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18 April 6:58 de la tarde

New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafael Marquez has come under intense scrutiny for the play that resulted in a broken clavicle for San Jose's Shea Salinas last weekend (watch it here).

But while there has been widespread criticism of the Mexican international, here's a take that hasn't proven as common and it comes from ESPN Deportes Radio Formula in Mexico.

On-air reporter Mauricio Pedroso analyzes the video this way (translation follows):

"No way. Rafa is marking as is typical on a corner kick with the bad luck that Salinas is falling and even worst luck that at the moment of falling his shoulder makes impact with all the weight of both Salinas and Marquez … The most clear example is in the NFL. In the NFL defenders know when they capture the quarterback they know exactly how to make him fall so that the weight falls directly onto the shoulder … But this is not the case here."

If a sanction comes down from the MLS Disciplinary Committee, Pedroso says it would be "unjust."

18 April 12:45 de la tarde

Club teams are rarely compared against national teams for obvious reasons.

But the 6-0-0 start by Sporting Kansas City has us thinking: Would the US national team coached by Jurgen Klinsmann even have a chance against today's Sporting KC starting XI if they played head-to-head?

Klinsmann has often spoken of his desire for a proactive, aggressive style that he wants to see the US impose on other countries. He has talked about wanting to raise the level of fitness of the US player.

Well, Sporting's Peter Vermes has beaten him to the punch on both those fronts and implemented the most successful 4-3-3 in the land. And it's only a matter of time before Vermes enters the discussion that often includes Jason Kreis and Dominic Kinnear as future USMNT head coaching prospects.

It's only fantasy talk -- unless Sporting KC and the USMNT met in a scrimmage of some sort -- but who would you take in that battle? Vote here.

 

18 April 12:28 de la tarde

Is he human?

We're referring to FC Dallas and USMNT right back Zach Loyd, who destroyed the Yo-Yo Level 2 Endurance Test. Here's what Schellas Hyndman told FCDallas.com about Loyd's score of 31.

“We did the Yo-Yo 2 test the other day, and Zach Loyd finished incredibly high with a 31. I think the league’s average is 22 and the Premier League’s is 23,” Hyndman said. “[To score] 31 is unbelievable.”

18 April 12:07 de la tarde

Ce mercredi offrira une nouvelle grande soirée de soccer avec deux matchs de Major League Soccer mais aussi la finale aller de la Ligue des champions.

Le duel 100% mexicain opposera Monterrey, tenant du titre, à un club que plusieurs supporters de clubs de MLS connaissent bien, Santos Laguna. Respectivement quatrième et deuxième du championnat du Mexique, où ils ont perdu leur dernier match, ils s’y sont neutralisés (1-1) le 18 février dernier à Torréon.

Monterrey voudra rejoindre Cruz Azul et Pachuca en devenant le troisième club de l’histoire à conserver son titre de champion de la Concacaf. Santos Laguna tentera de remporter la couronne continentale pour la première fois, et de soulever un trophée, chose qu’il tente sans succès depuis 2008. Et vous, qui supporterez vous lors de cette finale ?

En prélude à ce duel de prestige, vous pourrez assister à un intéressant DC United – Montréal : les Québécois veulent prendre à tout prix au moins un point à Washington où les menaces se nomment De Rosario, De Leon mais aussi Pontius.

Plus tard dans la soirée, Kansas City visera une septième victoire consécutive, à Vancouver où Sébastien Le Toux ne s’inquiète pas de la baisse de rendement offensif constatée ces dernières semaines. Un déplacement difficile pour le leader qui compte sur les leçons apprises l’an dernier pour éviter toute mauvaise surprise.

LIGUE DES CHAMPIONS
22h00 : Monterrey (Mex) - Santos Laguna (Nex)

MLS
19h30 : DC United - Montréal
22h00 : Vancouver - Kansas City

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Horaire télé des matchs de Ligue des champions et de  MLS

18 April 9:54 de la mañana

David Beckham has gone one step closer to making his dream of appearing for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics a reality.

On Wednesday head coach Stuart Pearce and the Football Association announced that an initial squad list of 191 players has been whittled down to 80, with Beckham making the cut. Wales’ Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy and Englishman Joe Cole also made the list, however any player playing for England at Euro 2012 will not be selected.

The LA Galaxy man reminded fans in the US and worldwide what he is still capable of, with a wonder goal against the Portland Timbers during his side’s 3-1 win on Saturday.

Beckham — who grew up in East London where the games will be held — is keen to be part of Great Britain’s Olympic soccer squad, after helping the team’s successful bidding process way back in 2005.

The draw for the tournament will take place next Tuesday, April 24, as Beckham and the United Kingdom hope for a kind draw on home soil.

