“Gutted” Toronto FC rues blowout loss to New England

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TORONTO, CANADA — This was not the year that Toronto FC would be talking about playoff-spot six-pointers in August, much less losing them.

But there was Bradley Orr, a former Premier League back, emotionally stung. The defender was bemoaning the missed chances and soft goals in a 3-0 spanking at the hands of the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

We feel gutted at the moment,” Orr said. “Really disappointed. But we’ve got to shake that off immediately because we got a game Wednesday. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we have to dust ourselves down and go again. We have to show a bit of character now and go up against Philadelphia on Wednesday and win.”

[ RELATED — MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 0-3 New England ]

[ RELATED — Revolution feeling boosted by Jermaine Jones ]

The ‘gutted’ nature of things is understandable. Sure, TFC is missing integral pieces Jermain Defoe, Steven Caldwell and Justin Morrow, and taking just one point from three games happens almost every season.

But it’s how the losses have gone down. Toronto bookended a disappointing home draw against Chicago by getting blown out at Sporting KC and New England.

The Revolution’s Jermaine Jones was the USMNT midfielder walking off the field with three points, not TFC’s Michael Bradley. He was the player whose signing was supposed to foretell the long-desired greatness at BMO Field.

Yet Bradley, unsurprisingly, is keeping an even keel despite the piling-up losses. TFC went 2-2-1 in August, but is still in the catbird seat for the playoffs due to their low numbers of games played.

Must win? No,” Bradley said. “There are still a lot of games left, a lot of football to be played and a lot of points on the table. It was a big game but they all are… The important thing is to respond in a strong way and get ourselves ready for Wednesday.”

Of course he’s right, and Defoe should be back soon to help right the ship (We know how crucial strikers are in MLS… and everywhere).

But what about TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen? He certainly must be feeling pressure, but didn’t let on.

“We write this one off,” Nelsen said. “This is football. We are still in a lovely position, we move on and we have a really important game on Wednesday.”

Toronto is far from cooked and, while I wouldn’t label their position ‘lovely’, they should be just fine. But with the gap from third place to eighth place a mere seven points in the East, the good kind of desperation needs to creep into their play.

The Reds will face Philadelphia in Pennsylvania on Wednesday in a match that could draw the two teams level.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.