6/28/18 World Cup Sweet 16 – TV Game Schedule, Indy 11 win 3rd in a row 3 Game Home Stand Starts Sat 7 pm, Summer Soccer Camps

Wow both Renaldo and Messi are out in the first games of the knock-out stages – fantastic and exciting games to watch with plenty of goals !!   I imagine the Seattle vs Portland MLS game – the oldest rivalry in US soccer would have been good too.  But the IDIOTS at FOX 59 here in Indy don’t give a SHIT about soccer – so they elected to show some bullshit Raw Travel BS Show instead????  SERIOUSLY so the Rest of the US gets to watch the game on Fox and Indy gets crapped on again ???    Well I am done promoting FOX 59 — no more Fox 59 References until our local terdheads at Fox 59 decide they give a crap about soccer.  If you would like to complain join me in leaving nasty messages at 317-632-5900.  I am working on finding a more direct line so our voices will be heard — otherwise they won’t show any of the MLS world cup lead in games scheduled over the next 2 weeks.

Very disappointing FOX 59 !!!!!!


So the Group Stages have Wrapped up and wow we have some interesting results. First GERMANY – the Defending Champions are going home at the earliest stage in 80 years – their 2 goals in 3 games their lowest total ever, their exit makes them the 4th reigning champion in 5 World Cups to go home during the group stages joining France (2002), Italy (2010), and Spain (2014).  Of course Mexico will look to break the streak and get to Game #5 by winning a knock-out stage game for the first time since 1994 vs Brazil on Monday at 10 am on Fox after they backed into the Sweet 16 thanks to South Korea blanking Germany 2-0.  The strangest might have been Japan going thru over Senagal based on Fair play — which was only introduced as a tiebreaker at this year’s World Cup — was then used to split the pair, with Japan’s four yellow cards beating Senegal’s six. Japan, therefore, reached the round of 16 along with Colombia, with England or Belgium lying in wait.   So it came down to sportsmanship -Seriously???  That needs to be revisited to overall corner kicks or something?  Oh and England sitting their starters when they needed to win to be on the easier side of the group and the #1 team was just stupid !!  Colombia takes them out!!  Otherwise – VAR – Video Review is still getting either Lauded or trashed – for me I think its great.  Yes they have missed 1 or 2 but overall they have been getting the calls right and fairly quickly.  (hey NFL. NBA you watching??)  Man this Saturday are you kidding me!

10 am Fox         France vs Argentina  (WC Sweet 16)  

2 pm Fox           Uruguay vs Portugal  (WC Sweet 16)  

US Failure to make it to the World Cup was made even worse with the pathetic showings of Panama and Costa Rica as they each flamed out with 3 losses. (Interesting column in the OBC) I still stick by my statement that the Best for US Soccer is to come.  We need to get the head coach right – but I truly believe this New Hope Group of under 20 US Players is going to get us to the Semi-Finals in the World Cup here in 2026.  The first good step has been taken with hiring of new GM and former national team player Earnie Stewart – next the hiring of one of the stronger American MLS coaches I think will come sometime in late August maybe.  I feel like good times are coming US fans – for now enjoy the no pressure watching of a World Cup without the US – we won’t see that again for a long time!  Either way enjoy those World Cup Commercials – here are my favorites so far – Gieco the Slide, Pirlo McDonalds,  and all of the Volkswagon ones.  Also loved James Corden’s England Team recruits American Fans.   Full World Cup Bracket Here


Our Indy 11 – silenced the Nashville Crowd on the road for a huge 2-0 win at previously unbeaten at home Nashville Tuesday night moving them to 4th place overall with 24 points on 7 wins/3 ties/4 losses.  Our Indy 11 coming off a 3 game winning streak return home this weekend for a Sat night match-up with Penn FC (Pride Night) at 7 pm and July 4th at 7 pm vs Ottawa at Lucas Oil.  Of course discount tickets below $15 are available

Click here for Discount Tickets for the Game and enter 2018 INDY as the promo code.  July 4th will be military night with ½ priced tickets for military personnel and of course Indy’s Downtown Spectacular Fireworks Show after the game.  The Sat Night game on July 7th will be Indiana Youth Soccer Night, as all teams across the state are invited to participate in a post-game photo on the field.  Reach out to Youth Club Coordinator Shawn Burcham at shawn@indyeleven.com.  I plan to be there for the next 2 Saturday nights – hoping for an open roof.  (I will try to post some pics next week)


Congrats to the 2 Indiana Teams (Indy Premier U16 Girls and St Francis U19 Boys) advancing to the Finals of the US Youth Soccer National President’s Cup July 11-15 at Grand Park.

After the ultra successful first camp in early June – Carmel FC has added another camp headed up by Director Juergen Sommer at Shelbourne from July 23rd thru 26th . Also some Carmel FC teams are still looking for players like the U17 (02) Boys team -email shanebestsoccer@gmail.com if interested.


Here’s the MLS rankings as we continue the powerhouse World Cup Lead-ins to MLS Games on Fox over the next few weekends. This Saturday we get one of the best venues and rivalries in US soccer as Seattle hosts Portland at 4:30 pm on Fox 59.  Sunday as we get a showdown of the defending Champs Toronto FC vs one of the top teams in the East the New York Red Bulls at 4:30 pm after the World Cup game on Fox 59.  Will be interesting to see if Rooney plays in the new home opener next weekend after finalizing the deal with DC United.

Indy 11

Indy 11 Beats Nashville on Road for 3rd Straight Win

Indy 11 Beats Nashville 2-0 – Blood Shambles Review – Rebecca Townsend

Indy 11 Discount Tickets for Saturday’s Game!   (Code 2018Indy)

USL League Standings

Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan



Join us in honoring our military during Military Appreciation Night on July 4th.  Come to watch the Boys in Blue take on the Ottawa Fury and stay for the fireworks downtown.  In honor of our military, we will offering tickets at a 50% discount.  Use the promo-code “military18” and save today


My Favorite World Cup Commercilal

World Cup Geico Commercial – the Slide

VAR is Working – Gab Marcotti

Germany Disastrous World Cup Bottom of Group – fewest goals and 80 year low for Germany

We panicked and Went Wild in Search of Winning Goal – Germany’s Hummels

Messi Goal Sets off Celebration for Argentina

Maradona Requires Medical Assistance after Emotional Night and dropping the Middle Finger to Everyone

Argentina Call of Game Winner

Gary Lineker brands Diego Maradona a ‘laughing stock’ after middle finger celebration

READ MORE: Lionel Messi scores 100th goal of World Cup 2018

READ MORE: Argentina saved by Rojo as they set up France clash

Marcotti: Are you not entertained? The World Cup has delivered
OgdenThe Good, Bad and Ugly of the groups
BarnwellWho has the toughest bracket?
ESPN FC TV: Who will surprise in the round of 16?
LaurensHow France relax behind the scenes

Ochoa big Saves Keeps Mexico loss respectable – ESPNFC – Player Ratings

France looks Good Enough to Win this Thing – SI Brian Straus

Africa with Worse Showing Ever at World Cup?

VAR Controversy with Renaldo – World Cup shows system needs Tweeking – Sam Borden ESPNFC

What Do Players Get when They Win the World Cup


Roger Bennett Discusses American Fiasco

Ameriicans at Home – Even Worse Failures than WC Flameouts Panama and Costa Rica – Stars and Stripes

Arena Says Pulisic is in a Great Place at Dortmund

Why would Tom Ricketts buy AC Milan? Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett weighs in »

Landon Donovan Clarifies his Vamos Mexico World Cup Ads after criticism

US Ladies Hit Their Stride – USA Today

Hope Solo calls US Soccer a Rich White Kid Sport – Fox

US to Play England, Brazil, Mexico and Italy in Friendlies this Fall


MLS Power Rankings

Rooney to Sign with DC United this Weekend?

