ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

U.S. international Edgar Castillo, notable because he played three times for Mexico before then playing for the United States, turns 26 today.

And since I am a huge fan of the Bourne series, Matt Damon turns 42.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

The United States roster comes out for its latest pair of qualifiers, Friday in Antigua and then next week here against Guatemala. We already know one surprise, Eddie Johnson’s apparent inclusion. But there may be more surprises ahead; Jurgen Klinsmann has certainly demonstrated a lack of predictability where his selections are concerned.

The subplot here, one that related directly to Klinsmann’s latest call-ups, is Landon Donovan’s status. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena likes to make a big mystery of injuries, always playing fast and loose with the facts in these matters. But we’ll know a little more, at very least, on Monday. If Donovan is on the roster when U.S. Soccer releases it at 3 p.m. ET, then he’s OK. If he’s not named to the U.S. squad – well, we still don’t know much about the left knee injury, but we know a little more.

(MORE: Landon Donovan’s injury, with enough concern to go around)

(MORE: With little margin for error, Klinsmann wants greater focus)

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day):  Alecko Eskandarian

*Ahead on the blog today: Plenty. Thoughts on the U.S. roster, and something on Klinsmann news conference (at 3:30 p.m. ET) to discuss it.

Some thoughts on a U.S. Soccer decision that chaps my hiney.

We’ll talk a little more about the sensational scene last night in Seattle (pictured), where the Sounders fans went “all in.”

And the Monday usual, MLS Team of the Week, MLS Player of the Week and the Monday “Meh” list.

Twitter daps:

source:

If the MLS playoffs started today (following 28 rounds):

Eastern Conference

(Wildcard round)

  • Houston at New York

(Second round)

  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
  • Chicago vs. D.C. United

Western Conference:

(Wildcard round)

  • Vancouver Whitecaps at L.A. Galaxy

(Second Round)

  • San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
  • Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle

PST background noise while blogging today:  Sports talk. What a fantastic time of year.

We’ll leave you with this: How referee Mark Geiger could allow Kansas City’s Kei Kamara (or any player, for that matter) to get in his face and scream at him underscores how the league absolutely must empower – let’s make that require – match officials to demand players comport themselves more appropriately. This is what we want kids to see? This is the example everyone wants to set? That’s pitiful.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is…

Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy ]

Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

Follow @NicholasMendola

The Best: Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi — Is there a front-runner?

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While France Football has its Ballon d’Or winner somewhere on a 30-man shortlist, FIFA’s “Best” men’s player is down to an unsurprising three ahead of Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are up for the award, and there was no major summer tournament outside of the Confederations Cup — only Ronaldo participated — to help tilt the scales in one’s favor this summer.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Of course, Ronaldo claimed another UEFA Champions League crown, but was far from the simple standout of the club. In international play, both Ronaldo and Messi’s World Cup qualifying campaigns came down to the wire while Neymar captained Brazil’s dominant ride through CONMEBOL.

The award, which is said to be for on- and off-field behavior, was voted on by national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans.

Ronaldo is the favorite according to hardware, while Messi’s numbers and Neymar’s playmaking both can lay claim to the throne.

Stats since start of 2017

Lionel Messi

Club goals: 46
Club assists: 16
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 4
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Neymar

Club goals: 24
Club assists: 21
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 2
Country assists: 3
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals: 31
Club assists: 7
Country caps: 11
Country goals: 11
Country assists: 4
Accolades: Confederations Cup semifinal, World Cup qualifier, Champions League winner, La Liga winner

Follow @NicholasMendola

Mbappe wins Golden Boy over Rashford, Pulisic, Gabriel Jesus

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Paris Saint-Germain, France, and (former) Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has claimed the Golden Boy Award over Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and others.

[ MORE: TFC sets MLS record ]

The Golden Boy is chosen from the top Under-21 players in Europe, and the short list had the above names and 22 more including Gabriel Jesus, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Marcus Rashford.

Mbappe, still 18 until Dec. 20, has four goals and four assists this season for PSG after scoring 26 goals with 14 assists for Monaco last season. He also has a goal for France.

The teenager likely played the biggest role at the biggest club last season, though Donnarumma was exceptional at Milan, Jesus’ injury conspired against him at Man City, and Marcus Rashford was very good for United.

Follow @NicholasMendola