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Schweinsteiger shares thoughts on MLS, much more in lengthy interview

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Ambassadors responsible for Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s move to America extend deep into the 1970s.

1977 to be exact. That’s when Franz Beckenbauer first came to the New York Cosmos from Bayern Munich, a three-season tenure that went so well he returned to New York for his final professional season after time with Hamburg.

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Schweinsteiger said Beckenbauer’s words meant a lot to him, and admitted that he’s not imparting that wisdom to other overseas players who ask him about MLS.

From TSN.ca (Full video here):

“I remember when David Beckham was playing here or even I know when Franz Beckenbauer was playing here, and I was talking to him and he said he had his best life in America,” Schweinsteiger said. “We spoke about it and I was thinking about it a little bit.For me it was a little bit different because I love to play soccer and in Manchester I couldn’t play enough soccer so that was the problem.”

Among several interesting soundbites from the interview with Schweinsteiger also spoke about Germany’s memorable destruction of host nation Brazil at the 2014 World Cup:

“I remember the semifinal that we won 7-1. Everyone speaks about the 7-1, but we were not talking so much about it because we felt very, in a way, sad, because you saw your teammates like Dante and Luis Gustavo and the Brazilian supporters and the team crying, so you couldn’t really celebrate. Our focus was so much looking forward to the final. I remember things like this, sometimes more than the final.”

Not something you consider often. Winning a match 2-1 against your club teammates is one thing, but sending them to international humiliation is another.

Mexico’s Blanco fears for life, family following hitman’s accusations

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The mayoral tenure of former Chicago Fire and Mexico national team star Cuauhtemoc Blanco has taken a wild turn.

Blanco, 44, has been accused by an assassin of paying for a murder, and says he fears for the lives of those in his family as repercussions echo throughout Mexico.

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The mayor of Cuernavaca, Blanco denies that he ordered the killing of businessman Juan Manuel Bejarano, an accusation sent his way by the hitman.

Here’s what Blanco said, according to ESPN’s Tom Marshall:

“Yes, I am afraid, afraid for my life, for my family but I am staying here. I am staying here. If anything, this [incident] gives me strength to continue to fight the injustices because this is really an aberration and a sickness. Why did they do this? You all should be asking, why did they do this?”

Blanco retired from playing in 2015, and it’s fair to say the wild and serious nature of this story trumps anything from Blanco’s legendary career on the pitch.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 7: A new No. 1 (with a bullet)

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Given the early stages of the season and a week off from Power Rankings, this week’s edition sees several big jumps and precipitous falls.

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TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (19)

21 (20)

 

20 (11)

Philadelphia Union: Four-straight losses have to be testing Earnie Stewart’s resolve when it comes to coach Jim Curtin.

Minnesota United: Now seeing results, Minnesota has still yet to allow less than two goals in an MLS game.

Colorado Rapids: The league’s stingiest defense in 2016, Colorado hasn’t kept a clean sheet since Week 1.

19 (18) Montreal Impact: Yes the return of Ignacio Piatti helped, but so did a pretty bogus red card to Atlanta. Problems in Quebec?
18 (7) Seattle Sounders: With one win through six matches, Seattle’s 2016 title follow-up is looking a lot like Portland’s 2015 effort.
17 (16) New England Revolution: Improved results took a hit from a blowout loss to Chicago.
16 (21) DC United: Was looking more like the team that finished 2016 red-hot before a loss to the rival Red Bulls.
15 (14) LA Galaxy: Big litmus test as Seattle visits this weekend.
14 (14) San Jose Earthquakes: Winless in four yet still unbeaten at home, the Quakes head back to the road this week.
13 (4) Vancouver Whitecaps: Held serve against Seattle to rebound from a loss against charged up Real Salt Lake.
12 (12) New York Red Bulls: Restored confidence with a confident win over DC United.
11 (8) Houston Dynamo: Blowing a 2-goal lead to Minnesota stings.
10 (14) Toronto FC: The latest victim of Justin Meram’s phenomenal start, the Reds fell from the ranks of the unbeaten against Trillium Cup rivals Columbus.
9 (22) Real Salt Lake: Petke bump! The Power Rankings are taking a leap of faith on RSL, who looks like a much different and improved team after a coaching change.
8 (9) Atlanta United: Winless in three, all on the road, though that last one could’ve been different were it not for a questionable red card.
7 (5) New York City FC: David Villa is going to finish his time in MLS one day, and he’ll be discussed along with Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan as one of the best ever to play in the league.
6 (4) Columbus Crew: Back to winning ways following a blip against the Fire.
5 (17) Chicago Fire: Who would’ve thought adding a world class midfielder and one of MLS’ best to the engine room would’ve worked out so well? In the case of the former, Bastian Schweinsteiger, there were plenty of age skeptics. In the case of the latter, Dax McCarty, nearly everyone did.
4 (2) Portland Timbers: With one win in its last four matches, Caleb Porter’s crew is getting some leniency from our power rankings thanks to their incredible start.
3 (3) Orlando City: No team is winning more points-per-game than Orlando, though no team has played fewer matches than the Lions.
2 (1) FC Dallas: The West’s leader in points-per-game remains unbeaten but has yet to put up a result worthy of their pedigree.
1 (12) Sporting KC: Unbeaten, with wins at Portland and draws against Toronto FC and FC Dallas, KC looks prepared to deliver on last season’s preseason promise.

Tim Howard suspended three matches for fan incidents

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Tim Howard has been suspended by MLS for three matches.

Howard, who’d later have an encounter with KC’s Dom Dwyer, was filmed swearing at fans in Colorado’s loss to Sporting KC last week.

That incident alone wasn’t what earned Howard his suspension, as the goalkeeper was reportedly involved in a separate fan incident in the tunnel that involved physical contact.

[ MORE: Handicapping the PL Player of the Year ]

MLSSoccer.com says Howard will also be fined. Howard will miss matches at Real Salt Lake and Orlando, as well as a visit from Minnesota United. The club still has Zac MacMath.

Colorado issued a statement referencing MLS’ “Don’t Cross The Line” campaign, a project which almost certainly amplified the penalty.

David Villa lobs keeper from center circle in 2-0 NYCFC win (video)

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David Villa put a cherry on top of New York City’s Friday road win with a lob from close to half field, keeping the Philadelphia Union winless after a 2-0 match in Pennsylvania.

NYC rises level on points with Eastern Conference leaders Columbus with 10, while Philly’s two points remain the lowest total in MLS.

With NYC leading 1-0, Villa caught Andre Blake cheating up the pitch in the 90th minute by popping a 50-yard shot over the keeper’s head. Out of sorts, Blake didn’t help things with his effort in tracking down the shot.

[ MORE: Handicapping the PL Player of the Year ]

Thanks to must-follow @TotalMLS for the quick video:

The match is one of three Friday affairs on the MLS slate.

For the opening goal, Ronald Matarrita caught the Union back line off guard by playing Jack Harrison into space with a creative pass, and Harrison chopped a partially-screened effort under Blake.