Onyewu scores game-winning goal for Sporting Lisbon | Soccer By Ives

U.S. national team centerback Oguchi Onyewu is slowly, but surely, working his way back to the level he once enjoyed as the best defender in the U.S. national team pool.

First, Onyewu enjoyed his first start with new club Sporting Lisbon, and on Monday he delivered his first goal, a game-winning header in Sportings 3-2 victory against Rio Ave on Monday.

Here is the goal (after a short commercial):

http://rd3.videos.sapo.pt/play?file=http://rd3.videos.sapo.pt/oR7EtsZ17L23IMU7Eb6U/mov/1

What do you think of Onyewu establishing himself with Sporting? See him regaining his starting role with the U.S. national team?

Share your thoughts below.

Rosales out 2-4 weeks with MCL tear | Soccer By Ives

Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

Seattle Sounders playmaker Mauro Rosales will miss the next 2-to-4 weeks with a slight tear in his right MCL, the club announced late Monday night.

Rosales was injured at the end of Seattles 3-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday, a game in which he assisted on two goals and helped create the third. An MRI revealed no damage beyond the slight tear, and its possible that he could return for the U.S. Open Cup final against the Chicago Fire on Oct. 4, when the Sounders go for their third consecutive title.

Should the timetable hold and Rosales misses four weeks, he would still be ready for the start of the playoffs. Seattle can clinch a place in the postseason with a result against Vancouver this weekend.

What do you think of this development? Where do you see the Sounders finishing in the Western Conference with Rosales out of action? Relieved its not more serious?

Share your thoughts below.

Tuesday Ticker: Gazidis backs Wenger, fabricated Fabregas quotes and more | Soccer By Ives

Despite a tumultuous beginning to the Premier League season, Arsenal has no plans to part ways with manager Arsene Wenger.

Former MLS deputy commissioner and current Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis spoke out on behalf of Wenger, who is under even more scrutiny after the clubs 4-3 loss to Blackburn over the weekend dropped the teams league record to 1-3-1.

Arsene Wenger is not broken, Gazidis told the BBC. To see him portrayed as an idiot is damaging not to him or the club but to the game.[Sacking him] is a route we are not going to go down.

He didnt suddenly become a bad manager or out of touch. Thats nonsense.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

FABREGAS GETS MAGAZINE APOLOGY

After publishing alleged derogatory comments made by Cesc Fabregas about Arsenal, Sport magazine has confessed that no interview with Fabregas ever took place, and the quotes were all fabricated.

The magazine issued a statement, saying: We published an article described as an interview with Cesc Fabregas. In fact, there was no actual interview (the player was speaking at two press events) and Fabregas did not say the words attributed to him, including and in particular about Arsenal.We were unaware of these matters when we published the article which was written by a freelance journalist. We apologise profusely to Mr. Fabregas for any damage caused.

Fabregas had openly defended himself via his Twitter account, claiming that the quotes were all lies and that he never said anything to defame Arsenal. He said that he will donate the financial compensation that Sport is paying him for the damages to charity.

DROBGA SET FOR WEDNESDAY RETURN

Didier Drogbas spell on the sidelines after suffering a concussion will come to an end on Wednedsay, as he has been named to Chelseas squad for the clubs Carling Cup match against Fulham.

Andre Villas-Boas has named a reserve-laden team, but he will give the Ivory Coast striker a chance to work his way back into the rotation after spending the last three weeks out of action.

MATTHAUS OUT AS BULGARIA COACH

Former German international and New York/New Jersey MetroStars player Lothar Matthauswas fired as coach of the Bulgarian national team after failing to get Bulgaria to qualify for Euro 2012.

Bulgaria only won once in seven qualifying matches against England, Montenegro, Switzerland and Wales, scoring just three goals in that time.

What do you make of Gazidis comments? Do you think Wenger deserves to be fired? What do you make of the fabricated Fabregas situation? How much of an impact do you think a healthy Drogba can make for Chelsea? Disappointed in Matthaus Bulgaria stint?

Share your thoughts below.

CCL: Toronto FC in need of a win, Sounders close in on knockout stage | Soccer By Ives

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

With the final half of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage set to kick off Tuesday night, Toronto FC is faced with an opportunity that it can not let slip through its fingers.

TFC host Tauro FC (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) in a Group C match that carries plenty of significance in relation to Torontos hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.

The Reds won the previous match between the two clubs down in Panama City back on Aug. 18 by a 2-1 scoreline but has dropped its two group matches since and sits in third place in the group. Another match with Tauro, which is winless in group play thus far, provides the best chance for TFC to rack up more points before more challenging matches against FC Dallas and Pumas UNAM. Those two teams, which occupy the top two spots in the group,will meet on Wednesday night with high stakes on the line.

SOUNDERS CLOSE IN ON QUARTERFINALS

The Seattle Sounders play Herediano for the second time in as many weeks(10 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel), knowing full well that a fourth consecutive victory in the group stage would likely cement the teams place in the quarterfinals of the competition.

By the time of the Seattle-Herediano first kick, the Sounders will know for sure if they can clinch a place in the knockout stage with a victory. Comunicaciones and Monterrey meet earlier in the evening, and if second-place Comunicaciones can duplicate last weeks victory over Monterrey or hold the defending CCL champions to a draw, Seattle would be assured of advancing with a win.

The Sounders toppedHerediano, 2-1, in Costa Rica last week behind two goals fromFredyMontero. The club did not have the services of Mauro Rosales for that victory, and it wont for the return meeting either after he was ruled out for the next 2-to-4 weeks with an MCL tear.

