A look ahead to tonight’s USA-Brazil Under-17 friendly | Soccer By Ives

(The Nike Friendlies are taking place in Phoenix this week and while the current members of the U.S. Under-17 national team are several steps away from being real targets for the senior team, that doesnt mean we cant keep a close eye on the young talent coming up the pipeline.

SBI is fortunate enough to have staff writer Jose Romero in Phoenix for tonights USA-Brazil match, and were also lucky enough to have guest contributions on the Nike Friendlies from long-time SBI Mafia member and occasional SBI writer Odeen Domingo (a sports writer for the Arizona Republic), who delivers this preview on tonights USA-Brazil friendly.)

BY ODEEN DOMINGO

So youre all smarting and snickering over the US U-17 MNTs impressive 2-1 win over Korea Republic on Wednesday, eh?

Well, now come the big boys. Big Bad Brazil.

Though there should an emphasis on boys. The US U-17 team will actually play Brazils U-16 team tonight at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in north Phoenix tonight.

Every single player on Brazils roster was born in 1994.

Here is a closer look at the Brazil team that will be facing the United States:

BRAZIL UNDER-16 ROSTER

Number Name Position Club

1Guido Goalkeeper (Santos FC)

2 Wallace Defender (Fluminense FC)

3 Josué, Defender (EC Vitoria)

4 Luiz Gustavo Defender (S.E. Palmeiras)

5 Rodrigo Midfielder (SC Internacional)

6 Emerson Defender (Santos FC)

7 Adryan Midfielder (CR Flamengo)

8 Marlon Bica Midfielder (SC Internacional) *Captain

9 Leandro Forward (SC Corinthians)

10 Guilherme Midfielder (CR Vasco de Gama)

11 Lucas Piazon Forward (Sao Paulo FC)

12 Jairo Goalkeeper (Sao Paulo FC)

13 Almir Defender (Sao Paulo FC)

14 Marcelo Midfielder (EC Vitoria)

15 Victor Defender (SC Corinthians)

16 Lucas Defender (Sao Paulo FC)

17 Mattheus Midfielder (CR Flamengo)

18 Nathan Forward (SC Internacional)

Head coach: Everson Avila

Its likely Brazil will put out the same starting lineup as it did in a scoreless tie vs. Turkey on Wednesday. That starting XI looked like this:

GuilhermeLucas PiazonMattheus

-AdryanRodrigoMarlon Bica-

EmersonLuis GustavoJosueWallace

-Guido

Against Turkey, Nathan subbed in the 63rd minute for Emerson and played right wing; Victor subbed in the 63rd minute for Mattheus and played left back; and Lucas subbed in the 79th minute for Guilherme and played left center midfielder as Adryan pushed up top.

It was a pretty drab and physical affair between Brazil and Turkey. With both teams looking like it was still dealing with jet lag. For much of the match, Brazil was frustrated with how it wasnt able to connect with passes and play with that flair the world has fallen in love with. While Turkey was more concerned about convincing the referee their ankles were broken, diving on the field and screaming in pain every time they were touched, as if they were auditioning for Serie A.

But there were still moments of brilliance from Brazil.

Guido made two great saves in the first half vs. Turkey.

After starting out slow, Brazils defense, led by a solid 1-2 of Josue and Luis Gustavo, shut Turkey down in the second half.

Adryan is the trickiest player on the roster. His ankle-twisting moves almost always cleared space for him near the end line, if only he was a better crosser of the ball.

Wallace is a scoring threat from the back. Hes not shy to let one rip from 35 yards out. You wouldnt expect anything less from a Brazilian right back international.

Mattheus and Lucas Piazon had the best combination work of the game, showing a good enough understanding with each other to combine and threaten the goal.

Guilherme has good vision. He puts himself in good spots for rebounds and widening the field for Brazils offense to flow well enough.

But who makes this team go is captain Marlon Bica. He doesnt have the Ronaldinho moves but he is the fulcrum of the team. Everything seemed to flow through him. He finds the passes to either put pressure on the other team or to relieve the pressure.

Still, Brazil could not find any goals. Many of their shots were not on target. Maybe with a couple of more days in Phoenix, theyll have fresher legs for tonight.If the US can jump on Brazil early and win the midfield as it did against the Korea Republic, it should be 2-0 in the Nike International Friendlies tournament heading into the weekend.

