Claus Andersen/Getty Images

MLS at Week 10: Sounders host TFC in rematch of 2016 final

Leave a comment

Week 10 around MLS presents several tantalizing matchups but none bigger than a meeting between last season’s MLS Cup winner and runners’ up.

Surprises like the Houston Dynamo and Orlando City will meet in an important cross-conference clash on Saturday, while a rivalry is renewed when the Philadelphia Union host the New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: Week 8 MLS Power Rankings ]

Let’s take a look at all of this weekend’s matches:

Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
10 p.m. ET Friday

These two sides are moving in opposite directions very quickly. The Rapids haven’t won since the opening week of the season, while the Whitecaps have won three of their last five and are beginning to show signs of life after falling out of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC
3 p.m. ET Saturday

Game of the Week! We get to see the two best sides from a season ago battle it out at CenturyLink Field, and this matchup couldn’t have come at a better time. The Sounders aren’t exactly in midseason form but they’re playing very well and TFC has certainly gotten its deficiencies sorted out after winning its last three fixtures.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact
6 p.m. ET Saturday

Ben Olsen’s side is coming off of a very important win down in Atlanta, but can D.C. keep it up against the struggling Impact? The Canadian club hasn’t won on the road yet in 2017so they’ll be looking at RFK to get off the snide.

Philadelphia Union vs. NY Red Bulls
7 p.m. ET Saturday

It’s always a fun one when these two sides get together but as Week 10 approaches there’s a very different feel to this match. The Union are looking for something, really anything, to get them three points. Back-to-back draws can be minor positives for Jim Curtin and his club but it’s getting very close to the point where massive changes need to be made in Chester.

Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution
7:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Both teams are coming off of very disappointing results, particularly the Revs, who led the Sounders by three goals on the road a week ago. The Crew and Revs will need to forget their short-term memory.

Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City
8:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The Lions had their four-game win streak ended on Wednesday but it’s hard to say the sky is falling for Orlando City. They’ve been one of the best sides this season thus far and Jason Kreis has become an early candidate for Manager of the Year. Meanwhile, the Dynamo suffered a similar fate to Toronto in their last match but continue to be a pleasant surprise as well.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas
9:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Back-to-back defeats for RSL isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for Mike Petke and co. and with Dallas coming to town it could be more trouble ahead for the Claret and Cobalt. Dallas remains the lone unbeaten side in MLS, but can RSL put an end to that streak?

LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
10:30 p.m. ET Saturday

Coming into this season, it would’ve been expected that the two sides would have their positions reversed in the table but the Fire have shown drastic improvement in the second year of Veljko Paunovic’s managerial tenure. The Galaxy, however, haven’t had much go in their favor in 2017 with just two wins in seven matches.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers
10:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The Timbers have been one of the most exciting teams to watch in the attack this season, and the Quakes will surely be looking to borrow a trick or two from them when these sides get together at Avaya Stadium. San Jose has yet to lose at home this season after going 2-0-2 in their first four matches.

Minnesota United vs. Sporting KC
1:30 p.m. ET Sunday

The good news for the Loons is they’re playing at home, but unfortunately it’s against one of the top sides in MLS. Sporting KC has only allowed three goals in nine games this season, and the Western Conference leaders are beginning to fire on all cylinders up front as well.

New York City FC vs. Atlanta United
4 p.m. ET Sunday

In most other weeks this would be Game of the Week-worthy given their firepower on the offensive side of things. It should still live up to the hype though, especially if Josef Martinez is able to make a return for Atlanta.

Wenger called ref Dean “not honest,” “a disgrace” to earn ban

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused a referee of being “not honest” and called him “a disgrace” in a rant inside the match officials’ changing room that led to a three-match touchline ban for one of English soccer’s most experienced coaches.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

The English Football Association published Tuesday the written reasons behind its decision to ban Wenger for being abusive toward referee Mike Dean after Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Dec. 31.

In his match report given to the FA, Dean said Wenger “was pointing aggressively at me saying, ‘You’re not honest’ on numerous occasions.” Dean then said Wenger said “you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace.”

[ MORE: Newcastle sale talks collapse — Staveley, not Ashley, out ]

Wenger had been incensed at Calum Chambers being penalized for a handball and West Brom converting the resulting penalty to equalize late in the game.

