Sporting Kansas City v New England Revolution

The Top Ten in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings

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Following Round 6 of league play, here are Nos. 1-10 in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS quality rearrangement.

(Nos. 11-19 are here)

10. Columbus – Robert Warzycha’s team seems to have some helpful elements in place But two draws in two home matches is not the way to make the playoffs in Major League Soccer.  Heck, they needed a second half goal last week just to manage the draw in Ohio against a young bunch from Philadelphia.

9. Vancouver Whitecaps – Thanks to a shoe fiasco, Vancouver was able to grab a road point at San Jose. Lost in the wildness of it all was that Corey Hertzog, member of the 2011 Generation Adidas class, scored in his first Whitecaps’ start.

8. San Jose Earthquakes – How many “Law 4” jokes are careening through the Buck Shaw locker room this week. Oh, well. No time to dwell. Not with a visit into Jeld-Wen Field ahead. Steven Lenhart got back on the field, doing his hustle and bustle thing for 21 minutes in the draw with Vancouver. And Alan Gordon got his first start of 2013.  

7. Real Salt Lake – Having lost over the weekend at Colorado, Jason Kreis will hope to get something from the road trip as the club visits Vancouver for a Saturday afternoon contest.

6. Montreal Impact – Another of the handful of teams that were idle for Round 6. The Impact hosts Columbus this week. In the meantime, striker Marco di Vaio says he’d like to finish up his playing days in Montreal. I’m sure they’ll be happy to have him. Well, at the right price, of course.

5. Houston Dynamo – Houston could always win at home. On the road? Well, they tend to do great in the playoffs, but not nearly as well in the regular seasons. Dominic Kinnear’s team has not managed more than three road wins over any of the last three seasons. They’ve traveled twice this year with two losses, including last weekend’s 2-0 defeat in Portland.

4. Chivas USA – After wowing in March, Jose Luis ‘Chelis’ Sanchez Sola and his team had the first weekend of April off. They’ll be at the Home Depot Center again Saturday – the Goats have traveled just once so far in MLS action – against Oscar Pareja’s injury-smacked Colorado Rapids.

3. FC Dallas – The team is surely unhappy about blowing a two-goal lead Saturday at Toronto. On the other hand, most teams will take four points from consecutive road matches (including last week’s win at New England) and go skipping happily away. Blas Perez hit another one Saturday; the man can score so long as he stays on the field.

2. Sporting Kansas City – Claudio Bieler (pictured above) looks like the very man needed around Sporting Park, someone who can’t just score goals, but can score important ones. His late strike against D.C. United helped Peter Vermes’ team take all the points in a 1-0 win Friday … and pushed the reigning Easter Conference champs up the charts here.

1. LA Galaxy – They’ve played just four matches, but LA is the league’s only unbeaten side. Bruce Arena’s team had the weekend off from MLS, the better to prep for Wednesday’s big task down in Mexico. They take a 2-1 deficit into Monterrey, and making up the gap won’t be easy. Omar Gonzalez (Is a DP deal in the works?) and his boys get back to MLS biz on Saturday in a match at FC Dallas on NBC Sports Network.

Wales manager says Arsenal could have avoided Aaron Ramsey injury

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 07: Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)
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Wales manager Chris Coleman says Arsenal could have prevented Aaron Ramsey‘s current hamstring injury had they left him out of the early-season matches.

Ramsey was withdrawn in 62nd minute of Arsenal’s season opener against Liverpool after pulling up, and Coleman believes it happened for a reason. “It’s disappointing he’s got an injury. Could it have been prevented? Possibly, yes,” Coleman told the media ahead of the international window. “I think we all expected him to [miss the start of the season]. So I don’t know what happened between then and when he ended up on the pitch. Obviously only Arsenal can answer that. I think, to a man, if you were looking at [Arsenal’s team-sheet], it was a bit of a surprise he started.”

Ramsey helped Wales progress to the Euro 2016 semifinals. Many starts from countries that went deep in the Euros got a rest to start the season. Many of France’s team members, including Dimitri Payet and even Ramsey’s Arsenal teammate Olivier Giroud saw time off to start the Premier League season.

