ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

Leave a comment

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

19. FC Dallas – Dallas desperately needed to take four of six points, at the very least, from two home matches last year. But just one goal scored meant two draws, and the Western Conference’s last-place team will surely rue the missed opportunity. At least David Ferreira is back on the field.

18. Portland Timbers – The John Spencer era is over. One question about all this: if the Timbers aren’t going to make a hire until after the season, as it appears, why make a move now? What, exactly, is the purpose of having an interim manager for half the season, especially when playoffs are still in sight?

17. Toronto FC – Things were going so well under Paul Mariner, but a solid thumping at Philadelphia brought things down. Danny Koevermans failed to score for the first time in five games.

16. Montréal Impact – Things are suddenly looking bright and sunny at Stade Saputo after a recent run of yukky performances.  Alessandro Nesta (pictured) is in training and headed toward his MLS debut. Meanwhile, the team rallied from a goal down with two late goals in a win over Columbus.

15. Philadelphia Union – A week of massive accomplishment for John Hackworth, who has the Union playing with a lot of confidence. The result is a win at Los Angele and a solid 3-0 clobbering of Toronto FC back in Philadelphia. Players performing at top rev at the moment: Michael Farfan and Freddy Adu.

14. Chivas USA – The Goats applied pressure aplenty on Vancouver, which needed heroic goalkeeping from Joe Cannon to hold the game to a scoreless draw. Still, if Robin Fraser’s men are to make some progress in the standings, they simply must do better at home. Amazingly, Chivas USA has just five goals in 10 homes matches.

13. Colorado Rapids – Lots of talkers around camp Rapids: they came close to equalizing at the end of a loss to Seattle; Brian Mullan and Steve Zakuani created some closure on their shared, regrettable episode; trusty fullback Kosuke Kimura went to the Timbers for allocation money and an international player slot, and; international reinforcement appears to be on the way. Martin Rivero was strong in the Seattle loss, but he blew a golden opportunity late.

source: Getty Images

12. Columbus Crew – Things looked good after 75 minutes for the Crew to scoop up a big three points on the road. It wasn’t pretty, but three points is three point. Alas, Robert Warzycha’s men threw it away, allowing two late goals for Montreal. Andy Gruenebaum (pictured right) wasn’t among the MLS All-Stars picked by fans (and announced Sunday), but he’ll surely be one of Ben Olsen’s picks this weekend.

11. New England Revolution – Constant pressure finally paid off as New England undressed New York, once again, at Gillette Stadium.  Lee Nguyen keeps finding ways to influence matches, while newly signed DP striker Jerry Bengtson debuted with a scrappy little goal. Meanwhile, Matt Reis’ benching seems to have flown slightly below radar; it was a bold call from manager Jay Heaps.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

Peter Byrne/PA via AP
Leave a comment

NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Leave a comment

If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty images
Leave a comment

Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
1 Comment

Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.