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.

Vancouver adds versatile Juarez, formerly of Monterrey, Celtic

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Efrain Juarez is bringing his game to Major League Soccer.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 39-times capped Mexico veteran has inked a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining a strengthened unit which came within a point of winning the West last season.

Juarez, 29, was unveiled as a midfielder by the ‘Caps, though he’s primarily played right back in his club career. He’s played at Celtic, Real Zaragoza, Club America, Monterrey, and Pumas.

Last capped by El Tri in 2012, Juarez has played every position except goal, center attacking mid, and center forward in his career (picture a ‘U’ on the pitch).

“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”

VIDEO: Asensio goal ends Real Madrid’s winless run

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Marco Asensio’s eighth goal of the season and second of this Copa del Rey put an end to an unlikely Real Madrid winless run in a 1-0 victory at Leganes.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 21-year-old darted in front of a defender to volley home from in-tight, giving Real Madrid a first leg lead in the tournament quarterfinals.

More importantly, perhaps, it gives struggling Real a boost in morale after draws with Celta Vigo and Numancia, and a loss to Villarreal.

Real is home to Deportivo de la Coruna in La Liga before hosting Leganes in the second leg.

Hopeful Newcastle buyer Staveley: Offer still on the table

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably happy that his for-sale club is away this weekend, even though his side’s up against Manchester City.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.

Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.

A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:

“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there have been protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.

2018 MLS Mock Draft: LAFC, Galaxy hold the keys

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Major League Soccer’s latest batch of hopeful rookies learn the next steps of their professional careers beginning Friday with the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft.

There are several intriguing prospects, including accomplished Stanford center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and dangerous Michigan winger Francis Atuahene.

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An MLS mock draft is always tricky given the wildly varying opinions on players from the college game. This year, it’s even trickier as clubs without picks and some with multiple first round picks may be looking to move up and down even more than the norm.

Here’s how we think the draft could play out:

  1. LAFC – Tomas Hilliard-Arce, CB, Stanford
  2. LA Galaxy – Jon Bakero, FW, Wake Forest
  3. DC United – Francis Atuahene, FW, Michigan
  4. Montreal – Joao Moutinho, LB, Akron
  5. Minnesota – Wyatt Omsberg, CB, Dartmouth
  6. Orlando City – Ema Twumasi, FW, Wake Forest
  7. Montreal – Chris Mueller, FW, Wisconsin
  8. New England – Mo Adams, MF, Syracuse
  9. New England – Chris Lema, MF, Georgetown
  10. Real Salt Lake – Justin Fiddes, LB, Washington
  11. FC Dallas – Marcelo Acuna, FW, Virginia Tech
  12. San Jose – Brandon Bye, RB, Western Michigan
  13. Sporting KC – Ed Opoku, FW, Virginia
  14. Atlanta – Alex Roldan, MF, Seattle
  15. Chicago – Mason Toye, FW, Indiana
  16. New York Red Bulls – Alan Winn, MF, North Carolina
  17. Vancouver – Tristan Blackmon, RB, Pacific
  18. Sporting KC – Jon Gallagher, FW, Notre Dame
  19. New York City FC – Daniel Musovski, FW, UNLV
  20. Houston – Mo Thiaw, FW, Louisville
  21. Columbus – Brian White, FW, Duke
  22. Seattle – Tim Kubel, MF, Louisville
  23. Toronto FC – Oliver Shannon, MF, Clemson

There are a few players to keep an eye on for the later rounds that I won’t project for the first round due almost exclusively to first person bias (Some I’ve seen play in college, others at other levels). Afonso Pinheiro from Albany produced like crazy until this season, and Bowling Green defender Alexis Souahy has a skill set that could really transmit to the MLS level.

Mac Steeves (Providence) is a prototypical big body scorer, while Evansville’s heady Ian McGrath has a flair for the absurd and can play almost every position up the center of the pitch. Charleston’s Thomas Vancaeyezeele was a D-2 monster and is probably worth a shot earlier than people suspect.