Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Colorado Rapids

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

Leave a comment

Congratulations to Toronto FC for finally relinquishing the bottom spot following Round 17. Dallas and Portland, what say you? Here are Nos. 11-19 in the ProSoccerTalk’s rankings countdown.

(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)

19. FC Dallas – Signs abound that a David Ferreira appearance, the first in almost 14 months, is on the docket for Wednesday’s home game against Toronto. Not a moment too soon for a club that hasn’t won since April 14. Yes, April 14.

18. Portland Timbers – That win two weeks ago over Seattle took some heat out of the Jeld-Wen air, but the spirit of good feeling won’t last. Especially not after the meek performance in a subsequent 3-0 loss at Colorado.

17. Toronto FC – A huge week for Paul Mariner’s Reds, who are now 1-1-3 under their new boss. Round 17 brought a road win (a convincing one, 3-0 over Montreal) and a draw against one of the Eastern top dogs (New York). Danny Koevermans and Torsten Frings – those two are flat out getting it done at the moment.

16. Philadelphia Union – The visitors huffed and puffed but couldn’t push through a late one in Houston, where John Hackworth’s team put out a good effort in a 2-1 loss. Meanwhile, the front office reshuffle continues; the club booted scouting director Diego Gutierrez and youth director Alecko Eskandarian.

15. Montréal Impact – A pair of 3-0 defeats last week will make Jesse Marsch and Co. eager to put things right during Sporting Kansas City’s mid-week visit Wednesday. Meanwhile, this Alessandro Nesta business is terribly exciting; Reports out of Europe say an offer is on the table.

14. Chivas USA – Last week’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal win is surely good news in the land of the Goat, but it does jam up the schedule going forward. Now Robin Fraser’s men will play four matches in 15 days starting this weekend. That difficult dash includes next week’s Open Cup semifinal at Seattle.

13. Colorado Rapids – Midfielder Jaime Castrillon had perhaps his most outstanding match as a Rapids man in a 3-0 win over Portland. And more good news for Oscar Pareja’s team: veteran midfielder Jamie Smith (pictured) got 17 minutes (and even scored a goal) in Saturday’s contest.

12. New England Revolution – The New England side is becoming San Jose of the East. In other words, no lead is safe. For the second consecutive week, Jay Heaps’ men took it the last kick, equalizing at the whistle against Seattle. Diego Fagundez and Fernando Cardenas were both excellent off the bench.

11. Seattle Sounders – They lost a late lead to New England, extending the winless (and hapless) run in MLS games to eight. The central defense needs shoring up, something fierce. No one can complain about Eddie Johnson’s production, at least; the first-year Sounders striker leads his team with seven goals.

USA 4-0 Panama: United States top Group A

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 01:  Jordan Morris #9 of the USA celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 1st minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying match against Canada at Sporting Park on October 1, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The United States U-23 team exploded for four goals in the second half to down Panama 4-0, as the U.S. finish atop Group A in Olympic qualifying with a perfect three wins from three matches.

They advance to the semifinals, where they will face either Mexico or Honduras.

Thanks to a 2-2 draw between Canada and Cuba earlier in the evening, the U.S. had already clinched the top spot in Group A before this match began. With the United States’ win, Canada also advances into the semifinals as the second-place team.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The U.S. had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 11th minute, but Panama goalkeeper Elieser Powell made a higlight-reel save on Gedion Zelalem. Maki Tall moved in and fired a low shot on goal, forcing Powell to dive down and make a stop. The rebound rolled right out to Zelalem, who had the whole goal in front of him, but somehow Powell reached to get a hand on it, deflecting the shot over the bar.

Tied 0-0 at halftime, Andreas Herzog made some adjustments to his lineup, bringing in Jordan Morris and Jerome Kiesewetter for Tall and Zelalem. The substitutions paid immediate dividends, as the United States jumped out to a three-goal lead within minutes.

[ MORE: Donovan believes Klinsmann should be fired if USMNT loses to Mexico ]

In the 51st minute, Gboly Ariyibi’s cross took a deflection off Fidel Escobar and into the net, ruled an own goal on the Panamanian defender.

Two minutes later, substitute Jerome Kiesewetter took a pass from Luis Gil and fired a right-footed shot from a tight angle to the far post, doubling the United States’ lead. It was a very clean finish from the German-born Stuttgart product.

Three minutes after scoring a goal, Kiesewetter grabbed an assist as he combined with fellow substitute Jordan Morris to make it 3-0. Kiesewetter ran down the right wing and played a low cross in, where Morris tapped home his third goal of the tournament.

Kiesewetter continued his stellar half, blowing by a defender before doing well to draw a foul in the box. Luis Gil stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty, as the U.S. went 4-0 up in the 71st minute.

With the result, the United States heads into the semifinals with a +11 goal differential, outscoring their opponents 13-2 in the group stage. A win in the semis would guarantee the U.S. a spot in the 2016 Olympics.

Bayern, Germany legend Gerd Muller suffering from Alzheimer’s

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY  01:  Gerd Muller during a media event discussing the Golden Boot comptetition in the FIFA 2010 World Cup held at the adidas Jo'bulani Central in Sandton Convention Centre on July 1, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images for adidas)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bayern Munich has confirmed that legendary goalscorer Gerd Muller is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Muller’s 70th birthday is in November, and the club published a statement that no celebrations would be held due to his ongoing treatment.

One of the greatest strikers to ever play the game, Muller scored 525 goals during his 15-years with Bayern, the most in club history. Karl Heinze-Rummenigge is Bayern’s second leading goalscorer with 218 goals.

[ RELATED: Klopp being coy over links to Liverpool job ]

Rummenigge currently serves as the club’s director, and spoke about Muller’s legacy.

Gerd Müller is one of the all-time greats of world football. Without his goals, Bayern Munich and German football would not be what it is today.

There will probably never be another goalscorer like Gerd, yet despite all his successes, he was always very humble and reserved, which particularly impressed me.

He was a fantastic team-mate and is a friend. Gerd will always enjoy a place in the Bayern family.

After he ended his playing career, he brought his experience as a coach of youngsters to the club, helping define the likes of world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, and we are also grateful to him for this.

Muller won the Golden Boot at the 1970 World Cup with ten goals, helping West Germany to a third-place finish. That same year he won the Ballon d’Or as the best player in the world, and helped the West German team capture the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.

[ RELATED: Court drops tax evasion charges against Lionel Messi ]

He is one of the top scorers in German national team history with 68 goals, second only to Miroslav Klose’s 71. However, Muller reached 68 goals in just 62 caps, while it took Klose 137 appearances to reach his mark. His 14 World Cup goals are third all-time to Klose (16) and Ronaldo (14).