, which is set for Dec. 9 (4 p.m. ET, ESPN and WatchESPN) and will be hosted by the surviving team with the best regular-season record.
All kickoffs are Eastern time zone
Sunday, Nov. 5:
East series 1, leg 2: Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls – 3 p.m., ESPN,
East series 2, leg 2: New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew SC – 5 p.m., ESPN,
West series 2, leg 2: Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo – 7:30 p.m., FS1
Tuesday, Nov. 21:
East, leg 1 – 8 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
West, leg 1 – 10 p.m., FS1
Tuesday, Nov. 28 or Wednesday, Nov. 29:
West, leg 2 – Time TBD, FS1
Thursday, Nov. 30:
East, leg 2 – 10 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN
2017 MLS Cup
Saturday, Dec. 9: 4 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas
Will Mourinho let Man United attack Chelsea? Can Arsenal stop Man City?
ohn Brewin previews the weekend’s Premier League action and highlights five key storylines in this edition of W2W4.
Mourinho’s revenge mission at the Bridge
Will Manchester United pounce on Chelsea’s vulnerabilities and pull off the victory their manager craves perhaps most of all? The champions, hapless when losing 3-0 at Roma on Tuesday, look to be there for the taking. It could lead to Jose Mourinho throwing off the ultra-conservatism he employs in big away matches and go for all three points.
Being sacked by Chelsea in December 2015 as the defending champions languished 16th in the table, after nine defeats in 16 matches, was the lowest ebb of his career. He was removed after what sporting director Michael Emenalo labelled “palpable discord with the players,” many of whom remain at Stamford Bridge.
In the 23 months since that sacking, there has been criticism cast by both sides, with Eden Hazard remarking in February that Antonio Conte’s tactical preparation was superior while Mourinho has made repeated digs about Chelsea’s style of play. “They played defensive football and counter-attack football,” he said in September, but Mourinho might now fancy United can get at an increasingly leaky defence.
Chelsea hope N’Golo Kante can return after he ruled himself out in Rome, for they’ve missed him badly since he injured a hamstring on international duty last month. Tiemoue Bakayoko, himself struggling because of a knee injury, so far unable to provide the same protection for the back three and command of midfield. If Bakayoko struggles this weekend as he did at the Stadio Olimpico, the wisdom of letting Nemanja Matic defect from Chelsea to United will be brought into sharp focus.
Mourinho will still be without Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini, two key midfielders of very different facets, but Matic provides the ballast United needed. Another former Chelsea player, Romelu Lukaku, came so close to rejoining in the summer but offers another thread between two clubs that have recently become interwoven.
A United victory would open serious daylight, a gap of seven points, on the defending champions. Is the prospect of that enough to make Mourinho consider letting his team play?
November rains for Arsenal
For Arsenal, November is the cruellest month as they average just 1.56 Premier League points per game. So where better to begin it than Manchester City, whose 4-2 midweek destruction of Serie A leaders Napoli lifted them towards the top of the betting for the Champions League?
City appear unstoppable and no worse off having failed to lure Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in the summer. With Leroy Sane in stunning form and Raheem Sterling rampant ahead of playmakers Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, and Sergio Aguero now the club’s all-time leading scorer after notching his 178th goal in Naples, it has become difficult to see where Pep Guardiola might fit the Chile international. Perhaps we will find out in January should City make a renewed bid, but Arsene Wenger will need him at his best if Arsenal are to continue their recently respectable record against City this year. After all, their 2-2 home draw on April 2 and 2-1 Wembley win in the FA Cup semifinal were victories that helped keep Wenger at the Emirates.The City of this season, though, seem a rather different prospect.
Spurs must stop Zaha
Wednesday night saw a true glory game for Tottenham Hotspur. Double Champions League winners Real Madrid were soundly beaten 3-1, and a sulking Cristiano Ronaldo headed straight to the tunnel at full-time. Now it’s back to Wembley and to reality on Sunday where Spurs must try to make up the ground lost after last week’s disappointing defeat to Manchester United.
Crystal Palace are the opposition, buoyed by a 2-2 draw with West Ham that felt like victory after Wilfried Zaha’s 97th-minute equaliser. Zaha was a player Mauricio Pochettino fancied adding to his team last summer, only for the winger to sign a new deal that kept him close to his South London roots. With goals against Chelsea in last month’s 2-1 win and that West Ham equaliser responsible for Palace’s four points so far, Zaha is definitely the man to stop if Spurs are to stay on the coattails of City and United.
