Kelyn Rowe 2

Everything there but the end product for New England against Vancouver

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Remember what we said on Thursday about New England: Pe progress would be more important than the result. Though fans may rightly worry about a team that’s gone 270 minutes without scoring this season, the underlying parts showed improvement. In today’s 0-0 draw against visiting Vancouver, both the Revolution’s attack and defense showed signs of becoming their 2013 selves.

Going forward, the benefits of having Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, and Saer Sene on the field at the same time were obvious. The trio’s ability to link up at the edge of the attacking third meant New England were a threat all day, with Sene’s ability to come in from the right and augment play helping offset the influence of Vancouver’s Nigel Reo-Coker and Matías Laba. When we (read: I) use clichés like “able to consistently create chance,” this is when we’re talking about. After being starved of the ball last week in Philadelphia, New England held the better (if not necessarily more) possession on Saturday.

Unfortunately, that didn’t produce a goal, even if Teal Bunbury had two opportunities to open the scoring in the first half. But on both a long header from Chris Tierney and a beautiful cross from Rowe, Bunbury failed to show the aggression New England needs. On Tierney’s ball headed past the defense, Bunbury hesitated as David Ousted come off his line, allowing the Vancouver No. 1 to suffocate the chance. Later, Bunbury let Rowe’s cross get caught in his feet, failing to test Ousted on another good ball. Two chances. No shots.

At the other end of the field, a defense led but the newly restored José Gonçalves went largely untested, but avoiding the mistakes the group had made in Houston and Philadelphia, the back four still showed progress. There was no overrunning of crosses to gift chances for Will Bruin. There was so misreading of passes to let Leonardo Fernandes set up goals for Sebastien Le Toux. The defense may not have had to do much, but they didn’t give much, either.

Aside from the lack of a goal, it was exactly the type of performance New England needed, but from a team still trying to assess if Bunbury can replace Juan Agudelo, perhaps this was the result we should have predicted. It was too much to ask the Revolution to go from zero to hero in one week. Baby steps are enough this early in the season.

With a strong performance on Saturday, the Revolution were able to identify their one, big problem area. That’s progress.

Mourinho’s agent: Coach paid $27 million in taxes in Spain

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United stands alongside his substitute Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on December 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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MADRID (AP) Jose Mourinho’s agent says the Manchester United manager paid more than 26 million euros ($27 million) in taxes when he lived in Spain from 2010-13.

The information was made public on Tuesday by Gestifute, a company run by Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes.

[ MORE: Pulisic wanted by Arsenal, Spurs ]

The Portuguese company has been releasing details about its clients’ tax declarations after European media outlets published what they claimed were details of apparent tax arrangements made by top soccer players and coaches, including Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.

Gestifute, which also has Ronaldo as a client, has already published documents allegedly showing that Spanish fiscal authorities have certified that Mourinho and Real Madrid star Ronaldo are “up to date on … obligations.”

Mourinho coached Real Madrid from 2010-13 and took charge of United this season.

Staying in Dallas: New contract for MLS Defender of the Year Hedges

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 12:  Giles Barnes #10 of the Houston Dynamo battles for the ball with Matt Hedges #24 of FC Dallas during their game at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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This is going to turn out to be one of the most exciting years of Matt Hedges’ life.

The FC Dallas man lead one of the best back lines in Major League Soccer to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.

[ MORE: PST talks with Hedges, Zimmerman ]

He’s also likely set for a chance to return to the USMNT fold under new coach Bruce Arena, as Hedges is one of the best players to be largely ignored by Jurgen Klinsmann.

Hedges, 26, was named the MLS Defender of the Year and made the Best XI, and now he’s inked a new long-term deal with FC Dallas.

The four-year deal will keep Hedges in Dallas through his 30th birthday. Capped once, Hedges has 159 appearances with 11 goals for FCD.

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Two more Pulisic suitors in North London? USMNT teen in demand

Dortmund's Emre Mor, left, celebrates with Dortmund's Felix Passlack and Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, right, after scoring during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and SV Darmstadt in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Dortmund defeated Darmstadt with 6-0. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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Christian Pulisic is one of the most exciting young prospects in the world.

It’s a statement that isn’t often said without hyperbole when it comes to American standouts, but the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund man has seen his names in the gossip pages a few times this year.

While Liverpool has often been the destination, Italian site Calcio Mercato says Premier League interest is wider than Merseyside. The clubs? Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

[ VOTE: Who should win USMNT player of year? ]

Dortmund doesn’t want to sell the youngster, who is locked up through 2019. The whispered price has been $31 million at a minimum, but perhaps BVB would be tempted given their wealth of young attacking options.

Pulisic has made 27 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, nabbing four goals and six assists. He has 11 caps and three goals for the USMNT as well.

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Real Madrid asks for “utmost respect” to Ronaldo following tax drama

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 03:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after missing a chance during the La Liga  match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo had been linked with massive tax evasion, but Real Madrid would ask you to kindly go back to treating him like a king now that he’s proven his innocence.

In a move usually reserved for politicians aiming for high office, Ronaldo’s agent released some of his tax documents to prove everything’s above board.

It all looks good, unlike what befell Neymar and Lionel Messi, so back off, huh?

[ MORE: Wednesday’s Champions League preview ]

From Real Madrid:

In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club.

Only the utmost for CR7.

Real Madrid hosts Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in a match which will decide Group F of the UEFA Champions League.

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