The East is stacked this year. There are plenty of reasons to believe D.C. United will go a step further in 2013, having come so close to arrival into the MLS Cup final last fall.
New York has talent across the field and a coach that the Red Bulls are now connecting with in Mike Petke.
Houston, the two-time MLS Cup runner-up, has fortified its roster. Sporting Kansas City, Chicago and Columbus have reasons to like their outlooks in 2013.
But is there one team we aren’t talking enough about?
No, we shouldn’t read too much into the Montreal Impact’s title in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic tournament. It’s just a preseason tournament, after all. Justin Mapp had the game-winner in the Impact’s 1-0 win Saturday in the tournament final at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
But perhaps the confidence being shown by first-year coach Marco Schällibaum and some of his veteran players does tell us something. The manager seemed especially pleased with the back line of Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta and Hassoun Camara.
We are very satisfied with the tournament. We finished this game very professionally and we were almost perfect defensively. We came away with the trophy and are heading back on a high note.”
Keeping Nesta healthy and strategically rested should be a high priority for Schällibaum as he figures out MLS. One thing he’ll have to understand quickly is the heavy toll that travel takes over such a big country (while soon playing games in some fairly oppressive conditions). It’s one of the elements most likely to catch foreign managers unawares as they navigate MLS the first time around.
(MORE: ProSoccerTalk’s team preview on the Impact)
For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.
[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]
Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.
Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig
Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.
The rest of Tuesday’s scores
Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
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.
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.