San Jose Earthquakes suspend 1906 Ultras’ tifo privileges

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After what it considered to be an inappropriate tifo display (embedded below), the San Jose Earthquakes front office revoked the 1906 Ultras supporters’ group’s tifo privileges indefinitely.

In addition, the sanctions imposed on April 20, after an incident in Portland, Ore., that involved a broken car windshield allegedly caused by Ultras members, have been reinforced:

• The 1906 Ultras will be placed on indefinite probation.
• The 1906 Ultras’ travel privileges will be indefinitely suspended until further notice.
• The 1906 Ultras will not be allowed to utilize controlled smoke at any match.
• Due to the probation, language will be strictly monitored.

Here is the final straw that led to the tifo ban, before the Earthquakes took on the Portland Timbers on July 27:

UPDATE: It appears that wasn’t the only possibly offensive banner that night. Here is another one, which is a bit more indelicate:

The Ultras have a history of anti-Timbers tifo. Remember this one from last year?:

In conjunction with the front office’s statement, the 1906 Ultras released one of their own on Friday, responding primarily to sanctions handed down after the incident in Portland. The organization is convinced that “we are being collectively punished because no one was criminally charged for the Portland incident.”

In the statement, the Ultras copied an email from MLS executive vice president Nelson Rodriguez. Rodriguez writes that the Angel City Brigade, the Los Angeles Galaxy group involved in several arrests at a match away to the Earthquakes, was not collectively punished for that incident because arrests were made, unlike in Portland.

The Ultras found that response to be unsatisfactory, and based on the end of their statement, more trouble could be ahead:

From this day forward we shall be protesting – and defying – the unfair and illegitimate probation until it is ended.  Absent our consent, MLS and the Earthquakes cannot prevent Ultras members from traveling where they want, saying what they choose, and otherwise exercising the freedoms associated with being Americans.

This is a matter for the Portland police and district attorney’s office, who have so far declined to press charges.  Continuing punishment against the Ultras – which the league imposed precisely because NO charges were filed – is an abomination which we do not and will not recognize any longer.

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CCL wrap: Toronto tops Colorado; Herediano’s insane comeback (video)

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On a single-digit Tuesday that severely limited the attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC dueled in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Jonathan Osorio’s second half goal put the Reds in front and Sebastian Giovinco had a goal and an assist and the visitors take a 2-0 decision back to Ontario.

The best chance of a preseason quality first half saw Dominique Badji flub the best chance of the stage into the feet of Alex Bono.

Toronto took the lead, nabbing the away goal through Osorio’s header of a Sebastian Giovinco cross. And the Atomic Ant got on the board with a goal of his own off an Auro assist with 17 minutes to play.

[ MORE: Georgia teen heading to Schalke ]

Tuesday’s other first leg saw Herediano and Tigres play to a 2-2 draw in Costa Rica, with the Liga MX visitors taking a pair of away goals but shocked by a pair of stoppage time concessions.

Francisco Meza scored in the 15th minute and Lucas Zelarayan seemingly put it to bed with 15 minutes to play.

But Yendrick Ruiz converted a 90th minute penalty kick before ex-DC United forward Jairo Arrieta did this ahead of the Feb. 22 second leg in Mexico.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”