Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

MLS Power Rankings — Week 2: Big shakeups below top three

Leave a comment

Week 2 saw lots of of goals, poor weather up north and a lot of other excitement around Major League Soccer.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Meanwhile, one expansion team continues to struggle finding its feet, while another recorded a six-spot.

[ MORE: Dom Dwyer gains U.S. citizenship, eligible for USMNT ]

Without further ado, let’s take a look at PST’s first installment of the 2017 MLS Power Rankings.


TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (22)

 

21 (21)

 

20 (19)

Minnesota United: The Loons have allowed a league-leading 11 goals in two matches. In comparison, the next most a club has conceded is four…

New England Revolution: Match vs. Orlando City cancelled due to inclement weather.

Columbus Crew: There’s been some early carryover from last season’s struggles, particularly on the defensive end where the Crew have had some issues. This is still a team loaded with talent though.

19 (11) DC United: No Luciano Acosta to start has made the attack look stagnant and the backline did this team no favors either in New York City.
18 (14) Real Salt Lake: Injuries have plagued RSL so far in 2017. Justen Glad and Joao Plata are among the questionable for this weekend’s clash against the Galaxy.
17 (17) Montreal Impact: Good start against the Sounders, but the Impact have to close out games better.
16 (15) Philadelphia Union: Jim Curtin’s side fought hard to pick up a draw against Toronto. The Union will get Orlando in Week 3, who had a lay off a week ago.
15 (10) LA Galaxy: Lots of injuries have halted an early-season momentum for the Galaxy. 
14 (7) Vancouver Whitecaps: Their CCL hopes took a dash against Tigres so let’s see how the Whitecaps respond versus Toronto.
13 (13) Sporting Kansas City: They haven’t been good but they also haven’t been bad. At least Peter Vermes can say SKC is one of two teams that haven’t allowed a goal yet.
12 (18) Chicago Fire: Nemanja Nikolic opened up his MLS account, and it seems like there’s a lot more where that came from.
11 (20) Atlanta United: The weather was certainly frightful up in Minnesota but Atlanta’s play was so delightful. Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez are living up to the early hype down in Hot-lanta.
10 (8) Orlando City: Match against the New England Revolution in Week 2 postponed.
9 (6) Seattle Sounders: The champs haven’t gotten out to the start that they would have liked and now the Red Bulls come to town for the Sounders’ home opener.
8 (4)
Toronto FC: Some early injuries have made things difficult for Greg Vanney’s side, including to Sebastian Giovinco, but the runners’ up from a season are still unbeaten to start.
7 (17) San Jose Earthquakes: Anibal Godoy and the Earthquakes attack are out to a hot start in San Jose.
6 (12) Houston Dynamo: The Western Conference bottom dwellers from a season ago have looked anything but that in 2017. Scary movement up front and solid backline have the Dynamo as a legitimate contender to make some noise in the West.
5 (5) Colorado Rapids: The Rapids should give Tim Howard a raise for his performance against the Red Bulls. No, seriously. Go watch the highlights again.
4 (9) New York City FC: We saw a glimpse of how good this NYCFC attack can be in Week 2. Now, a difficult home test against the Impact looms for the Bronx side.
3 (3) New York Red Bulls: It hasn’t been the prettiest but the Red Bulls are one of four teams to win their first two matches.
2 (1) FC Dallas: Unbeaten in two and a possible Champions League final in the works, everything has started out according to plan for Oscar Pareja and co.
1 (2) Portland Timbers: Even though the Timbers only had one goal to show in Week 2, this attack continues to look extremely potent and is probably the best in MLS.

Ligue 1: Depay’s goal streak hits 5 games; Lyon reeling in Monaco

Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONACO (AP) Lyon won at Dijon 5-2 and moved within one point of second-place Monaco in the French league on Friday.

Lyon’s sixth straight league win kept them level on points with fourth-place Marseille.

The team finishing second qualifies automatically for next season’s Champions League, while the team in third goes into the playoffs. After this weekend, there will be four rounds remaining.

Memphis Depay has scored or created 12 of Lyon’s 16 last goals.

The Netherlands forward opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a close-range volley, and set up the fourth goal for winger Bertrand Traore in the 77th.

Depay almost scored another, just failing to reach right back Rafael‘s cross in the 50th. Midfielder Houssem Aouar followed up and his strike was turned into his own net by defender Valentin Rosier.

Lyon’s other goals came from forwards Nabil Fekir in the 53rd and Maxwell Cornet in the 82nd.


MONACO (AP) — After losing the French title last weekend, Monaco is in danger of throwing away second place after losing at Guingamp 3-1 on Saturday.

The defeat leaves Monaco just one point ahead of Lyon and Marseille as the three sides chase an automatic place in the Champions League with four games left.

