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.

Brazil’s Gremio wins Recopa Sudamericana in penalty shootout

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PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) Brazil’s Gremio has won the Recopa Sudamericana, beating Argentina’s Independiente 5-4 in a penalty shootout Wednesday night.

The two-legged final ended 1-1 on aggregate, with no goals scored after 120 minutes in the second.

The winners of last year’s Copa Libertadores overcame the holders of Copa Sudamericana after goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe stopped the last penalty of the series, taken by Independiente’s striker Martin Benitez.

The Recopa is played between the champions of South America’s two most important tournaments.

Independiente played most of the match down to 10 players after defender Fernando Amorebieta was sent off after 38 minutes.

The Brazilians made most of the pressure until the end of extra time, but failed to score.

Gremio also won the Recopa in 1996.

CCL wrap: FC Dallas disappoints; Club America struts (video)

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The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas

Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.

Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.

Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America

Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.

Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET

Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.

West Ham to friendly neighbors Dag & Red: “Will help save our club”

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English Conference Premier side Dagenham and Redbridge has seen better days, and is getting a hand from a Premier League pal.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

West Ham United will pay a visit to Dag & Red as part of the latter’s #SaveTheDaggers campaign, and the March 21 date will cost fans between $7 and $21 to see a top flight side at 6,000-seat Victoria Road.

Dagenham and Redbridge chairman Paul Gwinn said, “It really will help save our club.”

“So please come on down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium for an additional night of football. Bring a friend, or two, or more and we can use the gate takings to help get us back on track,” reads a press release.

Dag & Red was founded in 1992 and climbed as high as League One in 2011, and plays just 2.5 miles from West Ham United’s training ground. Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are among Dag & Red alums in the Premier League.

It’s a terrific gesture from West Ham, and is even more impressive in the United States where the growing club game is increasingly cutthroat (especially between non-synced leagues).

Angry Di Francesco extremely quotable after Roma loss

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AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.

Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.

[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.

4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”

— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.

3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”

— Schoolboy errors!

2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”

— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.

1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”

— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.