Written by Jahmal Corner

For starters, you’ll notice that the above video isn’t highlights of the U.S. U20 WNT beating Ghana 4-0 on Sunday to begin the U20 World Cup, but rather the team training in Japan.

Now, about that win over Ghana. Maya Hayes scored a hat-trick in the second half to lend credence to the prediction about her made by most of our most recent 5v5 panel. Just sayin.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Man City took a certain loss before the season even started, so it would’ve been doubly disappointing to lose its opener. But despite falling behind, the defending Champions League champion (hmm … I feel like there was a better way to say that) found a way to get it done in a thrilling match against Southampton Sunday. See for yourself.

 

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Jozy Altidore is on fi-yah!

Written by Jahmal Corner

Jozy Altidore scored two more Sunday.

The U.S. forward stayed hot in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-1 win against Heracles.

First one is above, second is after the jump. Which one is your favorite?

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Written by Jahmal Corner

The college season is here. Go get em’ ladies!

More photos after the jump.

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Clint Dempsey has officially arrived. You know it, he knows it, and he knows that you know that he knows it. Want to know how I know? (Ok, I’m done).

Clint was fined Friday because he refuses to start the season with Fulham. It was the move of a megastar (at least, in his eyes). Here’s the way Clint sees it:

Look, I’m Clint Frickin’ Dempsey. I led the team in scoring last year. I’m the guy. Van Persie gets to go to Man U and I have to stay here like I haven’t outgrown this place? Just send me to Liverpool already.

Sincerely,

Clint Frickin’ Dempsey

I’m not sure I agree with him, but I’m loving every minute of this. An American player REFUSING to play for his EPL team? Sounds like progress to me.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

beIN Sport USA.  Get familiar with that name, because it is the newest soccer network that no one has in their TV lineup.

This year, 3 of the top 5 leagues (La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1), the Copa del Rey, and Barca TV will now only be available in less than 8 million households. So few, that Nielsen currently isn’t even providing ratings. Why are they on this DISH Network only, no-name channel?  Money.

beIN Sport USA is owned and operated by Al Jazeera, the Qatar based broadcaster, and they’ve got oil money for days. The same oil money that bought Barca’s jersey sponsorship (Qatar Foundation) and the same oil money that helped Manchester City buy its first EPL championship. But, I’m not mad at oil money, I’m mad at those who took it.

Now, obviously I’m a fan, and not a league/team owner. Most of these teams are in massive debt, so I can understand why they might take the short-term payoff.  But, this short-term solution will undoubtedly hurt their brands in the United States. Greed will hurt them in the long-run, and will only push more Americans to the EPL which is widely available in the U.S.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Wayne Rooney just pulled the ultimate power move. After Piers Morgan spent several tweets whining about Van Persie going to Man U, Rooney only needed one to respond.

Game, set, match – to Rooney.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Our countdown concludes with the two biggest reasons we’re excited for college soccer (See reasons 9-10, 7-8, 5-6, 3-4). Let the games begin:

 

2. Birmingham & San Diego: These are the sites of the men’s and women’s College Cups. It’s the reason programs train all season and we pore over countless games. A side note: the West Coast is getting a Cup Final for the second time in three years – Santa Barbara got rave reviews in 2010. Who will make the Cup? We’ll find out.

 

1. Conference rivalries: Secretly, this is my favorite part of college soccer. North Carolina vs. Duke, UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly, Florida vs. Florida State (so it’s non-conference, SO WHAT!?), Michigan vs. Michigan State, Washington vs. Washington State … If you want to watch great soccer, go to a rivalry match and watch two teams compete against one another like it’s the last game of the season. I love it. We’ve made it. No more talking. Let’s do it.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

The wait is over. The college soccer season officially starts tonight and we’re kicking it off with your insider guide to the women’s campaign. Which players will star? Who will win it all?

Five soccer writers answer those very questions and give us their season predictions.

