ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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Here are Nos. 11-19 of ProSoccerTalk’s weekly countdown following Round 2.

(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)

19. Chicago Fire – A real stinker against LA Galaxy (4-0 two weeks ago) is harder to write off after the Fire also blew its home opener, falling to New England last week at Toyota Park, 1-0. And now valuable defender Arne Friedrich is out for a few weeks. Yikes.

18. Colorado Rapids – The debilitating pile-up of injuries continue for Oscar Pareja’s team, with Pablo Mastroeni now joining Martin Rivero and Jaime Castrillon inside the DSG infirmary. Thing is, these aren’t just starters, they are important, veteran linchpins. Hard times, man. Hard times. Especially when the  ‘Pids drop their home opener.

17. FC Dallas – The only real encouraging news for FCD supporters following two messy performances: Schellas Hyndman’s teams always start slowly. On the other hand, the timing doesn’t favor good tidings for Rivalry Week; FCD meets Houston in the Texas derby Sunday.

16. Chivas USA – The era of “El Chelis” scored its first “W” over the weekend, and young U.S. international Juan Agudelo got his scoring year off to a start. Hurray for that! So which was the more representative version of Chivas USA, the one that took down Dallas at home last weekend? Or the less feisty version that fell by three goals at home (to Columbus) a week earlier? Bet we’ll know more after Sunday’s Rivalry Week clash with the LA Galaxy.

15. Portland Timbers – The team’s image makeover under Caleb Porter seems to be working; some of the soccer now being played on that mercifully widened Jeld-Wen Field is swell stuff, indeed. But the bottom line is about results, as we know, and the team simply cannot give up goals at home at the currently alarming rate of 2.5 a game. No sum of pretty soccer can overcome such a thing.

14. Philadelphia Union – Young striker Jack McInerney found an unlikely game-winner on the road last week. Quite a turnabout from days before, when the Union looked fairly dreadful at home over the last 60 minutes of a loss to Sporting Kansas City. It all makes you wonder if this will be the wildly inconsistent way all year for manager John Hackworth, who does still have quite a young team. Remember, we’ve told you all about that before.

13. Toronto FC – While it’s hard to know exactly what to make of last week’s win over a Sporting KC side that clearly has much to figure out, there was bottom-line value as TFC collected Ryan Nelsen’s first managerial win. And big credit for that. In two matches under its new Kiwi coach, the team has already demonstrated worthy progress in terms of commitment and understanding roles. That won’t carry the day over a long campaign, but it’s a great start in the latest rebuild for the habitually rebuilding Reds.

12. New York Red Bulls – Thierry Henry has not blasted teammates yet for that tactically questionable, technically weak and rather brain dead (looking at you, Roy Miller) final 45 minutes Sunday against Sunday in San Jose. Then again, it’s only mid-day Tuesday.

11. Seattle Sounders – We fully expect the Sounders to make their way reliably up this list, and possibly quite soon. Obafemi Martins’ imminent arrival will certainly help. Still, we’ll put one hand on the alarm bell after last week’s surprising loss at home to (admittedly surprising) Montreal. And who knows what kind of psychological dent a hammer blow from tonight’s Champions League proceedings might leave?.

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

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FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

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A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

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The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176M for Coutinho

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Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.