Pontius honored in MLS Awards

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Pontius honored in MLS Awards

D.C. United captain Chris Pontius was honored this week with his selection to the 2012 MLS Best XI side, as voted on by MLS players, staff and media.

Today Pontius fell agonizingly short in the polls to Sounders striker Eddie Johnson for the Comeback Player of the Year award.  Pontius, returning from a broken leg that ended his 2011 season, led his club in scoring with 13 goals, 4 assists in 31 games and captained the Black and Red to their first playoff berth in five years. Pontius was also named to this year's All-Star team and voted the Most Valuable Player after scoring the equalizer and assisting ont he game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Europena champs Chelsea FC. 

Three of United's finest were named as finalists for three different MLS awards but despite their outstanding accomplishments in D.C.'s rebound season, each fell short in voting.

Last week Chicago defender Austin Berry stole Rookie of the Year honors for 2012 with former college teammate, Nick DeLeon, coming in as his runner up. DeLeon notched six goals in his rookie campaign --a record for a DCU freshman-- and played an integral role in three of United's four playoff goals this season.

Olsen, a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year, came in third behind Peter Vermes (SKC) and the overwhelming winner, San Joe's Frank Yallop.

In just his second full season at the helm of his former club, Ben Olsen pulled DCU from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to the top, finishing the 2012 season with a seven game unbeaten streak and advancing to the the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2006. Olsen's club claimed second place in the regular season standings with its 17-10-7 record, which included an 18-game unbeaten streak at home.

Nike releases images of new U.S. Soccer jerseys, receives criticism of familiar design

Nike releases images of new U.S. Soccer jerseys, receives criticism of familiar design

The U.S. National Teams will rock a new look coming up soon. Instead of a blue and white color pallet on their existing jerseys, the new kit Nike unveiled today will be two shades of red. 

The U.S. men will first wear the red kits for their March 24th World Cup qualifying match against Honduras. The U.S. women will don them sooner, for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup from March 1 to 7. 

Similar to the previous designs, the new shirts will have color block sleeves with the words "1 Nation" and "1 Team" appearing on the inside hem. Men's team jerseys are crewneck, while womens are v-neck. 

Like all new uniforms, these have drawn some criticism, specifically for their resemblance to Portugal's 2016 home kit and England's 2016 away kit. 

What do you think; too similar or still too similar? Because it's hard to find the differences...

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It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

NEW YORK – Bruce Arena is returning to coach the U.S. national soccer team, a decade after he was fired.

The winningest coach in American national team history, Arena took over Tuesday, one day after Jurgen Klinsmann was fired. The 65-year-old Arena starts work Dec. 1.

With the U.S. 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying, the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to spark a turnaround when the playoffs resume March 24 with a home game against Honduras.

"His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach," USSF President Sunil Gulati, who fired Arena in 2006, said in a statement. "I know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth straight FIFA World Cup."

Arena first took over as national team coach after the 1998 World Cup and led the U.S. to a 71-30-29 record.

"I'm looking forward to working with a strong group of players that understand the challenge in front of them after the first two games," Arena said in a statement. "Working as a team, I'm confident that we'll take the right steps forward to qualify"

A wisecracking Brooklynite known for blunt talk and sarcasm, he coached the University of Virginia from 1978-95, then led D.C. United to titles in Major League Soccer's first two seasons before losing in the 1998 final. He guided the Americans to the team's best World Cup finish since 1930, a 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals.

He was let go after the team's first-round elimination by Ghana in 2006. Arena coached the New York Red Bulls of MLS from July 2006 to November 2007, then was hired the following August by the Galaxy. He led the team to MLS titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Arena was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

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