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.

CONCACAF: USMNT, Trinidad & Tobago seek first points of Hexagonal

Elsa/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Through two rounds of play in the Hexagonal, everything has gone according to plan for Mexico and Costa Rica.

Not so much though for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT hosts Honduras as WCQ resumes ]

While Los Ticos and El Tri currently sit in the top two positions of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the U.S. is left at the bottom and faces a difficult match against Honduras when play resumes on Friday night.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras match ]

Mexico and Costa Rica will face off at the Estadio Azteca in the second of Friday’s three slated qualifiers, and while both nations surely expect to reach the World Cup in Russia, both CONCACAF heavyweights have the opportunity to put their stamp on the group.

For Costa Rica, a victory could potentially open up a five-point gap over El Tri, while a win for Mexico would bring Juan Carlos Osorio’s side the opportunity leap over their Central American foes.

Friday’s action will kick off at 7 p.m. though when third place Panama travels to Trinidad & Tobago, who seeks its first points of the Hex. Trinidad will be led by captain Kenwyne Jones of Atlanta United as well as Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino, with the duo scoring a combined 39 international goals for the Soca Warriors.

Below is the schedule and current table ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF matches as the region turns its attention to Matchday 3 of the Hexagonal.


Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama — 7 p.m. ET

Mexico vs. Costa Rica — 9:50 p.m. ET

USMNT vs. Honduras — 10:30 p.m. ET (PREVIEW)


1. Costa Rica — 2-0-0 — 6 pts.
2. Mexico — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
3. Panama — 1-1-0 — 4 pts.
4. Honduras — 1-0-1 — 3 pts.
5. Trinidad & Tobago — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.
6. USMNT — 0-0-2 — 0 pts.

Spurs allowed to play all home matches at Wembley next season

Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tottenham was granted the right to play all of its home matches at Wembley Stadium for the 2017/18 season, but the club must now make a decision whether or not to remain at White Hart Lane for another year.

[ MORE: Man City weighing massive offer for Milan’s Donnarumma ]

The club’s application was granted on Thursday by Brent Council’s planning committee, giving Spurs the option to move into Wembley next season for all 27 home Premier League fixtures.

Spurs must decide if it will go ahead with that move though by March 31.

Tottenham continues to play at White Hart Lane while its new stadium, located next door to its current venue, is being constructed. The current plan is that the new venue will be open ahead of the 2019/2020 campaign, but the club is said to be weighing all of its options in the event that it could be ready for the 2018/19 season.

Prosecutors question Beckenbauer in World Cup fraud case

Boris Streubel/Getty Images
Leave a comment

BERN, Switzerland (AP) Swiss authorities say prosecutors have questioned Germany soccer great Franz Beckenbauer in their ongoing World Cup fraud case.

[ MORE: Shorthanded USMNT looks to build momentum vs. Honduras ]

Criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee were opened in 2015. The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement, and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7 million) to FIFA in 2005.

[ MORE: Five questions for USMNT ahead of Honduras WCQ ]

The Swiss attorney general’s office said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday that federal prosecutors questioned Beckenbauer earlier in the day in Bern, adding that “Beckenbauer was cooperative.”

Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was raided last year for evidence on behalf of Swiss federal prosecutors investigating corruption linked to FIFA.

Report: Man City launching massive bid for AC Milan’s Donnarumma

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images
1 Comment

Gianluigi Donnarumma has quickly established himself as the best young goalkeeper in European soccer, and AC Milan won’t be letting the 18-year-old go without a pretty penny in return.

[ MORE: Schedule, preview for UEFA World Cup qualifying ]

According to Sky Sport Italia, Manchester City is preparing a massive bid in the range of $130 to $160 million to acquire the AC Milan shot-stopper as the English side’s goalkeeping situation is still unsettled.

The Citizens have failed to hunker down at the goalkeeper position this season despite spending big to bring in Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, who has underperformed. Willy Caballero has also been shaky at times for the English giants, while on-loan keeper Joe Hart will almost certainly move on from the club over the summer.

Donnarumma is currently second in Serie A in saves (110), trailing only Crotone’s Alex Cordaz, who has stopped two more shots.

Since turning professional in 2015, Donnarumma has quickly enjoyed his rise through Italian football for both AC Milan and with the national team. After previously featuring for the Under-15, U-17 and U-21 sides, Donnarumma has established himself as the surefire replacement for Gianluigi Buffon once he retires from the international game.