Vidic prepares final bow, Evra says pair once lamented Manchester move

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It’s the time of the year to say goodbye, and today’s Old Trafford finale for Nemanja Vidic could be a tricky one for the rocksteady Manchester United captain.

Vidic is headed to Inter Milan this summer after an accolade-hoarding — at least until this season — career at Old Trafford.

The 32-year-old Serbian defender is preparing himself to focus on the match against Hull City, which could become difficult as Manchester salutes him (Watch live at 2:45pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

From United’s match program:

“You never know what is going to happen with your emotions,” Vidic said. “You can try to predict but I wasn’t emotional before and I haven’t cried yet! We will see what happens after the last game. It is going to be sad.”

“Thank you for all the support you have given me over the years. I know I will be supporting the club in the future. Hopefully we can win as many trophies as we did in my eight years over the next eight years.”

Red Devils back Patrice Evra is “really sad” to see Vidic go, and told some interesting stories regarding the arrival of the two backs to Manchester. Both arrived in England in 2006, Evra from AS Monaco and Vidic from Spartak Moscow.

From ManUtd.com:

The pair endured a tough start to life in England, with Evra recalling one particularly difficult performance. However, they soon adapted and helped to form what was one of Europe’s finest defences for many years, picking up plenty of silverware in the process.

“When you speak about Vida, it’s like you’re speaking about myself,” the full-back continued. “We joined the club together. I remember the first game was so hard. In one match, we played in the reserves together. We were so poor!

“Rene Meulensteen was the [reserve team] manager and he took us both off! We were talking in the dressing room and saying: ‘Oh my, why have we come to Manchester United? We should go back to our old clubs!’

While it will be “goodbye” for several United players, Vidic leaving is far more ceremonious and likely to be actually met with sadness from the Old Trafford crowd (which has soured on other departers).

Could it be more emotional than Robert Lewandowski’s send-off from Borussia Dortmund fans?

Thanks to WhoAteAllThePies.tv for that video.

MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-3 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Greg Vanney and Toronto keep on doing their thing, and the Canadian side is yet another step closer to achieving MLS glory. TFC picked up its 50th point of the season on Saturday night after comfortably handling the Chicago Fire, who have cooled off significantly as of late in the Eastern Conference. The Fire are now nine points behind the East leaders and are losers of four of their last five matches.

Three moments that mattered

54′ — Accam, Fire level it up — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from everybody…

64′ — Hasler nets first MLS goal — Toronto really does manage to get contributions from all of their players…

90′ — Giovinco says goodnight to Chicago — That’s 12 goals on the season for Sebastian Giovinco and the TFC striker continues to help his side push towards the top seed in the East and MLS.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Marco Delgado (14′), David Accam (54′), Nick Hasler (63′), Sebastian Giovinco (90′)

Video: Watts gifts D.C. United own goal for the ages

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Not many things have gone right for either side involved in 2017, but D.C. United was the recipient of a gift early on against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

[ MORE: Piatti brace lifts Impact to fourth win in a row; Orlando, Crew draw ]

In the 27th minute, Rapids center back Jared Watts received the ball at the back, before making a routine back pass to USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard

Or at least, it should have been a routine back pass.

Instead, Watts’ pass was well off target and too strong for Howard to reach and landed in the back of the Rapids goal. 1-0 in favor of D.C.

Reminder: Both these teams sit at the bottom of their respective conferences on points.

MLS Snapshot: Piatti brace lifts Impact | Crew, Orlando City draw

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Montreal Impact have proven to be a second-half of the season team the last several years, and that form appears to be holding true once more. Mauro Biello’s side won its fourth straight match on Saturday, while Ignacio Piatti continues to show he’s one of the most deadly scorers in the league. Meanwhile, RSL’s six-match unbeaten run is snapped north of the border, leaving the Western Conference side three points out of sixth place.

Three four moments that mattered

11′ — Piatti nets his first of the night — The Impact made this attack look so easy, and Ignacio Piatti simply won’t miss a chance like this one.

26′ — Evan Bush left motionless as RSL equalize — Luis Silva took matters into his own hands, and boy did he connect with this effort!

29′ — Impact punish poor RSL defense — Guess who? Piatti has his second of the evening.

47′ — Hosts begin to pile it on — Anthony Jackson-Hamel played provider in the first two goals, so it’s only fair he got one of his own.

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Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Ignacio Piatti (11′, 29′), Luis Silva (26′), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (47′)


The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City and the Crew settled for a point apiece on Saturday night, but for the former the club is running out of opportunities to pick up points in the playoff race. Giles Barnes pulled a goal back for the hosts after Lalas Abubakar netted his first MLS goal for the Crew, but Orlando couldn’t find a second. The Lions played up a man for the final 13 minutes, following Harrison Afful’s dismissal.

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Abubakar knocks in first MLS goal — Orlando City’s defensive woes are certainly notable as well, but for Lalas Abubakar this is a quality way to open his scoring account in MLS.

67′ — Barnes knots it up at 1-1 — The veteran MLS forward picked up his second goal of the season.

77′ — VAR used for red card decision — The video monitor came into play briefly in the second half, and Harrison Afful was sent off the pitch early after the referee viewed the defender’s elbow to the head of Yoshi Yotun.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Zack Steffen

Goalscorers: Lalas Abubakar (35′), Giles Barnes (67′)

Atlanta United fans pack 20,000 into new stadium for training session

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Atlanta United is currently in the midst of a three-match road trip in MLS play, but that didn’t stop the club from unveiling its new home venue to a massive crowd of supporters on Saturday.

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Over 20,000 fans of the Eastern Conference expansion side filed into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch Gerardo Martino’s side train on Saturday as Atlanta prepares to finish out its road trip against D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.

Atlanta will open up home play at their new stadium on September 10 when they host FC Dallas. The club will have the benefit of playing eight of its final 10 regular season matches in front of its Georgia fan base.

The first-year MLS side will share the stadium with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

Here are some sights from the training session