Twellman set to announce retirement | Soccer By Ives

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New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday at 1:30pm where he will announce his retirement.

Twellman has struggled with brain injuries that have forced him to miss the entire 2010 season, injuries that will cut short one of the best careers of any forward in MLS history.

Twellman, 30, helped guide the Revolution to four MLS Cup Final appearances, and finishes his career with 101 career MLS goals, as well as ten career playoff goals. The five-time MLS All-Star also made 30 appearances for the U.S. national team, scoring six goals.

What did you think of Twellman as a player? What was your favorite moment of his career?

Share your thoughts below.

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SBI Live Q&A (Nov. 2nd Edition) | Soccer By Ives

Good afternoon everybody. Its that time again. Time for you to send me your soccer-related questions and time for me to answer as many of them as I can.

Want to talk MLS playoffs? UEFA Champions League? Taylor Twellmans impending retirement? We can talk anything soccer-related youd like. Want to talk movies, TV or music? We can do that too.

Send your questions my way in the QA after the jump.

Lets get started:

College Top 25: Louisville takes top spot, Irish debut and more | Soccer By Ives

By JOHN BOSCHINI

For the first time this season, a new team tops the college soccer top 25.

Following its shocking upset against Cleveland State, Akron has fallen to No. 2 behind still-undefeated Louisville, who receieved 16 of a possible 23 first-place votes.The Cardinals will look to finish off their season undefeated when the they start their quest for the Big East title on Saturday against the winner of South Florida and West Virginia.

Akron, who had previously had a stranglehold on the top position since week one, retained five first-place votes. The Zips dropped to second spot despite road wins against North Carolina and Wake Forest and home wins against Tulsa and Creighton. Akron has already wrapped up the top seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament which starts next week.

No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 North Carolina and No. 5 Southern Methodist all stayed, with Maryland receiving two first-place votes. Butler continues to be rewarded for their undefeated season, rising to No. 6.

Virginia continues to struggle ahead of the ACC tournament, dropping another four places to No. 15 after a 2-0 home loss to Maryland. The Cavaliers ACC rivals, Duke, rose back into the rankings at No. 21 with blowout victories against Furman and Virginia Tech. The ACC is back up to four ranked teams, tied with the Big East for most of any conference.

Connecticut suffered a slight slide down the rankings to No. 9 following a 1-0 loss to Georgetown.

Notre Dame stormed into the top 25 for the first time, landing at No. 19, after a pair of Big East victories. Joining the Irish and the Blue Devils in the top 25 are No. 22 Penn State, No. 23 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 25 Georgetown.

Indiana, South Florida, Loyola Marymount, Michigan State fell out of the rankings. Georgetown and UC-Santa Barbarareceivedan identical points total and will both be ranked at No. 25. For the second time this season, college soccer will have 26 ranked teams for a week. There will also be two teams ranked at No. 13, with Pennsylvania and William Mary tied a 266 points.

NSCAAA TOP 25

1. Louisville (16) 508 (14-0-2)2. Akron (5) 542 (14-1-1)3. Maryland (2) 533 (12-2-1)4. North Carolina 503 (13-2-1)5. Southern Methodist 484 (14-1-0)6. Butler 460 (15-0-1)7. UC Irvine 436 (13-1-3)8. California 386 (11-2-3)9. Connecticut 385 (11-2-4)10. Creighton 347 (11-3-1)11. Monmouth 333 (12-1-3)12. UCLA 309 (11-4-1)13. Pennsylvania 266 (12-3-0)13. William Mary 266 (12-2-2)15. Virginia 258 (9-3-3)16. Princeton 213 (11-3-1)17. Brown 188 (9-2-3)18. Charlotte 144 (11-5-0)19. Notre Dame 128 (8-3-4)20. Boston College 115 (8-3-5)21. Duke 109 (8-4-4)22. Penn State 74 (10-5-1)23. Florida Gulf Cost 54 (13-3-2)24. Tulsa 53 (9-5-1)25. UC Santa Barbara 51 (10-4-3)25. Georgetown 51 (11-5-1)Also receiving votes: South Carolina 49, Saint Marys (CA) 48, Indiana 42, Michigan State 20, San Diego State 16, South Florida 14, Central Florida 8, UAB 8, St. Johns 6, Loyola Marymount 3, Portland 2, Colgate 1, James Madison 1, Washington 1

Mid-Day Ticker: Batista claims Argentina job, USWNT wins its group and more | Soccer By Ives

By AVI CREDITOR

Sergio Batista has apparently proven his worth.

Named the interim coach after Diego Maradonas firing in the aftermath of the World Cup, Batista is set to shed that interim label and become the permanent coach for the Argentina national team.

The Associated Press is reporting that Batista could be named coach as soon as Tuesday after a successful meeting with the selection committee, which is comprised of the Argentina Football Associations first-division team owners.

Since he became the interim coach, Batista has guided the Albicelestes in three friendlies: victories over Ireland and defending World Cup champion Spain and a loss to Japan.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

U.S. WOMEN KEEP ROLLING

Abby Wambach, Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Alex Morgan each scored to lift the United States womens national team to a 4-0 victory over Costa Rica and first place in its group for CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The United States outscored its three group opponents 18-0 and will face either Canada or Mexico in the tournament semifinals. A victory by the United States in the semis would cement a spot in next summers FIFA Womens World Cup in Germany.

