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Chicago Fire announces new signing as things get crowded at Toyota Park

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You have to admire the aggressive player pursuits going on around Toyota Park, where management never seems finished adding to the roster.

The season had already begun when German defender Arne Friedrich was added, and what a stroke of fortune that turned into when Cory Gibbs went out with a serious injury.

Just last week, former midfielder-forward Chris Rolfe signed up for his second Windy City tour. A minor injury setback kept Rolfe off the field last week, but look for him in Frank Klopas’ lineup soon.

And today the Fire announced its newest signing, Brazilian midfielder Alex Monteiro De Lima, who finds his way to MLS on a free transfer from Switzerland’s FC Wohlen.

“Alex” will be an interesting case study as he makes the transition from Switzerland’s second tier. Evan at its highest level, Swiss soccer may not exactly be fast food, so to speak, but it’s sure not a high end steakhouse, either. So, if Alex comes in and tears up MLS, what does that say about the league?

Chances are, however, he’ll just be another man competing for a spot. And there’s the rub. Assignments in the game-day 18 are getting pretty scarce around Toyota Park.

Marco Pappa’s status is the X factor in all this; rumors of summer transfer interest from FC Twente in Holland continue to infest Toyota Park, so a future opening can’t be ruled out.

For the bigger picture, Chicago soccer blogger Tweed Thornton looks at where Alex may fit for the Fire – and who should be getting nervous in the Quaker Oats shirt.

“Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings

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With eight games gone and 30 to go in the Premier League, now is the time that those preseason predictions start to get revised and new knee-jerk picks are made.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ] have run the numbers through their “super computer” — how big is this thing? To me, it’s the size of several rooms… — and the intriguing table will surprise many.

[ MORE: Bradley to coach Sunderland?

Manchester City will win the title, pipping Arsenal to the crown, while Manchester United will finish in third and Chelsea will recover to finish fourth. At the bottom, only Bournemouth will be relegated out of the newly promoted teams, while it is looking bleak for Sunderland and Aston Villa.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million

Do you agree with the findings of

Click on this link via talkSPORT to see the points tally for each team, as it promises to be a tight race for the title and against relegation.

Predicted final Premier League table

1- Manchester City
2- Arsenal
3 – Manchester United
4- Chelsea
5- Liverpool
6- Tottenham Hotspur
7- Everton
8- Southampton
9- Crystal Palace
10- West Ham United
11- Swansea City
12- Stoke City
13- Leicester City
14 – West Bromwich Albion
15- Newcastle United
16- Norwich City
17- Watford
18- Bournemouth
19- Aston Villa
20- Sunderland

After defying quit calls, Blatter mediates between FAs

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ZURICH (AP) After defying pleas from FIFA sponsors to quit immediately, President Sepp Blatter is continuing regular business at soccer’s governing body, presiding over a dispute between football federations on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter for $100 million ]

Palestinian Football Union president Jibril Rajoub told The Associated Press: “Blatter is functioning well and in a good mood with common sense, a sense of humor.”

According to Rajoub, Blatter ruled at Tuesday’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s federation that a decision to force the Palestinians to play a World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue was “invalid.”

[ MORE: Bradley to coach Sunderland?

FIFA’s World Cup committee initially ordered the Oct. 13 game to be relocated from the West Bank to neighboring Jordan after the first leg was played in Riyadh.

[ MORE: Klopp’s 10 best quotes ]

Rajoub says FIFA has now agreed to postpone the fixture until a resolution is found.