Rooney Signs with DC United !

Seattle vs Portland Preview

Zlattan in ESPN Body Issue

Zlatan the Fortune Teller – James Corden

FC Cincy Lays out Plans for Training Facility


Oldest World Cup Player Ever Saves PK for Egypt

Best Saves Round 1 World Cup

Best Saves Round 2 World Cup

Save of the Week – NWSL –

MLS Top Saves of Week

Saves of the Week – USL


CDC Carmel FC Camp – Shelborne Field July 23rd – 26th

Carmel High Girls Middle School Soccer Camp  Ages middle schoolers – July 16, 17, 18, 19 at Murray 3-5 pm $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Skills Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 8:30-10:30 am $85

Carmel High Boys Soccer Tactical Camp Ages 8-14 July 16-19 at Murray 11 am till 1 pm $85

Butler Bulldog Soccer Camps – full day $255

 GAMES ON TV This Week

Sat, June 30         

10 am Fox 59        France vs Argentina  (WC Sweet 16)  

2 pm Fox 59          Uruguay vs Portugal  (WC Sweet 16)  

3:30 pm Lifetime       Orlando Pride vs North Carolina Courage (Women’s Soccer League)

4:30 pm FOX 59           Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

7 pm ESPN+, TV23   Indy 11 vs Penn  

8 pm Yes                           Chicago vs NY City FC

8 pm ESPN+                    LAFC vs Philly Union

10 pm Univ                     SJ Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

10 pm g090                    Seattle Reign vs Portland Thorns

10 pm Fox Sport 1     World Cup Tonight

Sun, July 1        

10 am Fox         Spain vs Russia  (WC Sweet 16)  

2 pm Fox           Croatia vs Denmark (WC Sweet 16)  

4:30 pm FOX            Toronto FC vs NY Red Bulls  

10 pm Fox Sport 1     World Cup Tonight

Mon, July 2       

10 am Fox         Brazil vs Mexico (WC Sweet 16)  

2 pm Fox           Belgium vs Japan (WC Sweet 16)  

Tues, July 3       

10 am Fox         Sweden vs Swiss (WC Sweet 16)  

2 pm Fox           Colombia vs England (WC Sweet 16)  

Weds, July 4       

7 pm ESPN+, TV23  Indy 11 vs Ottawa Fury

Fri, July 6         

10 am FS1                        World Cup Quarter Final W49 vs W50

2 pm  FS1                         World Cup Quarter Final W53 vs W54

Sat, July 7         

10 am                                 World Cup Quarter Final W55 vs W56

2 pm                                    World Cup Quarter Final W51 vs W52

4:30 pm FS1               LAFC vs Orlando City

7 pm ESPN+, TV23  Indy 11 vs Charlotte

10:30 ESPN+                  Vancouver vs Chicago Fire

Sun, July 8         

7 pm FS1               NYCFC vs NY Red Bulls –(Hudsen River Darby)

Tues, July 10       

2 pm Fox           World Cup Semi’s  

Weds, July 11       

2 pm Fox           World Cup Semi’s  

Sat, July 14         

10 am Fox         World Cup 3rd Place Game

7 pm Yes                NYCFC vs Columbus Crew

8 pm ESPN+           Dallas (Matt Hedges) vs Houston Dynamo

Sun, July 15         

11 am  Fox        World Cup Final

2  pm FOX                  Atlanta vs Seattle  

6 pm ESPN                       LAFC vs Portland

World Cup on Fox TV Schedule

MLS TV Schedule


Join us in honoring our military during Military Appreciation Night on July 4th.  Come to watch the Boys in Blue take on the Ottawa Fury and stay for the fireworks downtown.  In honor of our military, we will offering tickets at a 50% discount.  Use the promo-code “military18” and save today

GET READY TO TAILGATE WITH THE BYB – Brick Yard Battalion Indy 11 Soccer Fan Club

Park and Tailgate for indy 11 Games with the BYB – Parking in the Gate 10 BYB Section is $4 cheaper per game than the stadium’s South Lot- and OBVIOUSLY more fun! Located at 343 W McCarty Street, Gate 10 is just across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Gate 10—the 2018 official home of the BYB–is convenient and affordable. Parking is $11 per car for single games !  Click HERE to purchase your pass today. You Won’t want to watch the game in any other section after standing, screaming, singing, dancing, and partying with the BEST SUPPORTERS SECTION in the US – the BYB.

“Boys in Blue” aim to claim fourth consecutive win against visiting Penn FC

Indy Eleven Gameday & Match Preview  -Saturday, June 30, 2018 – 7 P.M. EST -Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana  


Indy Eleven entertain Penn FC at home in their second fixture of Week 16 play. The “Boys in Blue” aim to capture their fourth victory in a row as they attempt to defeat the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based team.Indy Eleven (7W-4L-3D) defeated Nashville SC, 2-0, in their first of two Week 16 fixtures. The “Boys in Blue” also handed Nashville their first home loss of the season. In the 16th minute, defender Karl Ouimette headed home defender Ayoze’s corner kick into the middle. Indy Eleven forward Justin Braun beat Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens in the 35th minute with an angled shot that skid underneath the veteran goaltender. Braun’s goal last Saturday was his third in a two-match span after being sidelined by injury late in the 2017 season. Indy goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams recorded his seventh clean sheet, which tied him for first in the USL for most clean sheets. The “Boys in Blue” now sit in fourth place with 24 points.Penn FC (5W-4L-6D) defeated Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-1, in Week 15. Penn FC forward Lucky Mkosana netted a brace with two goals in the 49th and 67th minute. Tampa Bay scored first in the 34th minute, but Mkosana’s two goals from nearly the same spot on the pitch secured the three points for Penn. Penn have won three of their last five games, scoring 11 goals in the span and allowing 10. Forward Lucky Mkosana and defender Kenneth Tribbett lead the team in goals with four each. Goalkeeper Romuald Peiser leads the team between the sticks. He’s kept three clean sheets in 11 appearances. Penn now sits at 9th in the Eastern Conference just three points behind Indy Eleven.


Indy Eleven forward Justin Braun has found his place in the back of the net in his last two outings since he returned this year after sustaining a season-ending  injury in late 2017. When Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie built his squad at the beginning of the season, Braun was a key inclusion as the club’s first USL era signing. Joining him were the likes of forwards Eugene Starikov, Soony Saad, and Jack McInerney. All of whom were high quality off-season signings that would force Braun to earn his time on the pitch.Braun has made the most of his recent appearance in the starting XI. The absence of forwards McInerney, Starikov and Saad through various instances meant it was Braun’s turn to step up. In his last two games, he’s scored three pivotal goals that helped the “Boys in Blue” to three points each time, with his goal in the last game against Nashville coming against one of the toughest goalkeepers and defense in the league. It will be up to Braun to continue his form if “Indiana’s Team” is to make it four victories in a row against Penn FC.