“When you’ve got a player as good as Aaron, take him out of any team and you are going to know about it,” Coleman said. “He is irreplaceable. He makes a huge impact for us. He is a great player and it’s a shame he’s not here. He’s a loss to any team.”

Wales has a World Cup qualifier against Moldova on September 5.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 1-2 Toronto FC

TORONTO, ON - MAY 07:  Sebastian Giovinco #10 of Toronto FC dribbles the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer game against FC Dallas at BMO Field on May 7, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Orlando City defense played a 75 minute match, and those 15 minutes off cost them the match. A pair of sleepy moments early and late in the match saw Toronto bag two goals on the road and leave Citrus Bowl Stadium with all three points. Sebastian Giovinco had the assists on both, a pair of perfectly timed through balls – one over the top and one through the middle – sprung the Toronto strikers.

Three moments that mattered

7′ – Toronto had a dream start just seven minutes in when a looping ball from Sebastian Giovinco found Tousaint Ricketts. He torched Tommy Redding down the right, breaking free on goal and finishing the one-on-one chance around Joe Bednik cooly.

56′ – Greg Vanney’s anger was doubled. First, the Toronto FC manager was left seething at a foul called as Marco Delgado clipped Matias Garcia and gave Orlando a set-piece opportunity. In the ensuing spell of possession, a cross from Luke Boden met the head of Clye Larin, who deposited it into the back of the net. A stone-faced Vanney was left seething on the bench as the home side leveled it up at 1-1.

86′ – Jozy Altidore came off the bench to finish off the game, and while he had a horrible miss just minutes into the game, he atoned at the end. The visitors again caught the Orlando defense completely asleep, with the back line pressed way high up the pitch. Altidore timed his run perfectly, and the hosts didn’t even attempt to catch up. One-on-one, the USMNT striker finished easily.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Ricketts 7′, Larin 56′, Altidore 86′

Men In Blazers podcast: Leicester vs. Arsenal, plus wins for Mourinho, Pep, and Conte

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Rog and Davo recap the discordant draw that was Leicester vs. Arsenal and break down perfect starts for Mourinho, Pep and Antonio Conte.

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Hope Solo suspended from USWNT for 6 months, contract terminated

KANSAS CITY, KS - JULY 22:  Goalkeeper Hope Solo #1 of the United States in action during the game against Costa Rica at Children's Mercy Park on July 22, 2016 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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U.S. Soccer has announced that Hope Solo has been suspended from the USWNT for six months following the comments she made about Sweden’s performance in the quarterfinal match that saw the U.S. eliminated from the 2016 Olympics in the quarterfinals.

Sweden played a defensively-minded match, which finished in a 1-1 draw and progressed to penalties, where Sweden defeated the reigning World Cup champions. Solo told reporters following the match that “I think we played a bunch of cowards” and “the best team did not win.”

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“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a statement on Wednesday evening. “Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions. ”

The statement said that prior incidents were considered “as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member” when determining the length of the suspension. Solo was suspended in 30 days back in 2015 for a build-up of conduct issues. Even considering her prior conduct problems, the length of suspension is surprising for simply inflammatory comments, but U.S. Soccer made it clear in the statement that there is likely more to this than meets the eye.

[ MORE: Top 15 USMNT prospects under 23 ]

With the six-month layoff, Solo will be eligible to return to the team in February of 2017. The team has just two more matches scheduled for the remainder of 2016. She can still play for her club team Seattle Reign during the suspension. There was another term of punishment levied on Solo:

Other reports have confirmed that, because U.S. Soccer pays her club contract as well, only her national team portion of the contract was revoked.

“During our current National Team camp, Hope made a poor decision that has resulted in a negative impact on U.S. Soccer and her teammates,” coach Jill Ellis said in a separate statement. “We feel at this time it is best for her to step away from the team.”

Solo responded to the suspension, saying, “I apologize for disappointing my teammates, coaches and the Federation who have always supported me,” she wrote. “I think it’s best for me to take a break, decompress from the stress of the last several months, and come back mentally and physically ready to positively contribute to the team.”

[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]

While Hope Solo seems to accept the decision, the player’s union isn’t so much.