2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Format Offers Smaller Teams a Pop at NASL & MLS

As most soccer sides in the U.S look to start building themselves for the 2012 season, Wednesday brought the news that the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup will be changing the format for home ties in this years championship which is great news for the smaller sides that qualify for the National cup competition. In this, the 99th year of the competition, changes have been abound, starting with an early first round to help solve mid season congestion for the MLS sides that will compete in MLS, CONCACAF Champions league and also host European sides on pre season tours. This also sees the MLS sides competing in their entirety for the very first time in the leagues history.MLS : Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City. The first round action begins on May 15 where all 64 teams will take to the field representing the largest contingent of teams in the modern era and also sees an expansion of 24 sides from last season competition.With all MLS, NASL & USL sides participating, it gives ...
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LA Galaxy Claim Third MLS Title in David Beckham’s U.S. Swan Song

David Beckham ended his five-year MLS career with the Los Angeles Galaxy last night with a victory in the MLS Cup under his belt. The golden trio of Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan combined to seal the deal, with the American deftly chipping his shot over and around the out-rushing Tally Hall, the Houston Dynamo keeper. It looked like the footballing gods were not shining favourably on the team from Tinseltown after Adam Cristman missed at least a couple of glaring opportunities, while Scotsman Adam Moffat missed an equally gifted chance at the other other end for Houston. The Home Depot crowd were in top form with a record crowd packed into the Los Angeles stadium and on 74 minutes they went berserk after a Beckham head-flick was met by Keane who jinked one way, then the other, before releasing the ball into the path of Donovan inside the box who nipped the ball over the outstretched arm of Hall about eight yards out. Beckham tried to round of his Galaxy career with a tremendous free kick with moments remaining and although it was net-bound, Hall got his hand ...
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Houston Soccer: Galveston Pirates Back in Action with New Season & New League

Texas side Galveston Pirate Soccer Club are nearing the start of a brand new season this coming Sunday, as they prepare for kick off in their new league home, the Houston Football Association (HFA) in their Championship division. The Pirate side are prepped and ready for their opening match against Houston United this Sunday September 11th at Bayland L2 with a kick-off time of 9 am. Houston United are a strong team who only just missed out on promotion last year with Pirate coach Brendan Keyes saying on the Pirate website, "We are very excited about the new league and upcoming season, playing against the best teams in Texas.  The guys are ready to play and look forward to the upcoming challenge. Our team are being led by long term Pirate player RJ McNair who has been with us since our inaugural season." In respect for the families of the 9/11 tragedy that commemorates it's 10th year this coming weekend, there will be a minutes silence observed by the teams and fans of both sides. Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Bleacher ...
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Texas Soccer: Galveston Pirates Prepare for Kickoff Battle in Cup Final

The Galveston Pirates are edging closer to the start of the their new HFA journey in a few weeks but first they have the small task of winning their home based trophy, the Galveston Cup in Saturdays final match against Kickoff FC.   With new captain R.J McNair at the helm, the players of the good ship Galveston Pirate SC, found themselves in some stormy waters as they headed towards this tournament. Even the ever optimistic head coach and owner of the team Brendan Keyes must have had a pessimistic feeling about his side's chances in the inaugural tournament in his adopted city. Sometimes boasting the youngest squad in the tournament can be a good thing, but on this occasion Coach Keyes only had a short time to merge the players together. The roster of players was mostly unproven at this level, so doubts were high on the agenda on how well they would play. Brendan need not have worried though as the youthful squad showed not only talent but prowess in front of goal enabling the side to progress to the final after ...
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MLS All-Stars Squad Named for Big Apple Showdown with Manchester United

Father for the fourth time David Beckham will join up with Thierry Henry in the lineup chosen for the upcoming MLS All-Star friendly match against the Englishman's former side Manchester United next week. The 22-man MLS All-Star squad will face the English Premier League champions in New York on July 27 and gives the L.A. Galaxy star the opportunity to step back onto the field against his former charges. Ex-Arsenal striker Henry will also get the chance to renew hostilities and friendships with his former English Premiership rivals, joining with five other forwards looking for a starting spot in New York. Team USA star Landon Donovan leads the charge of American-born players who will face Manchester United in the penultimate game of their American tour. Donovan currently sits level with Henry at the head of the MLS goal-scoring charts this season with nine. All-Star veterans such as Shalrie Joseph (New England Revolution), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) and Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) also feature in Hans Backe's side, as do exciting newcomers like Sporting Kansas City's Omar Bravo, Colombian ...
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MLS:New England Revolution Supporters Ejected from Gillette Stadium for Singing

Apparently some New England Revolution fans were chucked out of their stadium on Saturday night in the match against Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium for the most heinous of crimes - shouting at the opponent's goalkeeper! The fans sit in a section known as "The Fort", where most of the noise comes from during a match. They staged a mass walkout after some arrests were made by the local constabulary on bequest of the stadiums 'TeamOps' and security. Several altercations have taken place between the security staff and supporters over the alleged overuse of the chant 'You Suck A**hole', which was directed at the Chicago Fire's goalkeeper.Not exactly a death threat, and I must admit, rather tame compared to most chants your hear at football stadiums, but Gillette Stadium apparently has a zero tolerance on this form of chanting, and the security acted—in their eyes—in a manner accordingly befit the crime. The perpetrators of the heinous act were immediately ejected from the stadium, with two arrests being made by the police after consultation with the over-enthusiastic security staff. With the mass ejection of the fans from the 'Fort', so ...
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Juventus to Join Barcelona & Manchester United in the United States This Summer

If you have any aspirations of watching the best of the best of the best this summer, keep your peepers peeled for the World Football Challenge in the US.   Italian superpower Juventus have confirmed their participation in this summer's Herbalife World Football Championship, which will take place all over the states, so there is something for everyone in all four corners of the country. European champions league winner Barcelona, runner-up Manchester United, city rivals Manchester City, Mexican giants Club America and Jose Mourinhos Real Madrid will all be available to watch at some stage over the term between July 13 and August 6. The chance of playing in the US has once again provided too much of a lure for the giant European sides, and although it's not a trophy the teams are playing for, pride will be at stake. With MLS sides LA Galaxy, NE Revolution, Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Fire and Philadephia Union all participating at some stage, there will be plenty of support for the home towns' teams, and it will give supporters the chance to see ...
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Houston Dynamo Chase Scotland and Hibernian Top Scorer To Bolster Attack

Whoa, stop the bus! Riordan for Houston Dynamo?  If media reports are to be believed, Scotsman Derek Riordan may be moving to the MLS with the Houston Dynamo. The Scotland and Hibernian star is out of contract this week at the Edinburgh SPL side but would be a great acquisition for the Texas side, giving them a 20-plus goals a season striker. With only three wins in 12 MLS outings this season, the Dynamo could do with an additional proven goalscorer to bolster the forward line, and Riordan could certainly do that for them as he certainly fits into that category. English side Blackburn Rovers may scupper any deal being thrashed out though as the Scottish Daily Record reported today that there has been an interest shown in the striker as well. Should Houston and Riordan finalise a deal it won't take place until the MLS transfer window opens in July which would give Riordan an unexpectedly long summer break from soccer. Hibs, Houston and Blackburn have yet to respond to correspondence from us. Marc Roseblade is a contributor for Bleacher Report ...
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Amsterdam Ajax Finish off Portland Timbers with Style and Grace

Ajax finished off their two-game mini tour of Americas North West with a display of football that felled the Timbers.  Dutch giants Amsterdam Ajax finished off their two-match tour of the US with a resounding 2-0 victory over MLS new boys Portland Timbers on Wednesday night at JELD-WEN Field. Scotsman Johns Spencer's team spent most of the night chasing shadows in pursuit of the ball and were taught a real footballing masterclass as the Dutch side portrayed the Dutch "Total Football" style of play that is so well-documented. The sellout crown of over 18,000 may well have been disappointed with the final result but must have left the stadium pleased to have witnessed one of the founding fathers of world football grace their corner of the world.In a match that Ajax more or less dominated from start to end, it took 17 minutes for the first goal to be scored with a close range effort from Lorenzo Ebecilo and although the Amsterdam side were clearly the better of the two on show, it took until the last minute before Demy de Zeeuw added ...
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Texas Soccer:Youngster Bryan Mann Signs on at University of St. Thomas

17-year-old soccer starlet Bryan Mann from Texas, has made his choice clear; The University of St. Thomas is the place for him.As he mulled over the options presented before him in choosing the place of his university education, one of the challenges that weighed heavily on his mind was where was the best for him as a soccer player.Given his playing career to date, it’s no surprise that he chose a university that would help him not only academically but also sportingly. Bryan has 14 years of playing club soccer under his belt (playing throughout the southern states of Alabama, Florida and now Texas).Most recently he has been showcasing his talents with the semi professional side Galveston Pirates, who have recently joined the Houston Football Association, with whom he will continue playing during his studies.The Player Due to his exceptional speed and fluid movement with the ball at his feet, it became apparent to his recent coaches that his skills would be best utilised as a winger—playing down the flank, out sprinting and dribbling his way past defenders to help set up the ball for strikers in the danger area of the field.This selflessness has made Bryan a true team ...
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