Indy forward Justin Braun isn’t the only forward entering the game on Saturday night in form. Penn FC forward Lucky Mkosana is coming off a double against Tampa Bay Rowdies in Week 15. The Zimbabwean scored a come-from-behind brace that leveled the game in the 49th minute, and handed Penn FC its fifth win of the season in the 67th minute.Mkosana is currently tied with defender Kenneth Tribbett for most goals scored on the team with four each. He’s contributed four of the team’s 17 goals scored so far during the 2018 USL campaign. Mkosana will need to find a way to get through Indy Eleven defenders Carlyle Mitchell and Karl Ouimette inside Indy’s 18-yard box, where he has scored all of his goals, if he plans to beat goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams.


Indy Eleven and Penn FC will face off in Week 16 of USL play with offenses that have been finding the back of the net regularly. In the last five games, each team has scored a total of 11 goals, averaging just over two goals a game.Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie may disagree with the famous Vince Lombardi quote above. Rennie has preached a stern, stellar defense that doesn’t breakdown to help the “Boys in Blue” earn three points regularly. His team has given up seven goals in the last five games and recorded two clean sheets in that span. The ‘absorb the pressure’ style Rennie has taught his squad has proved fruitful, as the team has found its hot streak in front of net while not giving up many chances. What was thought to be a concern at the beginning of the season now seems a distant memory as the “Boys in Blue” are consistently finding the back of the net multiple times a game, just as they did in the 2-0 defeat of Nashville SC, one of the toughest defenses in USL, on last Tuesday night.“Indiana’s Team” will welcome another hot offense, led by forward Lucky Mkosana and defender Kenneth Tribbett, into Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night. The Pennsylvanian based team has been the king of the comeback on the road in their last two matches as they fought back from down 3-1 against Louisville City FC and 1-0 against Tampa Bay Rowdies. Penn FC has struggled on the road, finding the back of the net only six times and securing two wins. A positive last two road results, a 3-3 draw against second place Louisville and 2-1 victory at Tampa bay, has given the side hope of defeating Indy Eleven. The “Boys in Blue” have a 3W-3L-1D record at home and have conceded ten goals in Lucas Oil Stadium. “Indiana’s Team” aims to add a few more to their 11-goal haul at home this season, along with securing their fourth victory in a row on Saturday night. Coach Rennie’s side will need to continue their hot form in front of goal if they are to do so. “Indiana’s Team” will take on Penn FC for the first time in the 2018 USL campaign. A win would potentially boost the “Boys in Blue” into second place overtaking Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and Louisville City FC.

GET READY TO TAILGATE WITH THE BYB – Brick Yard Battalion Indy 11 Soccer Fan Club

Park and Tailgate for indy 11 Games with the BYB – Parking in the Gate 10 BYB Section is $4 cheaper per game than the stadium’s South Lot- and OBVIOUSLY more fun! Located at 343 W McCarty Street, Gate 10 is just across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Gate 10—the 2018 official home of the BYB–is convenient and affordable. Parking is $11 per car for single games !  Click HERE to purchase your pass today. You Won’t want to watch the game in any other section after standing, screaming, singing, dancing, and partying with the BEST SUPPORTERS SECTION in the US – the BYB.


Germany’s disastrous World Cup – Bottom of the group, fewest goals, and an 80-year low

10:30 AM ETDebayan SenSenior Assistant Editor  Germany’s World Cup ended in humiliation after a shock defeat to South Korea. ESPN brings you the numbers behind their disastrous campaign.


Germany have been eliminated in the first round of the World Cup for the first time in 80 years, since a defeat in 1938 at the hands of Switzerland, where they drew the first match 1-1, before being beaten 4-2 in the replay. Since group stages were introduced in the World Cup in 1950 — though they missed out on participation in that edition — Germany have failed to advance to the next stage of the tournament for the first time.


The two goals scored by Germany are now the fewest they have scored in a single World Cup campaign. The previous record for fewest goals by a German team at a World Cup was three, scored during the 1938 campaign where they played just two matches – both against Switzerland – and scored one goal in a 1-1 draw and then two in a 4-2 defeat in the replay.


Germany have become the fourth reigning champions to be shown the door in the group stages in the last five World Cup editions. France (2002), Italy (2010) and Spain (2014) had all suffered the same fate in recent years, exactly one tournament after having won the World Cup. Brazil, in 2006, are the only team to have bucked that trend in all these years, though they remain the only other defending champions to have been eliminated in the group stages, in 1966.


Korea have become the first Asian team to have beat Germany at the World Cup. In fact, they have become the first team from AFC to have scored against Germany in 24 years, since Germany beat Korea 3-2 in the 1994 World Cup. Germany had shut out four teams from Asia since then in World Cup meetings.


Andreas Granqvist converted the 18th successful penalty of the 2018 World Cup, when he put Sweden 2-0 up against Mexico. This is now a record for most penalties converted at a World Cup, surpassing the 17 conversions in 1998.


Germany have failed to win two matches in a four-team group stage for the first time in 32 years, since this format was introduced to the World Cup, and only for the fourth time overall. They won one game and drew two in both 1958 and 1978, while in 1986, they went on to play the final despite winning, drawing and losing one game apiece in Mexico.


Jesus Gallardo of Mexico was shown the yellow card within 13 seconds of kick-off against Sweden, which is now the fastest yellow card in World Cup history. The only other yellow card inside a minute was shown to Sergej Gorlukowitsch, inside 54 seconds for Russia against Sweden during the 1994 World Cup.


Edson Alvarez scored the seventh own goal of the 2018 World Cup, now a record for the most in one World Cup edition. Alvarez also scored Mexico’s fourth own goal in World Cup history, also a World Cup record, as it takes them past both Bulgaria and Spain. All numbers courtesy of ESPN’s Stats and Information Group

4 quick thoughts on the Lionel Messi goal against Nigeria, which has us screaming

Messi is one of the few people alive who could have done what he just did.

By Nate Scott@aNateScott  Updated Jun 26, 2018, 4:03pm EDT


Lionel Messi scored the opening goal for Argentina in their pivotal match against Nigeria on Tuesday, and it was like the world exhaled in unison. After a nightmarish start to their World Cup, Argentina were in a position to advance out of the group stage … and it was their hero, oddly quiet up to this point, who had broken the deadlock.Once Argentina fans took a moment to feel relief at the goal, though, they undoubtedly started screaming. Because holy hell WHAT A GOAL.The goal was pivotal too, as it started off Argentina toward an eventual, dramatic 2-1 win and a place in the knockout round.Watch it here, then below, I have four thoughts on it, and how it might be even better than you realize.

