International Champions Cup: New York Red Bulls 4-2 Chelsea


HARRISON, N.J. — The New York Red Bulls trotted out a team mostly made of academy call-ups today, and they defeated the reigning Premier League champions 4-2.

Coming off a 120 minute loss to the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, Red Bulls’ coach Jesse Marsch gave his academy youngsters massive first-team experience playing against Chelsea, and those youngsters scored four goals on the Premier League’s best defense.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s 2015 ICC coverage ]

Chelsea lead 1-0 at halftime, but an offensive explosion in the second half saw the Blues preseason tour get off to a shaky start at Red Bull Arena.

After spending the last two seasons out on loan, Victor Moses looked like a man trying to prove himself to Jose Mourinho, constantly involved in the Chelsea attack. Moses nearly opened the scoring early in the match, making a quick cut past his defender before having his shot stopped with a strong kick-save from Red Bulls’ goalkeeper Kyle Reynish.

Throughout the first half Chelsea looked most dangerous on the counter-attack, and in the 26th minute the Blues capitalized. Oscar took the ball down the right flank and crossed in to a wide-open Loic Remy, who took a touch and calmly finished to give Chelsea a 1-0 lead.

[ RELATED: USMNT bounced from Gold Cup following 2-1 loss to Jamaica ]

Remy had another golden opportunity to put Chelsea up by two, as Bertrand Traore drew Reynish out of goal and found the striker all alone five yards out. But the cross hit Remy in the thigh and went over the bar as the Blues headed into halftime just a goal ahead.

At the half, Jose Mourinho made plenty of substitutions, putting in the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, John Terry and Nemanja Matic. Asmir Begovic also found his way onto the pitch, as the former Stoke City goalkeeper made his debut in Chelsea blue.

Despite putting on some of the world’s best talent, it was the Red Bulls who got off to a quick start in the second half. John Terry played a poor back pass to Begovic, who had to rush out of his net to try and collect the ball. But Franklin Castellanos was quicker than the sliding Begovic, and passed it into an open net to level the score at one in the 51st minute.

[ RELATED: Jose Mourinho has no problem paying $45 million for Everton’s John Stones ]

After the goal the Red Bulls found new life, and jumped out to an improbable two-goal lead. In the 69th minute  16-year-old Tyler Adams found himself unmarked in the box, rising to put a header past Begovic. Four minutes later, Sean Davis cleaned up a rebound and all of a sudden it was 3-1 in favor of New York.

The scoring didn’t stop, as just seconds later it was the Premier League Player of the Year Eden Hazard slotting home from the top of the box to cut New York’s lead to one.

When it looked like the Blues were going to make a comeback, Sean Davis silenced the traveling support with his second of the night in the 77th minute, with the home fans going absolutely wild.

The final whistle blew with a final score of 4-2 in favor of the Red Bulls, as Jose Mourinho and Chelsea have quite a bit to do before the Premier League kicks off in August.

Atletico Madrid roster for MLS All-Star Game includes Felix

Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer fans will get a good luck at one of the hottest prospects in world soccer when the MLS All Stars take on Atletico Madrid in next week’s MLS All Star Game.

Joao Felix, the $142 million 19-year-old, is among the roster announced by Diego Simeone for the match.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

Felix scored 20 times with 11 assists in 40 matches for Benfica before moving to Atleti in the summer. Those numbers include a hat trick against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarterfinals first leg.

The other stars will be there, too, provided no transfers happen in the interim. Koke, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa, and Saul Niguez are in the squad.

New Atleti defender Kieran Trippier and longtime El Tri hero Hector Herrera will also be sure to help drive attendance in Orlando City.

The full roster is here.

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.


“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

Leave a comment

L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.