Sporting KC

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Report: Erik Palmer-Brown attracting interest from Ajax, others in Europe

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Erik Palmer-Brown has become one of the brightest talents in the U.S. Men’s National Team pool over the years despite a significant lack of playing time with MLS side Sporting KC.

[ MORE: Arena says USMNT unlikely to catch Mexico in CONCACAF WCQ ]

The 20-year-old defender could be on his way back to Europe though, and this time on a more permanent basis.

Metro New York is reporting that the Sporting KC center back is attracting serious interest from Europa League finalists Ajax and Portuguese side Porto, who saw EPB in person last season while he served on a loan spell from MLS.

The report also that states that Palmer-Brown is being monitored by several larger clubs like Premier League champions Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Palmer-Brown has made just 10 appearances for Sporting KC since signing with the Western Conference side back in 2013 — becoming the youngest player to join the senior team in club history.

The young defender has shined with numerous levels of the USMNT program, including most recently with the U.S. Under-20s, who lost in the quarterfinals of this month’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

MLS Snapshot: Sporting KC 1-1 Montreal impact (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For an hour, and really longer, Sporting KC looked prepared to increase its Western Conference lead with another home win. Gerso Fernandes scored with a vicious cross-body finish in the 24th minute, but Soni Mustivar’s awful back pass allowed Matteo Mancosu to steal a point for the pesky Impact. Montreal is now three points back of a playoff spot in the East.

The goals

24′ — Gerso nets his sixth — There’s a lot to enjoy from this video. First there’s the ability to spy the instant that Ilie Sanchez realized he had Gerso Fernandes flying down the pitch. Then there’s his wicked finish across his body. There’s part of us which thinks Evan Bush should’ve been better positioned to flail toward the far post, but we’re not goalkeeping experts.

82′ — Soni Mustivar makes a really poor decision —  He must’ve been screened by teammates, because there’s no other explanation for this horrific back pass by the Sporting KC man. Matteo Mancosu is happy for a free 1v1 with Tim Melia, and that little chipped finish was fantastic. 1-1.

Man of the Match: Gerso Fernandes

MLS at Week 15: Three matches go on despite international window

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As they say in show business, the show must go on.

That’s the case this weekend as three MLS matches will be played despite the international window taking center stage for a multitude of World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Here’s a look at the six teams taking to the field as part of a concise MLS Week 15.

Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United — Saturday at 4 p.m. ET

It’s fair to say both clubs are very different from when they met on March 18 — a 4-0 thrashing in favor of Atlanta. With a game in hand, the Chicago Fire to move to within a point of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC on Saturday, a position that few thought was possible for the Fire based on their struggles over recent seasons. In 2016, the Fire had just 31 points all season (think about that for a second!). To this point, Veljko Paunovic and Co. have accumulated 25 points in their first 14 matches. Meanwhile, Atlanta sits on 18 points and is coming off of a loss on the road to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sporting KC vs. Montreal Impact — Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

Peter Vermes’ Sporting KC side has been up and down as of late but the West leaders managed to pull things together last weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win over Minnesota United to get back to winning ways. The Impact on the other hand have had more struggles this season and sit second-to-bottom in the East through 12 matches. The Canadian side has had their share of difficulties on the road to this point, taking just six out of a possible 18 points away from Saputo Stadium.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas — Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET

These are hands down two of the top sides out west and possibly in MLS. Even without Darlington Nagbe, who is off on USMNT duty, the Timbers boast one of the top attacks in the league, while Dallas is not too far behind. This fixture hasn’t been friendly to the Timbers over recent times though, with Oscar Pareja’s side winning three of the last five encounters and the other two ending in draws.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 13: TFC continues to roll atop MLS

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As MLS heads into Week 13 there are many familiar suspects at the top of the league while some new teams continue their rise to the summit.

Here are PST’s latest MLS Power Rankings as we head into another busy weekend:

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]


TEAM RANKING (Last Wk)

22 (13)

21 (21)

 

20 (17)

D.C. United: Three consecutive defeats and no goals in that span has spelt some serious trouble for Ben Olson’s side, who sit at the bottom of the East.

Colorado Rapids: With just two wins over the first (almost) three months, the Rapids are scoring less than a goal per game (nine in 11 matches). This club needs to add to its attack over the summer.

Real Salt Lake: The Claret and Cobalt have scored just three goals in their last six matches. They’ve only won one of those matches. 