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Conrad, Schelotto and Angel highlight inaugural MLS re-entry draft list | Soccer By Ives

BY ADAM SERRANO

The list for the latest mechanism of MLS player movement has been made available. The re-entry draft, which was designed todisperseplayers out of contract or unwanted by their clubs to teams around the league. The draft will take place in two stages with the first stage starting next Wednesday at 2pm ET. The second stage will take place on December 15th.

In the first stage of the draft, veteran players who had their options declined by their clubs or are out of contract will beavailable. Should a team pick a player in this first stage, then they would be required to pick up the option on the player or present them with a Bona Fide Offer. D.C. United will have the first pick in the draft with the order going in reverse from where teams finished the 2009 season. The expansion Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers will have the two last selections.

The complete list of players available for the re-entry draft is available after the jump.

COLORADO RAPIDS

Claudio Lopez, Ciaran OBrien and Peter Vagenas

FC DALLAS

Dario Sala and Jeff Cunningham

LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Dema Kovalenko and Jovan Kirovski

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Khari Stephenson

COLUMBUS CREW

Frankie Hedjuk, Duncan Oughton, Gino Padula,GuillermoBarros Schelotto

NEW YORK RED BULLS

Juan Pablo Angel, Luke Sassano, and Carey Talley

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

Tyrone Marshall

SPORTING KC

Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad andAaron Hohlbein

PHILADELPHIA UNION

Chris Seitz and Fred

TORONTO FC

Nick Garcia

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Preston Burpo, Nico Colaluca, Cory Gibbs and Khano Smith.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

Ryan Cochrane, Richard Mulhrooney, Joseph Ngwenya,Pat Onstad and Adrian Serioux

D.C. UNITED

Jaime Moreno

CHIVAS USA

Marcelo Saragosa and Alex Zotinca

Who do you believe D.C. United will pick up with the first pick? Is Jimmy Conrad a clear number one choice? Prefer Juan Pablo Angel,GuillermoBarros Schelotto or even Jeff Cunningham? Do you hope that any of these players are picked up by your club?

Share your thoughts below.

NCAA Elite Eight: SMU vs. North Carolina (Match night commentary) | Soccer By Ives

By JOHN BOSCHINI

The first ticket to Santa Barbara will be punched tonight as No. 5 Southern Methodist takes on No. 4 North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina (16-3-1) has had a rocky road to the Elite Eight, becoming only the third team in NCAA history to reach the fourth round by winning both of its games in penalty kicks. Enzo Martinez has come up big for the Tar Heels in the postseason, most notably an equalizer last weekend against Michigan State with only nine seconds left on the clock.

Southern Methodist (16-2-0) needed a shootout victory of its own to see off Creighton in the second round and followed it up with a narrow 1-0 victory over William Mary. The Mustangs may not have many stars but solid teamwork and a penchant for overtime victories earned them the fifth seed.

I will be providing commentary on tonights match from Chapel Hill so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonights commentary is after the jump):

U.S., Brazil U-17s play to scoreless draw | Soccer By Ives

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JOSE M. ROMERO

PHOENIX The U.S. U-17 mens national team had a two-man advantage, the result of two red cards shown to Brazilian players, over the final 15 minutes of Friday nights friendly. But it couldnt manage a goal and settled for a 0-0 draw with Brazils squad in the two teams second match of the Nike International Friendlies at the Reach 11 Sports Complex.

The match, played in front of an overflow crowd of mostly youth soccer players in town for the annual Winter Showcase tournament, was entertaining and full of physical play and scoring chances despite the absence of goals. Brazils approach was more aggressive while the young Americans were sound and attacked the goal more often. Striker Mario Rodriguez, who was a force in the U.S. teams tournament-opening win over Korea Republic Wednesday, was Brazils target on Friday.

The target forward from North Hollywood, Calif., took three hard knocks and a kicked ball to the back of the neck, drawing a pair of yellow cards (and thus a red) on Brazils Luiz Gustavo. Rodriguez was tested for a concussion after the game but is expected to be fine for the Americans tournament finale Sunday against Turkey.

It was clear that Brazil watched how Rodriguez overpowered Korea Republics defenders. The Brazilians werent going to allow that to happen to them.

Theyre going to go after the big boy, U.S. coach WIlmer Cabrera said. If youre good, theyre going to come after you. Thats soccer today. We saw Barcelona-Real Madrid. They went after Messi. So thats going to happen at all levels. The good thing is now Marios a threat for any national team and is becoming a target.