  1. First, the run from Messi. I’ve watched Messi play so many times over the last decade or so, and one of the more underrated and incredible things about him as a player is the moment he sees a run and decides to go for it. He commits totally. He accelerates like a supercar, the time between initial thought to full speed takes place in the span of maybe half a second. At first, he drifts inside, just to lull the Nigeria defender into thinking he’s checking to the ball … then he and Banega locked eyes, and he took off running the other way. He wasn’t close to offside, and it didn’t matter. He was going, he would get past his defender, and then it was on Banega to put the ball where it needed to be.
  2. So, of course we have to talk about the pass from Banega. There was a lot missing from Argentina in their previous match, a disappointing lossto Croatia, but a glaring weakness was Argentina’s inability to pass the ball out of the midfield. With so many runners and high-energy guys in, they pressed, but they couldn’t make the passes they needed to. Banega in, and all of a sudden they have a player who can hit a 40-yard ball to Messi’s left thigh.
  3. The two touches Messi took to control this ball might be the single most incredible thing I’ve seen this World Cup. I’m including James’ pass. I’m including Quaresma’s trivela. I’m including it all. Some of those took daring, and vision. Messi’s two touches there are the product of a man with a generational touch. I’m struggling to wrap my mind around those two touches. Messi is running full sprint with a defender on his back hip, and he’s got a ball kicked at him that’s flying in from a distance of 40 yards, and — again, while running at full speed — he nestles the ball down with his trailing leg, takes another delicate touch in stride, and sets himself up to shoot. That’s not hard … that’s impossible. Think about how hard it is to do anything else when you’re sprinting. You’re really just focused on one thing: going as fast as you can. Now think about doing that, but mid-stride, receiving a ball fired in at you from 40 yards and having the grace and patience to calmly ease the ball down with your upper leg, then, while still taking that same step, take a second, even more delicate touch to your other foot. You’re still sprinting this whole time, faster than another extremely fast athlete, who doesn’t have the ball and doesn’t have to do anything delicate. You can’t imagine doing this, because there are only a few people who have ever lived who could do it. That’s what separates Messi.4. The finish. It seems a little rote, especially after those two touches … a cymbal crash at the end of a symphony. But Messi still had to take the ball onto his weaker right foot and fire it in at not a great angle. He did it, because he had to do it. We needed that goal. He needed that goal. Argentina needed that goal. It was the moment we were waiting for.

France Keeps Growing Into a World Cup It’s Talented Enough to Win

By BRIAN STRAUS June 26, 2018

MOSCOW — The most meaningful moment of Tuesday’s World Cup Group C finale between France and Denmark here at the Luzhniki Stadium occurred in around the 18th minute, 1,000 miles to the south in Sochi. There, Peru took a lead over desperate but underwhelming Australia, essentially confirming that the Danes would advance to the round of 16 along with Les Bleus.With the stakes all but resolved, the two European sides played (in a manner of speaking) to avoid injury, suspension or sweat stains as they lurched to this World Cup’s first 0-0 draw. They fulfilled their scheduled obligation under cascades of whistles and boos, but neither was concerned. In fact, both coaches expressed post-game satisfaction. Denmark, which is here to get out of the group then roll the dice in the second round, was content with second place. As for France—it’ll be far more interested on the July 15 game at Luzhniki than Tuesday’s. Les Bleus are in Russia to win the World Cup.The thing is, that’s been the case at a lot of World Cups. Yet France has just the one title—earned on home soil in 1998—to its credit. Obviously, all but eight countries would be thrilled to make that statement. But somehow, considering what seems to be an endless stream of world-class talent at their disposal, Les Bleus have frequently stumbled on the big stage. The stories of France’s near misses, implosions, bad luck and self-inflicted wounds are as legendary, and more plentiful, than the memories of its triumph two decades ago in Saint-Denis. It seems as likely to go home early, or in disgrace, as it is to stay until the end.A glance at the players left behind this summer by coach Didier Deschamps is an indication of the quality of those in Russia: Lacazette, Martial, Coman, Sissoko, Koscielny, Digne, Sakho, Benzema, Payet—France’s ‘B’ team might have a shot at the World Cup quarterfinals. Such is the wellspring of talent produced at Clairefontaine and in the Paris banlieues that Deschamps named just nine Euro 2016 silver medalists to his World Cup squad, and there are only six players remaining from France’s run to the last eight in 2014.n Tuesday, with a first-place finish likely and only three full days of rest before an expected round-of-16 game in Kazan, Deschamps displayed the measure of his resources. The likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappé, Blaise Matuidi, Samuel Umtiti, Benjamin Mendy and Hugo Lloris all started on the bench. Some were on a yellow card, others were rested or recovering. Yet still, Denmark adopted a withdrawn, defensive posture. “We were up against one of the best teams in the world,” Denmark coach Åge Hareide said following the game. “We would’ve been stupid to open up a lot of space for the French team. So we stayed back whenever we could, and we played to get the result we needed.”France controlled possession (62% to 38%) and more than doubled Denmark’s shot total. But against a well-organized opponent and absent any urgency, Les Bleus didn’t really press the issue. There were missed connections, stray passes and a dearth of clear looks at goal. Substitute Nabil Fekir came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half, and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda did well to take a dangerous cross off Denmark starChristian Eriksen’s foot in the 29th minute. And so the group concluded anticlimactically, with France’s title credentials remaining obvious on paper, but still not established on the field.Les Bleus finished first-round play 2-0-1, with just three goals scored and one yielded. They hardly blew the doors off a quartet in which they clearly were the most talented squad. Deschamps said Tuesday evening that the 2-1 defeat of Australia was “not quite good enough” and that the subsequent 1-0 win over Peru was “better,” even though La Blanquirroja had their share of chances.Most of this tournament’s favored teams have started slowly, he said.“It’s challenging for everyone. Look at Argentina, for example—one of the top contenders … Germany got by by the skin of their teeth. It’s not easy,” claimed Deschamps, who captained the 1998 champions. “Obviously you can tell me there’s room for improvement. But even teams that are top contenders—Brazil, Germany, Spain—it’s not easy for them either. It’s complicated for everyone.”France’s goal now must be to avoid making it more complicated than it has to be. In the past, that’s been one of its specialties. There was the 2010 mutiny against coach Raymond Domenech sparked by the team’s dismissal of Nicolas Anelka. That followed the Zinedine Zidane headbutt in 2006 that very well may have cost France a second star.In other years, Les Bleus simply and grossly underperformed. Their title defense in 2002 (a year in which they were World Cup, European Championship and Confederations Cup holders) was derailed by an astonishing loss to Senegal in the opener. Zidane was hurt that day in Seoul, but a squad featuring Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry still managed to get beat by a debutant. In 1993, a team led by Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and a handful of eventual champions failed to qualify after inexplicably blowing home games against Israel and Bulgaria. Michel Platini’s 1980s powerhouse fared better and came close, but lost two consecutive semifinals to West Germany.The trajectory looks good this summer. Deschamps’ group is relatively young, impressively deep and is getting closer to the summit, from the quarterfinal defeat by Germany in ’14 to the upset loss to Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. The question has been whether the manager can find the right formula—whether he can take all this individual ability and field a cohesive, all-conquering team.There remain several significant tactical questions, from the ideal number of forwards to the arrangement and responsibilities in a loaded and mobile midfield that features top players with overlapping abilities. Deploying Olivier Giroud as a target forward leads to one sort of approach. Putting Antoine Griezmann atop of a 4-3-3 produces quite another. And pundits and former players continue to chip away at the intangibles, looking for cracks in the foundation and wondering whether this generation of Frenchmen will succumb to the distractions or selfishness that bedeviled many predecessors. When Griezmann airs his “decision” special on the eve of the tournament, or whenever Pogba behaves oddly, commentary and questions flow that reveal fears of flaws and failures past.One of those skeptics was Hareide. The Denmark coach told Jyllands-Postenbefore the World Cup that France “don’t have a leader” like Zidane, and that it “needs to play as a team.”His opinion of Pogba: “Good grief, does he only think about his haircuts?”Hareide said here that his comments were taken out of context and after Tuesday’s draw and France’s first-place finish, he didn’t seem to think Les Bleus’ slower start was a sign of trouble to come. Champions grow into tournaments, Hareide said.“The big teams—Germany, Argentina, others–have had problems,” Hareide observed. “But France, I’m certain will come up there as a [contender] for the title. … The French team is getting better and better as you go forward. [It] will go into the last 16 and after that, the big games will start for France.”Its “big games” actually begin in the round of 16 thanks to Argentina’s last-gasp win over Nigeria later Tuesday. There haven’t been many World Cup matches at that stage that have had the profile of France-Argentina. They meet Saturday in Kazan.Center back Raphaël Varane, who’s learned a thing or two about clutch performance collecting trophies with Real Madrid, said here that France’s potential remains front and center, rather than its uneven start or any possible problems.“I think there is still a great understanding. It’s a young and dynamic group,” Varane said. “We don’t even need to talk about motivation. The motivation is there. We do have different personalities, but overall we’ve got a good dynamic. The coach has been here for six years now. He’s used to creating a group, and we’re living well together. So yes, we’re carrying on with the same good spirit and I think that’s very important in such a competition.”If he’s right, or prescient, then France has as good a shot as any team to be back at the Luzhniki for the biggest, most high-stakes game of all.

