MLS CUP FINAL
COLUMBUS CREW vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1:00 PM
MAPFRE STADIUM, COLUMBUS, OHIO
(TV: TSN LIVESTREAM: TSN GO)
WHITECAPS FC & MLS NEWS
Columbus Crew SC vs. Portland Timbers | MLS Cup Final Match Preview – MLS
It’s a meeting of one of the oldest clubs in Major League Soccer history against one of the youngest when Columbus Crew SC meet the Portland Timbers in MLS Cup 2015 at MAPFRE Stadium. The MLS original Crew SC will be looking for their second MLS title in their second trip ever to the league championship game, after winning MLS Cup 2008; for the Timbers, which came into Major League Soccer in the 2011 season, it’s their first trip to the championship game.
Columbus Crew v. Portland Timbers: Borchers and Co. aiming to create history – Goal
The Columbus Crew host the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Sunday.
Columbus Crew v Portland Timbers: final represents best of MLS – The Guardian
The MLS Cup finalists might not be the glamor clubs the marketing folk wanted, but they’re model MLS citizens – and that reflects positively on the league
Portland GM Wilkinson rebuilds Timbers amid doubters, vitriol – SI.com
There was a vocal segment of Portland’s fan base that wanted Wilkinson to join John Spencer on the unemployment line. The “GW Out” banners weren’t hard to find in the stadium’s raucous north end, and more than 82% of the respondents to an unscientific Nov. 2012 survey in The Oregonian advocated for Wilkinson’s dismissal. But Paulson, who purchased the team in 2007, Wilkinson’s first year as coach/GM and his seventh with the organization, never considered it.
Portland Profiles: Gavin Wilkinson – where have all the hashtags gone? – Prost Amerika
The age old adage that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs was probably never truer in the history of soccer in the Rose City, than in the case of Gavin Wilkinson.
Liam Ridgewell recovered, ready to start for Timbers in MLS Cup Final – SBI
Sitting out the decisive leg of the Western Conference Finals was one of the toughest points in Liam Ridgewell’s career. That is how bad he wanted to be on the field. Ridgewell will apparently not have to worry about enduring another rough moment this weekend, however.
Portland, Columbus both spend wisely to cultivate their MLS Cup rosters – SI.com
A year ago in the build-up to the MLS Cup final, buying Designated Players was the most obvious way to achieve success in Major League Soccer. The LA Galaxy ended up winning with Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez on the field, while the Seattle Sounders won the Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup with Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey as the first names on the team sheet.
Trapp set to go up against mentor Porter in first MLS Cup Final – SBI
In his three seasons as a professional, Wil Trapp has rapidly emerged as one of Major League Soccer’s most effective deep-lying midfielders while earning the praises of everyone from Jurgen Klinsmann to Thierry Henry.
Matt Besler: How to Survive the MLS Cup Final – The Player’s Tribune
Remember that hamstring issue you’ve been fighting off since the summer? It’s still there. What about that rolled ankle you suffered a few weeks back? Yep, still there. Part of you wants nothing more than the season to be over with so you don’t have to fight through the pain anymore. You’re desperate for a month off to properly heal your body. But pain is good. It’s a reminder of all the sacrifices you’ve made up until this point. Trust me, you can push yourself a lot farther than you think, and you won’t even feel those injuries when you win the Cup.
Sporting KC forward Krisztian Nemeth wins 2015 AT&T Goal of the Year – Sporting KC
Sporting Kansas City forward Krisztian Nemeth has won the 2015 AT&T Goal of the Year award, Major League Soccer announced on Thursday.
FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids announce initial roster decisions for 2016 season, FCD gives new contract to Kellyn Acosta – MLS
A pair of MLS teams announced their initial roster moves for the 2016 season on Thursday, with FC Dallas exercising contract options on seven players and the Colorado Rapids picking up the options of eight members of their 2015 squad.