The U.S., tied with Turkey at four points, can win the four-team friendly round robin Sunday with a victory or draw. Turkey can do the same, unless Brazil wins big over Korea Republic and overtakes the U.S. and Turkey in the event of a draw between the teams.

On Friday the U.S. played well on both offense and defense, its attacking players generating chances and its defenders in control and doing a good job of helping on a double-team or clearance if Brazil made a run. But the Americans couldnt turn their effort into a goal, even though they had 11 players to Brazils nine on the field after Gustavo was shown a second yellow in the 72nd minute for kicking the ball into Rodriguez, and defender Wallace was sent off for a hard tackle on midfielder Marc Pelosi in the 80th minute.

The speed of the game was fast. I think we played better than them, Cabrera said. I cannot complain about the kids. Running, showing personality, intensity, they were brave. And when we had to create, we createdIm pretty happy about the performance overall.

The U.S. lost attacking center midfielder Alejandro Guido to a back injury in the 25th minute and replaced him with Dillon Serna, who helped keep the teams shape over the course of the match. In the 64th minute, Serna gave the U.S. perhaps its best chance at goal when he centered a ball through the box perfectly but no teammate was there for a finish.

Not what Im used to, really, Serna said when asked about the rough play in the match. But I like these kind of games.

Serna said the Brazilians were faster overall than the U.S. team, but that his side wasnt intimidated. Brazils right wing in the match was Mattheus, son of Selecao legend Bebeto.

Still the U.S. frustrated their opponents into fouls and lost possessions.

Both teams goalkeepers were strong. Brazils Guido made a couple of big saves and Fernando Pina of the U.S. kept the Brazilians at bay with the help of defender Andrew Souders, a product of the Columbus Crew academy who blocked a shot along with end line with a slide in the 66th minute.

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary | Soccer By Ives

FC Barcelona is still basking in the afterglow of its five-goal masterpiece against Real Madrid, but the Spanish champions will have to get back to work today.

Barcelona will be taking on Osasuna today and will be looking to avoid a letdown that could let Real Madrid close the gap atop the Spanish First Division.

AC Milan is also in action today and can regain sole possession of first place in Serie A with a win after Lazio registered a victory against Inter Milan on Friday to pull into a tie with AC Milan.

If you will be watching todays soccer action, including this mornings matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Todays TV Schedule is after the jump):

TODAYS SOCCER ON TV

10am- Fox Soccer Channel- Arsenal vs. Fulham

10am- ESPN2- Chelsea vs. Everton

10am- Fox Soccer Plus- Manchester City vs. Bolton

Noon- GolTV- Levante vs. Atletico Madrid

Noon- Fox Soccer Plus- Chievo Verona vs. AS Roma

12:30pm- ESPN3.com- Schalke 04 vs. Bayern Munich

1:45pm- ESPN3.com- PSV Eindhoven vs. Heracles

2pm- ESPN3.com- Osasuna vs. Barcelona

2pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Blackburn vs. Wolverhampton (Delayed)

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel- AC Milan vs. Brescia

4pm- GolTV- Real Madrid vs. Valencia

5pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Birmingham vs. Tottenham (Delayed)

6:15pm- GolTV- Atletico Huila vs. Santa Fe

8pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Milwall vs. Scunthorpe United

11pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Wellington Phoenix vs. Adelaide United

NCAA Elite Eight: Michigan at Maryland (Match Day Commentary) | Soccer By Ives

The University of Maryland mens soccer team will try to become the second top-seed to advance to the College Cup as it welcomes the University of Michigan to Ludwig Field (1 p.m. first kick).

Michigan, the lowest-remaining seed in the NCAA mens soccer tournament, will try to spring the upset in College Park, Md., behind its high-powered offense led by freshman sensation Soony Saad and senior forward Justin Meram.

The Terrapins and Wolverines are two of the hotter teams in the country. Maryland enters the match on a 15-game winning streak, concedeing just four times in that span. Michigan has won eight in a row, including a victory over No. 7 seed South Carolina in the region semifinal.

Ill be providing live commentary for the match from Ludwig Field, so please feel free to follow along and share your thoughts and comments throughout the game. Enjoy the action (commentary after the jump):

Akron need penalties to squeak by Golden Bears to reach College Cup Semifinals | Soccer By Ives

BY ADAM SERRANO

Billed as the top quarterfinal match up, the match between the California Golden Bears and Akron Zips lived up to the hype.