What are your predictions? Comment in this blog post with your national champion prediction and enter to win a FREE custom pair of adidas mi Predator LZ cleats (including shipping)! Click here for more info on the cleat!

Now, on to the expert predictions:

 

Give me one surprise program that will burst onto the national scene this season?


Scott Whittum, College Sports Madness: William& Mary. They have a great opportunity right out of the gate at home against Duke to see where they are on the national stage. They have a senior superstar player in midfielder Mallory Schaffer, who is on the Hermann Trophy Watch List, and the Tribe can defend with the nation’s best which is critical come postseason when goals are at a much greater premium.

Will Exline, Fox Soccer Plus: Look no further than the Richmond Spiders. While they finished a respectable 13-5-3 last season, including a 7-1-1 in a better than expected A10 conference, they have set themselves up for a strong 2012 campaign. Behind 2011 A10 Offensive Player of the Year and Preseason All-American Becca Wann, the Spiders will have plenty of firepower to handle their challenging schedule. Early season tests against Wake Forest and Virginia Tech should give a strong indication of whether Richmond is ready to step up.

Travis Clark, TopDrawerSoccer.com: They’ve made waves before, but I think Marquette has the right combination of talent and experience to really make some bigger waves on the big stage.

Ciara McCormack, Our Game Magazine: I think Kentucky because not only is Coach Lipsitz worth a follow on twitter as one of the more entertaining college coaches out there, I think he has a history of building winners. He did a great job at Charlotte, leading their team to 3 straight conference titles before coming over to UK in 2009. In the last two years one can already see glimpses of the same kind of success for the Wildcats. This year again they have another top 15 ranked recruiting class building upon a similar quality from last year and they didn’t lose that much, with most of their starters returning.

Paul-Michael Ochoa, The Daily Nexus: Santa Clara. U.S. U20 team participant Julie Johnston will look to lead the Broncos to a West Coast Conference title and improve upon last season’s first round tournament exit.

 

Give me one surprise player who will burst onto the national scene this season?

 

Whittum: Nadia Link of Long Beach State has laid the foundation for a Hermann Trophy run after the 49ers’ deep run to the Elite Eight in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Also, being the senior leader and the featured goal-scorer is going to put her in a prime situation to light up the scoreboard this season.

Exline: Sophomore Lauren Bohaboy from Notre Dame should be primed for a breakout season. With Notre Dame’s All-Everything superstar Melissa Henderson’s graduation, the stage is set for Bohaboy to take it to the next level. One of 18 underclassmen on the 25-player roster, the highly touted So Cal Blues product will be looked upon to help carry the team this season.

Clark: Look out for midfielder Cristin Granados, of VCU. The crafty midfielder is a Costa Rican international, dynamite with the ball on her feet and will help her side make a splash in their move to the Atlantic 10.

McCormack: I guess it’s dependent on what constitutes a surprise. I think Summer Green will burst onto the national scene, with the scoring she has done on the U17 team, backed up by a very good team at UNC that I think will be back in the limelight. I think Hannah Wilkinson at Tennessee will definitely be a player that has shown the ability to be dominant at a very high level internationally and will do very well in the SEC. It will also be fun to watch established international players such as Raquel Rodriguez at Penn State and Charlyn Corral at Louisville.

Ochoa: Nadia Link of Long Beach State. If soccer fans don’t already know Link after she led the 49ers to the elite eight last season, they should certainly pay attention this season. A participant on the U.S. U23 team, Link has the star power to become the next big name in college soccer.

Don’t forget to comment below with your national champion prediction for your chance to win a FREE custom pair of adidas mi Predator LZ cleats!

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Brian Windsor. Brian Iloski. Johnatan Lama. Jacob Powell.

Those are the four players heading to Barcelona after winning Nike’s “The Chance” open competition.

Watch highlights of the five-month process which culminates with the Nike staff voting on the finalists and making the emotional announcements.

 

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