Revs look to make it three straight today against the Galaxy

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The New England Revolution look to extend their two match winning streak today when they welcome the LA Galaxy to Gillette Stadium.

The Revs (4-4-4, 16 points) come into the match winners of their last two in the league and their last three overall. The two league wins came by virtue of a pair of 2-0 victories against Houston and Toronto, with Diego Fagundez (pictured) and Juan Agudelo each scoring in both contests. The victories put New England 7th in the Eastern Conference table, just one point behind Columbus and three points adrift of Philadelphia.

Jay Heaps’ men continued their fine form this past Wednesday when they smashed the Rochester Rhino’s 5-1 in US Open Cup action. Kelyn Rowe scored twice and Andy Dorman, Jerry Bengtson and Chad Barrett also added goals.

The Galaxy (6-4-2, 20 points) enter the match on a one game winning streak after putting four past Seattle Sounders in a shutout victory at The Home Depot Center. Robbie Keane led Los Angeles with a hat-trick and an assist on Sean Franklin’s goal, which opened the scoring after only 12 minutes. The victory provided Los Angeles with some reassurances following their 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls on May 19th, moving Bruce Arena’s men to fourth in the Western Conference, on 20 points from 12 matches.

Just as things looked to be improving, however, the Galaxy were blanked 2-0 by the Carolina Railhawks in US Open Cup action at WakeMed Soccer Park on Wednesday night. The NASL side’s goals came just after the hour mark through Brian Shriver and Austin da Luz.

It will be all to play for today as this is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs. They’ve done battle 36 times in the past, with the Revolution claiming 14 victories and the Galaxy 16 while six have ended up as draws. Nine of those 14 victories for the Revs have come in Foxborough, where the Galaxy have only claimed all three points on six occasions.

Last year when these two sides met in Los Angeles it was New England coming away with the 3-1 victory, putting an end to three straight winless meetings with the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. If Arena’s side is to come up with the win today they’ll have to do it without hat-trick hero Keane, who is away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, as well as Omar Gonzalez, who is away with the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Oscar Sorto, who is on duty with the U.S. Under 20’s. Jack McBean is also out with a fractured clavical.

For the Revs, international duty won’t be claiming any of the players but Kevin Alston (illness), Dimitry Imbongo (groin), Clyde Simms (knee), and Donnie Smith (hamstring) are all out while Ryan Guy (calf) is questionable to feature.

The match kicks off at 4:30pm on the NBC Sports Network, directly following ESPN’s coverage of the friendly match between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Germany.

OTHER NOTES

  • Fagundez, New England first-ever Home Grown Player, has been on fire of late, scoring in each of the last three consecutive games, the first Revs player to accomplish the feat since Saer Sene in May 2012.
  • Chris Tierney has come into his own as a wing back of late, recording two assists in the last three matches.
  • Saer Sene earned his first assist last match as he came off the bench for the seventh time in eight matches.
  • The Galaxy have scored four goals three times this season – last week against Seattle, the week prior against Philadelphia and on opening day against Chicago.
  • Robbie Rogers made his Galaxy debut against Seattle, entering the match in the 77th minute. Rogers was acquired from Chicago on a swap deal for Mike Magee.
  • Galaxy Home Grown player Gyasi Zardes made his first MLS start against Seattle and was dangerous the entire match, earning his side a penalty.

Barcelona’s Twitter hacked to claim Di Maria signing

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FC Barcelona had eyeballs popping across the Twitterverse for a solid 90 seconds there.

La Liga’s giants Tweeted out a welcome to Angel Di Maria, the current PSG and former Real Madrid star, with the hashtag #DiMariaFCB.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

It was an odd Tweet for 4 a.m. local time, as humourously pointed out by our Andy Edwards, and the hackers were quick to claim credit before any Tweets could be deleted.

So if someone tells you Angel Di Maria is the latest member of Barcelona, be sure to stop the spread of fake news.

