Saluting MLS greats: Sigi Schmid racks up 200 wins, Nick Rimando breaks shutout record

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Over the weekend two massive milestones were reached in Major League Soccer.

Take a bow Mr. Schmid and Mr. Rimando.

Both men were record breakers as Sigi Schmid celebrated his 200th win as an MLS coach on Sunday, while Nick Rimando kept his 113th clean sheet in MLS play, as RSL beat D.C. United 3-0, to break Kevin Hartman’s record on Saturday.

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So, Schmid becomes the first MLS coach to break the 200 win barrier and he is a coach who has thrived and succeeded wherever he has gone. With the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders, Schmid has won silverware and many deemed this season as his biggest test yet. Overhauling Seattle’s roster, no problem. Schmid has used his vast knowledge of the league to bring in experienced MLS players who are getting the job done with the Sounders sitting pretty atop the Western Conference past the midway point.

The 61-year-old legendary coach began his journey in MLS in 1998 has never looked back after creating UCLA into a College Soccer powerhouse and being involved in the U.S. national team setup at youth level before turning to the pros. The German born coach has set the bar so high for others to follow and there’s no end in sight.

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Rimando’s sublime shot-stopping has been on show in MLS for over a decade.

After racking up a record-breaking 113 shutouts in 361 games, Rimando has been one of the best ‘keepers in MLS, week in, week out, for 15 years. The U.S. national team goalkeeper provides highlight reel saves and the fact that he has never won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award is somewhat of a travesty. His MLS career began with the Miami Fusion back in 2000 and after a four-year stint with D.C. United, it is with current club Real Salt Lake were he has shone. Despite his small size for a ‘keeper, just 5 foot 9 tall, Rimando is a menace between the posts and he kept Bayern Munich at bay with several fine stops in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.

A hidden gem of MLS has his name in the history books and many more accolades will be heading his way in due course. The four-time MLS All-Star and 2009 MLS Cup MVP is only 35 and has at least another four to five seasons left in him.

Congrats to Sigi and Nick on their remarkable achievements in MLS from everyone at ProSoccerTalk.

Reports: Liverpool reject latest Barcelona offer for Coutinho

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Barcelona has reportedly upped its offer for the services of Philippe Coutinho. But the response from Liverpool has remained the same.

According to multiple reports, Liverpool has rejected a third Barcelona offer for Coutinho, believed to be worth up to $151.5 million. Coutinho put in a transfer request a week ago but Liverpool has remained firm on its desire to keep Coutinho for this season. Liverpool has not yet publicly commented on Barcelona’s latest transfer bid.

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Coutinho meanwhile is still off the field for Liverpool due to a back injury, the club states.

“Phil is not available; he is not training so far, so there is nothing new,” manager Jurgen Klopp told reporters. “It is always how it is with injured players, there is no real time on when he is back.”

The Brazilian midfielder signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool just last January and the deal doesn’t have a buy-out clause. But should Liverpool accept a new bid for Coutinho, he’d become the second-most expensive transfer behind fellow Brazilian Neymar.

It’s unclear whether Barcelona will shift focus to other targets such as Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele or Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a replacement for Neymar.

Conte can’t stop laughing when asked about Costa

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked for his thoughts on Diego Costa‘s latest comments on the club-player impasse. When he heard a reporter say Costa felt he was being treated like a criminal, Conte lost his composure and began laughing.

Conte spent a good 20 seconds giggling during the question before responding, saying “I can tell you that everyone who was in Chelsea knows what happened last season with Diego.

“I’m not interested to continue this issue.”

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Diego Costa has held out from Chelsea training to stay in his native Brazil after being told to train with the reserves ahead of the 2017-2018 Premier League season. Costa has made clear his desire to leave Chelsea for a return to Atletico Madrid, but Costa claims that Chelsea are asking for an absurd transfer fee, which prices Atleti out of the market.

[ Costa: Chelsea “won’t decide my fate”]

It’s unclear as to what’s next in the transfer saga, but it’s looking more and more likely that it will come down to the final hours of the transfer window. Complicating matters is that Costa’s preferred destination, Atletico Madrid, is banned from signing players during this transfer window and can’t add new pieces until January.

Transfer Rumor Wrap: Tottenham set to make Ajax’s Sanchez its record signing

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Tottenham look set to break the bank on one of the world’s most exciting defensive prospects.

According to a report in the Guardian, Tottenham and Ajax have agreed on a $54.1 million transfer fee for centerback Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian international only joined Ajax a year ago but led the backline to the Europa League final, where Ajax fell to Manchester United.

Spurs officials reportedly traveled to Amsterdam earlier this week to sort out a deal to bring Sanchez back to London. It’s believed to be a $36 million transfer with add-on clauses worth around $18 million.

Sanchez will add more speed and strength to one of the Premier League’s best backlines, giving Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen a partner to play with in a back three.

Here’s some more news from around the Premier League:

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Costa: Chelsea “won’t decide my fate”

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As each day passes, the impasse between Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and Diego Costa grows.

Costa is continuing to holdout from Chelsea after being asked to train with the reserves and has made clear his preference to transfer back to his former club, Atletico Madrid. But in his latest comments to ESPN Brazil, Costa said that Chelsea are asking for a transfer fee that’s well above what Atletico can afford.

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“Chelsea offered me to several clubs,” Costa said. “But I was very clear with them. They said that since I’m not part of the coach’s plans, I want to choose my destiny. For them they have made more money, I will not let them decide my destiny. Even because when I came to Chelsea they paid well below the proposal that is coming now. I think they have to be aware and see everything I’ve done.”

It’s easy to feel sympathetic for Costa and his situation. He said in the interview that he’s struggled with English and as such, has had to rely on people at the club to take care of a lot of tasks. In Madrid, a country he’s received citizenship from and a city and language he’s comfortable with, he doesn’t have these worries.

But for all the good will he earned, Costa also painted himself in a bad light later in that response to a question about what the deadlock was about with Chelsea.

“It’s not my fault I’m not there,” Costa said. “If it was up to me, I’d be playing. There’s already (been) a month. Holiday is good, but it gets boring. I did not cause this situation. Since this is where the club has to think in two ways. Of course they have to have a payback, as I have given sportily and financially as well. After three years you will receive an amount above what you paid.”

Costa though did provide some insight. It had been believed over the past week or so that Costa would only move to Atletico Madrid, but the Brazilian-born Spanish international forward clarified that statement, saying he’d prefer to go to Atletico but if Atletico can’t afford him or can’t figure out a deal to sign him and get around the club’s transfer ban, he’d be open to going to another European club.

“I have already shown my affection and my interest in playing for Atletico,” Costa said. “But if they, Athletic and Chelsea did not reach an agreement and they [Athletic] do not force a move, I can not be wanting to play in a club that does not want to make a greater effort. I know that this will happen. If it is to pay as much as Chelsea want [the transfer], it is not possible. You must see this. What I know is that the proposal to come will exceed that Chelsea paid when he brought me. And I gave back in every way.”