Germany's defender Arne Friedrich is pic

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.

Morgan, USWNT cruise past Costa Rica 5-0 behind early flurry of goals

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The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.

Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.

[ VIDEO: Alex Morgan caps off a 12-second, six-pass goal ]

The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.

The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.

With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.

VIDEO: Alex Morgan scores goal against Costa Rica in 12 seconds

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The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.

According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.

According to CONCACAF, the goal is also the quickest in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, breaking Abby Wambach’s of 35 seconds in a 14-0 domination of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The United States scored three goals in the first 15 minutes against Costa Rica tonight. They will take on Mexico and Puerto Rico across the next five days.

Watch Live: USWNT vs Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Alex Morgan #13 after a goal against Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium on January 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The United States women are set to begin Group A play in Olympic qualification, taking on 36th ranked Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The game takes place after a 17-day camp at the national training camp in Carson, California.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Other teams in the group include Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Mexicans dominated Puerto Rico 6-0 in the first game.

LINEUP

United States: Solo; Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg; Brian, Horan, Dunn, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

NYCFC
New York City FC
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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.