One hour to vote for MLS All-Stars! The team I would pick today

2 Comments

No time for messing around. Click here … and hurry! Voting for the July 31 match at Sporting Park (MLS All-Stars vs. Roma from Italy’s Serie A) ends at 3 p.m. ET today.

Vote your head or your heart … although, really, better to vote with your head on this stuff. Either way, vote!

I encourage you to be your own dog. But if you need a little help here or there, this is the starting 11 that I would select today:

GK: Sporting KC’s Jimmy Nielsen

 

RB: Vancouver Whitecaps’ Nigel Reo Coker

CB: LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez

CB: Sporking KC’s Matt Besler

LB: FC Dallas’ Michel

 

MF: Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman

MF: Portland Timbers’ Will Johnson

MF: Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi

MF: Chicago Fire’s Mike Magee

 

FW: New York Red Bulls’ Thierry Henry

FW: LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane

NOTES: 

  • Nigel Reo Coker usually works the midfield for the Whitecaps, but has played at right back for Martin Rennie’s team, including last week in the win at D.C. United.
  • Same for Michel in Dallas, where he was brought in as a left back (his natural spot) but where he has been used mostly as a holding midfielder out of necessity.  He’s been rock solid at both positions.
  • Will Johnson (pictured) was the first name on my list. He’s been outstanding from Day 1 with at his new Jeld-Wen Field home.
  • It was tough keeping Jack McInerney and his 10 goals off the team. His finishing lately, less sure than in March, April and May, may have been just enough to pick the two bigger stars, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane. (With 5 goals and 6 assists, Keane has contributed directly to more goals than McInerney, who hasn’t registered an assist this year.)

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP
Leave a comment

It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.

LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.

The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.

“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”

With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.

The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.

Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea: Blues bounce back on the road

Leave a comment

Chelsea picked up a convincing road victory on Tuesday as the Blues topped Huddersfield Town, 3-1, at the Kirklees Stadium.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final ]

The Blues came out hungry following Sunday’s defeat at West Ham, and an unlikely goalscorer gave  Conte’s group the lead.

Sloppy passing at the back saw Willian with the ball at the top of the Huddersfield area, before the Brazilian brilliantly played Tiemoué Bakayoko in on goal for his second finish of the season.

Willian — who played a key role throughout the match — extended the Chelsea advantage three minutes prior to halftime when his header snuck past Terriers goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.

Chelsea was clicking on all cylinders after halftime, when Willian helped set up Pedro for his third goal of the Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Laurent Depoitre pulled a goal back late for the hosts, but it was too late to rescue a result for Huddersfield.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford: Eagles storm back late, move up to 17th

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

All things were pointing towards Watford’s direction on Tuesday, but a late change in fortune gave the Eagles a share of the points.

[ MORE: Burnley climbs into Premier League top four ]

A pair of late goals gave Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Watford at Selhurst Park, and pulled Roy Hodgson’s side out of the relegation zone.

Bakary Sako and James McArthur each found the back of the net after the 87th minute to complete an important comeback for the Eagles. Now, Palace sits 17th in the PL standings on 14 points.

The big moment of the match came in the 87th minute, when Tom Cleverley was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

Three minutes into the match, Daryl Janmaat struck for the visitors after the Dutchman headed home Richarlison‘s cross from close-range.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

Leave a comment

Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.