ProSoccerTalk’s MLS awards choices: Goalkeeper of the Year

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We continue to roll out our choices for the league’s top defender, top goalkeeper, top rookie, MVP and more:

Today we look at ProSoccerTalk’s writer’s picks for Major League Soccer’s Goalkeeper of the Year:

  • Steve Davis

source: Getty ImagesNick Rimando, Real Salt Lake

Rimando’s body of work in 2013 was rich with accomplishment and nearly flawless of performance. Rimando – just 34 years old but blessed with the wisdom of 14 seasons as an MLS starter – checked every single box this year at Rio Tinto. He made the big saves, provided regular and timely information to defenders in the hurry-scurry of real time, moved out of goal to catch or punch with that useful balance of prudence and aggressiveness, and avoided the game-shifting mistakes. And a lot of people forget how good Rimando is with his feet, which gives defenders an additional outlet and option when things get harried. Doing all that, and managing it with a steely, confidence-inspiring calm, makes him my choice.

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  • Richard Farley

source: Getty ImagesNick Rimando, Real Salt Lake

Part of me wants to rebel against this choice, because it sure seems like we’re picking our goalkeepers (a.) by some weird, premature consensus (we knew Rimando, Nielsen were going to win this well before season’s end), and (b.) on a rotation system. The last nine GotYs have gone to nine different keepers. Is goalkeeper excellence really that fickle? Regardless, I voted to make it 10-in-10. Rimando was the easy choice, for me.

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  • Joe Prince-Wright

source:  Luis Robles, New York Red Bulls

With all the offensive talents New York possess, it’s hard to forget about the defense. This man in particular has had a terrific season and has picked his career up after floating around from club to club before. Keeping out standout rookie Ryan Meara is no mean feat and Robles is everything a modern ‘keeper should be, quick off his line, sensational with distribution and a great shot-stopper. I’m a massive fan, as are fans of the Red Bulls.

Schedule of ProSoccerTalk’s choices for MLS awards:

  • Wednesday: Defender of the Year
  • Thursday: Goalkeeper of the Year
  • Friday: Rookie of the Year
  • Monday, Nov. 25: Coach of the Year
  • Tuesday, Nov. 26: MLS Most Valuable Player
  • Wednesday, Nov. 27: MLS Best XI

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

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WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

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In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

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While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad — 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse — 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria — 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin — 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya — 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva — 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim — 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka — 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon — 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha — 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin — 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys — 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET