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What we learned from the US men's soccer team's September friendlies

Sports / Soccer /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Young teams from the U.S. and Mexico got their first taste of the cross-border soccer rivalry Tuesday and the advantage clearly went to the Americans.

Defender Matt Miazga seized on the emotion of the moment to bait Mexico's Angel Zaldivar into a red card and four minutes later teenager Tyler Adams scored the game's only ...Read more

Sigi Schmid resigns as Galaxy coach

Sports / Soccer /

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Galaxy have long been the model against which the rest of MLS measured itself.

They have won the most titles and the most games. They fielded the best players, from Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones and Carlos Ruiz to David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In short, they have been successful, stable and ...Read more

Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona appears set to coach in Mexico's Sinaloa state

Sports / Soccer /

MEXICO CITY -- Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures in the sport, is headed to Mexico.

In a Facebook posting on Friday, Maradona confirmed reports that he would become the new head coach of Dorados, a professional team based in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

"I am happy to assume this...Read more

Sebastian Lletget's lengthy return to health again in question as national team resumes training

Sports / Soccer /

WHIPPANY, N.J. -- Sebastian Lletget's introduction to the U.S. national team last year was even better than he had dreamed it would be.

Playing his first competitive game less than a mile from the San Jose fields where he learned soccer as a boy, the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder scored five minutes into a crucial World Cup qualifier with ...Read more

Pulisic left off national team for friendlies with Brazil, Mexico

Sports / Soccer /

WHIPPANY, N.J. -- Christian Pulisic, the teenager who looms large in U.S. soccer's attempts to recover from its first failed World Cup qualifying campaign since 1986, was left off the 24-man national team roster for upcoming friendlies with Brazil and Mexico because of a leg injury.

The injury, which kept Pulisic out of Borussia Dortmund's ...Read more

Sounders forward and US soccer legend Clint Dempsey announces his retirement

Sports / Soccer /

SEATTLE -- After weeks of back-and-forth discussions between his representatives and the Sounders, star forward Clint Dempsey on Wednesday morning announced his retirement at age 35.

Dempsey leaves tied for the team's all-time goals record with Fredy Montero at 47 and also as one of the greatest players to ever put on a uniform in this country....Read more

Jon Marthaler: Soccer leagues care more about money than fans

Sports / Soccer /

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the past two weeks we've seen La Liga announce a deal to bring league games to the United States. We've also seen Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt strike a deal to move his team to Austin, Texas.

Two stories, two different leagues, united by a single thread: Soccer leagues don't care about their fans.

Begin with La Liga, ...Read more

Revolving door to the manager's office hasn't kept Bayern Munich from lifting trophies

Sports / Soccer /

There are two things Arjen Robben has seen a lot of in his time at Bayern Munich: trophies and managers.

In nine seasons in Germany, Robben has won seven Bundesliga titles, nine domestic cups and a Champions League title. And he's done that playing for six coaches.

So the expectations didn't change much Friday when Bayern began a new season ...Read more

Kyle Martino wants to help bring US soccer out of 'country club' suburbs and into cities

Sports / Soccer /

PHILADELPHIA -- When Kyle Martino lost his bid for U.S. Soccer president in February, he did not lose his energy to grow the sport's foundations here. He simply needed a new outlet for it.

During his campaign, Martino met Lawrence Cann, CEO of Street Soccer USA, an organization that runs soccer tournaments for underprivileged kids and adults in...Read more

Miami commission gives OK to referendum on David Beckham's MLS stadium plan

Sports / Soccer /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Miami voters will have their say in David Beckham's latest plan to build a stadium for his Major League Soccer expansion team.

The Miami City Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday afternoon for a public referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot on whether to pursue Miami Beckham United's proposal for a large development that includes a ...Read more

In an imperfect World Cup, France managed the imperfections best

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- If one thing became obvious during the World Cup's month-long run in Russia, it's that Qatar is going to need a bigger country.

More than 1 million visitors flooded the country, packing Red Square, partying along Samara's riverfront embankment and strolling the canals of historic St. Petersburg. But Russia is the largest country in ...Read more

France wins second World Cup title, beating Croatia, 4-2

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- How else should one of the most wild, unpredictable and entertaining World Cups in recent memory end, but with one of the wildest, most unpredictable and entertaining finals in recent memory.

France and Croatia followed that script perfectly in a game that included an own goal, a penalty-kick goal, video replay and a goalkeeper gaffe ...Read more

On France's World Cup roster, soccer DNA outranks national origins

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- To the French national motto liberte, egalite, fraternite you can probably go ahead and add diversite, at least as far as its soccer team is concerned.

Because at a time of rising xenophobia and an anti-immigrant backlash on both sides of the Atlantic, France has made it to Sunday's World Cup final against Croatia with one of the most...Read more

Belgium beats England to finish third in World Cup

Sports / Soccer /

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Belgium earned its highest World Cup finish by beating England, 2-0, in the third-place match on Saturday in St. Petersburg. The goals came from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard, once in each half.

"These players didn't want to rely on talent anymore, wanted to work as a team," said Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, who ...Read more

Croatia and France have little in common … except a desire to win the World Cup

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- There has never been a World Cup final between such widely disparate teams as the France-Croatia matchup on Sunday.

France is an established soccer power, playing in its third title game in 20 years. With a population of 67 million, it has sent 204 players to the World Cup since 2002, the most of any country. And its national team ...Read more

Soccer has been part of Croatia's identity even before there was a Croatia

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- A couple of weeks before the Croatian national team left for Russia and the start of a surprising World Cup run that has carried it to Sunday's final, fans of Dinamo Zagreb, the country's most important club team in its largest city, gathered before a monument at Maksimir Stadium, a spot they consider hallowed ground.

It was there, at...Read more

Belgium has others to thank for its new-found prowess

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- Kevin de Bruyne said a big factor in Belgium's recent rise to global prominence in soccer is the fact this generation was the first to send its players in great numbers to top-flight foreign leagues to play and learn.

On the 1986 Belgium team, the first to play in a World Cup semifinal, 20 of the 22 players competed for club teams in ...Read more

Croatia advances to World Cup final with 2-1 win over England

Sports / Soccer /

MOSCOW -- Mario Mandzukic's goal four minutes into the second overtime Wednesday capped a wild comeback and sent Croatia into Sunday's World Cup final with a 2-1 win over England.

The victory makes Croatia the first country to win three consecutive extra-time games in the same World Cup; it won the first two in penalty-kick shootouts. Wednesday...Read more

France defeats Belgium 1-0 to advance to World Cup final

Sports / Soccer /

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Half the pairing for the World Cup final is set, with France reserving its spot in the title game Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Belgium. Its opponent will be decided Wednesday in Moscow, where Croatia will play England.

France got the only goal it would need in the 51st minute when Samuel Umtiti jumped in front of ...Read more

Togetherness has Belgium, Martinez a step away from World Cup history

Sports / Soccer /

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Nothing conveys Roberto Martinez's obsession with his job better than the way he outfitted his Liverpool, England, home while he was coaching at Everton.

Flat-screen TVs hung from the walls on opposite sides of the living room and in the middle stood a sofa, its seats pointing in different directions. Martinez would ...Read more