ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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Here are Nos. 11-19 of ProSoccerTalk’s weekly countdown following six rounds of regular season play.

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

19. Seattle Sounders – Sigi Schmid’s Sounders are the lone, winless MLS club. Ain’t that something? They could do a lot to vent pressure and get the cart generally out of a ditch by overturning a 1-0 deficit in CONCACAF Champions League semifinal play tonight in Mexico. Don’t bet on it, though.

18. Chicago Fire – One win was just enough to get Frank Klopas’ team off the bottom of the stack … but there’s still reason to be suspicious about this lot. The Fire needed two late goals from Maicon Santos off the bench in order to grab its first win of 2013 – and New York’s shoddy defending and goalkeeping had something to do with it. Still, a win’s a win. For now.

17. Colorado Rapids – Nice to see Edson Buddle back on the field as the Rapids slowly begin to get some important veterans back on the field. Center back Drew Moor should return this week as well following his two-game suspension. Coming off a win over rival Real Salt Lake (the Rapids’ first “W” of 2013) Oscar Pareja’s team travels to meet Chivas USA this week.

16. Toronto FC – Ryan Nelsen’s club is getting closer to where the rookie manager wants it to be. Last year, TFC lost leads. Heck, TFC has pretty much always been the team to lose the leads. Could it be that this year, the club can actually erase them? The Reds did just that on Saturday thanks largely to Darel Russel’s awesome, late strike in a 2-2 draw with Dallas.

15. New England Revolution – One of a bunch of teams that had the weekend off for Round 6. They needed it to steel themselves for telling trips into Seattle (this weekend) and New York over the next two weeks. Of course, the big news – much more important than soccer – is Kevin Alston’s leave of absence for leukemia treatment.

14. D.C. United – United has just two goals in five matches; here’s one reason. Dwayne De Rosario’s health and ability to get back on the field will be a big talker prior to this week’s visit from the rival Red Bulls.

13. New York Red Bulls – Luis Robles, who rescued a wobbly goalkeeping situation around Red Bull Arena last year, just hasn’t been the same in 2013. Of course, he wasn’t getting much help at the end Sunday in Chicago, was he? None of the Red Bulls covered themselves in glory in this one, conceding an early lead and then allowing two near the end in a loss at Toyota Park. Thierry Henry had to come off the bench once again for New York.

12. Portland Timbers – Without question, Saturday’s 2-0 win over Houston was the best front-to-back Timbers’ outing so far under Caleb Porter. Good performances were all over the field, including Jack Jewsbury, who returned once again to right back. Mikael Silvestre seems to have found his feet. The big show-stopper, of course, belonged to PST Player of the Week Diego Chara.

11. Philadelphia Union – It’s not always the loveliest work, but John Hackworth has certainly taught his team how to grind out results. Last week’s 1-1 draw in Columbus is the latest example. By the way, anybody have Jack McInerney (pictured above) in the pool as MLS top scorer? Because the young striker is currently tied for third with three goals this year.

Toronto FC beats Crew 5-0 to extend unbeaten streak to 8

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TORONTO (AP) Victor Vazquez scored twice and Toronto FC routed the Columbus Crew 5-0 on Friday night to extend its unbeaten streak to a franchise record-matching eight games.

[ MORE: Pulisic pleased with U.S. Soccer’s improved landscape ]

Toronto (8-1-5) is 7-0-1 since its lone league loss of the season, a 2-1 decision in Columbus on April 15. Columbus (6-7-1) has lost five of seven since topping Toronto.

Justin Morrow and substitutes Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton also scored for MLS-leading Toronto. The Canadian team also was unbeaten in eight games (4-0-4) from May 8 to July 10, 2010.

Toronto was reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute when midfielder Marky Delgado was red-carded for a studs-up tackle on Columbus captain Wil Trapp. Osorio and Hamilton then scored to pad the lead for Toronto in its sixth shutout of the season.