The FA said “there is simply no justification for this behavior” and considered a stadium ban for Wenger.

Wenger was also fined $54,200 for his conduct.

FA Cup: Leicester, West Ham survive replays to reach 4th round

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two more Premier League sides reached the fourth round of the 2017-18 FA Cup on Tuesday, winning their respective replays and joining 10 other top-flight clubs already through to the next round…

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Leicester City 2-0 Fleetwood Town

Kelechi Iheanacho moved to Leicester from Manchester City for $33 million this summer and has, through his first half-season in the East Midlands, failed to live up to that price tag. In nine PL appearances, he is yet to score his first league goal. Tuesday, however, saw the 21-year-old Nigerian international put forth a bit production and performance more befitting a player of his promise and pedigree.

Manager Claude Puel picked a side consisting of first-team regulars and lesser-used squad players for the Foxes FA Cup third-round replay against League One side Fleetwood Town. It was Iheanacho, who started alongside/just behind target man Islam Slimani, who shown brightest with a pair of goals, in the 43rd and 77th minutes, to send Leicester into the fourth round. Iheanacho’s second, the one that put the game away for Leicester, was originally ruled out for offside, but was eventually after consultation of the video-assistant referee.

Leicester will travel to League One side Peterborough in the fourth round, on Sat. Jan. 27.

[ MORE: Newcastle sale talks collapse — Staveley, not Ashley, out ]

West Ham United 1-0 (AET) Shrewsbury Town

It took far longer than Hammers fans would have liked — or expected — but West Ham, over the course of 120 minutes, survived the Cupset bid of third-division Shrewsbury Town. With eight minutes remaining before Tuesday’s replay went to penalty kicks at the London Stadium, 21-year-old defender Reece Burke fired home from inside the box to break the scoreless deadlock.

West Ham will be away to the winner of the replay between Bournemouth and Wigan Athletic (Wednesday), on Sat. Jan. 27.

Elsewhere in FA Cup replay action

Mansfield Town 1-4 Cardiff City
Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Carlisle United
Reading 3-0 Stevenage

Wednesday’s FA Cup replay schedule

Chelsea vs. Norwich City — 2:45 p.m. ET
Swansea City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers — 2:45 p.m. ET
Wigan Athletic vs. Bournemouth — 2:45 p.m. ET

Report: Newcastle sale talks between Ashley, Staveley collapse

Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Talks between Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley over the much-desired and -rumored sale of Newcastle United are off, according to a report from Sky Sports and various other UK news outlets.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Sky has quoted a source close to Ashley as having said: “Attempts to reach a deal (with Staveley) have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time.” (Full quote below)

Ashley, the club’s current and long-beleaguered owner, has been seeking a potential buyer since putting the club up for sale back in October. Staveley emerged as the front-runner (the only runner, perhaps) in the days following Ashley’s announcement, and reportedly tabled an offer of $335 million in early December before reportedly offering something closer to $400 million a couple weeks later.

Ashley selling the club — and doing so before the end of the January transfer window, which now appears nigh impossible — appeared to be one the few scenarios in which Rafa Benitez would remain the Magpies’ manager beyond the end of the current Premier League season (Newcastle currently sit 15th, just three points clear of relegation) after constant rumors of his discontent and lack of financial backing last summer.

LIVE, FA Cup replays: West Ham, Leicester on upset alert

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Five FA Cup third round replays take place on Tuesday with two Premier League clubs on upset alert.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Leicester City and West Ham United both host third-tier opponents, with the Hammers welcoming Shrewsbury to the London Stadium and Leicester hosting Jamie Vardy‘s former club Fleetwood.

Both Claude Puel and David Moyes have named strong teams to try and breeze through to the fourth round. You can follow commentary on all five games by clicking on the link above and we will have reaction right here on Pro Soccer Talk.

[ MORE: FA Cup fourth round draw in full ]

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday, with all the games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.


Tuesday’s FA Cup replay schedule

Leicester City vs. Fleetwood Town
Mansfield Town vs. Cardiff City
Reading vs. Stevenage Town – 3pm
Sheffield Wednesday vs. Carlisle United
West Ham United vs. Shrewsbury