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.)

Minnesota’s Molino lifts Trinidad and Tobago to big win (video)

Leave a comment

Minnesota United attacker Kevin Molino has given Trinidad and Tobago life in the race to win a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Molino’s 37th minute goal gave hosts T&T a 1-0 lead against visiting Panama at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday, and the Soca Warriors held on to win its first points of qualifying.

Panama had a Luis Tejada goal controversially ruled offside as Los Canaleros nearly pulled their fifth point of the Hex. Panama faces the USMNT on Tuesday in Panama City.

[ WATCH: Zaha scores wonder vs. Russia ]

Molino fooled long time LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo with a low shot across the body. The Panama backstop couldn’t get low enough or far enough with his dive to stop the shot.

The win has T&T in fifth place on the Hex table, behind Honduras on goal differential and three points ahead of the last place USMNT.

The U.S. needs a two-goal win to pass T&T, and a three-goal win to climb above Honduras.

WATCH: Zaha drives Russia nuts with mazy dribble goal

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wilfried Zaha combined balance, deft touch, and breakneck speed to score his first international goal for the Ivory Coast.

With his side leading Russia 1-0 on Friday, the Crystal Palace winger worked his way through four defenders before burying his shot.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Zaha especially fooled with Ilya Kutepov, a harsh cut nearly tipping both to the field.

He’s just 24, and it seems much longer ago that he made his failed move to Manchester United in 2013.

Failed may be a rough verb considering it all contributed to making him the player he is for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast today.

Everton loses Coleman to leg break on Ireland duty

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
1 Comment

A horror tackle from Wales’ Neil Taylor snapped Seamus Coleman‘s leg in gruesome fashion on Friday.

Taylor was given a red card, and Coleman was stretched off the pitch in the 0-0 draw.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed what was apparent from the match replay: the Everton man has a broken ankle.

“It’s a bad break. He’s a fantastic player and character. It’s a major blow for the lad, his club and us.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world – I haven’t seen it. He’s gone to hospital. I saw his reaction immediately and it didn’t look good. He was holding is leg up and it didn’t look good.

This is not only awful for the player, but causes stress as Everton mounts its assault on the Top Six. The right back has also manned right mid for Ronald Koeman this season, and has four goals and four assists in 26 Premier League matches.

Mason Holgate, Muhamed Besic, and Phil Jagielka have played some right back for Everton, while Ramiro Funes Mori has deputized at left back.

Emotional McClean speaks after honoring deceased teammate (video)

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After wearing the No. 5 to honor of his recently deceased teammate, James McClean met with the media following Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Wales in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

McClean played with Ryan McBride at Derry City, and left Ireland camp to attend funeral services after McBride died following a match last weekend. McClean was also mourning the death of friend and Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness.

Throw in a gruesome injury to teammate Seamus Coleman and, in McClean’s words, “I’ve had better weeks”.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

McClean, 27, spoke with evident emotion following a Man of the Match turn in Ireland’s draw (video below).

“It was a really tough week. The lads here have been great. They rallied around me. The manager was first class as well. He let me go up to Derry there on Tuesday and say my goodbyes. It’s been a tough week with Seamus injury as well. It’d been nice if we had have got a win and ended on a positive note, but it wasn’t to be.

“(McBride and McGuinness) were going through my thoughts today. I wanted to put in a performance that would make them proud. In the national anthem and the moment’s applause, holding my wee girl, it was emotional but I tried to put that in the right way into my performance. Hopefully tonight I’ve done the lads proud.”