Toronto played without the starting forward tandem of Sebastian Giovinco (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended for yellow card accumulation). Defender Nick Hagglund also is injured.

Agent: Barcelona offered more than Real for Vinicius Junior

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If Vinicius Junior can become half the player at Real Madrid that Neymar has lived up to be at Barcelona, Los Blancos will be pretty pleased.

[ MORE: Man City closing in on Monaco’s Silva ]

Real closed the deal for the 16-year-old Brazilian this week, but there were several other lucrative offers on the table, according to the player’s agent, Frederico Pena.

[ MORE: Totti leaves future uncertain heading into final Roma match ]

That includes bitter Spanish rivals Barcelona.

The agent stated that the Blaugrana did in fact offer a higher deal to acquire the Brazilian, however, he felt it would have complicated matters further to seek a greater offer from Real.

“There is practically unanimous view of the deal as a success,” Pena said. “If anybody gets criticised it is Real Madrid, for the risk they have taken, but they are sure that it will work. There were other clubs interested, and one offered to pay more money … Barca’s remuneration package offer for the player was higher than Real Madrid.

“But as we had reached an agreement with Real, we did not want to make this last push for them to match it. That could have embittered the relationship. Many people think it is crazy what Madrid are doing, but they were not alone in this craziness. They were not the only ones willing to pay this much for Vinicius.”

Pena also clarified as to why Vinicius chose Real over Barcelona, citing the player’s excitement about the development of Los Blancos during recent seasons under manager Zinedine Zidane and prior.

“Because Vinicius liked Madrid’s project better. There is always the feeling that players choose based on financial reasons, but that is not true. I assure you of that. Real Madrid’s negotiating posture was better.”

Real is on the verge of winning its third UEFA Champions League trophy in the last four seasons as the club prepares to face Juventus in the upcoming final.

Zidane’s men also won La Liga during the 2016/17 campaign.

Pulisic pleased with U.S. Soccer’s improved landscape

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U.S. Soccer has come a long way over the years, and one of the nation’s most promising young players recognizes the progress the United States has made.

[ MORE: Man City acquire Monaco’s Silva after passing medical ]

Christian Pulisic, who plays for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, is one of several young talents that U.S. hopes to finally bring the American men a moment of glory on the biggest of stages — the World Cup.

The 18-year-old has done just about everything a player of his age could do. He’s played in one of the top leagues in the world, appeared in various UEFA Champions League matches and now he’s likely on pace to appear in the 2018 World Cup, assuming the USMNT advances out of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

The U.S., who have reached the World Cup during seven straight cycles, have come a long way in a short period of time, and Pulisic is happy with the improving U.S. Soccer landscape.

“It’s been big flaw of ours in the soccer department that a lot of our best athletes go and play other sports,” Pulisic told The Guardian. “But I think young players have seen me, and others, go over to Europe and play in some of the best leagues — and MLS is improving so much too.

“There’s so much potential and I think it’s changing: we’ve had some bigger athletes in the past but I don’t think that defines us anymore.

“We’re going to keep moving forward, developing young players and we’re going to have a really good shot in the next few years.”

During this past Bundesliga season, Pulisic recorded three goals and added six assists for a club that has become well known for its high-powered offensive attack.

Report: Kyle Walker a top target for Manchester City

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Manchester City could be looking to bolster its backline further this summer, and the Citizens could turn to Tottenham for help.

[ MORE: Man City closing in on acquiring Monaco’s Silva ]

According to ESPN FC, Pep Guardiola‘s side is growing more and more enamored with Spurs defender Kyle Walker and believes City can acquire the experienced outside back prior to the 2017/18 Premier League season.

With City already losing Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna since the end of the PL season, Guardiola will have to address the club’s lack of depth at outside back.

Several other big clubs have been considered in the running for Walker’s services, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old has been at White Hart Lane since joining Spurs in 2009 from Sheffield United and has made 222 appearances for the club in that span.