This is pretty much what you’d expect when one of the league’s best teams hosts one of its worse. Sporting Kansas City, who we had at the top of this week’s Power Rankings, got its biggest win of the season, getting a brace from Dom Dwyer after an own goal from Calum Mallace en route to a 4-0 over Montréal. The result kept the Impact at the bottom of the Eastern Conference (now the only Major League Soccer team with four losses) while Sporting passes Columbus for first.
It’s the type of result that makes almost any analysis redundant. We knew Sporting were probably better than the Impact. We knew they were probably much better, something the final score confirmed. The defending champions also outshot their guests 12-3 (7-2, on target) while holding 61.8 percent of the ball. Even though it took a seemingly content Kansas City 71 minutes to find a second goal, this may have been the most one-sided performance in the league this season, one that embodies where each team sits seven weeks into the season.
Particularly after New York got a result on Wednesday, Montréal is clearly the league’s worst team. We joked about it in our alternative season preview, but the joke’s piece of truth remains: The team seems to have no really identity. Ever since Marco Schallibaum started messing with the formula that worked so well at the beginning of the 2013 season, this club has nothing beyond “Let’s see what Marco (Di Vaio) does.”
Kansas City is the exact opposite. Even when Peter Vermes was rotating his squad in the face of CONCACAF Champions League commitments, you get the same performance every night. Same style. Same effort. Even the same cynical tackling everybody loves to point out is the same. As Sporting rotated its best players in and out of the team, it didn’t get the same results, but its identity was clear. Now, with all of its regulars back, Sporting’s results are clear, too.
I get the feeling a lot of people are going to trumpet Sporting’s quality this week. A four-goal win makes it easy to do so. I also get the feeling that, when I sit down to take another look at this game, I’ll see the same Sporting team that’s been there all along.
Tonight, at home against the league’s worst team, Vermes’ side was given a chance to remind the league of its virtues. The team seized that opportunity.
It was another memorable European night for Liverpool in front of the Kop at Anfield.
Lifted by three goals in the opening 21 minutes, the Reds cruised to a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim 1899 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff stage Wednesday evening. With the win, Liverpool returns to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.
[ MORE: Champions League scores ]
Sadio Mane set up Emre Can twice and both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino chipped in with goals of their own to lead Liverpool to victory. After Can’s double and Salah’s goal gave Liverpool a three-goal lead, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann brought Mark Uth off the bench onto the field and he promptly scored in the 28th minute to draw within two.
Firmino again put Liverpool ahead by three goals with a goal into an open net in the 63rd minute. Hoffenheim recorded a consolation goal in the 79th minute through Sandro Wagner but Liverpool was resolute and held on for victory.
Liverpool, and the rest of the winning clubs, will learn their fates for the group stage on Thursday.
Here’s a look at the rest of the Champions League playoff scores:
Slavia Prague 0-0 APOEL (APOEL advances 2-0 on aggregate)
FC Copenhagen 2-1 Qarabag FK (Qarabag advances on away goals, 2-2 on aggregate)
FCSB (Steaua București) 1-5 Sporting CP (Sporting CP advances 5-1 on aggregate)
CSKA Moscow 2-0 BSC Young Boys (CSKA advances on aggregate, 3-0)
In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.
Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.
[ MORE: Live Europa League scores ]
[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ]
ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.
The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.
FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.
CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.
FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”
Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.
The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.
It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.
Here’s some more transfer news from across England: