ProSoccerTalk daily soccer re-set

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Birthdays of Note: Who was the last defender to win the Ballon d’Or? The question’s not that difficult because it wasn’t that long ago. Fabio Cannavaro, after leading Italy to the 2006 World Cup, beat out teammate Gianluigi Buffon and Arsenal’s Thierry Henry to win world player of the year. Today, just over one year after retiring from professional soccer, the former Juventus and Real Madrid star turns 38.

Big Important Story of the Day: We still have little idea how much the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report will ripple through English society, but on Thursday, we’ll get a better idea. Yesterday we saw the initial shock (and, more often than not, disgust). Today we’ll likely get a clue as to the implications, including possible civil action against those who perpetrated the fraud.

Ahead on the blog today*: If it’s Thursday, then we’re bound to hear from Mr. Noah Davis, who is in Portland ahead of Saturday’s big game.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Anson Dorrance, though given he was mentioned in a post last week, the name’s not so random.

Twitter daps: Some remnants from Tuesday – thoughts that trickled in throughout the last two days:

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PST background noise while blogging today: For so many people, it’s the last thing they do each day. For me, it’s part of the morning ritual. The Daily Show’s playing on one monitor, but since the show’s on hiatus this week, I’ll just have to be content with a re-run.

We’ll leave you with this: International breaks are a nice change of pace, but it’s going to be good to have the day-to-day rhythm of the club scene back, including a full slate of Major League Soccer action (with two games on Friday). There’s still nothing quite like a U.S. national team matchday, but that three-day span between matches? When there’s no other soccer happening? Just put us out of our misery.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

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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.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

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.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

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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.

Report: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan

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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.

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

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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.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

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.