When Will America Produce a Homegrown Soccer Star? – Wall Street Journal
For a huge country that prides itself on producing elite athletes of all stripes, even in sports that aren’t endemic to its culture, the U.S. has contributed precious little to global football. Its best male exports to date, beyond goalkeepers, are Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, two national-team veterans who never rose beyond the journeyman level in England’s Premier League.
Garber: Sacramento could join MLS before Miami – Empire of Soccer
In his annual “State of the League” press conference, Don Garber spoke on many subjects, but most pressingly the expansion situation in Miami.
Beckham closes in on Overtown site for soccer stadium – Miami Herald
If the deal comes through, it would mark Beckham’s fourth try at a stadium site in his two-year effort to bring a MLS franchise to Miami. After failed attempts at building a stadium at PortMiami and Miami’s downtown waterfront, Beckham recently saw a bid for a site next to Marlins Park in Little Havana melt down over how much the team was willing to pay private land owners there.
BC SOCCER NEWS
‘Premier soccer city’ Vancouver tapped for Canada-Mexico World Cup qualifier – Vancouver Sun
Having a little trouble with that Christmas list, particularly with the soccer fans who might be on it? Victor Montagliani thinks he can help you out.
Canada hopes B.C. Place will be a red sea for World Cup qualifier against Mexico in March – The Province
Coming back to B.C. Place was the easy call for Canada Soccer. Ticket strategy might be a tougher task. The Canadian men’s team will host CONCACAF power Mexico in a mouthwatering FIFA World Cup qualifier, March 25 at the Dome.
Straith, Canada to face Mexico at B.C. Place – Times Colonist
Adam Straith of Victoria was brought across the strait for the necessary B.C. content Thursday to announce what could be the most consequential Canadian men’s soccer game in several years.
Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency open Winter Showcase with 1-1 draw – Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency (6W-1L-5D) got their 2015 USSDA Winter Showcase off to a promising start with a 1-1 draw against a very tough Players Development Academy (9W-1L-4D) who have only lost once this season.
CANADA SOCCER NEWS
Canada opens Papua New Guinea journey with three points – CSA
Canada has opened the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship with three points from a 2:0 win over Trinidad and Tobago. CONCACAF player-of-the-match Sarah Kinzner and second-half sub Martina Loncar were the goalscorers in the win.
Canada open U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers with 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago – Whitecaps FC
Canada’s U-20 women’s national team earned a 2-0 victory on Thursday in their opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship tournament in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. This tournament serves as qualification to the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Canada opens women’s U20 championship with win over Trinidad and Tobago – canada.com
Canada opened the 2015 CONCACAF women’s under-20 championship with a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.
Canadian coach has high hopes for CONCACAF U-20 – Sportsnet
With one major tournament under his belt, Canadian under-20 women’s coach Daniel Worthington is now on the cusp of showing number two.
2015 Ombrelle Active Start Soccer Fest Season Review – CSA
Another successful season of the Ombrelle Active Start Soccer Fest program has come to a close with close to 150 community soccer clubs hosting festivals from coast to coast. In 2015, Canada’s largest grassroots soccer program connected with over 100,000 Active Start participants aged 8-12 and more than 200,000 on-site attendees, including families, coaches and volunteers.
WOMEN’S SOCCER NEWS
USWNT skipping Algarve Cup for first time since 1997 – The Equalizer
The Algarve Cup, an annual friendly tournament hosted in the southernmost region of Portugal by the country’s soccer federation, will feature just eight teams in 2016, it was announced Thursday. The absences of many of the world’s best teams is in part due to qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
First-Time Call-Up Danielle Colaprico Looks to Impress – American Soccer Now
The former University of Virginia standout, 22, will get her first chance with the 2015 World Cup champions as Jill Ellis’ side prepares to play four friendlies in the month of December.
