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MLS Panic Quotient: Galaxy, Toronto and Portland on the spot

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The champs make a second consecutive appearance on ProSoccerTalk’s weekly “MLS Panic Quotient?” (®)  That doesn’t really surprise anyone, now does it?  It’s our weekly temperature check on panic in the streets of MLS.

PORTLAND TIMBERS: There’s just no way to spin the ugliness off two home losses in three home games. Missing elements: goals, leadership, accountability, steadiness, defense when it matters, confidence, communication, consistency … you know, the little things. The players are saying all the right words, expressing outrage in all the right places and demanding that one another stand up and be counted. But what if they figure out the personnel mix just isn’t right? Because huffing and puffing and banging on about intangibles might patch up some of the holes, but will it be enough?

Panic quotient: Mother-in-law coming for a visit. A nice, long visit.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY: Bruce Arena is keeping a brave face, reminding anyone who will listen his center back situation isn’t as dire as all that. Leonardo is on the mend, rookie Tommy Meyer will get there sooner or later and Andrew Boyens … well … I’m sure he had something convincing to say about Andrew Boyens, although I simply cannot recall what it might have been. Meanwhile, he made himself a little trade, quietly bringing in a new center back. (Don’t get too excited, though; this isn’t exactly Kenny Cooper-going-to-Red Bulls stuff.) And this business of David Beckham’s back troubles cannot be good news.

Panic quotient: Fought heavy traffic but finally arrived at stadium for the Big Game. “Wait a minute, you have the tickets, right?”

TORONTO FC: Manager Aron Winter told everyone he had a three-year plan for the Reds. Last year was tough on the BMO faithful (numbers drifting, as they were). Patience was generally afforded for the Dutchman’s dynamic vision. But what, in the name of Rinus Michels, is going on now? After rising and inspiring hope near 2011’s end, the side seems to have regressed in 2012. The numbers are horrible to look at, like dead sturgeon washing up out of Lake Ontario: a 0-4-0 record with a measly two goals scored. Three-year plans are fine and all, but no points from four contests? Surely that’s not an element in the program. Help them Torsten Frings! You’re their only hope.

Panic quotient: Mechanic calls. Your car is ready. “Say, is anybody around who can be with you … ya know, before we go over the final bill?”

Atleti’s Torres ready for “game of his life” in UEFA Champions League final

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 21: Atletico de Madrid players Saul Niguez (L) and Fernando Torres (R) stretch during the training session during the Club Atletico de Madrid Open Media Day ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match against Real Madrid CF on May 21, 2016 in Majadahonda, Spain.
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Fernando Torres has won the UEFA Champions League before, but a victory on Saturday would ring as true as ever.

Calling it the game of his life, the Atletico Madrid striker spoke about this year’s final against Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Three battles that could determined UCL final ]

A lot has changed since the 2012 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, when Torres subbed into Chelsea’s comeback win.

His decline at Chelsea found him on loan to Milan, where he transferred before finding another loan back home to Atleti. Now 32, Torres has his most goals since 2013 and is preparing for a Madrid Derby final.

From Sky Sports:

“Tomorrow [Saturday] is the game of my life, without doubt,” said Torres. “To me it means everything. Everything you dream when you’re a kid, I have the chance tomorrow to make this dream come true.

“I’ve played for great teams, and won many things, but this one is special, it is different, it’s what I wanted when I was a kid.”

Later lauding Atleti for giving him the chance “to come back and fight for what I wanted”, Torres is clearly hungry for a bit of redemption. And if his side comes out on top, he’ll likely be a big part of it.

Costa injury sends Kaka into Brazil’s Copa America squad

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 06:  Kaka (R) is seen on the field prior to a MLS soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Orlando City SC at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on March 6, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Kaka will not start the season opener due to injury. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
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Orlando City is losing its wizard for a bit.

Kaka, 34, has been called into Dunga’s Brazil squad for this summer’s Copa America Centenario.

The move was made after Bayern Munich star Douglas Costa picked up an injury that will cause him to miss the tournament.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | B | C | D ]

The 2007 Ballon D’Or winner didn’t play in that year’s Copa America, which Brazil won.

Kaka has two goals and five assists in 7 MLS matches this season, a year after netting nine times with six assists in 28 matches.

Evans to face new rape trial in October

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 28:  Sheffield United player Ched Evans in action during the npower League One game between Sheffield United and Chesterfield at Bramall Lane on March 28, 2012 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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CARDIFF, Wales (AP) A former Premier League player whose rape conviction was overturned will face a new trial in October.

Ched Evans, a Wales international who has played for Manchester City and Sheffield United, appeared in court in Cardiff on Friday and pleaded not guilty to raping a woman at a hotel in May 2011.

[ MORE: Mourinho confirmed | Speaks more ]

Evans had already served half of a five-year sentence before being released from prison and getting the conviction overturned in April following an appeal.

Evans only spoke briefly to confirm his identity before entering his plea.

The new trial will start on Oct. 4 in Cardiff.

Mourinho: “I prefer to forget the last three years” of Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho is asked for his autograph by fans prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 26, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has immediately begun courting the fans of his new club.

The 53-year-old Portuguese manager may’ve run rivals Chelsea on two occasions, but claims he’s always had empathy with United even when defeating the Old Trafford club.

[ MORE: United hires Mourinho | Things he must do ]

In an interview with Manchester United TV, Mourinho issues some high praise of the club while also managing a bit of classic “The Special One” ego in saying, “Giant clubs must be for the best managers.”

As for the disappointing trio of years between David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, Mourinho says he’d rather consider his tenure in line with the run of Alex Ferguson.

From the BBC:

“I think we can look at our club in two perspectives – one is the past three years and another is the history. I prefer to forget the last three years. I prefer to focus on the giant club I have in my hands now. “

Mourinho has had some time to calculate the best way to endear himself to United supporters, and playing to their belief as the most historic club in the world sure pushes the right buttons.

Now comes the task of delivering titles in a climate more competitive than any other time in modern history.