Everton continue in limbo
David Unsworth’s extended audition to be permanent boss at Everton continued Thursday with a 3-0 defeat in Lyon that sunk a dreadful Europa League campaign, while Sunday’s home match with Watford surely completes an ill-starred experiment with the club’s Under-23 coach. There are whispers about Sam Allardyce, and Sean Dyche has not ruled himself out, while Nuno Espirito Santo has stated his desire to remain flying high in the Championship with Wolves.
Those names each add to the confusion at Goodison Park as Everton were clearly unprepared for Ronald Koeman’s sacking, even if it became a fait accompli as his team slid into the relegation zone. Former player Unsworth had the fans’ sympathy on his side, but they cannot suffer much more punishment. Should Watford, led by Marco Silva, just the kind of progressive coach a club like Everton is looking for, win on Sunday, then a barracking for the board must be expected.
Overlooked Sturridge has point to prove
Liverpool’s trip to West Ham is the highlight of Saturday’s fixtures. If there’s a repeat of last season’s 4-0 away win, the pressure once again returns to Hammers boss Slaven Bilic but then again, he’s well used to that by now.
The opening goal scorer back in May was Daniel Sturridge, who was at the time linked with a potential move to West Ham. Having scored in his past two Liverpool appearances, the first time he has achieved that since January, he found himself omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.Only more goals and appearances can get Sturridge back in the reckoning. West Ham’s obliging defence seems a good place to start proving Southgate wrong.John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.
U.S. U-17, U-20 MNTS REACH WORLD CUP QUARTERFINALS IN SAME YEAR
U-20 MNT U-17 MNT Oct 17, 2017
A hat trick from Tim Weah and comprehensive 5-0 win by the USA in Monday’s Round of 16 match against Paraguay at the U-17 World Cup in India perhaps overshadowed a significant achievement for the USA’s Youth National Team program.The win pushed head coach John Hackworth’s U-17 side into the tournament Quarterfinals, matching the finish that head coach Tab Ramos’ U-20 team achieved at their World Cup in Korea Republic earlier this year.The USA joins England, who the U-17s will face in Saturday’s Quarterfinal, as the only two nations to accomplish the feat in 2017. The U.S. U-20 MNT took Venezuela to extra time where they eventually fell 2-1 in their Quarterfinal defeat in June, while England advanced to the Final, where they eventually downed La Vinotinto 1-0 to win their first youth World Cup. Notably, U-17 MNT captain Josh Sargent (below) also took part in the USA’s run at the U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.
- READ MORE: More on Tim Weah’s Historic Hat Trick
The U.S. and England are far from the first two teams to reach the Quarterfinals of both tournaments in the same year. Since 1985 it’s happened 45 times, with the U.S. previously doing it in both 1993 and 2003.That number decreases significantly when counted from 2007, the year in which the FIFA U-17 World Cup expanded to 24 teams and added an earlier knockout match before the Quarterfinals.Prior to this year’s instances, it’s taken place just nine times and on eight occasions, at least one of the nation’s representative teams moved on to the Semifinals.
Indy Eleven earn draw in season finale, await NASL’s uncertain future
Kevin Johnston, IndyStar correspondentPublished 8:26 p.m. ET Oct. 29, 2017 | Updated 9:54 p.m. ET Oct. 29, 2017
The Indy Eleven and North Carolina FC met Sunday at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium under vastly different circumstances.Win or draw, North Carolina would avoid having to play at Miami FC in the first round of the North American Soccer League playoffs. A loss would entail a trip to Ricardo Silva Stadium to face perhaps the best team in all lower-division soccer.The Eleven, contrastingly, had nothing to play for, having been eliminated from playoff contention a couple of weeks ago.The teams played to a 2-2 draw.The highly motivated visitors struck early when Billy Schuler buried a pass from Daniel Barrow in the fourth minute. Barrow played a short ball straight up the seam into space, connecting with Schuler’s diagonal run. The 27-year-old striker took one touch past Indy defender Cory Miller before finding the side netting inside the far post.But despite playing for pride, Indy responded with a vengeance.“I’m very happy to see the team play the way they did,” said Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson. “If we had played this way consistently through the season we’d probably be looking at playoffs next week.”A goal in the 20th minute by forward Eamon Zayed and another in the 65th by Miller propelled the home side to a 2-1 edge. Midfielder Ben Speas provided the helper on the first one, left back Nemanja Vukovic on the second.Daniel Keller was originally announced as a starter among the back four, but injured his hamstring during warmups. Miller replaced him in the starting lineup.“I ended up kind of tweaking my hamstring,” Keller explained. “(The coaches) got together and didn’t think it was worth it in case I further injured it in the first 10 minutes, so we would’ve had to use a sub early in the game.”Feeling a sense of urgency, the visitors cranked up the intensity in search of an equalizer. They eventually found it in the 89th minute, again through Schuler, this time on a pass from Marcel Kandziora.The teams settled for a draw, but it probably felt like a win for North Carolina FC. They’ll still face a stern road challenge next Sunday against the San Francisco Deltas, but will avoid a semifinal matchup against Miami FC. Miami won both the NASL spring and fall titles, and proved a dominant force in doing so.For two veteran Eleven midfielders, it was the last time they’ll play: Gerardo Torrado and Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Both players announced they’d retire at season’s end.Hankinson, who confirmed his contract expires at the end of November, faces an uncertain future — much like both the NASL and club. The league claimed it won’t be able to survive a demotion from Division II during a September conference call. Its divisional fate for 2018 likely will be determined at an Oct. 31 hearing regarding its federal antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.“I’m at the end of a contract, so we have to see (what direction) ownership and our team president (go),” Hankinson said. “Obviously, they’re waiting for the court ruling Tuesday to decide the direction of the league. So those things have to happen first before they start making clubs decisions.”
RECAP | Indy Eleven Signs Off Season with Thrilling Draw against North Carolina FC
Goals from Zayed, Miller help “Indiana’s Team” earn point at home to close the season
Published Oct 29, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS (October 29, 2017) – Indy Eleven ended the 2017 season at Carroll Stadium with a draw against North Carolina FC, 2-2.
Quick on the draw, the visitors opened the scoring inside the first five minutes through forward Billy Schuler. Making his debut for NCFC, midfielder Danny Barrow weaved through a pair of Indy Eleven players before feeding a ball in for Schuler to latch onto. Taking a touch away from goal, Schuler then rolled one past Indy ‘keeper Jon Busch at the far post.
Determined to go out on a high, Indy would press the NCFC backline and found the majority of their success from wide positions. In the 20th minute, midfielder Ben Speas continued his heavy impact on the match when he created a near tap-in for teammate Eamon Zayed to pull one back. Taking his man near the byline, Speas picked out Zayed dead center of the six-yard box where the forward beat ‘keeper Brian Sylvestre to go level.
A second half of relatively few chances between the pair, Indy would end up in front in the 65th minute thanks to a goal from defender Cory Miller. Earning a free kick just outside the box, defender Nemanja Vukovic – known for his ability to fire on goal from a set-piece chance – opted to instead lift a cross to the back post where Miller stood waiting. The late August re-addition side-footed the curling cross to the far post past substitute ‘netminder Macklin Robinson to give his side the lead.
Late on, a flurry of chances for NCFC were all blocked or beaten away as the visitors turned desperate for an equalizer. In the 89thminute, though, Carolina found an equalizer – another goal from Schuler – after substitute playmaker Lance Laing found the forward from close range.
With today’s match being the last in NASL regular season action, Indy Eleven ends the Fall Season in 8th place with a record of three wins, four draws, and nine losses (13 points) but locks in 6th place in the Combined Season table with seven wins, 12 draws, and 13 losses (33 points).
NASL Fall Season
Indy Eleven 2 : 2 North Carolina FC
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
NCFC – Billy Schuler (Danny Barrow 4’)
IND – Eamon Zayed (Ben Speas 20’)
IND – Cory Miller (Nemanja Vukovic 65’)
NCFC – Billy Schuler (Lance Laing 89’)
NCFC – Danny Barrow 19’
IND – David Goldsmith 88’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-1-3-2, L–>R): Jon Busch (GK); Nemanja Vukovic, Cory Miller, Colin Falvey, Marco Franco; Gerardo Torrado © , Ben Speas (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 58’), Tanner Thompson (Paulo Junior 75’), Don Smart; Eamon Zayed, David Goldsmith
IND bench: Keith Cardona (GK); Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Cory Miller, Christian Lomeli, Adrian Ables
North Carolina FC lineup (4-5-1, L->R): Brian Sylvestre (GK) (Macklin Robinson 32’); Paul Black, Connor Tobin, James Marcelin, Kareem Moses; Austin Da Luz (Lance Laing 79’), Tiyi Shipalane, Bolu Akinyode, Daniel Barrow (Nazmi Albadawi 64’), Marcel Kandziora; Billy Schuler
NCFC bench: Saeed Robinson, Jonathan Glenn, Brad Ruhaak, D.J. Taylor
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