Watch Live: Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution (Lineups and Discuss)

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The Chicago Fire, carrying five straight draws into this afternoon’s came at Toyota Park, welcome the New England Revolution with the hope of breaking into the win column, the team yet to taste victory under new head coach Frank Yallop. The Revs, however, will be looking to put back-to-back wins together for the first time this season, with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Under Yallop, a two-time MLS Cup-winner with San Jose, Chicago has only lost once – a 3-2, opening day defeat at Chivas USA. Since then the Fire have gone undefeated, though periodic problems in defense have kept the team from breaking into the win column. With Quincy Amarikwa (pictured), a frequent substitute last season, and rookie Harry Shipp adding to the team’s potential going forward, Chicago has scored nine times in six games. Thanks to 10 goals allowed, however, the Fire find themselves ninth in the Eastern Conference.

New England has had troubles of its own — namely, scoring goals — but after last week’s 2-0 win over visiting Houston, Jay Heaps’ team has seven points through six games, only three points behind conference-leading Columbus. With attackers Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez, and Saer Sene sitting on combined for zero goals this season, the team has an obvious place where it can improve, but with 2013 Defensive Player of the Year José Gonçalves out with a quadriceps injury, defense may also prove a concern.

This may be Chicago’s best chance at victory since New York visited Bridgeview four weeks ago, and it starts at the top of the hour.

Lineups

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson; Lovel Palmer, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Bakary Soumaré, Greg Cochrane; Patrik Nyarko, Jeff Larentowicz, Aelx, Harry Shipp; Mike Magee, Quincy Amarikwa

Subs: Kyle Reynish, Patrick Ianni, Chris Ritter, Matt Watson, Victor Pineda, Benji Joya, Juan Luis Anangonó

New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth; Darius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston; Andy Dorman; Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Daigo Kobayashi, Diego Fagundez; Teal Bunbury

Subs: Brad Knighton, Charlie Davies, Chris Tierney, Stephen McCarthy, Jerry Bengston, Scott Caldwell, Steve Neumann

Photo: Flamengo supporter tattoos club jersey on body

MAURÍCIO DOS ANJOS VIA VICE
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A supporter in Brazil has taken fandom to a whole new level with a piece of body art that shows his devotion to the club.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Maurício dos Anjos, a passionate Flamengo fan, has been a life-long supporter of the Rio de Janeiro-based club, and has the tattoo to prove it.

While it may look like body paint, Dos Anjos has a tattoo on the upper-half of his body depicting the Flamengo jersey, and it’s pretty awesome.

“People ask me if I don’t find it strange that I’m always wearing a Flamengo shirt. And I just don’t,” dos Anjos told VICE. “To me, it’s normal. But it doesn’t seem like anyone I talk to about it actually dislikes my tattoo.”

In total, Dos Anjos says the body work took over 90 hours and 30 sessions to complete the tattoo.

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

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When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

[ MORE: Go behind the scenes at NYCFC’s new training facility ]

Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.

Report: USMNT likely to face Brazil, Mexico in September friendlies

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The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.

[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]

ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.

The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.

Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.

The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.

The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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