ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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Here are Nos. 11-19 of ProSoccerTalk’s weekly countdown following Round 3.

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

19. Chicago Fire – Who could blame Frank Klopas for parking the bus in Kansas City? The Fire needed a result after two clunkers and got the job done in a scoreless draw at Sporting Park. Chris Rolfe, emerging from a sluggish 2013 start, gave the team just enough offensive threat to keep SKC honest.

18. Colorado Rapids – What a pro debut for Clinton Irwin, who replaced fallen goalkeeper Matt Pickens and got the doggone job done in a 1-1 road draw with Real Salt Lake. Deshorn Brown? Keep an eye on that kid. (He made our weekly Best XI, you know.)

17. Chivas USA – The young Goats are playing hard for manager “El Chelis.”  And if you’re looking for wonderful backstories, check out this one about Carlos Alvarez, who nailed the late equalizer in a dramatic 1-1 draw in the L.A. Derby. That young man has Chivas in his bones!

16. Toronto FC – Ryan Nelsen’s team made it tough on Montreal, pressing the home side at the end in a 2-1 loss. Terry Dunfield is far from the most graceful man in MLS, and he’s certainly an unheralded sort, but the guy tends to get the job done.

15. Seattle Sounders – CONCACAF hangover much? None of the teams that played second-leg quarterfinals last week won their Round 3 MLS contest a few nights later. Seattle included, as Sigi Schmid’s men dropped two points in a Cascadia Cup match by conceding a late equalizer to Portland. On the other hand, Steve Zakuani’s curling ball to Eddie Johnson was an absolute beauty.

14. Portland Timbers – Talk about your big leaps forward – and big sighs of relief. After two disappointing results at home, Caleb Porter’s team had to go on the road to grab a slice of MLS success. The moment was big, and Rodney Wallace (pictured) rose to it with his 91st-minute header in a 1-1 draw with Seattle.

13. New York Red Bulls – Thierry Henry will miss this week’s match on the artificial turf of Montreal. Whoa! Who saw that coming? Oh … wait a minute. We kinda did see that coming.

12. New England Revolution – A loss at Philadelphia will be a little easier to stomach thanks to a season-opening win on the road. Jay Heaps’ team opens its 17-game home schedule Saturday – and let’s hope they don’t need the orange balls for this one. C’mon, Spring. You can do it!

11. FC Dallas – Kenny Cooper’s late strike was huge in a 3-2 win over Houston. And Cooper was front and center in the big talker of the weekend, too. Busy lad, that one.

Official (finally): Salah completes move from Roma to Liverpool

Photo credit: Liverpool FC / Twiter: @LFC
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It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.

Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.

The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million, and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.

Alexis sets the record, but Germany come back for draw

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Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time leading goalscorer (38) on Thursday, and La Roja inched ever closer to progression at the 2017 Confederations Cup with a 1-1 draw against Germany.

[ MORE: VAR steps in to help Aussies draw Cameroon, 1-1 ]

Sanchez moved past Marcelo Salas with his 6th-minute opener (above video) to capitalize on a poor turnover and complete a quick one-two atop Germany’s 18-yard box. Arturo Vidal put a foot in to disrupt Germany’s attempt to play out of the back, and the ball fell to Sanchez who quickly played it back to Vidal, who played Sanchez into the box for a left-footed finish inside the near post.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Chile’s lead wouldn’t quite last until halftime, though, as Lars Stindl got on the end of Jonas Hector’s cross in the 41st minute to bring the reigning World Cup champions back to level terms and all but secure their place in the next round.

With the result, Chile and Germany remain tied on top of Group B (4 points) with one game to play. Given the distance between themselves and Australia and Cameron (1 point each) in third and fourth, a draw in their final group games would be more than enough to go through to the semifinals. One-goal defeats would even do the trick.

Kenny Saief approved for one-time switch from Israel to USMNT

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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Kenny Saief has been officially cleared by FIFA to make his one-time switch of international allegiance from Israel to the United States, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Thursday.

Saief, 23, was born in Panama City, Fla., to Druze-Israeli parents and began his youth career with Maccabi Haifa in 2005, at the age of 11. After a handful of first-team appearances for various Israeli clubs between 2010 and 2013, Saief earned a regular place in Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon’s first team during the 2013-14 season. In the summer of 2014, he moved to Belgian side Gent, where he’s played in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. U.S. men’s national team head coach Bruce Arena included Saief on his 40-man preliminary roster for next month’s 2017 Gold Cup.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

He appeared for Israeli youth national teams at just about every level, but having grown frustrated at the lack of a call-up to the senior team, Saief made it known many months ago he would consider a switch to the USMNT if the omission continued.

Saief figures to serve as something of a utility-man for the USMNT, at least from the start. He’s a left-footed midfielder who’s played extensively on both the left and right wings, and even a bit at left back. It’s the latter that should most intrigued USMNT fans, considering the dearth of options available at the position.

Geiger, Marrufo, Villarreal picked as Gold Cup referees

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) Mark Geiger, who three years ago became the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup, is among 17 referees picked for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Americans Jair Marrufo and Armando Villarreal also were announced Thursday for the 12-nation tournament, which runs from July 7-26 in various U.S. cities.

[ MORE: Latest 2017 Confederations Cup news

Geiger, who is from New Jersey, was a referee for France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16.

Three each were picked from Mexico (Roberto Garcia, Fernando Guerrero and Cesar Ramos) and Honduras (Melvin Matamoros, Oscar Moncada and Hector Rodriguez).

Two will come from Costa Rica: Henry Bejarano and Ricardo Montero.

Others picked for the tournament are Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Drew Fischer (Canada), Walter Lopez (Guatemala), Yadel Martinez (Cuba), John Pitti (Panama) and Kimbell Ward (St. Kitts and Nevis).