Brazil is champion of the Women’s Under-20 Sudamericano – CONMEBOL
Brazil was crowned the champion of the Women’s Under-20 Sudamericano after a 3-1 defeat of Argentina. With the win Brazil qualified to the World Cup along with Venezuela.
Brazil remain perfect, Venezuela make history – FIFA
South America’s two representatives for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 have been determined, with Brazil and Venezuela securing passage after a dramatic final day of qualifying.
Female footballers treated ‘like second class citizens’ in Olympic qualifiers – Sydney Morning Herald
Professional Footballers Australia player relations executive Kathryn Gill has slammed the upcoming Asian women’s football qualification tournament for next year’s Olympics as “disgraceful” – and another example of how lowly regarded female footballers are by some.
CU20W Preview: Day Two – CONCACAF
The second day of play at the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship (CU20W) will feature a rematch of the last final as the three-time defending champion United States takes on Mexico in the nightcap of a Group B doubleheader at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
Westfield W-League Round 8 Preview – Westfield W-League
All the squad news from a massive weekend in the Westfield W-League highlighted by the Fox Sports/ABC TV match in Adelaide, and derbies in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Division 1 Féminine Matchday 11 Preview: Top four all go head-to-head in crucial weekend of action – Vavel
This is a round in which most of the focus will be on Montpellier versus Olympique Lyonnais. Montpellier, currently sitting in second place, takes on league leaders, Lyon, in what has been described by many, as a title deciding game. In addition to this game, third, PSG, and fourth, Juvisy, also meet, as well as a match-up between La Roche-sur-Yon and VGA Saint-Maur, who are both fighting to avoid relegation.
Reading Women: Lauren Bruton and Molly Bartrip sign new deals – BBC Sport
Reading Women have signed two more members of their squad up on professional contracts.
Asia aims to build next wave of world beaters – FIFA
Asia has long been a massive force in women’s football. China PR welcomed the world to the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 1991, having hosted a prototype version of the tournament three years earlier. More recently Japan famously won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in a breakthrough moment for women’s football both in Asia and on a larger scale.
NASL & USL NEWS
Fury FC First Team Staff Returns for 2016 – Ottawa Fury FC
Ottawa Fury FC today announced that assistant coach Martin Nash and goalkeeper coach Bruce Grobbelaar will be returning to the club for the 2016 North American Soccer League season.
2015 Golden Ball Winner Stefano Pinho Joins Minnesota – NASL
As it prepares for the 2016 NASL season, Minnesota United has bolstered its record-setting offense by announcing the signing of Brazilian forward Stefano Pinho, pending USSF approval. Pinho was the 2015 Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner while playing for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Fordyce had other NASL offers, but says he wanted to remain loyal to FC Edmonton – the11.ca
In the three years he’d spent with FC Edmonton, Daryl Fordyce became the club’s all-time leading scorer. And, while he did have offers from other NASL clubs after his contract expired at the end of the 2015 season, he decided that he wanted to add to his record tally rather than switch shirts.
Wright among those leaving Cosmos following first offseason moves – SBI
Following the retirements of Marcos Senna and Raul, the New York Cosmos’ roster continues to take shape with the first batch of offseason moves.
Indy Eleven’s 2016 Roster Begins To Take Shape – NASL
Less than 24 hours after installing a new head coach in Tim Hankinson, Indy Eleven continued to solidify plans for its 2016 season by announcing several roster transactions Thursday afternoon.
Cosmos continue speaking to Raul over future role with the club – Empire of Soccer
Spanish legend Raul was supposed to take the reigns of the New York Cosmos youth academy upon the end of his playing contract. That didn’t happen. However, Raul has consistently said he plans on staying in New York City, leaving a window open for some sort of involvement with the Cosmos.
WORLD SOCCER NEWS
US justice battles FIFA head-on in the ‘World Cup of fraud’ – Inside World Football
Just when FIFA’s executive committee thought it was safe to return to Zurich for their final meeting of the year – an event that would climax with the eagerly anticipated unveiling of FIFA’s new (and game-changing) reform proposals – football’s now habitual party poopers from the US justice authorities unleashed a second tsunami on the world governing body.