Mystery Solved: What do players get when they win the World Cup?

Alex Baker

Fame, glory, immortality, the gratitude of an ecstatic nation. The intangibles of what a player gets when they help their nation to a World Cup triumph are well understood. But what do players actually get when they achieve the honor of lifting the coveted Jules Rimet trophy at the end of the tournament?

Prize money

With a total of $400 million to be shared between teams competing in Russia, there is substantial prize money on offer not just for winning, but even just for participating in this summer’s World Cup. Making it to the tournament in the first place is worth $9.5M, $8M for participating in the group stage and $1.5M for tournament costs.Teams that make it through the group to the Round of 16 get another $4M bump.Making it past the first knockout round into the quarters gets you another $4M. Teams that get out of the quarters and into the final four receive different amounts, depending on how well they do.Even the teams that fail in the semis and play in the third-place match do pretty well, with the winner netting $24M and the loser getting $22M.he team that loses the final next month at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will still take home $28M.What about the prize money for going all the way?The team that’s ultimately crowned the winner of the 2018 World Cup final will take home $38M in prize money.

Bonus payments

On top of the prize money on offer from FIFA, each nation’s soccer federation offers bonuses and financial incentives based on how well a team does and individual player performances. The amount of these bonus payments to individual players varies from association to association. Often it’s the players’ representatives who negotiate the amounts with the associations.Expectations also play a role in determining who gets paid what. Teams that are expected to challenge for the title, like Germany or Brazil for instance, aren’t likely to get paid much just for making the Round of 16 or the quarters. Smaller teams, on the other hand, who might be pleased just to make it out of their group, will typically receive greater bonuses for making the knockout rounds.Defending champion Germany will reportedly receive $9.3M should it retain the title. Divvied up between the 23 members of the squad, that would amount to about $407,000 each.England meanwhile, would receive $6.61M for bringing the trophy home for the first time since 1966, amounting to a payout of $284K for each player on the squad.

What, no trophy?

One thing the winning team at the World Cup does not take home is the trophy itself. While winning teams are allowed to hoist it aloft and party with it for an hour or two, the iconic Jules Rimet trophy is quickly returned to FIFA following the trophy ceremony and celebrations. Instead, the winning team will go home with a gold-plated replica of the actual trophy.This is likely a result of the numerous times the trophy has been stolen in the past, most notably, in 1966, when it was spirited away from a public exhibition in London, only to turn up wrapped in newspaper in some bushes a few days later.Unlike in American sports, where we tend to give out championship rings, players in World Cup winning teams receive medals.


Although up until 1978, only players who appeared in the actual final match would receive a medal. FIFA changed that rule in 2007 and players on winning teams who had not appeared in the finals prior to 1978 were retroactively awarded medals.


US to face Brazil, Mexico, England, Italy in friendlies

AFP•June 25, 2018

Chicago (AFP) – The United States will face Brazil, Mexico, England and Italy in friendlies to kick off preparations for its World Cup qualification in 2022, it was announced on Monday.The United States Soccer Federation said in a statement the US men’s team, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, would launch its “Kickoff Series” with a friendly against Brazil at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on September 7.Four days later the US will play regional rivals Mexico at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The US will head to Europe to face England at Wembley on November 15, before facing Italy five days later at a venue to be confirmed.The US will also play two other home matches in October, with opponents and venues to be revealed at a later date.”We are at the beginning phase of building our identity,” US general manager Earnie Stewart said in a statement.”These games are obviously huge challenges, and for young players it’s an opportunity to see the benchmark of some of the top teams in the world.”We can use these experiences to learn about ourselves and take the next steps towards developing into the team we want to become.”The US have not yet appointed a successor to Bruce Arena as national team coach. Arena’s tenure ended after the US failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Roger Bennett on ‘American Fiasco,’ the state of U.S. soccer and the ‘siren call’ of Chicago

Joe KnowlesContact ReporterChicago Tribune

The allure of Chicago knows no boundaries. The city’s charms and its passion for sports reached a young Roger Bennett, the co-host of NBCSN’s “Men in Blazers,” all the way across the pond in Liverpool and drew him to move here as a young man in the 1990s. “It was like a siren call,” Bennett says.Bennett, who became a U.S. citizen on June 1, also is the creative force behind the brilliant new podcast “American Fiasco,” which tells the story of the U.S. national team’s dramatic rise in the mid-’90s and their equally spectacular flameout in the 1998 World Cup. He and “Blazers” co-host Michael Davies recently released a book on the sport called “Encyclopedia Blazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America’s Sport of the Future Since 1972.”The Tribune reached Bennett in Russia, where he is covering the World Cup for NBC, to talk about the podcast, the state of American soccer and his affection for all things Chicago.

The “American Fiasco” podcast series is an impressive piece of work. How much reporting time went into it?

In the field, just tracking down the players and broadcasters and doing the interviews, it took seven months.

What inspired you to do it?

I came to America in the mid-’90s and was just blown away by what I found there watching the U.S. team taking the field in the 1994 World Cup. I always felt that the rich soccer history that exists in this country was not always valued or self-respected, and to be able to tell their story from 1994 to the 1998 World Cup was the honor of a lifetime.

You were able to get the principal characters to speak very candidly about their roles on that team. What did you learn about them that you didn’t know before you began the project?

For some of them, even 20 years later, this is a wound that hasn’t healed. I asked Steve Sampson, the coach, whether he still dreams about what happened and he didn’t waste a second. He said, ‘Yes.’ He has recurring nightmares about it.The big thing I forgot, was how the 1994 team swaggered onto the field. In 1990 they showed they could qualify and in 1994 they won a game and showed they belonged. You guys (Americans) like nothing more than winning, you love winning dominant like the “Dream Team” and you love winning underdog like the “Miracle on Ice.”In 1995, they’d left the 1994 World Cup and went down to Paraguay for this big tournament, the Copa South America, and they opened up a can of whoop-ass. They beat Chile, they beat Mexico, and most impressively, they beat Argentina, the defending champion, and they trashed them … trashed a very good Argentinian side. They left the Copa feeling validated that they were a team that could take on massive powers and not just beat them but flush them. That part of the story, which happens in Episode 3, when they go down to Paraguay and just charm the world … there were kids on the playground there who were saying ‘I want to be Eric Wynalda’ and ‘I want to be Alexi Lalas.” They were the next big thing in world football and then things just splintered.

During that time in Paraguay, the U.S. Soccer Federation caused a rift by not paying all the players equally or fairly, a decision that was delivered on the plane during the flight to South America. Did the federation get caught off guard by the team’s success? How much did that contribute to the splintering?

