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Smith: Strikers must step up

Burnley about an hour ago
about an hour ago

Rehabbing, recovery and renewed hope of a return to playing

United States international, Stuart Holden strongly asserted his aim to return to the soccer pitch following his continued recovery from a series of serious injuries.

First of all, this is NOT a retirement announcement.

I see this blog as an opportunity to connect with my incredible supporters and provide an update on where I stand currently. It's also a chance to let down my normal, very publicly positive wall.

The daily grind of rehab is brutal. I am constantly being tested, some days physically, some days mentally and some days both! By this point, I could wear the unenviable name tag of "professional gym rat" around my neck.

If you talk to the physical therapists...

about an hour ago

Mario Balotelli shirt storm, Neymar case dropped before Clasico

ESPN's Fernando Palomo highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each side ahead of El Clasico.


1. Neymar case dropped (Monday, Oct. 21)

In between all the post-weekend analysis, previews of a Champions League week and pre-Clasico build-up, the news that the Barcelona member who brought legal proceedings against the club for allegedly concealing the true cost of signing Neymar had dropped his case was buried somewhat. Jordi Cases' accusation -- that Barca hid payments over and above the official 57.1 million-euro fee -- led to an unprecedented opening up of the books on the...

about an hour ago

MLS Western Conference analysis: Under-the-radar players to watch

MLS commissioner Don Garber explains that the competition in the professional divisions of the United States is heading in the right direction, but he still sees areas for improvement.

In my previous Eastern Conference feature, I looked at some of the players who might not be as well known as some of their teammates, but who could be set to make a mark in the playoffs. Today I look at the West, with the help of fan reps and bloggers for each of the teams still in contention for a playoff spot, going into the final weekend.

Seattle Sounders

Opponents who focus on stopping Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey will find themselves burned by Lamar Neagle.

Last weekend's game showcased a Sounders player following a blueprint the opposition could appreciate. As Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey...

about an hour ago

Burnley strikers must start stepping up with goals

Burnley manager Sean Dyche explains his side need to find the winning element if they are to remain in the Premier League, following their 1-3 defeat to West Ham.

Burnley's winless start to the season is mostly down to a misfiring strike force that remains without a goal after eight league and cup matches.

Last season's star, Danny Ings, has had a disappointingly slow start to the new campaign and summer arrivals Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell have also failed to make an impact in front of goal. The final member of Burnley's less-than-fabulous four up front, Ashley Barnes, has looked out of his depth in the Premier League.

Patience is quickly wearing...

 By Ben Jacobs
2 hours ago

After encouraging start, Leicester's Premier League honeymoon is over

Swansea manager Garry Monk speaks of the importance of getting the full three points in their upcoming fixture against Leicester.

Leicester's Premier League honeymoon is well and truly over. A loss at Swansea could leave the Foxes in the relegation zone by the close of the weekend. It still feels like an encouraging start to the season, but the table doesn't lie: City are moving in the wrong direction.

There's still little wrong with Leicester's home form, even though too many goals are being leaked at the King Power Stadium. However, on the road the Foxes are getting dragged into too many dogfights. Last weekend's 1-0 loss...

2 hours ago

CONCACAF Champions League: Central America gaining on Liga MX, MLS

Gerardo Torrado and Cruz Azul were unable to overcome a feisty Alajuelense side on Tuesday night in Costa Rica.
Gerardo Torrado and Cruz Azul were unable to overcome a feisty Alajuelense side on Tuesday night in Costa Rica.

Since the creation of the modern CONCACAF Champions League format in 2008, there have never been fewer than three Liga MX teams in the knockout championship round.

That pattern has been broken.

Both Leon and Cruz Azul failed to qualify for the next round, leaving Club America and Pachuca as the sole representatives of Liga MX. While many may see this as embarrassing, I believe it better indicates the strength that other CONCACAF nations have garnered in the past couple of years.

The Mexican...