LAMPARD RETURNING, COLE OUT

This weekends Chelsea-Liverpool clash will reportedly feature the return of Frank Lampard to Carlo Ancelottis lineup.

Lampard, who has missed Chelseas last 11 matches (all competitions) after undergoing surgery for a hernia and picking up a groin injury, will provide a boost to the Blues, who dont necessarily need one after compiling a five-point lead in the Premier League after 10 matches.

Joe Cole will not be fit to face his former team, though, as he is forced to sit out for the next two weeks after picking up a hamstring injury this past weekend against Bolton.

U.S. U-20 MEN TO PLAY COLOMBIA, MEXICO

Thomas Rongens United States Under-20 team will play Colombia and Mexico in the Torneo de las Americas in Kennesaw, Ga., later this month.

The games provide a nice opportunity for the United States to face top competition ahead of next years CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The United States faced Colombia at the Cuadrangular Internacional tournament back in September, falling, 2-0. Colombia will host the 2011 U-20 World Cup.

The U.S. roster for the Torneo de las Americas figures to be comprised primarily of club-based players, as the NCAA season doesnt end until Dec. 12. The matches will be played from Nov. 26-28.

LEAGUE ONE SIDE TO PLAY SANS SUBS

English League One side Milton Keynes Dons, the team of American Jemal Johnson, will reportedly play its next match without any substitutes on the bench.

Between injuries, suspensions and a virus that made its way through the locker room, the team currently has just 11 players fit for Tuesdays game against Yeovil Town.

Do you think Batista is the right man for the Argentina job? Impressed with the USWNTs results? Can you see Liverpool knocking off Chelsea this weekend? Excited to see the next generation of the United States-Mexico rivalry hit the field in a few weeks? Interested to see how the MKD match plays out?

Share your thoughts below.

SBI’s MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: Nick Rimando | Soccer By Ives

Real Salt Lake boasted the stingiest defense in MLS this year, and while centerbacks Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers played key roles in RSL allowing the fewest goals in MLS, goalkeeper Nick Rimando was arguably the most important factor in the defending MLS champions strong defensive showing in 2010.

Rimandos league-leading 14 shutouts and his dynamic presence in the penalty area for RSL helped him earn SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors.

Four of six voters chose Rimando as the leagues top keeper after he finished the year with the second-most wins and third-highest save percentage in the league. he finished the year with career highs in shutouts (14), wins (15) and goals-against average (0.67).

Kevin Hartman finished second in the SBI voting, garnering two of six first-place votes (including mine). Hartman finished with a league-high 0.62 goals-against average, a league-high 78.9 save percentage and a 10-1-8 record as a starter. Donovan Ricketts finished third in the voting.

What did you think of Rimandos selection as Goalkeeper of the Year? Did you vote for someone else?

Share your thoughts below.

UEFA Champions League: Your Running Commentary | Soccer By Ives

The UEFA Champions League group stage resumes today with some of the tournaments top teams seeking to secure passage to the Round of 16.

Inter Milan and Barcelona are in action today, as is Manchester United. Maurice Edus Rangers take on Valencia.

Here is todays schedule:

1:30pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.tv- Rubin Kazan vs. Panathinaikos

3:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel-Tottenham vs. Inter Milan

3:45pm- Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer.tv-Valencia vs. Rangers

3:45pm- Fox Sports Affiliates/FoxSoccer.tv-Bursaspor vs. Manchester United

3:45pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.tv-Benfica vs. Lyon

3:45pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.tv-Werder Bremen vs. FC Twente

3:45pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.tv-FC Copenhagen vs. Barcelona

3:45pm- DirecTV/FoxSoccer.tv-Hapoel Tel Aviv vs. Schalke 04

If you will be watching todays action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

SBI’s MLS Rookie of the Year: Tim Ream | Soccer By Ives

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In a year when the MLS rookie class was arguably one of the strongest in league history, no rookie enjoyed as impressive a first professional season as Tim Ream.

The New York Red Bulls central defender didnt just impress enough to earn a starting role from day one, he established himself as the best defender on a Red Bulls team that wound up finishing first in the Eastern Conference. His form all season helped him earn SBIs MLS Rookie of the Year honors.

Ream started all 30 matches for the Red Bulls this season, making him the only rookie to start every match. His skill on the ball and ability to read the game made him one of the toughest defenders in the league this year. His distribution skills earned him consideration from U.S. national team head coach Bob Bradley, who has identified Ream as one of the most promising young players in MLS.

Ream beat out fellow rookie of the year favorites Danny Mwanga and Andy Najar, earning five of six first-place votes on SBI ballots (including my first-place vote). Mwanga finished second in the voting after posting seven goals and four assists as a Philadelphia Union rookie. Najar finishing third in the voting.

What did you think of Reams season? Did you consider him the leagues best rookie? Who did your vote go for?

Share your thoughts below.