Yeah, it was a shocking transformation. When you think about soccer, we forget that before 1994 most of these players could not get professional jobs. The European teams didn’t want them and there was no professional full-time league. MLS (Major League Soccer) didn’t come about until 1996. And so many of these players, before 1996, U.S. Soccer provided their housing, so they lived together and trained together, almost like a club team. They were making almost nothing.One of the players, Marcelo Balboa, described the transformation. It was like, one minute we’re living on five-dollar-a-day per diems, the next minute, after the 1994 World Cup, our faces are on cereal boxes, we’ve all got agents, we’re all driving Porsches, jet skis … one guy bought a horse farm. That transformation was incredible.Alexi Lalas tells the story that right before the 1994 World Cup, he was flying coach and an old woman asked him “What do you do, son?” and he said “I’m a soccer player, ma’am.” And she said, “No, I mean what do you do professionally?” And two weeks later, Lalas was on the field at the Silverdome with a billion people watching around the world. U.S. Soccer was transformed. These players’ lives were transformed.One of the themes (of the podcast) is that once you understand how radically transformed you can be by success, you can understand how your own self-interest, your own venality, can undermine everything that brought you success in the first place.

No one personifies that idea more than the coach, Steve Sampson. In “Fiasco,” he is portrayed as someone who was over his head running a national team. Do you think if that team had a different head coach it would have led to a different result?

You can’t be hypothetical about history, I really believe that. (Sampson) was, and is, an honorable man who has paid a terrible price and was made a scapegoat for the disastrous 1998 campaign. He almost lived a career in reverse where his first job was his biggest job, and since then the resume has gone in the other direction. Most people start with the small-college jobs and then work up to the big one.

Sampson cut his captain and arguably his best player, John Harkes, because Harkes allegedly was having an affair with a teammate’s wife. Would a more experienced coach have made a different decision?

He takes consolation in that he was true to his values. And ultimately, it’s hard to be a good football manager and be a man of values. He had a series of decisions, tactical decisions, personnel decisions, and he saw them as moral decisions. And that came back to haunt him.The players often said there were two Steve Sampsons. … The one at the beginning was calm, more of a player’s manager who let the players drive. Before him, you had a very dictatorial manager in Bora Milutinovic. Sampson let the players attack, let them express themselves, but the more successful he became, the players say, the more he wanted himself to be the story. Sampson tried to grab control and enforce his will on the team, but once you’ve let the players drive, it’s very hard to grab the wheel again.

Hmm, maybe a cautionary lesson here for Joe Maddon and the Cubs.

Sorry, you’ll have to forgive me, but I’m a White Sox fan.

I’m interested in your experience in Chicago. Did you really move to Rogers Park because of the name?

Absolutely. I moved to Chicago partially because of the Chicago Bears. I fell in love with the team and that glorious Buddy Ryan, defensive-based football. As a kid from Liverpool, just to watch this dominant team just smite all comers, it was one of the most thrilling sports experiences of my youth. (At home in Liverpool) I had a “Monsters of the Midway” poster and a “Refrigerator” Perry poster above my bed, right by a “Ferris Bueller” one, so it was a combination of sports and the movies that became kind of a siren call.When I was 15, I spent a glorious month in Highland Park with a Chicagoan pen pal and I went to New Trier (High School). I still have my green New Trier shorts. And I swore to myself that when I was done with university, I would come right back out to Chicago. I made good on that vow.I lived in Hyde Park originally and watched the World Cup in ’94 at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap. I needed a place to live permanently and I really didn’t know much about the area, and I just saw Rogers Park, and my name was Roger, and I was like, that’s great, I’ll move there. And I did, and it was the greatest four years of my life.

What was it like for an American-obsessed, soccer-loving Brit to live in a place where the world’s most popular game was an afterthought?

It was hard to follow English football in America at that time. I’d phone my dad and he’d hold the phone by the television for big games so I could at least follow along that way.I still played the game, played on the Midway and those were some of the most talented and most polyglot games I think I’ve ever been involved in. You had South Americans, Jamaicans, Poles, Mexicans and me just kind of charging around the back trying to elbow people.But it was during that time I fell head over heels in love with American sports. The first baseball game I went to was at old Comiskey Park, I caught it just before it was to be torn down when I spent the summer in Highland Park. I adored old Comiskey Park. I loved (White Sox infielder) Joey Cora, the way he’d charge onto the field. … I follow the Everton football club and when they succeed, they succeed as a collective, because of their tenacity and grit. So I fell in love with the White Sox.Then there were the Jeremy Roenick Blackhawks. … He was just so much better than all the players around him. He made passes, brilliant passes, that would just bounce off the boards because the other players didn’t have the ice hockey IQ to understand where they should be.Unfortunately, the Bears at that time entered what appears to be a terminal decline.There’s no better city to experience sports than Chicago. Every affection I have for Chicago sports burns as brightly now as when I lived there.

The Jeremy Roenick trade broke my heart. On another Chicago note, there are reports that Tom Ricketts and his family might be interested in purchasing AC Milan. Do you think Ricketts could find the same success in Italian soccer that he has had here with the Cubs?

One of the most fascinating storylines since I’ve been in America isn’t just that Americans are falling in love with world football but that world football is falling in love with America. You have Bayern Munich, Juventus in Italy, Barcelona … they all covet the American fan. It’s this vast terrain of untapped fans. So you have all these teams trying to win the hearts and minds of the American fan.But at the same time, every sports entrepreneur in America is looking at these massive teams and thinking “Why am I not owning one?”I interviewed people with the Red Sox … they were one of the first (American) teams to buy a European soccer team and they told me two things. “We found out that when Liverpool play Manchester United in the regular season, 600 million people around the world tune in … and they’re guaranteed to play twice a season.” That dwarfs the Super Bowl.“And then, the other thing is that when we sell a Red Sox cap, we have to share the revenue with every other owner in baseball. But then we found out that if we sell a Liverpool jersey, we get to keep all of that sweet money.”America, it’s the home of capitalism … it’s a free-market economy everywhere but in sports. They look at these foreign teams, they’re not chained by a draft or a salary cap or revenue sharing. AC Milan is a sleeping giant. It’s a complicated club with a complicated situation but it’s definitely really worthy.

Here in the U.S. we’ve been hearing for a while that soccer is the next big thing, but it does seem like the sport is getting some traction here. Obviously, the professional league plays a huge role in the sport’s success. MLS is doing well in some markets, but not so well in others. What do you think the league is getting right and what is it getting wrong?

It’s amazing, the league is just over 20 years old and the leaps and bounds it’s made are unbelievable. When I was growing up, the Italian league was the top league, and now you have seen the Premier League rise up from the hooligan-filled, mud-pitch league it was when I was young to where it is today.MLS has great aspirations, and those aspirations are not yet real, but look at Atlanta, when 72,000 fans pack an NFL stadium, look at LAFC, which is a jewel of a team. In Portland and Seattle, you have a delirious atmosphere there.Then there are the originals, like New England, where it’s like the old MLS, the attendance and the atmosphere are not what you need it to be. And Chicago is facing some of the same early-MLS-experience challenges.I’m incredibly bullish (on MLS), having seen England become a huge football power. The change happens when you start bringing in young talent from places like Central and South America, 20- and 21-year-olds who are coveted by the world’s best teams. MLS is starting to do that and that’s the next iteration, when the quality of the football starts to catalyze into a glorious, tenacious sort of attacking style, and that’s what I believe MLS is morphing into now right before our eyes.

How big of a missed opportunity was the Americans’ failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup?

