San Jose Earthquakes hammer Montreal, Sporting KC tie Real Esteli in CCL play

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On Tuesday night CONCACAF Champions League action was back on the slate.

Three MLS teams were in action as they tried to reach the quarterfinals set for next March, some have it harder than others and that’s still the case after the latest batch of results.

The San Jose Earthquakes are pushing hard to try and make it to the quarters, following their total domination of the Montreal Impact at Buck Shaw Stadium in a 3-0 win.

Elsewhere, Sporting Kansas City are sitting pretty at the top of CCL Group 2, with seven points from their three games so far following their slightly disappointing 1-1 tie with Nicaraguan outfit Real Esteli at Sporting Park on Tuesday.

One other MLS team is in midweek CCL action, as the LA Galaxy face Isidro Metrapan on Wednesday in just their second CCL outing. Bruce Arena’s men have three games to play, with two tricky away trips on the way. Can LA make it to the quarters?

San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 Montreal Impact – Recap

In California two Major League Soccer sides squared off with big CCL implications on the line and it was the home side who started off brighter, with striker Chris Wondolowski opening the scoring and Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas adding two more in the second half.

This result all keeps San Jose’s slim chances of making the quarters alive, but they have to beat current table toppers Heredia on October 23 to stand any chance of qualifying. However Montreal must beat Heredia on September 24 in order for San Jose to qualify.

It’s complicated, but with last night’s result in Cali, both MLS teams are struggling to qualify.

Sporting KC 1-1 Real Esteli – Recap

But the situation for Peter Vermes’ SKC side is looking a lot brighter, as Sporting only need a point in their final group game at home to Olimpia to seal their spot in the knockout stages.

On Tuesday Esteli grabbed a shock lead against the run of play as Rudel Calero headed home in the 54th minute. However Sporting’s Jacob Peterson scored in the second half to seal a vital point that keeps SKC’s fate in their own hands.

To watch the highlights from this CCL matchup, turn your attention to the video below. Enjoy.

Why PSG’s Alexis, Neymar pursuit fits in a (relatively) smart space

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Paris Saint-Germain’s run of four Ligue 1 titles ended last season, a campaign which also saw exciting league-winners Monaco go two rounds further into the UEFA Champions League.

Monaco looks set for a step back this season, with Bernardo Silva off to Man City and Tiemoue Bakayoko signing for Chelsea. Kylian Mbappe could join Monaco’s list of departures, and reports say Man City had a bid accepted for Benjamin Mendy.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

While Monaco is loading up on young talent again, PSG clearly sees its chance to surge back into the title seat and Les Parisiens may just make themselves European favorites as well if they can pry Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and Neymar from Barcelona.

That would be a South American trident nearly as potent as the one Neymar current shares with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi at Barcelona, and the Brazilian would not be second or third fiddle.

PSG has so far been relatively quiet this summer, with the addition of Dani Alves the lone new buy. Aside from money, how was Alves lured to Paris over Man City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola? The idea of a reunion with Neymar and several Brazilian mates — Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura — may’ve been enough and surely that conversation would’ve happened between the two Barca stars.

The French side has to make a big chance at some point soon, unless they’ve been able to unload their money bags and actually buy a fountain of youth. Thiago Motta is 34, Blaise Matuidi 30, Silva 32, and Edinson Cavani 30.

It’s calculated aggression from PSG to splash cash in hopes of rivaling Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barca in pursuit of the UCL title. The Neymar move weakens one of those rivals. If Marco Verratti isn’t part of a swap deal, the signings of Sanchez and Neymar would meet the Italian star’s ambitions well up the road.

De Boer: West Brom was out to injure Palace star Zaha

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No shrinking violet, new Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer was left fuming at West Bromwich Albion players following the PL Asia Trophy third place match on Saturday in Hong Kong.

While the focus could’ve been on Luka Milivojevic‘s gorgeous free kick (watch here), De Boer couldn’t get past the hard fouls aimed at his key attacker.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

West Brom gave away the free kick that led to the aforementioned goal by chopping down Zaha, and the foul was not an isolated incident.

From the BBC:

“They were looking for him, to injure him,” said De Boer.

“He’s one of the exciting players in the league. I don’t want to think he’d be out for two weeks or months.”

De Boer is no stranger to rough play, so this is not coming from a soft place. We doubt it’s going to change anything from Tony Pulis‘ men, though.

Chelsea hammers Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing (video)

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Chelsea struck twice early and Michy Batshuayi put the cherry on top as the Premier League champions cruised past Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing on Saturday.

The Blues started a lineup they’d use on any occasion in the PL, while Arsenal had unproven prospects Cohen Bramall and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the XI.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

Willian‘s quick goal put the Blues up 1-0 at the Bird’s Nest, and Batshuayi scored the second and third. Both were pretty classy, especially the second.

Marcos Alonso did the lion’s share of the work to produce the second chance for Batshuayi, who is threatening to carry over his fine late season form to this campaign. What a smash.

Coutinho rocket helps LFC to PL Asia Trophy (video)

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Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho helped Liverpool come back from an early deficit to win the PL Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong.

Islam Slimani gave Leicester City an early lead in front of a heavy pro-Liverpool crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, but Coutinho delivered the goods on both goals in a 2-1 win.

The tournament win is Liverpool’s first in its second trip to the PL Asia Trophy Final.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

First he crossed for Salah to head home, and then he scored the above goal by cutting in from the left and lashing a shot past a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.

We’ve seen this one before from Coutinho, just not on this particular continent. The Brazilian remains a Barcelona target, but looks prepared for the season in whatever land he sets foot.