Central, South American officials indicted in corruption investigation – ESPN FC
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the indictment of 16 officials Thursday afternoon in the continuing investigation into corruption in international soccer.
Making a List: The FIFA 24 – Soccer America
Here’s the tally from Thursday’s indictments in the growing soccer scandal: 16 indictments (two arrests) and eight guilty pleas. The FIFA 24 — 23 men and one woman — included the current presidents of Concacaf and Conmebol, 12 current or former federation presidents, five current or former members of the FIFA executive committee, a former Honduras president and a current Guatemalan judge.
New arrests in Fifa inquiry a dramatic chapter to tale of football’s rotten heart – The Guardian
The cast in the latest stage of the corruption investigation into the sport’s world governing body was different but the theme has not changed at all.
European clubs criticize proposed WC expansion – Sportsnet
The European Club Association says it was not told of FIFA’s wish to add eight teams at the 2026 World Cup. The 220-member group says “clubs are not prepared to be further ignored.”
Lenarduzzi: Man City prepares for pop-gun Stoke – The Province
Manchester City has inched its way back to the top of the Premier League table, but it’s very tight, with only two points dividing the top four sides. City faces a tough test on Saturday, as they visit Stoke in the early match. Coincidentally both these teams have just advanced to the League Cup semifinals, where Stoke will face Liverpool and Man City will take on Everton next month.
Pumas cruise to win over America, Tigres vs. Toluca ends in goalless draw – ESPN FC
Pumas took advantage of Club America’s ill discipline to win 3-0 in Thursday’s Liga MX Apertura semifinal first leg. Tigres and Toluca ended their semifinal first leg in Estadio Universitario deadlocked at 0-0, largely thanks to Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
Warning for Louis van Gaal: boring style can mean the sack at Manchester United – The Guardian
Wins, they say, are the only currency that matters. Win matches and all other sins will be forgiven. Perhaps. But as Old Trafford becomes increasingly frustrated by Louis van Gaal’s obsession with process, as the goalless draws rack up and the chants of “Attack! Attack! Attack, Attack, Attack!” are heard earlier and earlier, it’s perhaps worth remembering that it would not be unprecedented for a Manchester United manager to be ousted because his football was considered boring.
Premier League injury list: Sanchez and Cazorla out for Arsenal, Manchester United missing Rooney, City lose Aguero – The Independent
Arsenal and Manchester City have seen their Premier League title ambitions hit by injuries to key players this week, while Manchester United are also facing up to losing their captain for the weekend’s Premier League action.
To keep Villa up, Garde must use his best, regardless of nationality – TSN
Garde arrived at Aston Villa with the football club down on their knees. Villa fans demanding the club find experience from managers available, only because they have been sacked before, didn’t know how fortunate they were to get a man of Garde’s qualities. A month on, they still don’t.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: QPR appoint Burton manager as boss – BBC Sport
Championship club Queens Park Rangers have appointed Burton Albion boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as their new manager.
Reading sack Steve Clarke for holding Fulham talks – and target Nigel Pearson to replace him – The Telegraph
Reading have announced that they have sacked manager Steve Clarke just three weeks after he turned down the chance to manage Fulham.
Rooney to miss Champions League match – TSN
Wayne Rooney must wait longer to play his 500th game for Manchester United after being sidelined by an ankle injury that likely will force the striker to miss next week’s crucial Champions League game at Wolfsburg.
Respect the A–League boycott. The fans make the games worth watching – The Guardian
If football wants to heal the divide between its governing body and most committed fans – surely a key constituency – it needs to own the idea of going to a match as a participant, not just a consumer. While firmly drawing a line at violence and racist or sexist abuse, it needs to hold on to those who are invested in the result and eager to contribute by actively and noisily supporting their team.