It was a darkness. A darkness for the players, who missed the jewel of their careers. It was a bigger darkness for the fans, especially for the “American Outlaws” who, in the last World Cup became just the darlings of world football. I feed badly for them. And it was a darkness for Fox. … Thank goodness for them this is one of the best World Cups of my lifetime.The best news, which I think has been under-reported and underappreciated, is that the 2022 World Cup will be coming to Canada, Mexico and the U.S. — the NAFTA World Cup, if NAFTA is still around by then. That will be a huge lift for the sport, the money that will be coming in that can be put to youth development and scouting and to coaching, my god, to coaching. Coaching in this country needs to uptick significantly, and then some.The award by FIFA of that 2022 World Cup is game-changing. 1994 made America not hate soccer anymore. I think 2022 will be deeply transformative.

Christian Pulisic ‘in a great place’ at Borussia Dortmund — Bruce Arena

Jun 19, 2018ESPN

United States and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic is at the perfect place for his development and shouldn’t move to another club if similar playing time isn’t on offer, former U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena says.The 19-year-old has long been linked with a move to either Liverpool or Manchester United in the future, and the Telegraph reported last month that Tottenham are considering adding the U.S. international as well.However, Pulisic’s father called speculation that the young American star could move to the Premier League “hogwash” and told Sky Sports that his son plans to return to Borussia Dortmund — at least for next season.Speaking to Omnisport on Tuesday, Arena agreed with the decision: “I think Christian is in a great place. Dortmund has a very good reputation for developing players.”In his couple years there with the first team, he’s done very well. Hopefully, he can continue to do that, be consistent at the club level, and if he does that, he’s going to be a real plus for the national team program.”Any move Christian makes in the future, it’s important he goes to a club where he plays on a regular basis. There’s no point in him leaving Dortmund and going to a club where he doesn’t get the kind of minutes he needs to continue to develop.”Pulisic will not turn 20 until December, but he has already played in 70 Bundesliga games with Dortmund over the past three seasons, scoring nine league goals.With the U.S. failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, he will be able to rest until Dortmund resume training ahead of their U.S. tour in late July as part of the International Champions Cup.

U.S. Soccer Extends Interim USMNT Coach Sarachan’s Contract Through End of 2018

Khadrice Rollins,Sports Illustrated 21 hours ago

While the U.S. men’s national team continues its search for a permanent manager, it has decided to extend the contracts of interim manager Dave Sarachan and assistants Richie Williams and Matt Reis through the end of 2018. Sarachan’s contract was originally set to expire at the end of June, and U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the extension, Paul Tenorio of The Athletic reports.Sarchan has been at the helm of the squad since the end of October, when he was named as the replacement manager following the USA’s failure to qualify for the World Cup. He was an assistant under former manager Bruce Arena, who resigned the loss in Trinidad & Tobago.A different and permanent manager for the USMNT could still be hired before the end of the year. U.S. Soccer has ensured that stability for both the team, Sarachan and his staff if the coaching search goes deeper into the year. New general manager Earnie Stewart will oversee the search.Sarachan has the backing of at least one of the USA’s rising stars. In an appearance onPlanet Fútbol TV, Tim Weah said Sarachan “does everything right, he treats us like we’re his sons.” Weah added that he appreciates Sarachan and “he’s the right coach for the job.”Under Sarachan, the U.S. men have gone 2-1-3. Their most recent result was a draw against World Cup contender France.With the extension, it’s possible that Sarachan will be on the sidelines when the U.S. returns to action in a pair of friendlies against Brazil and Mexico.

Rooney Signs with DC United – Is Official

It’s official: Wayne Rooney will be suiting up in Black-and-Red.D.C. United announced on Thursday they have signed the English star on a permanent transfer from Everton, inking him to a three-and-a-half year deal  after weeks of speculation regarding a potential move.”It is fantastic to be joining D.C. United at such an exciting time in the club’s history with the new stadium opening in just a few weeks,” Rooney said in a team statement. “Moving to America and MLS fulfills another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give D.C. 100 percent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.”When I visited earlier this summer I was really impressed with everyone I met connected with the club, and of course the new Audi Field. Now I can’t wait to get on the pitch in a United shirt and join my new teammates to bring success to this club.”Rooney, 32, joins the four-time MLS Cup champions after a decorated career in his native England. Getting his start as a precocious 16-year-old with Everton in 2002, the striker burst onto the scene with his hometown club, before making a high-profile move to Manchester United in 2004.With the Red Devils, Rooney won five Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup, a UEFA Champions League title, a Europa League title and a FIFA Club World Cup. In additional to a slew of individual accolades, including Premier League Player of the Season in 2009-10, Rooney finished his tenure with Manchester United as the team’s all-time leading Premier League scorer, with 183 goals in 393 appearances. The Liverpool native returned to Everton in 2017, scoring 10 goals in the recently concluded Premier League season.Rooney was also an England international from 2003-2016, leading the line for the Three Lions and becoming the all-time leading scorer for his country, with 53 goals in 119 appearances. He played in three World Cups (’06, ’10, ’14) and three European Championship tournaments (’04, ’12, ’16) with England.“Wayne is undoubtedly one of the best players in Premier League history and his goal scoring record for club and country speaks for itself,” said D.C. United GM and VP of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper. “He is a world-class player and he elevates those around him, both through his work-ethic and winning mentality. We are beyond excited to add someone of Rooney’s caliber and we are thrilled to welcome him to D.C.”D.C. United’s new star, who will occupy a Designated Player slot on the team’s roster, will be available for selection following the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window on July 10. He will be eligible for the club’s inaugural match at their new home, Audi Field, on July 14 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8 pm ET on ESPN+ in USA and TSN in Canada) and is expected to make his debut in that match, per a club release.”This is a seminal moment for our fans and organization,” said United Managing General Partner and CEO Jason Levien.  “Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at D.C. United will elevate our product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country. Wayne has thrived when competing at the most elite levels of soccer and we’re thrilled to have his leadership as we enter this new era at Audi Field.”Currently in last place in the Eastern Conference (2W-6L-4D, 10 pts), D.C. United will be looking to make up the 11 points that separate them from the last and final playoff spot. They have several games in hand to accomplish the feat and the remainder of their 22 regular season matches include 15 at Audi Field.

Report: Rooney to sign with DC United by end of week

By Nicholas MendolaJun 27, 2018, 7:15 PM EDT

Wayne Rooney to Major League Soccer will be confirmed Thursday, according to Sky Sports.A Monday press conference will follow, where DC United will unveil its latest acquisition.Rooney, 32, posted 10 goals with two assists for Everton this season, his first with the Merseyside club after a record-shattering time at Manchester United.[ MORE: Rodwell to MLS? ]And Carl Robinson’s Whitecaps could be staring down England’s leading goal scorer when they help DC christen Audi Field.

According to Sky:

He could then make his debut against four days later against Vancouver Whitecaps at the opening of the new £140m 20,000-seater Audi Field stadium in Washington.

Once his MLS career is over, Rooney is expected to return to Goodison Park as a coach after reportedly negotiating a deal with Everton.

As we detailed previously, Rooney is likely to succeed in MLS almost regardless of the measuring stick. If he doesn’t, at least DC will get a bunch of sell-outs and sell a whole lot of black-and-red shirts nationwide.Jermain Defoe, the England star and ex-TFC man, told Sky Sports that he believes MLS is a place where previously under-scrutiny Premier League players can “enjoy their football”:“There is not so much pressure on and off the pitch. He could probably enjoy his life a little bit without constantly watching what you do and the things you say.”