On a day where Barca’s reportedly ready to up their bid for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, something tells us someone at the Camp Nou is turning over their keys to the club’s social media.

Rescheduled Yankees game moves NYCFC-Houston to Connecticut

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A rescheduled New York Yankees game is moving New York City FC to Connecticut.

Relax, it’s only for a day.

NYCFC will entertain the Houston Dynamo at Rentschler Field at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 instead of their regular home of Yankee Stadium.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

The club will offer tickets to another match to current ticket holders, and will also discount tickets to the game in East Hartford for fans who hold tickets to the Yankee Stadium game and want to travel for the Dynamo match (More info here, if you are in either of those camps).

This is the third of three scheduled seasons NYCFC will play at Yankee Stadium, and it doesn’t look like it’ll find a new home any time soon.

Given the everyday nature of Major League Baseball, it’s surprising there have not been more conflicts for NYCFC. We just remain hopeful for the day we can watch NYC’s star-studded roster play on a bigger home field.

“Injustice.” “Incomprehensible.” Ronaldo again protests suspension

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The five-game suspension Cristiano Ronaldo received for making contact with an official is not sitting well with the forward.

Better put: it’s still not sitting well.

Six days ago, Ronaldo took to Instagram to say he was being persecuted after his red card in the Spanish Super Cup.

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Tuesday afternoon, he kept up the strong words by saying the suspension is “incomprehensible” and “an injustice.”

Roughly translated, Ronaldo posted, “One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustive, they will never overcome me. And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me.”

We’ll say this: He’s a really good soccer player.

Barca to offer Liverpool $176M for Coutinho

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Barcelona is insane.

Desperate following a rough two-legged loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, the Blaugranas are reportedly ready to offer $176 million to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.

Read it again: $176 million for Philippe Coutinho. It’s about $126 million with $12 million more when Barca clinches a UCL spot over the next four seasons (which they have done every year since finishing sixth in 2002-03).

[ MORE: EFL Cup Tues. wrap ]

Even in this transfer market, that’s nuts. Crazy to offer, and maybe even crazier not to accept.

That’s pretty much two-thirds of the Neymar money. Two-thirds (I keep repeating myself with this story)

It’s even a convenient out for Jurgen Klopp, who’s said Liverpool is not a selling club. Here, he can say with a straight face that the club can improve with this money by selling a player who has — and I recognize it’s not all about goals and assists — one double-digit goal season in his career and a career single-season high of seven PL assists (done thrice).

Almost anyone who’s had the audacity to say the Reds should accept the bid has often been shot down by the Anfield faithful online. “It’ll ruin our season” and “How do we replace him this late?” are the common cries.

To the first question: No, it won’t. To the second: Easy?

It’s not like-for-like, but nearly every player in the world is available for $176 million. It’s not like-for-like, but here’s a short list: Antoine Griezmann, Gareth Bale, Paulo Dybala, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus… Shoot! Klopp could sign 2-3 of his favorite BVB alums.

With this fee, Coutinho would become the second-highest transfer fee of all-time, behind only Neymar. There are makeweights Barcelona could offer that would make the deal even more intriguing to the Reds: Arda Turan, Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez.

Look at it from a neutral’s eyes — which I know is hard from the number of times I’ve read @ Tweets that say, “The only people who would like this deal are fans of Chelsea or United!” — at some point, it becomes unreasonable to not take advantage of Barcelona’s desperation. Maybe Coutinho is worth the “fit” for Barca, but rejecting this fee is more illogical than the offer itself.

At the risk of inflaming every more Liverpool supporters, Ross Barkley is probably going to cost someone $35 million and he’s a year and a half younger (Coutinho is a superior player right now, but we’re talking about the market here).

And, lastly, at some point you’re telling your entire team room that you’re willing to turn down near record money — it would be the highest non-buyout clause transfer ever — to keep a player from his dream club.

Take the money. Use it. Move on.