Philadelphia Union v Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders: PST’s first Next Greatest Team … of all time

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ProSoccerTalk is proud to congratulate Seattle Sounders as the Next Greatest Team of All Time … for now.

Leading the league in points per game, Seattle’s proved they transcend comparisons to their 2012 competition. Their 0.375 goals against threaten to set a new standard for defensive excellence, and on pace for only three league losses, Seattle could end 2012 virtually (if relatively) unblemished. After four straight wins, Sigi Schmid’s team is on track to take their place along side the great D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy teams of the late-`90s, providing their version of MLS’s all-time standard.

Now some of you might have paused two sentences back and asked, “What the?” To which I can only retort …

Please. We really, really need this.

It’s clear LA Galaxy are not going to redefine CONCACAF greatness. So what does that say about those electrons we wasted preseason ordaining them as the next coming? I don’t want to think about it. Don’t make me think about it!

There’s a huge void created by LA’s plunge, but if we fill it quickly enough, we can just pretend it never happened. We can still have something to write about. We’ll have all of our podcast segments and debates. It will be like mom never left.

For the better part of a year, we’ve had a team to compare to those great LA, D.C. squads, and as this year’s Galaxy started to fade, some looked back at Sporting KC’s run, squinted, and said maybe, just maybe they can fill that void. Two losses later, no dice.

We have a need, people. Some team has to be the next greatest team of all time. Else, 98 posts PST has planned over the next six months have to be scrapped (they’re actually already written). If LA and Kansas City aren’t going to volunteer for the spot, we’ll just pick another team.

Let’s see: San Jose’s on top of the West, and … lost to Vancouver? Oh. OK. Well, that’s fine, because we all know that Real Salt Lake really has the best foundation so … home loss to Chivas USA? No, that doesn’t look good at all. Hey – D.C. United is really being overlooked. Their defense isn’t as bad as … well, yes – five goals allowed in one match are way too many.

Seattle it is, and we couldn’t be more proud. Montero, Alonso, Rosales, and the league’s biggest fan base? This isn’t a desperation pick. This is destiny.

And if we’re wrong – if you show us up, Seattle – there are 18 other teams more than willing to carry this flag. We’ll change this up as needed (accuracy is our prime value). And don’t underestimate our willingness to choose the 20th franchise as NGT (it’s a no-lose proposition).

We have content to churn, people. The narrative’s already in place.

ProSoccerTalk Next Greatest Team of All Time

May 7, 2012 – present: Seattle Sounders

Morgan, USWNT cruise past Costa Rica 5-0 behind early flurry of goals

2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying at Toyota Stadium on February 10, 2016 in Frisco, Texas.
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The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.

Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.

[ VIDEO: Alex Morgan caps off a 12-second, six-pass goal ]

The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.

The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.

With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.

VIDEO: Alex Morgan scores goal against Costa Rica in 12 seconds

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The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.

According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.

According to CONCACAF, the goal is also the quickest in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, breaking Abby Wambach’s of 35 seconds in a 14-0 domination of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The United States scored three goals in the first 15 minutes against Costa Rica tonight. They will take on Mexico and Puerto Rico across the next five days.

Watch Live: USWNT vs Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Alex Morgan #13 after a goal against Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium on January 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The United States women are set to begin Group A play in Olympic qualification, taking on 36th ranked Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The game takes place after a 17-day camp at the national training camp in Carson, California.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Other teams in the group include Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Mexicans dominated Puerto Rico 6-0 in the first game.

LINEUP

United States: Solo; Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg; Brian, Horan, Dunn, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.