Teams Qualified for Olympic Soccer Tournament: Great Britain, Brazil, Belarus, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Morocco, Egypt, Oman or Senegal (AFC-CAF Playoff taking place on 23rd April)

17 April 11:49 de la mañana

Contrairement à il y a deux semaines où, hormis les trois sur penalty, aucun but n’avait été inscrit sur phase arrêtée, lors de la dernière journée, les filets ont tremblé pas moins de 10 fois suite à de telles actions, et ont complètement décidé du sort de cinq rencontres, dont quatre se sont terminées sur le score de 1-0.

Philadelphie, qui ne marque que comme ça depuis le début de la saison (ses deux seuls buts venaient d’un coup franc et d’un corner) a remporté sa première victoire de l’année grâce à un penalty.

Mais ce sont surtout les coups de coin qui ont pesé lourd ce samedi : celui tiré par Graham Zusi sur la tête d’Aurélien Collin a permis à Kansas City de remporter le sommet contre Salt Lake. Zach Scott a repris de la tête un corner d’Alex Caskey pour Seattle contre Colorado. Et celui déposé sur la tête d’Oswaldo Minda par Miller Bolaños a enfoncé le clou pour Toronto face à Chivas USA.

À Dallas, ce fut carton plein avec trois buts sur phase arrêtée : Montréal avait ouvert la marque sur penalty, mais les Texans ont remporté la victoire suite à un coup franc prolongé par Perez au fond des filets puis une rentrée de touche victorieusement exploitée par Brek Shea.

17 April 10:50 de la mañana

There’s a lot that goes into being a captain, and each of the 19 in Major League Soccer approach it in a different way. From Shalrie Joseph’s ever-present chatter to Davy Arnaud’s work ethic, our new series “Taking the Lead” provides an in-depth look at what leadership means to those wearing the armband, as told in their own voices. The series debuts Wednesday, April 18 with Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman.

16 April 6:43 de la tarde

Let's play a game of "Name That Soccer Nation!"

  • Yellow jerseys = ?
  • Blue jerseys = ?
  • Light-blue-and-white-striped jerseys = ?

You got them right, didn't you? Because Brazil, Italy, and Argentina have long-defined aesthetic identities. You turn on the TV and if one of them -- or Holland or Spain or Germany -- is playing, you can recognize them without even a second glance. In other words, you know what those jerseys stand for before you even hear who is wearing them.

Now think back over the past couple of decades of US jerseys. How many can you remember?

The denim kit, of course. Novelty is always easy. There was a sash or two, I think, but I'm not sure I remember the color of said sashes. Then there was that gun-metal gray thing that still makes me think the designer spilled mercury on his keyboard when he was typing in the CMYK code.

Anyway, on Monday, US Soccer revealed the latest new US national team jersey, as they do every two years or so. To be perfectly honest, I don't mind it. It's got decent colors, a little character, and with apologies to FC Dallas is relatively unique on the international stage.

But then again, I didn't mind any of the other ones.

And that's the point: None of them ever sticks around long enough for me to care one way or the other. Which seems to suggest that the US lacks a true identity. I guess that's part of what Jurgen Klinsmann talks about when he talks about "finding the American style" and all that other stuff. Maybe, just maybe, he'll convince the federaion that to truly ever define the American style of playing, it would be good once and for all to define the American style of dressing.

16 April 1:02 de la tarde

The first MLS international transfer window of the season closes on Monday night and reports have several MLS teams scrambling to make some late additions to their squads. The next international window opens in the summer.

Here's the rundown of the names in the news: 

Kai Herdling: The Philadelphia Union are rumored to have worked out a loan deal for the 27-year-old Hoffenheim forward which could potentially run through December.

Luis Advincula: The Houston Dynamo are reportedly chasing this Sporting Cristal winger with paperwork already being exchanged, according to this article.

José Erick Correa: Chivas USA may be landing an in-form striker from Boyacá Chicó, who has six goals in league play and has been called up to the Colombian national team this week.

Andreas Dober: The Austrian right back is reportedly in Portland negotiating a move to MLS. He currently plays with TSV Hartberg, which has given him the all-clear to leave.

Wilmer Crisanto: The Honduran Olympic right back has been linked to FC Dallas and D.C. United. But his contract status with Honduran side Victoria is still unclear.

Arnold Peralta Another Under-23 Honduran player is rumored to be heading to D.C. United with a contract already on the table. This report has a rumored seven-month loan from Honduran club Vida with an option to buy.

Daniele Paponi: The Italian forward from Bologna was reportedly heading to the Chicago Fire on trial. The MLS club says that they have sought out information about Paponi but they say they've not been directly in contact with him.

16 April 12:25 de la tarde

Transfer rumors have always swirled around Seattle Sounders star Fredy Montero.

But the latest one is interesting based on the timing and the club names.

The Sounder At Heart blog unearthed a tweet by Henry "El Bocha" Jimenez, a high-profile Colombian reporter based in Bogota, who claimed that Montero is in the crosshairs of Dutch giants Ajax and English side Liverpool FC.

Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer has already gone on the record recently, telling Goal.com last month: "I think it's impossible to say no [to a big offer]."

Although he's created plenty of havoc, the 24-year-old Colombian has not registered a goal or assist thus far in 2012.