Keep calm

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

3 Comments

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?”

VIDEO: Gary Cahill scores shocking own goal to give Man City lead

Leave a comment

Gary Cahill, sort your feet out.

As Jesus Navas’ right wing cross came into the box, Chelsea’s captain for the day got his feet all wrong. Instead of clearing the ball with his left foot, he took a swipe at a clearance with his right and the ball hooked off his right and into the far corner of his net.

1-0 to Manchester City right on half time.

A nightmare end to a promising first half for Chelsea, and for Cahill…

Click play on the video above to see the horror own goal go in.

Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Lineups, Live Stream)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea celebrates victory after the EFL Cup Third Round match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on September 20, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as two Premier League title contenders collide.

On the sidelines Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte lock horns for the first time in England and in fact, the first-ever time as opposition managers as two of the great minds in the game today.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

On the pitch Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero are joint-top goalscorers in the PL and it should be an intriguing tactical battle with Conte playing a 3-4-3 and Guardiola able to mix-and-match his formations and a gesture or whistle.

It is still early days in both of their projects but plenty of promising signs have already emerged with Chelsea currently on a seven-game winning streak which sees them sit to of the table, while Man City sit one point behind them in third place.

In team news for this clash, Guardiola starts with a very attacking lineup and three men in defense.

Chelsea bring in Cesc Fabregas for Nemanja Matic in central midfield in their only change to the lineup for their last seven games. Fabregas last played in September in the defeat at Arsenal.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo; Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Navas, Sane; De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Zabaleta, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Iheanacho

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard. Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Aina, Chalobah, Oscar, Willian, Batshuayi

Peru extradites ex-soccer boss to US on bribery charges

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 13: A FIFA logo next to the entrance during part I of the FIFA Council Meeting 2016 at the FIFA headquarters on October 13, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.

Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.

He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.

Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.

San Jose Earthquakes release Clarence Goodson, eight others

San Jose Earthquakes forward Quincy Amarikwa (25) is mobbed by teammates after scoring against the Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer match Sunday, March 13, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Leave a comment

While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.

Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.