Tony Meola: USMNT Legend Speaks About the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann and MLS

Today, I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking to USMNT legend Tony Meola. Meola earned 100 caps in his international career and minded the net for the U.S. in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. He was also a part of the 2002 World Cup squad. In his Major League Soccer career, Meola played the majority of his career for the Kansas City Wizards, helping the team win the MLS Cup in 2000, a year that saw Meola win League MVP, Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS Cup MVP honors. Meola is in Kansas City ahead of the U.S. final group stage World Cup qualifier as part of Allstate’s “Good Hands FC” program that works with youth goalkeepers. Meola talked about Sporting KC, the growth of Major League Soccer, the USMNT, Jurgen Klinsmann and even Brad Friedel.  Can you tell me a little about what you’re doing in Kansas City? “I’m out here around the U.S.-Guatemala World Cup qualifier with Allstate as part of this promotion that we’ve been doing for the last two years around the country. Tonight we will be in a local community here. We’re going to surprise a group of players and be ...
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Jurgen Klinsmann Can Thank His Major League Saviors

Jurgen Klinsmann has been under a lot of heat for the mediocre performance of his American team. Games that shouldn't be difficult have turned into long hard-fought battles where every second of the 90 minutes proves to be vital. The World Cup Qualifier against Antigua and Barbuda wasn't supposed to take extra time to secure a USA victory, but it did. But it wasn't the regular group of Americans that have rescued the stars and stripes time and time again. Landon Donovan wasn't dressed, so there was no magic from No. 10. It wasn't Clint Dempsey, the EPL star who has been clutch for the red, white and blue. It wasn't Michael Bradley, the Series A player who has been trained his whole life for moments like this. Heck, it wasn't even Herculez Gomez, who has played great as of late. When the USA had its back against the wall with a matter of mere seconds remaining, it was the Major League Soccer players who made the difference. In fact, every goal and assist came from an MLS player. Eddie Johnson resurrected his international career with two goals, including the stoppage-time clincher. His two year hiatus has allowed him to come back better ...
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MLS Stars Design, Wear Special Adidas Cleats for Breast Cancer Awareness

Notice anything pink about Major League Soccer over the weekend?It was almost impossible not to.MLS, like the National Football League and other American professional sports leagues, is participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. To mark the occasion, a number of MLS players designed special cleats with Adidas.The color of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is pink, and for that reason, so were the special cleats.Several players participated in the effort, including Fredy Montero of the Seattle Sounders, Teal Bunbury of Sporting Kansas City, Chris Pontius of DC United, Darlington Nagbe of the Portland Timbers and Kenny Cooper of the New York Red Bulls.Wearing his new shoes, Montero scored in Seattle's 3-0 victory over Portland on Sunday.All of those players designed the shoes themselves (you can do the same thing at, and the results were on display around the country this past weekend.For Bunbury, designing the cleats had personal meaning."I wanted to make something fun and exciting and that definitely looked good," Bunbury said in a press release. Mainly though I wanted to show my continued support of Breast Cancer Awareness having that a family member was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Having the ability to ...
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LA Galaxy Lose 2-1 in Pivotal Game Against Real Salt Lake

The Los Angeles Galaxy came into Saturday's game against Real Salt Lake unbeaten in seven straight MLS matches. LA came off a disappointing 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids, while RSL was dominant in a 4-0 shutout of Chivas USA.As the playoffs near, this game was of utmost importance as it featured the second- and third-place teams in the Western Conference. RSL was only ahead of LA by two points in the standings, and both teams wanted to capture points in order to stay as far away as possible from dropping to fourth place.Avoiding the play-in match between the fourth- and fifth-place teams in the playoffs will provide rest and an automatic berth to the conference semifinals.The Galaxy's defense took a big hit last week when center back AJ DeLaGarza injured his knee, likely sidelining him for the remainder of the regular season.In addition, right before kickoff, it was reported that left back Todd Dunivant was out with a hip pointer injury. Losing half of their championship backline against a potent RSL attack did not bode well for LA.Replacing the two injured defenders were rookies Bryan Gaul and Tommy Meyer. Both turned in decent performances, but Meyer did make a few mistakes ...
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Young American Players Who Will Play in Europe One Day

Over the past few years, American players heading to Europe has been among the hottest topics for USMNT fans to discuss. U.S. fans realize that the more top-notch experience their players are getting in Europe, the better the U.S. team is likely to be because of that experience. And while the road to Europe is not always dotted with success stories, as several prominent Americans have struggled in their European exploits, the move has, in many cases, pushed American players to the forefront of some of the bigger clubs in Europe. Without further ado, here are nine Americans who will likely be plying their trade in Europe one day.Begin Slideshow
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Changes MLS Must Make to Become More Popular

The times are changing for Major League Soccer, but how fast? And what can be done to speed up the process? Soccer in general and Major League Soccer in particular keep growing in popularity in the United States. America’s top-tier soccer league this year became America’s third most-popular major sports league in terms of total attendance, beating out more established leagues like the NBA and NHL. And with attendance figures passing 4 million for the year in 2012, MLS now ranks No. 8 among the world’s most-attended soccer leagues. With that said, the league is still young (it began only in 1996) and still trails Major League Baseball and the NFL by a wide margin. What can be done to change that? Watch as B/R soccer writer Michael Cummings discusses possible changes MLS could make to increase its popularity, then add your own thoughts to the comments below.   Follow @MikeCummings37.Read more MLS news on
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Seattle Sounders Tie with Vancouver Whitecaps, Earn Playoff Spot

Thanks to an incredible defense-oriented game led by keeper Michael Gspurning, the Sounders FC clinched their fourth consecutive playoff berth with a tie on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Hopefully, this one will end up in an MLS Cup Championship.Despite the Sounders high intensity offense led by forwards Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero, the Sounders were shut down by the Vancouver Whitecaps—the fifth place team in the Western Conference. The tie guaranteed the Sounders a trip to the playoffs, and pushed the second-year Whitecaps into the lead for the final spot (five teams of each MLS conference make the playoffs). Currently, the Whitecaps have 39 points and lead FC Dallas by two. Both teams will play three more matches before the postseason begins.The Sounders are now the first expansion team in MLS history to have made four consecutive playoff appearances. In addition to that feat, the Sounders join Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy as the only teams to qualify for every postseason since 2009.Despite the playoff berth, some people were upset with the draw at Century Link Field against a Northwest rival. Midfielder Mauro Rosales told the Sounders website, “We know we are in the playoffs with ...
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Why Major League Soccer Will Soon Rival the NFL in Popularity in the U.S.

Professional sports in the United States is boasted as the best in the world, attracting talent across a multitude of countries to participate in a scheme that generates billions of dollars in revenue.The National Football League (NFL) has been a giant in the world of spectacles for some time, challenged but unmoved by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).And as the NFL commands a huge market share in sports consumption, it really lacks a competitor that can meet the fans' hunger and glorious stage upon which it celebrates its game.Skipping over to Europe, where the aforementioned sports are far less heralded, soccer is king.Built on a leviathan of a structure that webs together the entire continent, the sport has endless connection into a broad network of leagues and divisions. This is something that the U.S. will never acquire, making the European game a unique experience and construction.Soccer is a growing sport in the U.S., aided first by David Beckham's move to the Los Angeles Galaxy, then by acquisition of the television rights to broadcast the game by those who do it best. So while the NFL is by far the most dominant in performance, soccer is ...
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