DaMarcus Beasley to join 100 cap club, who else is in it?

Leave a comment

Tomorrow night in Cleveland, Ohio, the USMNT will play Belgium in a friendly.

We all know that.

But some of you may have forgotten that it will be a hugely significant night for one US player in particular. DaMarcus Beasley is in line to make his 100th appearance for the USA.

Take a bow sir. You’re about to enter US soccer history.

Throughout plenty of trials and tribulations in recent season, Beasley’s importance to the USMNT hasn’t wavered and his versatility in recent months has seen him take on plenty of new roles for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. With an appearance against Belgium tomorrow, Beasley will reach the incredible landmark of 100 games for his national team.

The former PSV Eindhoven, Glasgow Rangers and Chicago Fire star is currently without a club. But with some good showings for the US over the next few weeks, surely “Beez” will figure all that out.

Anyway, we thought it would be nice to take a quick look at the illustrious company Beasley will now be in, as he becomes just the 13th player to reach a century of appearances for the Nats.

Cobi Jones (164 appearances)

The all-time leader in appearances, Jones epitomized the US national team for 12 years. A member of the national soccer hall of fame, Jones is weaven into the fabric of US soccer.

Landon Donovan (144 appearances)

Most USMNT fans are hoping Donovan racks up even more appearances than this. The 31-year-old LA forward is already the nation’s leading goalscorer with 49 goals. Will he ever get the chance to reach 50?

Jeff Agoos (134 appearances)

For over 15 years Agoos was a mainstay in central defense for the US, with his tough tackling and steely determination helping forge the USA’s identity as a soccer nation.

Marcelo Balboa (128 appearances)

Around almost as long as Agoos, Balboa anchored the US defense at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and along with pretty much all of these guys, was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Claudio Reyna (112 appearances)

The new Director of Football for New York City FC, Reyna was an international figurehead of the US side in his playing days.

Carlos Bocanegra (110 appearances)

Still hoping to add to this tally but not included in recent squads, Bocanegra has struggled this season in Europe after Rangers’ relegation meant he went out on loan to struggling Racing Santander in Spain. Surely this isn’t how Boca’s US career will end?

Paul Caliguiri (110 appearances)

A wily player who scored perhaps the most famous goal in US soccer history. “The shot heard around the world” sealed the USA’s qualification to the 1990 World Cup. Caliguiri is written into US soccer folklore.

Eric Wynalda (106 appearances)

Lethal striker who sits second all-time with 34 goals, Wynalda was renowned for his hard play and clinical finishing. Punditry and coaching have followed his playing career.

Kasey Keller (102 appearances)

Evergreen Keller bowed out of MLS in Seattle at the age of 41, and his status as the USA’s top ‘keeper remained for many seasons. Keller is now involved with TV broadcasts and is coaching with the US U-20 side.

Earnie Stewart (101 appearances)

The Dutch-American midfielder played all but one season of his career in Holland, as he flourished as a goalscoring midfielder. Stewart spent one year with D.C. United in MLS. Now he is the Director of Football at AZ Alkmaar.

Tony Meola (100 appearances)

The second goalkeeper to make this list, Meola shone in several MLS seasons. His most successful spell came with the Kansas City Wizards where he won MVP honors and an MLS Cup.

Joe-Max Moore (100 appearances)

One of the great USMNT midfielders, who shone overseas at Everton. Moore could have won many more caps but his career was ended early through injury. Great talent.

Chivas Guadalajara wins 12th Liga MX title

Associated Press
Leave a comment

A nail-biting finish saw Chivas Guadalajara lift the 2016/17 Liga MX title, beating Apertura champions Tigres to earn the club’s 12th Liga MX title.

The title makes Guadalajara the joint-most successful club in Mexican top flight history, even with Club America on titles.

With the aggregate score at 2-2 coming into the second leg at Chivas Stadium, the home side took the lead on an 18th minute expert finish by former Tigres youth product Alan Pulido. Oswaldo Alanís delivered a brilliant deep, looping ball to the far post, and under one-on-one pressure with a defender, Pulido struck it first-time and buried the ball into the far corner.

The game waited until midway through the second half for the next strike, as the eventual winner would fall to Jose Vazquez. The 29-year-old charged down a bounding ball that Tigres failed to clear, and his effort on net took a sizeable deflection off the midsection of a visiting defender, leaving the ball to trickle in uncontested.

Despite a 4-2 aggregate lead, it was by no means comfortable down the stretch for Chivas. Tigres pulled one back in the 88th minute on a fabulous strike by Ismael Sosa from just outside the top of the box. The visitors pressed for a stunning late equalizer, but it wasn’t to be.

The title is sweet for Chivas, who has endured a decade of struggles since winning its last championship, even coming close to relegation at times. In addition, the starting lineup for the second leg was fully domestic from top to bottom, with all 11 players from Mexico. On that same note, Pulido outdueled expensive Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, putting in on of the most impressive shifts of the match.

MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 0-0 Houston Dynamo

Associated Press
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): The goalkeepers starred as the first Texas derby of the season ended goalless in Frisco, leaving both teams winless for at least three matches. A relatively slow start to the match gave way to an electric pace before halftime, as both goalkeepers made incredible saves, and FC Dallas had a goal correctly ruled out for offside. The second half saw two more fantastic stops, and each team had little else to offer the game.

Three moments that mattered

27′ – A pair of incredible saves, one on each end. In a game that had slogged through the opening half-hour and just seen FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman off injured, the match sprung to life. First, Kellyn Acosta delivered a beautiful free-kick from just off-center to the right. Tyler Deric was there, acrobatically reaching the top-right corner with his fingertips to deny the USMNT youngster. The save was so good, Acosta appeared to be prematurely celebrating a goal before he was forced to pull up after seeing the stop.

Then, immediately down the other end, Alberth Elis charged down a loose ball and ripped a shot on net, but Jesse Gonzalez produced an equally stunning save to keep the game scoreless.

66′ – FC Dallas dominated the opening stages of the second half, but they’d need their goalkeeper again to keep the score level. Alex delivered a dangerous cross from the left flank, and while it went over the head of Cubo Torres, it fell to Mauro Manoutas sliding in at the back post who met it on the slide. Unfortunately for Houston, Gonzalez was in the right place to make an admittedly awkward save.

80′ – In a 0-0 game, with no goals to speak of, the loudest cheer of the night was for Mauro Diaz. The 26-year-old made his return from an Achillies tear, subbing on with 10 minutes remaining for the first time since early August. He received a standing ovation from the FC Dallas home crowd.

Honorable mention – Kellyn Acosta delivered this eye-popping through-ball just before halftime. Feast your eyes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Jesse Gonzalez

Goalscorers: None

Championship Playoff Final preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Reading

Getty Images
Leave a comment

These two teams weren’t supposed to be here, at Wembley on Monday at 10:00 a.m. ET playing for a spot in the Premier League.

Everyone talked about how beautiful Fulham played. Everyone talked about how Sheffield kept on winning. Everyone kept talking about the favorites. Everyone wrote off the other guys.

Yet here we are. Reading, owner of a +4 goal differential. Huddersfield Town, owner of a -2 goal differential. Reading, winners over Fulham thanks to a bogus handball. Huddersfield, on to Wembley after a penalty shootout in the rain.

Here we are. The game that will catapult one team to the riches of the Premier League, the game that will send another team back to the depths of the Championship, consigned to progress with the heartbreak of knowing they were so close.

[ MORE: USMNT roster announced for upcoming World Cup qualifiers ]

The Championship playoff final is one of the biggest enigmas in the European soccer landscape. Teams like Reading looking to return to familiar lands of plentiful bounty, others like Huddersfield looking for glory never experienced before.

Huddersfield has not seen top flight action since 1972, and former American international David Wagner has them on the precipice. “There were a lot of statements before the semi-finals about momentum and about form,” Wagner said. “It is another example where we have proven that experience and what has happened in the past is irrelevant. After the 120 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday there were a lot of tired legs, but now after a training camp in Portugal and training on the grass here, everybody is ready to go.”

As far as form goes, Town is struggling. They drew both legs of the Sheffield Wednesday playoff semifinal 0-0, and finished the regular season on a three-match losing streak. They haven’t won a match since April 14th.

Reading, meanwhile, finished the year with wins in seven of their final nine regular season games, and they downed an attacking Fulham side 1-0 at home in the second leg of their semifinal. They’ve been stellar at winning close games all year, winning 18 regular season games by just a single goal, and losing just four, with seven draws. If Jaap Stam can lead his side back to the Premier League, it would mark just a four-year turnaround from their previous relegation from the top flight.

Riches await the winner. The sides couldn’t be more different, and yet on Monday, they both face the same brick wall.

Epic fake injury mars Hungarian league title match

Leave a comment

Sometimes it works out perfectly. Two teams, a title on the line, one match to decide it.

The top two teams in the Hungarian top flight, also known as the NB I, were set to play each other on the final day of the season to decide the title winner.

Budapest Honved hosted Videoton, with the winner set to win the league title. A draw would have given Videoton the victory on goal differential.

With the match 0-0 at halftime, it progressed tensely through the second half. So tense, in fact, that the teams felt they needed to do everything in their power to earn an edge. Even fake injuries. Terribly.

34-year-old Videoton striker Danko Lazovic, a veteran who has been around Europe with Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and a host of Eredivisie teams,  looked to earn a foul in the attacking half. He put so much effort into selling the foul that, well, he went a little overboard. And by a little overboard, we mean he went berserk on the field, rolling around and flailing on his back.

There are many factors that make this an absolutely epic moment. First, his team had already earned a foul without the dive. The referee had blown the whistle for a shove moments before Lazovic went down. Second, his teammate looks to come over and help him sell the foul a little more realistically, and instead of accept his teammate’s assistance, he shrugs off the help and continues to flail. Third, as karma would have it, Honved would score the title-winning goal six minutes later as they would go on to win 1-0.

Kids, don’t try this at home. It’s not a good look.