ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings (in two parts)

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

19. D.C. United – Seven. Game. Losing. Streak.  … What else needs to be said? (Well, this I suppose. Or maybe even this.)

18. Toronto FC – Team president Kevin Payne says DP reinforcements are on the way, set for this summer. It can’t be soon enough.

17. Chicago Fire – What’s worse, just 1 of a possible 12 points so far on the road? Or just 6 of a possible 15 points at home? Hmmm.

16. Chivas USA – Goals just before halftime are killing the Goats; another one dented the visitors’ chances in Portland last week, one that eventually got away from Chivas and finished 3-0. The Chivas attack right now looks completely lost, devoid of any direction.

15. New England Revolution – New England’s pair of home games last week were both against quality opposition (New York and Real Salt Lake). Still, emerging with just one points from a possible six at Gillette Stadium represents shallow return. Oh, speaking of Gillette, the club’s untenable stadium situation remains a case of “same mess, different day.”

14. Columbus – Eddie Gaven (pictued above) said it best: “The mood here is not very high right now, getting shutout our last two home games. It’s not what we wanted. It’s that last pass and last shot that just wasn’t there. It wasn’t clean when we got to the last third of the field.”

13. Vancouver Whitecaps – The Whitecaps’ 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy was the first victory for Martin Rennie’s team since March 9. Next up is a Cascadia Cup biggie; Portland comes into BC Place Saturday.

12. San Jose Earthquakes – Let’s look at the schedule and see which unlucky team comes into Northern California after Frank Yallop’s proud bunch – who can also be a very, very physical bunch – got on the business end of a 4-0 throttling … Oh! Congratulations, Colorado. The teams meet Saturday at Buck Shaw.

11. Philadelphia Union – Young striker Jack McInerney remains ahead of the field in the Golden Boot chase, now with seven goals after managing yet another game-winner in the Union’s big 1-0 win at Chicago. By the way, John Hackworth’s team is a dandy 3-2-1 on the road. Every team will take that.

Ronaldo: “I always believe I am the best”

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You’ve got to appreciate the over-sized ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, even if it is deserved.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker was bestowed the 2017 Player of the Year award from the Portugal FA, earning 65 percent of the vote. But more than winning yet another trophy to add to his burgeoning case was what he told the media after accepting the award.

“We have to defend what is ours because there is always a Portuguese in the fight (for the top awards),” Ronaldo said, via AS. “I always believe and say that I am the best, whatever they say, and then I show it in the field. We are in the fight year after year.”

Ronaldo did score 42 goals last year for Real Madrid and has scored 18 goals in 2018 alone already for Los Blancos as the club look to go back-to-back-to-back in the UEFA Champions League.

Miazga: “We’re all ready to make an impression” with USMNT

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Last October, for reasons unknown, Matt Miazga didn’t make the U.S. Men’s National Team squad for its final two World Cup qualifiers.

Five months later, he’s risen to the top of the centerback depth chart.

[MORE: Digging into the USMNT roster]

The hulking centerback spoke on Tuesday as the USMNT started off its training camp in Cary, N.C., noting that the youth-laden squad wanted to make an impression to stay in the picture moving forward. With four years until the next World Cup and still more than a year until competitive matches, there is still plenty of shuffling and expanding of the player pool to do before then.

Have a listen to Miazga and enjoy the sights and sounds of the USMNT training camp ahead of its friendly match against Paraguay.


Banker Gaetano Micciche elected Serie A president

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MILAN (AP) Bank boss Gaetano Micciche has been elected president of Serie A.

Micciche, the president of Banca IMI, was chosen unanimously on Monday by the Italian league’s 20 clubs.

He succeeds Maurizio Beretta, who left the position nearly a year ago.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

The league has been under emergency leadership, first by former Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio then by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago.

Malago recommended Micciche for the position.

The federation remains under emergency leadership following Tavecchio’s resignation in the wake of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Report: Liverpool to resist all offers for Salah

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Liverpool has a message for any club looking to sign Mohamed Salah this summer: Not gonna happen.

The Merseyside club has reportedly said it will “not sell Salah under any circumstances this summer” as the Reds look to hold off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to The Telegraph. Salah’s four-goal tally against Watford on Saturday took his goal total to an incredible 28 in 32 Premier League games, with another seven goals in cup competitions.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Liverpool famously kept Barcelona – and Arsenal – off Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan striker wanted to leave in 2013, but Liverpool was only able to stop Barcelona from signing Philippe Coutinho for six months.

As things stand, Liverpool are qualified for the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League with the club sitting in a top four Premier League place, and keeping Salah is absolutely vital if the Reds want to make a deep run in the competition and compete for a Premier League title. It remains to be seen though if Salah is happy to stay at Liverpool or if a big-money offer from Spain or France can tempt him otherwise to set himself and his family financially for life.