Real Salt Lake’s important center back was red carded in the 58th minute last night, reducing his team’s chances of rallying from a 1-0 deficit in their CONCACAF Champions League loss to Costa Rica’s Herediano.
This is where inferior, overly lenient quality of MLS refereeing hurts players from the league.
Borchers and some RSL backers thought the red card was soft. And perhaps it was – but here comes the caveat – by MLS standards.
Yes, Borchers probably gets away with that in MLS, where officials still too happily avert their eyes at overly physical and reckless challenges. It’s getting better, but it isn’t there yet.
(MORE: Why RSL need not panic over last night’s CCL loss.)
So MLS players instincts and tendencies are trained one way while the international game is often called another way. You can judge for yourself, but when I saw it full speed, saw Borchers lunge in with his cleats up, I thought, “Uh-oh!”
At the very least, even RSL backers must permit this: on the road, at a place on the field where Borchers absolutely didn’t need to be so aggressive, it was a mistake to give the referee an opportunity to make a game-changing call.
That’s what I say; you make up your own mind. Here are last night’s highlights, which include three quality stops from RSL goalkeeper Nick RImando, plus some opportunities that RSL simply must convert if they want to be CONCACAF big dogs.
MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.
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Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.
But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.
Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.
Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.
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However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.
In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.
[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]
According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.
Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.
The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.
The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.
First Dax McCarty ahead of the 2017 season, and now Sacha Kljestan?
It seems as though the New York Red Bulls could be on the verge of trading away yet another club captain this offseason.
[ MORE: LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman ]
According to Metro, Los Angeles FC is close to trading for Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan.
The U.S. Men’s National Team attacker has led Major League Soccer in assists over the last two seasons, and has served as an integral piece in the Red Bulls midfield since joining the club in 2015.
The Red Bulls made Kljestan club captain ahead of the 2017 season when former midfielder Dax McCarty was traded away to the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.
Kljestan spent the first five seasons of his MLS career with now-defunct side Chivas USA, before playing in Europe Belgian club Anderlecht.
It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.
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After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.
LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.
The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.
“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”
With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.
The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.