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MLS Power Rankings — Week 9: Sporting KC goes top, TFC makes big leap

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It’s been a back-and-forth path at the top of the Power Rankings for FC Dallas, and although they’re still unbeaten there’s just one club that’s been a little bit better than them as of late.

Meanwhile, Toronto FC continues its ascent up the MLS Power Rankings ladder after picking up its third straight victory, while one team at the bottom of the East is struggling mightily to capture its first win of 2017.

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[ MORE: Last week’s MLS Power Rankings ]

TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (22)

 

21 (21)

 

20 (20)

Philadelphia Union: It’s becoming of a “when” than an “if” there will be wholesale changes coming in Chester.

Colorado Rapids: The Union’s winless run has garnered great attention across MLS but Pablo Mastroeni’s side hasn’t won since opening day.

Montreal Impact: After an impressive comeback against the Union, the Impact laid an egg at home against the Whitecaps. Seven points through eight games isn’t what anyone expected from this side.


19 (19) Minnesota United: The Loons are going to experience many ups and downs in their inaugural season. Last week was a down.
18 (18) LA Galaxy: The Galaxy are winless their last three and have scored just once in that span. It’s been difficult for anybody not named Romain Alessandrini to find the back of the net.
17 (12) Real Salt Lake: They’ve allowed six goals in the last two matches, which doesn’t bode well for an attack that struggles to find goals of its own.
16 (16) New England Revolution: The good news for the Revs is they haven’t lost in the last three games. The bad is that they haven’t won either.
15 (17) Vancouver Whitecaps: Carl Robinson’s group are beginning to find their footing this season but they cannot continue to alternate wins and losses if they want to keep a playoff spot in the congested Western Conference.
14 (11) Houston Dynamo: A loss on the road to Toronto isn’t the end of the world but these are the types of matches that separate the good from the great.
13 (15) D.C. United: It wasn’t the prettiest performance at times but D.C. picked up a solid win down in Atlanta and scored three in the process. 
12 (13) Seattle Sounders: The defending champs looked dead in the water against the Revs, at home no less, but the Sounders put on an absolute show in the dying minutes and proved they’re still an elite side.
11 (10) Columbus Crew: In all honesty it was a poor showing from the Crew against NYCFC. Up two goals at home, yet the hosts fell apart in a big way to a New York City side that was without David Villa.
10 (14) San Jose Earthquakes: Their win in Minnesota snapped a six-match winless run. Hopefully this gives the Quakes a wake-up call before the Sounders and other awaken in the West.
9 (5) Atlanta United: Not the showing you’d expect from this side at home but at least Josef Martinez is nearing a return.
8 (6) Chicago Fire: Dax didn’t get the result he wanted in his welcome back to Red Bull Arena but his side did muster up more chances than the Red Bulls.
7 (9) New York Red Bulls: 
6 (7) New York City FC: Consistency is key for the Bronx side. They showed how good they can be against the Crew… even without David Villa. Now, they must back up that performance on Sunday when they welcome Atlanta to town.
5 (2) Orlando City: Certainly wasn’t a terrible week for the Lions, but they showed there’s still a bit of a gap between them and TFC.
4 (4) Portland Timbers: A road draw against Dallas when they only had two shots on goal. Caleb Porter will take that result every time.
3 (8) Toronto FC: Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore are each at five goals right now, and that spells trouble for the rest of the league. TFC has won three straight and they’ve got their sights set on the top of the East.
2 (1) FC Dallas: Have to give credit where credit is due. This is the only unbeaten side remaining in MLS, but there’s one club that’s just been a little bit hotter at the moment.
1 (3) Sporting KC: Wins over RSL and the Red Bulls have Peter Vermes’ side atop our Power Rankings in Week 9…. and deservedly so. Just three goals allowed in nine matches.

FIFA force pace on $25B Club World Cup, global league plan

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GENEVA (AP) FIFA is forcing the pace on talks over a $25 billion offer to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global national team competition.

FIFA says President Gianni Infantino hosted a meeting last Friday with invited officials from some top European clubs.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Walcott strike ]

The European Club Association has strongly opposed FIFA’s hope for a four-yearly club tournament starting in 2021, which could rival the UEFA-organized Champions League.

UEFA has also proposed a Global Nations League. A similar project is tied to the FIFA-controlled $25 billion, 12-year offer from a consortium including investors from Saudi Arabia and China.

FIFA says it’s holding “informal ongoing discussions with different stakeholders on the topic of the future Club World Cups.”

Infantino is set to meet confederation presidents and general secretaries “in the near future,” FIFA says.

Video: De Rossi, Roma make classy visit to Hillsborough memorial

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On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.

Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.

After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.

De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”

Liverpool, Roma ride major emotions into the UCL semifinals

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Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.

Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]

Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.

The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.

Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.

For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.

Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.

Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.

Keeper Ederson hopeful he can score this season for Man City

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The prospects for a goalkeeper scoring during a match are usually uncommon, but that hasn’t halted Manchester City’s number one choice from aiming to break the trend this season.

Ederson — who has moved into the starting role at the Etihad Stadium with relative ease in 2017/18 — has dreamt of scoring a goal of his own for the Premier League champions in waiting.

“I heard the fans chanting my name, asking me to take the penalty but Gabriel went there,” Ederson said. “Unfortunately he missed it and Bernardo happily scored. But if the manager have asked me to go there, definitely I’d score.

“I’m not sure if I would be able to do set-pieces, but I’m good at penalties, either using power or technique on shooting it. But City have [their] regular penalty-takers and we are well-served.

Citizen supporters chanted for the goalkeeper to take a penalty kick over the weekend in the team’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

However, Gabriel Jesus was the man selected for the opportunity, but had his attempt saved by Lukasz Fabianski before Bernardo Silva was in the right spot to score the game’s fifth goal.

“If Pep asks me to take it, I’m there,” Ederson said of the penalty kick. “Hopefully it will happen [before the end of the season], I’d like to score.”

This isn’t the first time Ederson has discussed exploring opportunities outside of the net, though.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has long been a fan of former Brazil international goalkeeper Rogero Ceni — who scored 65 goals for club side Sao Paolo.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old joked around with the media, saying that he’d be more than happy to fill a role in the midfield when City was experiencing some injury issues within the squad.