MLS expansion team FC Cincinnati reveal plans for training facility

June 26, 20185:21PM EDTAlicia RodriguezContributor

2019 MLS expansion team FC Cincinnati publicly unveiled plans on Tuesday to build a $30 million training facility in Milford, Ohio.The site, located less than 20 miles from FC Cincinnati’s future stadium site in the West End neighborhood of Cincinnati, will occupy about 23.6 acres, and is proposed to include both full-size grass and artificial turf fields, a goalkeeper training area, as well as indoor performance and work space facilities for the first team and a separate building for the FC Cincinnati academy teams.Cincinnati-based MSA Sport is the principal designer of the project, and construction will be carried out by Turner Construction, with FC Cincinnati privately financing the construction.Rendering of multi-use building at training facility. | Courtesy of FC Cincinnati

While an agreement has been reached between the team and city and county, the proposal is still pending final approval by local government.The team expects the first team to move to the training site in January, ahead of the team’s first season in MLS, with the complex fully running by July and all work on the site to be done by the end of 2019.“We’re excited to announce our state-of-the-art training complex in Milford,” FC Cincinnati president and general manager Jeff Berding said. “We’ve been searching for the right location in the Greater Cincinnati area – including Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont Counties, as well as counties in Northern Kentucky – for two-and-a-half years and this site presents the best opportunity for the growth for our club.“The accessibility of this location – being near major transportation routes and at the center of our youth development radius – gives us the perfect home base as we enter Major League Soccer in 2019 and also launch our FCC Youth Academy,” Berding continued. “We are building a transformational facility, not only our club, but also soccer in the region,” Berding said. “This project will be one of the key aligners of all levels of our soccer operations, from the MLS team down to our youth teams and community programming. This facility is a legacy project as we continue to grow soccer in the Greater Cincinnati area and bring the world’s game to the region.”

Indy Forces Music City Submission – Nashville SC V Indy Eleven REVIEW

y: Rebecca Townsend (aka The Pitch Bitch)

(Union Jack Pub, Broad Ripple, Indianapolis) — Nashville SC had a lot riding on the match it hosted Tuesday night against Indy Eleven: The club hadn’t been beaten in league play since April 14, not since the last time they met Indy Eleven. And they’d never been beaten — or even trailed — at home.This time, even home advantage was no help: Indy dominated, 2-0. A shutout that launched the club to 4th in the Eastern Conference and a 4-1-2 record on the road.
Karl Ouimette is the Pitch Bitch Man of the Match (even though the whole team deserves to share credit for working together so well!) because he played solid defense but also galvanized the evening’s attack. In the opening minutes, he made a great defensive stick which neutralized a worrisome Nashville effort toward the goal. Then, after a header from Justin Braun was deflected out of bounds by host keeper Matt Pickens, Ouimette’s head connected with Ayoze’s incoming corner to put the visitors up 1 with the majority of the first half still to play.nd speaking of good headers … Thanks to Ayoze’s positioning and quick reflexes on Indy’s goal line during a second-half Nashville set piece, a ball headed straight for the back of the net instead was redirected out into the field of play. The broadcasters (whose narrative was running about 5 seconds ahead of the accompanying video feed, by the way, which enabled those of us watching at the pub to learn we scored before we could actually see the ball in the net) were smitten. “Ayoze, clever on the line,” one of the men comments. “He really can do it all! This guy’s amazing, one of my favorites in the back!”]Nashville dominated shots in the first half (9 to Indy’s 4) and held the majority of possession, but Indy made the most of their time on the ball. This efficiency in working as a unit is evolving with Indy and its incredibly talented and versatile roster of players, which is unsettling opponents unsure of from what angle or with what tools the Eleven will strike.Indy keeper Owain Fôn Williams definitely found himself in some tight spots, but he remained on point throughout the match and managed to hold on to a shutout while his field players kept working. With about 10 minutes remaining in the first half, Justin Braun launched a longshot from the left corner of the 18 (from the attacker’s perspective) across the mouth of the goal. The shot did not appear to be super threatening, but Pickens could not keep the ball contained and it found the far-post corner to give the visitors a two-point advantage that held solid for the rest of the match.
The win was not for a lack of effort on Nashville’s part. They were just outclassed by Indy. A Kevin Venegas shot that ricocheted into the path of Jack McInerney almost gave Indy a three-point advantage before the half. Even though this and all subsequent efforts did not find the net, the pressure was phenomenal, even as the team recovered when defensive duties called — working together to neutralize what at times were very potent threats.Seth Moses had a great defensive presence and good connectivity with Matt Watson in the midfield, which stopped many of the host’s efforts from developing and planted the seeds for many gallant counter attacks from their own squad. But it really is impossible to choose favorites because, from back to front, the team was a cohesive unit. And the work rate was impressive. For instance, just before the half, an errant pass from McInerney led to a turnover. But instead of accepting the loss, McInerney chased down the interceptor and stole the ball back. Good form.Around the 70th minute, Nashville launched a threatening attack that had the defense scrambling to organize its pressure and cover. But Indy did manage efficient and effective resource allocation, slowing the player with the ball and manning up on all his friends quickly enough for the Indy midfield to drop in and provide the necessary cover. Minutes later, Venegas neutralizes another Nashville effort with a slide tackle that was at once both tough and beautiful.Indy will close out a successful month by hosting Penn FC on June 30. The match will kickoff at 7 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tickets are available at IndyEleven.com and (if you want to avoid a fee and support the supporters) at brickyardbattalion.com/byb-tix/. A mid-week, holiday match at Lucas Oil will follow: The USL selected Indy’s at-home July 4th match against Ottawa FC as its Game of the Week.

Indiana Youth Soccer Night

Post-Game Photo On The Field

In celebration of Indy Eleven’s official Indiana Youth Soccer Night all youth soccer teams across the state are invited to participate in a post-game photo on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium at the completion of our game. All participants need a game ticket and all teams must register to be eligible for the post-game photo. To register, please sign up here. The deadline to register is Thursday, July 5th. Only one (1) member from each team is required to register for the entire team. For questions, please contact Youth Club Coordinator, Shawn Burcham, at 317-685-1100 or shawn@indyeleven.com.

GET READY TO TAILGATE WITH THE BYB – Brick Yard Battalion Indy 11 Soccer Fan Club

Park and Tailgate for indy 11 Games with the BYB – Parking in the Gate 10 BYB Section is $4 cheaper per game than the stadium’s South Lot- and OBVIOUSLY more fun! Located at 343 W McCarty Street, Gate 10 is just across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium. Gate 10—the 2018 official home of the BYB–is convenient and affordable. Parking is $11 per car for single games !  Click HERE to purchase your pass today. You Won’t want to watch the game in any other section after standing, screaming, singing, dancing, and partying with the BEST SUPPORTERS SECTION in the US – the BYB.


UPDATE:  as of June 5, BYB members have pledged $107 per goal.

The BYB prides itself in fostering an environment that welcomes all individuals to our section. This year, the Brickyard Battalion is participating in PRIDE RAISER to support the LGBTQ community in Indiana.
We are hoping you will join the Brickyard Battalion’s Board of Directors in pledging a few dollars for every goal scored by Indy Eleven in the month of June (4 games). All pledges will go to support Indy PrideMake A Pledge Today

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Proud Member of Indy’s Brick Yard Battalion – http://www.brickyardbattalion.comCLICK HERE FOR BYBTIX

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Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

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