Robert Earnshaw

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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

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

19. Seattle Sounders – The hits just keep coming for beleaguered Sounders fans: on the same night they drop points in a scoreless draw at home against New England, supporters discover that popular midfielder Osvaldo Alonso looks quite unlikely to ever suit up for the U.S. national team. Hard times, man. Hard times.

18. Chicago Fire – A loss in Houston wouldn’t be so hard on Frank Klopas’ team – everybody loses in Houston. But when piled onto the rest of the misery that has been Chicago’s 2013 season (just four points in five matches, tied for last in the East) it adds critically to the instability around Toyota Park. At least Chris Rolfe broke the seal, smashing in his first goal of 2013.

17. D.C. United – United needs scoring. United needs a striker. That is all. (Well, and they need to get Dwayne De Rosario healthy and sharp, too.)

16. New England Revolution – They may not have gone into Seattle looking for a scoreless draw, but Jay Heaps’ and Co. are probably happy enough with the result. Once again we say it: the Revs’ defense looks to be in fine shape, but one goal over five matches is not going to work.

15. Toronto FC – Robert Earnshaw (pictured) is king of the breakaway! Through serendipity or  skillful instinct (or, most likely, a combination of both) the Welshman keeps finding himself behind defense. He did once again in a 1-1 draw at Philly; Earnshaw shares the league lead with five goals.

14. Colorado Rapids – Two wins in a row for Oscar Pareja’s team (still quite depleted through injury) have the Rapids in a much better place than when they limped sadly into April. A visit this weekend by reeling Seattle puts the Rapids in a good spot to climb even further in the standings.

13. Philadelphia Union – Jack McInerney scored late to prevent a loss to Toronto at PPL Park, but that may be a bit misleading. Philadelphia was dominant in this one; it took an MLS Player of the Week performance from opposition goalkeeper Joe Bendik to keep “Jack Mac” and his PPL Park teammates off the board for 90-plus minutes.

12. San Jose Earthquakes – Sometimes all the fight and emotion works for San Jose. Sometimes the ‘Quakes just take it all too far – which we saw in the team’s 1-0 loss at Portland. On another day, they could have had a couple of players thrown out rather than just one. Frank Yallop’s side looks frustrated.

11. Portland Timbers – A lively debate broke out at Stumptown Footy over Man of the Match in the Timbers’ exciting, eventful late 1-0 win over San Jose.  Will Johnson (late goal, another big and busy match in Portland’s midfield) had a good case. But so did Mikael Silvestre, who dealt admirably with all that San Jose offensive muscle and might.

Follow Live: Chelsea vs. Liverpool at the Rose Bowl

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Roberto Firmino of Liverpool is closed down by Nemanja Matic of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on May 11, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
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Premier League powers Chelsea and Liverpool tangle Wednesday in the Rose Bowl as both clubs prepare for their first full seasons under two coaches.

[ FOLLOW: Liverpool‘s Twitter | Chelsea ]

Sadio Mane, Loris Karius and Marko Grujic start for Liverpool, while Chelsea has a lot of familiar names in the fold for the International Champions Cup match.

Liverpool: Karius, Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Stewart, Ejaria, Grujic, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Chelsea: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Aina; Fabregas, Matic; Willian, Traore, Loftus-Cheek, Moses. Subs:

Borja goal leads Atletico Nacional to Copa Libertadores title (video)

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Get into space and good things will happen.

That’s how Miguel Borja scored the goal that gave Atletico Nacional an edge that would stand up in the Copa Libertadores final on Wednesday in Medellin.

Borja’s goal gave Atletico Nacional a 1-0 win over Independiente del Valle in Wednesday’s second leg after a 1-1 first leg in Quito.

[ MORE: Wilshere likes Arsenal’s chances ]

Colombia’s Los Verdolagas hadn’t won a Copa Libertadores title since 1989, and the match was its first final since 1995. It was Ecuadorian side Independiente del Valle’s first final.

Atletico Nacional’s Orlando Berrio traded goals with Independiente’s Arturo Mina in the first leg.

Two Newcastle players set for combined $60 million from Barca, Real Madrid?

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Newcastle player Jack Colback (r) celebrates his goal with Ayoze Perez (l) and Moussa Sissoko during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton at St James' Park on December 28, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United purchased Moussa Sissoko and Ayoze Perez from Toulose and Tenerife for combined fees of approximately $4 million.

They stand to make a whole lot more if Wednesday’s rumors are true.

Multiple reports say Real Madrid is set to bid $40 million to pry French international Sissoko from St. James Park, while Barcelona is ready to spend about $20 million to get Ayoze Perez as the fourth fiddle to its MSN attacking trio.

[ MORE: Wilshere likes Arsenal’s chances ]

Perez, 22, has scored 13 goals in two Premier League seasons with the Magpies after arriving from Segunda Division side Tenerfie in 2014, and was linked to Spurs amongst other locales.

But Barca has had trouble finding a player interested in being its fourth striker. Pedro left for Chelsea before last season, and players like Robin Van Persie and Luciano Vietto were tipped to join Barca earlier this summer.

Sissoko, meanwhile, was a feast or famine player at Newcastle this season but brought his A-game under the bright lights of EURO 2016 this summer. Real is reported to be giving up on Paul Pogba to focus on his French midfield mate.

As for Newcastle, Rafa Benitez probably planned on losing Sisssoko but Perez had worked well in preseason with new signing Dwight Gayle and was expected to be a factor this year. It could send Rafa back to the transfer mill, and he’d sure have some profit to spend.

PSG’s Meunier fires a laser versus Real Madrid in ICC match (video)

COLUMBUS, OH - JULY 27:  Thomas Meunier #12 of Paris Saint-Germain F.C is congratulated by Serge Aurier #19 of Paris Saint-Germain F.C after scoring a goal during the first half of the game against Real Madrid C.F. on July 27, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images
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Thomas Meunier is feeling it this summer.

The 6-foot-4 right back had a tremendous EURO for Belgium, and now is starting hot for Paris Saint-Germain after moving from Club Brugge.

[ MORE: Wilshere likes Arsenal’s chances ]

Facing Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday, Meunier scored a pair of first half goals including this absolute laser to beat Kiko Casilla.