19 (19) Montreal Impact: A big win against Portland could kickstart a turnaround for the Impact.
18 (7) Minnesota United: It’s going to be a long season for the Loons if they cannot fix their backline. The good news is the club is scoring more goals to at least make things interesting.
17 (16) New England Revolution: The Eastern Conference side has improved over recent weeks with back-to-back wins.
16 (12) Seattle Sounders: The Sounders got off to a rough start last season, and they won MLS Cup. It may be more difficult to replicate that feat in 2017 given the quality of teams early in the year.
15 (9) Atlanta United: It’s been a series of ups and downs for Tata Martino’s men, but a thrilling effort against Houston last week showed how brilliant Atlanta can be.
14 (22) Philadelphia Union: After a rough start, the Union have picked up some serious steam as of late, going unbeaten in their last six.
13 (18) LA Galaxy: The Galaxy are looking like the Galaxy we’ve become accustomed to seeing. Let’s see if they can sustain it.
12 (7) New York Red Bulls: Jesse Marsch’s group will look to a familiar foe in the New England Revolution to try to get back to winning ways.
11 (15) Vancouver Whitecaps: The Western Conference side could keep up winning ways this weekend as they face D.C. United.
10 (5) Orlando City: Winless in five, the Lions will travel north to take on an improved Minnesota.
9 (4) Portland Timbers: The Timbers haven’t won in their last four, and their backline is beginning to show signs of weakness.
8 (11) Columbus Crew: One of the top games of the weekend will come on Friday night when Greg Berhalter’s men travel north to face Toronto.
7 (10) San Jose Earthquakes: A draw with Orlando and win over Dallas has the Quakes rising again in the West. 
6 (14) Houston Dynamo: With Erick Torres and co., the Dynamo could very well have one of the top attacks in MLS. 
5 (8) Chicago Fire: Veljko Paunovic’s side kicked off the week with a quality win over FC Dallas, and people should begin to see the Fire how good they truly are.
4 (2) FC Dallas: Back-to-back losses for the reigning Supporters’ Shield holders brings up some questions in Dallas, but ultimately you’d have to imagine this team is going to be alright.
3 (6) New York City FC: The biggest difference between 2017 and past years for this club is the team’s defensive prowess. When you couple that with David Villa and NYCFC’s potent scoring attack, this team is becoming a favorite in the East.
2 (1) Sporting KC: The West leaders continue to play well at home but this weekend could be one of the side’s easier road matchups as they travel to a struggling Colorado.
1 (3) Toronto FC: Seven straight without a loss and Toronto has shown no signs of ending that run in the near future.

MLS Snapshot: Union storm back vs. Rapids, Whitecaps defeat Sporting KC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): In a battle of two of the league’s weakest sides to this point, it was the Philadelphia Union that emerged victorious after a strange sequence of events late in the match ended up benefitting the hosts. Caleb Calvert had a dream start for the Colorado Rapids with his first career MLS goal after a quarter hour, but the 20-year-old’s night came to an abrupt end in the second half after the striker re-entered the match without the referee’s permission. This resulted in a second yellow card. End of his evening. From there, Haris Medunjanin’s stunning free kick beat Tim Howard six minutes later and gave the Union their fourth win of the season.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS (afternoon) roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

15′ — Calvert stuns Union for first MLS goal — Andre Blake stood no chance on this one. Just watch below and you’ll understand why. So pretty.

23′ — Howard denies Union equalizer with kick save — Two words: Tim Howard.

69′ — Stranger things happening in Philly — The Rapids were reduced to 10 when Calvert re-entered the pitch without the referee waving the forward back on, and just like that the visitors were at a tremendous disadvantage.

75′ — Union take the lead — Oh boy, that’s some strike from Haris Medunjanin. Wow!

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: C.J. Sapong

Goalscorers: Caleb Calvert (15′), C.J. Sapong (67′ — PK), Haris Medunjanin (75′)


The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps are picked up a bit of steam in the Western Conference after a slow start to the season, and Christian Bolanos is proving to be a key playmaker for the Canadian side. The Costa Rican recorded two assists on Saturday, helping pace the Whitecaps to their fifth win of the season at BC Place against Sporting KC. Meanwhile, it was an off night for the West leaders, who posted just two shots on target. Goalkeeper Tim Melia impressed once against though for SKC, making five stops in net, two of which came off a second-half penalty double-save.

Three moments that mattered

40′ — Techera volley gives Whitecaps lead — This might be the best team goal you see all season… and Cristian Techera’s finish was pretty darn good too.

67′ — Parker heads home for Whitecaps’ second — The U.S. Men’s National Team defender knocked him his first of the season after the hour mark to ensure the points for the home side.

‘ — Melia makes crazy double-save — It wasn’t Sporting KC’s evening but Tim Melia continues to show us why he’s one of the top up-and-coming keepers in MLS.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Christian Bolanos

Goalscorers: Cristian Techera (40′), Tim Parker (67′)