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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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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.

Ronaldo shows no sign of injury while hanging with Conor McGregor

instagram.com/cristiano/
instagram.com/cristiano/
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Cristiano Ronaldo may not be ready for the UEFA Super Cup, but he’s no longer limping around.

To explore the Real Madrid superstar’s Instagram is to see Ronaldo, sometimes clothed, hanging out with celebrities.

In the last couple weeks we’ve seen him with Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, and now his “bro” Conor McGregor.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Wait, what?

Yeah, Ronaldo is friends with the MMA star, and showed no ill form (and no brace of any kind) in several posed photos with McGregor.

Although admittedly, McGregor’s IG game is a bit better: The Irish fighter posted a photo of himself sunning in his briefs with the caption, “I’m gonna get him on the Forbes list by next year. But I’m gonna get him on the tan by next week.”

Good luck with both, bro.

Great to see you bro!!💪🏽🔝

A photo posted by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jul 24, 2016 at 3:48pm PD

Bruce pens letter to Hull fans: “Desperately wanted to make it work”

YORK, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Steve Bruce manager of  Hull City ahead of the pre-season friendly match between York City and Hull City at Bootham Cresent on July 23, 2014  in York, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
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Many Hull City fans didn’t want Steve Bruce to leave the club, and this open letter shows why.

After leaving the club by “mutual consent” on Friday — it was first widely reported that he quit — fans protested at Hull’s game on Monday.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

Bruce may’ve had his problems with Hull’s ownership, but he certainly got his supporters’ feelings right down to the core.

From the Hull Daily Mail:

My biggest regret is having to walk away but it was a decision I had to make for the sake of the club. The last 12 months have been very tough and it felt like the right step for the club to move forward in a different direction and with someone else in charge.

I desperately wanted to make it work this summer and be a Premier League manager again but, sadly, it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, I’ve left Hull City with some fantastic memories that I’ll always cherish, including just eight weeks ago in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Class from the longtime boss, and we imagine he’ll have a job very soon if he wants it.

Report: Everton to activate release clause of Stoke’s Arnautovic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Marko Arnautovic (1st L) of Stoke City competes for the ball against Seamus Coleman (2nd L) and Gareth Barry (1st Rof Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on December 28, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
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Everton is going to activate Marko Arnautovic‘s $16 million release clause to bring the Stoke City striker to Goodison Park, according to a report out of Austria.

Stoke had been trying to sign Arnautovic to a contract extension, but the player was reportedly prepared to play out the final year of his deal.

[ MORE: Who wins the League of Hate? ]

The huge 27-year-old Austrian has been with Stoke since 2013, and broke through with 11 Premier League goals last season.

Arnautovic would give Everton support behind Romelu Lukaku, and insurance in case the Toffees do wind up selling their Belgian striker. Everton also has Arouna Kone as a potential target forward, but Oumar Niasse is expecting to leave after less than a year at Goodison Park.

Chelsea wins the League… of Hate; Bournemouth, Leicester not hated

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 27:  Diego Costa of Chelsea celebrates his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on February 27, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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A family of English newspapers conducted its annual survey of which teams are the most hated in the Premier League, and there’s a new champion.

Manchester United has dropped to second in the table to Chelsea in what the Manchester Evening News called the “League of Hate”.

[ MORE: Rooney’s England position not set ]

According to the MEN, 10,000 fans were quizzed on their love and hate:

A national survey asked fans of each top flight club which sides they hate, and which they love, and the west London club came out as the most disliked club overall.

United, who won the dubious accolade last year, have been revealed to be the next most reviled side.

It’s no surprise that the league’s more successful sides sit atop the table while newer PL clubs like Bournemouth and Burnley are not reviled. That said, Leicester’s dream story has them 19th. How much more success do they need to have before shooting up the hate table?

Here’s the Top Five, and all results:

1) Chelsea
2) Manchester United
3) Liverpool
4) Manchester City
5) Arsenal