Do you think tonights game is a must-win for Toronto FC? Do you see any team in Group D catching the Sounders?

Share your thoughts below.

SBI MLS Team of the Week: Seattle Sounders | Soccer By Ives

The well-oiled machine that is the Seattle Sounders keeps on rolling.

Facing a D.C. United team that had just come off gigantic victory and was looking to capitalize on that momentum with the season winding down, the Sounders led by Alvaro Fernandez, Mauro Rosales and Mike Fucito put together a complete effort to stymie Uniteds attack, coast to a 3-0 result and earn SBIs MLS Team of the Week Honors.

Seattle got it done regionally as well, as it was the only MLS team to come away with a victory in CONCACAF Champions League play. The Sounders topped Herediano while watching Los Angeles, Toronto and Colorado fall and FC Dallas play to a draw.

Seattle edged out Portland and Philadelphia, which each came up with big victories in the thick of the MLS playoff hunt, to take home the weekly honors.

What did you think of Seattles week? Which team stood out the most for you?

Share your thoughts below.

Beckham makes trip, Birchall expects hostile crowd for Galaxy’s CCL match | Soccer By Ives

Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By ADAM SERRANO

ALAJUELA, Costa Rica –David Beckham is expected to partake in the Los Angeles Galaxys CONCACAF Champions League match against Alajuelense on Wednesday, and his attendance has already caused a stir in the local media. During the clubs arrival at the airport, news crews crowded the team bus eager for a shot of the Galaxy midfielder.

Since joining the club in 2007, Beckham has played in two CCL matches, which both took place at home. The trip to Costa Rica is also the first time that Beckham has traveled to Central America throughout his illustrious career. Although Beckham did not make the trip for the Galaxys game last week against Morelia in Mexico due to injury, head coach Bruce Arena stated that all players available for the Costa Rica trip and the Galaxys match against the Columbus Crew on Saturday would travel.

Were just focused on this game and this team, Arena said. You have to just see your players react after every game and the lead up to that game as well as whether or not theyre up to playing. In Davids case, we think that hes in much better shape this week than last week so we think that hes capable of playing.

Here are a couple of more notes ahead of the Galaxys match with Alajuelense:

BIRCHALL EXPECTS HOSTILE ATMOSPHERE

Chris Birchall has been through the rigors of playing in Central America.

Now the Galaxy midfielder is looking to preach a little wisdom about Costa Ricas notorious supporters to his teammates ahead of Los Angeles crucial Group A match. Fans in Costa Rica are infamous throughout CONCACAF for being some of the most passionate and fervent supporters in all the Americas who routinely make life difficult for traveling clubs.

Playing at the imposing Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuelaense has already picked up one major scalp this tournament by defeating Morelia, 1-0. Having played in Costa Rica once before while with Trinidad and Tobago during a World Cup qualifier in 2005, Birchall understands how the Costa Rican fans can make a visiting team feel.

[The fans] can make the away team get intimidated —not scared to play but on edge, like this is their home patch and they dont want anyone to come in and win the game, Birchall said. I just think thats the mentality of [Central] American teams. I remember playing in Guatemala, Honduras, and theyre the same. I expect a tough game and a loud crowd.

Last week, a calamitous final 10 minutes proved decisive as the Galaxy conceded two late goals and had a legitimate goal waved off due to a phantom offside call before falling 2-1 to Morelia. With Alajuelense defeating Motagua in Honduras, the stage is set for an important fixture in Costa Rica.

Although their composure failed them at the end in Mexico, Birchall says that the game plan is very much the same.

Weve just got to try and get the same mentality as what we did in Mexico, said Birchall. Go out, be patient, hold them for 20 minutes and try to get into the game then and steal a goal, which we did exactly, and then the last 20 minutes if youre winning you know youre going to be under pressure, and try and hold out.

JUNINHO FACING FITNESS TEST

After dealing with a hamstring injury for the last two weeks, Juninho may make his return to the lineup in Costa Rica. The Brazilian trained with the Galaxy on Monday ahead of their trip to Costa Rica and head coach Bruce Arena stated that he will take a wait and see approach to his availability for the match against Alajuelaense.

Juninho has been out since Sept. 9due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Galaxys 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The midfielder was given a red card the last time the Galaxy took on the Costa Rican side and was suspended for the Galaxys match against Morelia.

What do you think about Beckham making the trip and playing in the match? Do you think the atmosphere will throw the Galaxy off their game? Think L.A. would be able to overcome a potential Juninho absence?

Share your thoughts below.

Inter Milan continues early-season slide with loss to promoted Novara | Soccer By Ives

Normally a mid-week Serie A game wouldnt necessarily register on our radar, but when it happens to involve a world power continuing its slide by falling to a newly promoted minnow, it merits a mention.

Inter Milan fell to Novara on Tuesday, 3-1, to drop to 0-2-1 in league play. The loss also comes on the heels of a home loss in UEFA Champions League play to Turkish club Trabzonspor, which is only participating in the Champions League because a match-fixing scandal prevented Fenerbahce, Turkeys rightful qualifier, from being eligible to compete.

Inter, not even two years removed from winning the Champions League, has struggled from the get-go. Even after signing Diego Forlan from Atletico Madrid, Gian Piero Gasperinis side has yet to recover from losing Samuel Etoo, who bolted for a big-money deal with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala prior to the start of the season.

What do you think of Inters struggles? Is it too early for Inter to panic? Do you think Gasperini makes it through the week without being fired? What are Inters biggest problems?

Share your thoughts below.