The Zips defeated Cal in penalty kicks with MLS prospect Kofi Sarkodie slotting home the final goal to advance to the semifinals in Santa Barbara against Michigan on December 10th. The match was a back and forth affair throughout with several lead changes. It was 3-2 Akron late in the second half when, Cals David Paul scored with less than two minutes left in regulation to take the match to extra time.

In penalty kicks, both teams had missed efforts when Sarkodie stepped up with the score leveled 2-2 and buried his penalty past Cal goalkeeper David Bingham to send the Zips to Santa Barbara.The victory gave the Zips their second straight appearance at the College Cup. Akron will now take on the Michigan Wolverines, who they defeated 7-1 in their last meeting.

The Golden Bears ended the season with a 14-2-4 record tying a school record for the furthest tournament run in Cal history.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary | Soccer By Ives

He may be overshadowed by the bigger stars in Spain, as well as being ignored (and in some cases loathed) by his countrymen in his native United States, but Giuseppe Rossi is still enjoying one of the best seasons of his career.

Rossi will lead Villarreal against Sevilla today in a match the Yellow Submarine needs to maintain its hold on third place in La Liga. The match will also be Jozy Altidores latest chance to try and earn some minutes in Spanish League play, with most of his minutes for Villarreal this season coming in cup competitions.

If you want to see some even younger American standouts today you can see the U.S. Under-17 national team take on Turkey in the final of its three matches at the Nike Friendlies. The Americans are coming off a scoreless tie against Brazil on Friday.

If you will be watching todays action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Todays TV Schedule is after the jump):

TODAYS SOCCER ON TV

10:30am- Fox Soccer Plus- Wigan Athletic vs. Stoke City (Delayed)

11am- Fox Soccer Channel- Sunderland vs. West Ham United

11am- DirecTV- Getafe vs. Mallorca

11am- ESPN3.com- Almeria vs. Real Zaragoza

11am- GolTV- Espanyol vs. Sporting Gijon

11:30am- ESPN3.com- Nuremburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

12:30pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Doncaster Rovers vs. Barnsley (Delayed)

1pm- ESPN Deportes/ESPN3.com- Villarreal vs. Sevilla

2pm- GolTV- Fluminense vs. Guarani de Campinas

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Catania vs. Juventus

3pm- DirecTV- Real Sociedad vs. Athletic Bilbao

3pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Saint Etienne vs. Bordeaux

4pm- GolTV- Bayer Leverkusen vs. FC Cologne

7pm- Fox Soccer Channel- USA Under-17 national team vs. Turkey

7pm- Telemundo- Monterrey vs. Santos Laguna

Louisville, Akron, UNC and Michigan win to reach NCAA College Cup Final Four | Soccer By Ives

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Out of the four games played out this weekend in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, only one ended in regulation. That game had nine goals.

On a snow-covered field in Kentucky, No. 1 Louisville kept its unbeaten season alive and advanced to its first-ever College Cup with a dramatic 5-4 victory over No. 8 UCLA. The Bruins surprised the Big East champions with an early goal. In the eighth minute, Eder Arreola beat Andre Boudreaux from seven yards out to give UCLA the lead. That lead was doubled 10 minutes later when freshman Kelyn Rowes free kick found the bottom corner. Colin Rolfe pulled one back for the Cardinals just before the half-hour mark when his deflected free kick landed in the back of the net.

UCLAs lead was extended six minutes before halftime with a goal from Chandler Hoffman. The line judge rose his flag to indicate offsides but referee Abby Okulaga overruled his assistant and the UCLA had a 3-1 halftime victory. A penalty from Charlie Campbell and goals from Colin Rolfe and Nick Deleone gave the Cardinals the lead in a span of just 15 minutes but Victor Chavez managed to equalize for UCLA and the game looked destined for overtime. But Aaron Horton, who had only scored once this season, made an incredible run from midfield and slotted it past Brian Rowe to secure a dramatic victory.

With the win, Lousiville sets a new Big East unbeaten record of 22, eclipsing the 21-game streak set by St. Johns 17 years ago. This was the second time UCLA has surrendered five goals this season, losing 5-1 to Indiana early in September.

