The Top Ten in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings

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It’s all going right for San Jose, which retains top spot in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS quality rearrangement:

(MORE: Nos. 11-19 in the weekly countdown are here.)

10. Vancouver Whitecaps – These are bold moves being made at BC Place, rearranging the offensive personnel as they are. Yes, the goal production needed a boost. But to rejigger a second-year club (so long, Davide Chiumiento and Sebastien Le Toux) that was en route to the playoffs? Looks mighty risky.

9. Seattle Sounders – No sooner did Alvaro Fernandez get forward to hammer home an important goal in the club’s 2-2 draw in New York than stories began to circulate of his potential departure or loan to Colombia’s Deportivo Cali. Fredy Montero came off the bench to net the second-half equalizer. He seems OK coming off the bench. For now.

8. Houston Dynamo – Hard to know what to make of Sunday’s big walloping of D.C. United, which had so much to deal with after going down a man midway through the first half. Will that 5-0 result be Geoff Cameron’s last match? (If so, it sure was a good one for him.)

7. Chicago Fire – The Fire has reason to be upset about defender Arne Freidrich’s ejection (and subsequent suspension). The man in the middle seemed to tag the wrong offender on the play in question. Still, Pavel Pardo’s pinpoint free kick and some good defending late got Chicago back in the win column after last week’s loss to Los Angeles.

6. Los Angeles Galaxy – The national TV ratings were strong for Saturday’s 5-3 win at Portland, and what a crackerjack match they saw. (Defense? Let’s go with “optional.”) David Beckham struck two beauties and Landon Donovan’s 100th assist left the U.S. international in very exclusive company.

5. New York Red Bulls – What you have to ask yourself about this team: Is holding serve acceptable while they get a little healthier? I say that Hans Backe’s boys are doing fine. Others may see a team that’s collected 6 of a possible 15 points lately and want more. One thing is certain: Kenny Cooper is doubly as effective when Thierry Henry is buzzing around. Then again, who wouldn’t be?

4. Real Salt Lake – Consider this troubling scene: You go on the road, facing a quality side, you lose an important player and get stuck behind the 8 ball with just 10 men. Things get away from you and before anyone knows it, you’re just some poor schmoe on the business end of a back alley beating. The Utah club fell hard at San Jose (5-0) and now faces rival Colorado without the suspended Kyle Beckerman.

source: Getty Images

3. D.C. United – That thing I just said about RSL, well, there’s a lot of it going around. Ben Olsen was upset that his team didn’t show more fight in a 4-0 loss to Houston. But, honestly, playing 70 minutes a man down in muggy Houston – that’s just never going to end well. United has lost two of three.

2. Sporting Kansas City – The boys of Livestrong are unbeaten in their last three after professionally nursing home a 2-0 win at Columbus. Isn’t this about where Sporting KC started gaining real momentum last year? Their tough week in Round 20 starts Wednesday in Houston.  Roger Espinoza (pictured), playing so well and perhaps SKC’s best midfielder this year, will miss as much as a month while on Olympic duty with Honduras.

1. San Jose Earthquakes – The big showdown with Real Salt Lake was a 1-0 match until the visitors went a man down. Chris Wondolowski (a hat trick gives him 17 for the year) and the rest of the Earthquakes took full advantage, running away with an eye-catching 5-0 result. After a little hiccup two weeks ago in Portland, it’s all going right once again with the boys from Buck Shaw.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.