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MLS at Week 14: Congested conferences look for separation

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Week 14 is here and a number of team puts their winning streaks on the line as the MLS season nears the halfway point.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Week 13 ]

Toronto FC has kept a hold of MLS through 13 weeks, and Greg Vanney’s side has a comfortable advantage at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, several clubs like the LA Galaxy have found their footing as of late, and the surging side out west will put their recent form to test against D.C. United.

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 11 p.m. EDT on Friday

The Timbers have allowed 21 goals thus far, the second-most of any team in either conference currently sitting in a playoff position. It’s quite clear what’s wrong with Portland to this point, but can they fix their defensive woes? Meanwhile, the Quakes will hope for similar fortunes against the Timbers from the last time the sides met, a 3-0 win for Dominic Kinnear and Co.

New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union — 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Union finally cooled off against RSL last time out, while NYCFC is the one going through some struggles now with just one win in five. NYCFC is fourth in MLS in goals scored (25)

Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United — 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Loons haven’t strung together back-to-back wins in their inaugural season. Can Adrian Heath get his side past that hurdle on Saturday?

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Atlanta United — 5:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Whitecaps have alternated wins and losses for the past three weeks and yet the Canadian side is just one point outside of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Atlanta, however, has returned to its shining form from early in the season with big victories over Houston and NYCFC as of late. With a lot of talented teams in the middle of the pack in the East it could be tricky getting a playoff position, but Atlanta is going to be fun to watch all season, regardless of where they finish.

D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy  — 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Galaxy are the hottest side in MLS not named Toronto FC, but they’ll quietly go about their business for as long as they can. The Western Conference side has scored nine goals in their last three matches, all wins, and now the Galaxy have a chance to jump higher out west with a win over a topsy-turvy D.C. United side.

New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC — 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

Is anybody going to stop Toronto FC in the near future? Highly doubtful. TFC’s unbeaten run is up to eight matches now, and the Canadian side is smashing its opponents in that span with 19 goals for while only allowing six.

Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls — 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The bleeding appears to have stopped for the Red Bulls after back-to-back results while the Impact picked up a huge victory over the Timbers. The Impact still sit buried at the bottom of the East to this point though, so a win would go a long way against the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake — 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday

After starting off hot this season, Dallas has cooled off lately, with the club failing to win in their last three. The goals haven’t come in that span either, as Oscar Pareja’s group has tallied just one finish since their May 14 draw against NYCFC.

Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew — 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday

The Rapids have something positive to build off of after knocking off Sporting KC last weekend, while the Crew continue to be a difficult puzzle to figure out. Greg Berhalter’s side went out a laid an egg in the form of a 5-0 defeat in Toronto last weekend before beating the Sounders at home. Consistency is certainly lacking for both clubs.

Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire — 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday

In one of the clashes of the weekend the Lions look to regain their fortress status at home after falling to New York City FC last time out down in Orlando. Their opponent though is a side on a mission after the Fire have racked up four straight wins and five consecutive positive results in recent weeks. Veljko Paunovic’s men currently sit in second place in the East, a position most people didn’t expect the club to be in after last season’s struggles.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo — 10 p.m. EDT on Sunday

The Sounders are only one point out of a playoff spot in the west but this isn’t the team we expected to see when the season began. Meanwhile, the Dynamo continue to be one of the most pleasantly surprising teams in MLS as the Texas club sits atop the Western Conference. They’ll go for their first away win of the season on Sunday despite boasting a perfect home record.

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ] 

http://www.nbcsports.com/video/everton-unseen-part-2-everton-host-mfk-ruzomberok-europa-league

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England:

(more…)

Liverpool bombard Hoffenheim with three-goal first half

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Liverpool got off to a flying start in the second leg of its UEFA Champions League tie with Hoffenheim.

With the loyal Anfield crowd behind the team, the Reds scored three goals in the first 21 minutes, two of them from Emre Can to put Liverpool well in control of the tie.

Can’s opener was followed by a goal from Mo Salah before the German international scored a wide-open goal at the back post to make it 3-0 and 5-1 on aggregate. Sadio Mane played a big role in both of Can’s goals.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann went to the bench right after the third goal and brought on Mark Uth, who promptly scored to bright a little hope back to the German club.

Here’s a look at the flying first half of goals for Liverpool.

Emre Can 10′

Mohamed Salah 18′

Emre Can 21′

Mark Uth 28′