ACC champions and No. 2 seed Maryland is the lone top-four seed not to advance to the College Cup,succumbing3-2 in double overtime to 10th-seeded Michigan. Casey Townsend gave the Terrapins the lead when his shot from 16 yards out found the side netting in the 17th minute. After the interval, Jeff Quijano and Justin Meram put the Wolverines ahead before the hour mark. Redshirt senior Jason Herrick equalized for Maryland in the 79th minute with a shot from 20 yards out.

Maryland dominated the first overtime, outshooting the Wolverines 4-1 but couldnt end the contest. Three minutes into the second overtime, Fabio Periera received a cross from Hamoody Saad and calmly beat Zac MacMath to his left post to continue Michigans fairy-tale season. Maryland ended up with a 33-18 shot advantage but Michigan keeper Chris Blais kept his side in the game on multiple occasions, recording seven saves. The loss ends Marylands winning streak at 15 games.

No. 3 Akron needed penalty kicks to advance to its second-consecutive College Cup, dispatching No. 6 California after the two teams played to a 3-3 draw after 110 minutes. Antony Avalos put California ahead on the half-hour mark with a shot from 13 yards out. It was only the seventh time Akron has trailed over the past two seasons. Akron equalized and took the lead in a span of just 20 seconds when Michael Nanchoff notched his 10th goal of the season and Scott Caldwell took advantage of a Bears defense that had fallen asleep. Tony Salciccia equalized for California with a close-range rebound.

Perry Kitchen seemed to have scored the game winner in the 75th minute with a shot from the top of the box but California earned a late equalizer when John Fitzpatrick scored with just 1:31 left in regulation. The Zips booked their ticket to Santa Barbara with a 3-2 shootout win.

Speaking of penalty kicks, No. 4 North Carolina became the first team ever to advance to the College Cup by winning all of its NCAA Tournament games via shootouts,prevailingafter a 1-1 draw with No. 5 Southern Methodist. For the second-consecutive game, the Tar Heels conceded first when Robbie Derschang beat Eddied Ababio down the left flank and rifled a pass into Arthur Ivo, who beat Scott Goodwin from 14 yards out. The lead didnt last long as Kirk Urso one-timed a pass from Enzo Martinez into the net. From then on, it was all Tar Heels, outshooting the Mustangs 18-8 in regulation but they couldnt find a winner.

After two scoreless overtime periods, the Tar Heels converted four penalty kicks in a row while Josue Soto hit the crossbar and Goodwin stoned Leone Cruz. This is the third-consecutive trip to the College Cup for North Carolina.

What did you think of this weekends drama? Surprised to see Maryland go out? Impressed by the Louisvilles comeback?

Share your thoughts below.

A look ahead to tonight’s USA-Turkey Under-17 friendly | Soccer By Ives

By JOSE M. ROMERO

The U.S. Under-17 national team takes on Turkey tonight for the championship of the U-17 Nike International Friendlies tournament at the Reach 11 Soccer Complex in Phoenix (7pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The winner will take the title after third and final match of the round robin for both teams, each with four points. In the event of a draw, Brazil could be declared champion based on goal differential.

Brazil (two points) faces Korea Republic (zero) play earlier in the day at 4 p.m. EST.

The U.S. team is intent on finishing at the top. The Americans played consistently well in its first two matches, a win over Korea Republic and a draw with Brazil, and hope the effort carries over one more time against Turkey. The Turks got their first win Friday afternoon, 2-1 over Korea Republic, after a scoreless draw with Brazil Wednesday.

Its really important, U.S. midfielder Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy) said. We want to win this tournament pretty bad.

U.S. forward Mario Rodriguez (North Hollywood, Calif.) will be a marked man for Turkey, which figures to defend the talented striker aggressively. It remains to be seen if central midfielder Alejandro Guido (Chula Vista, Calif.) will be able to play after leaving Fridays match with an injured back in the first half. Guido has shown a knack for distributing the ball well and keeping possession.

Now its going to be important for all the kids who are ready to play 90 minutes at a high intensity level with good concentration, because we can win the tournament, U.S. coach Wilmer Cabrera said.

As tough an opponent as Brazil was on Friday, Cabrera fully expects Turkey to provide a similarly difficult test.

With the ball theyre very good, comfortable, he said. I saw them against Brazil and they had back-and-forth chances. So its going to be an even game. Who makes less mistakes, whos going to have the concentration and also whos going to be fitter for 90 minutes because at the end, [playing] every 48 hours is going to affect whos in better shape.