Monaco was thrashed by champion Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 last Sunday and the defense leaked easily again, albeit with a little help from one of its defenders.

A makeshift Monaco fell behind midway through the first half after Brazilian defender Jemerson was given a red card for stopping a shot on the line. He was sent off and veteran forward Jimmy Briand netted from the penalty spot for mid-table Guingamp.

Monaco capitulated and trailed 3-0 after 47 minutes. Defender Almamy Toure replied in vain with a consolation goal midway through the second half.


Marseille crushed Lille 5-1 to join Lyon on 69 points. Lyon, which won at Dijon 5-2 on Friday for a sixth straight win, has a better goal difference.

Marseille also has the Europa League and plays the first leg of its semifinal at home to Austrian side Salzburg next Thursday. But Lyon has only Ligue 1 to think about.

Still, Marseille is also brimming with confidence these days, especially winger Florian Thauvin.

He scored twice against Lille to extend his career-best league tally to 19. Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou also netted twice, and forward Lucas Ocampos completed the rout against 19th-place Lille.

In other matches: Amiens won against Strasbourg 3-1; struggling Toulouse beat Angers 2-0, and last-place Metz drew at home to Caen 1-1.

PSG is at Bordeaux on Sunday. Also, Nice is at home to Montpellier, and Saint-Etienne takes on Troyes.

UEFA says Europa League trophy not damaged after being stolen

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA says the Europa League trophy was not damaged after being stolen in Mexico.

The silverware was at a promotional event in the central city of Leon when it was reported by authorities to have been taken from a vehicle.

The theft came ahead of the semifinals of Europe’s second-tier club competition.

UEFA says the “Europa League trophy was in Mexico for a partner event and got briefly stolen. It was quickly recovered and has suffered no damages.”

In the semifinal first legs next week, Arsenal plays Atletico Madrid and Marseille takes on Salzburg.

Serie A: Roma prep for Liverpool by beating SPAL; Benevento win at Milan

Elisabetta Baracchi/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

[ MORE: Man United reach FA Cup final | Premier League preview ]

SPAL 2013 0-3 Roma

A few hours after a reserves-heavy Liverpool side played last-place West Bromwich Albion to a 2-2 draw in the Premier League, Roma, the Reds’ UEFA Champions League semifinal foes beginning Tuesday, hammered 17th-place SPAL on the back of goals scored by Radja Nainggolan and Patrik Schick.

Roma shocked the world — and Barcelona — to reach the semifinals, but still have a battle on their hands to finish inside Serie A’s top-four and qualify for next season’s Champions League. Following Saturday’s victory, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side is three and four points clear of fourth- and fifth-place Lazio and Inter Milan, respectively, though both of the chasing sides play on Sunday.

AC Milan 0-1 Benevento

The 2017-18 season has treated AC Milan, who spent massively last summer, far worse than Roma. Following Sunday’s home defeat to first-year top-flight (and last-place) side Benevento, Gennaro Gattuso’s side sits sixth (final automatic Europa League place) and lead seventh-place Atalanta, who play on Sunday, by just two points.

Pietro Iemmello scored the game’s only goal in the 29th minute.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Sassuolo 1-0 Fiorentina

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Cagliari vs. Bologna — 6:30 a.m. ET
Lazio vs. Sampdoria — 9 a.m. ET
Chievo vs. Inter Milan — 9 a.m. ET
Atalanta vs. Torino — 9 a.m. ET
Udinese vs. Crotone — 9 a.m. ET
Juventus vs. Napoli — 2:45 p.m. ET

Barcelona cruise past Sevilla, lift historic 4th straight Copa del Rey

AP Photo/Francisco Seco
Leave a comment

MADRID (AP) Barcelona became the first team in 85 years to win four straight Copa del Rey titles after blowing away Sevilla 5-0 in the final on Saturday.

Luis Suarez scored twice, and Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Philippe Coutinho also made the scoresheet for Barcelona’s record-extending 30th Copa triumph, and sixth in the last decade.

Sevilla was trying to win a sixth Copa and save a season which will end without any trophies and maybe not even a place in the Europa League next season.

The final took place at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the capital amid the ongoing political turmoil involving Catalonia’s bid for independence.

There were jeers by part of the Barcelona crowd when the national anthem was played, but the boos were largely subdued by the reaction of the numerous Sevilla fans in the crowd. Spain’s King Felipe VI smiled and saluted the fans after the anthem.

No other team had won four Copa titles in a row since Athletic Bilbao from 1930-33. The only other team to do it was Real Madrid from 1905-08.

Barcelona lost a chance to win the treble when it was eliminated by Roma in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, but it is three points away from winning the Spanish league.