MLS Preview: Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union

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Not often , with two games to go in the season, has the schedule handed us such a juicy matchup.

It just so happens that we have been given one this weekend on a silver platter.

Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush: “Saturday is a six-point game for sure.”

Well put. It’s hard to get more on the line than when the Philadelphia Union head across the border to take on Montreal.

The two teams come into the matchup level on points, just a goal apart on differential, and a single win spacing them two spots apart in the table.

With the Impact crashing down the table, this could be the fixture that gets them going.  It’s been six whole matches without a win for Montreal – a club record – and another failure to grab three points could very well see them fall completely out of the playoff scenario.

Over that stretch they’ve conceded 10 goals to their own three, and have dropped three straight 1-0 games – two of those to fellow teams in the fierce playoff battle.

They haven’t scored in 272 minutes either.  That’s a bit of an issue.

Thankfully for Montreal, Philadelphia can’t score either.  Four goals in the last eight matches, spread as evenly as you can get.  Unfortunately for Montreal, Philadelphia also doesn’t allow any.  Their last six matches: 1-1, 1-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1, 0-0. Numbers are fun! Philadelphia games aren’t – not if you like goals, anyways.

That could change though, with Jack McInerney now off the four-month schneid and a major monkey off his back.

This one is sure to be a great one though, no matter the outcome, solely based on what’s at stake.  Either team could win themselves into the playoff race, or lose themselves out.  With the Chicago Fire also even with these two on 46 points and playing lowly Toronto, a draw could be lethal to both sides, so expect the two foes to go all-in.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.