Kris Boyd, the Portland Timbers’ new Scottish striker, nailed the game-winning goal. Young Philly goalkeeper Zac MacMath created conversation with one noteworthy moment, while teammate Freddy Adu created a few more talking points for his lack of them. Meanwhile, Monday’s Jeld-Wen crowd added a little more rock to the roll of it all. Well done, all ye of Timbers Army.
But personally, when I think back on Portland’s 3-1 win Monday night over Philadelphia to drop the exclamation point on MLS Round 1, visions of Kalif Alhassan rampaging up and down the Timbers’ right side will be first to fill my mind.
Local investigative agencies may soon open a case file for what the Timber’s young Ghanaian winger did over there to Philly left back Porfirio López. And it wasn’t just wasted effort on Alhassan’s part; there was production on the end of all that abuse.
In the end, Alhassan’s one goal and one assist had plenty to do with Portland’s splashy, season-opening win. Years from now, in a quiet corner of some swell soccer bar, a curious man will ask: Just who did get that first ProSoccerTalk MLS Player of the Week prize? And you will know that it was Alhassan.
“I would say it’s about hard work,” the soft-spoken Alhassan allowed afterward. “We worked hard all preseason. We were ready for this game, and I’m glad we got three points.”
Years from now, in a quiet corner of some swell soccer bar, a curious man will ask: Just who did get that first ProSoccerTalk MLS Player of the Week prize? And you will know that his name was Kalif Alhassan.
According to a report by Washington Post reporter Steven Goff, U.S. Soccer Federation CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn will step down from his position in the aftermath of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Flynn has been atop USSF for the last 18 years, generally credited for turning around the finances of the federation from a position of instability and insecurity to generate a $150 million reserve fund.
The 63-year-old has been a source of stability for U.S. Soccer over the past two decades despite multiple changes around him. He began serving with U.S. Soccer back in 1994 when he left his position as president of Anheuser-Busch and worked on the United States’ production of the World Cup that summer. After that, he served as Chief Administrative Officer and as Chief Operating Officer until his hiring as CEO in 2000.
The report states that Flynn will assist in the transition to his successor after stepping down. While no timetable is given for his departure other than to suggest it will take place during the 2019 calendar year, the report states that it is unlikely that he will leave before the end of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Flynn was the genesis of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, TX and is the federation’s highest paid employee.
Arsenal host Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Gunners aim for a tenth-straight win in all competitions.
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Leicester have never won at Arsenal in the Premier League with the Gunners winning each of their last 11 encounters at home against the Foxes.
Unai Emery‘s men have been flying in recent weeks with six wins on the spin in the PL and the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring goals galore in attack.
In team news Arsenal bring in Shkodran Mustafi for the injured Sokratis Papastathopoulos with Stephane Lichtsteiner in at left back.
Leicester make one change with Jonny Evans coming in for the suspended Wes Morgan in central defense.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been speaking publicly for the first time about accusations made by American Kathryn Mayorga, who says she was raped by the Portuguese superstar in Las Vegas back in 2009.
Ronaldo, 33, issued a statement via his lawyers about the allegations after he had originally called Mayorga’s claims “fake news” on his social media account.
Lawyers for Ronaldo claim they will sue Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine who first published the claims from Mayorga but the German publication stand by their reporting. Juventus were heavily criticized for the statement they released in support of Ronaldo, while his main sponsor Nike have revealed they are “deeply concerned” about the allegations.
Speaking ahead of his return to Old Trafford with Juventus on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League, the former Manchester United star addressed the speculation, although the BBC are reporting that no English journalist was allowed to ask questions at the press conference.
“I know I am an example, 100%. In the pitch and outside the pitch. I am a happy man, I smile, I play in a fantastic club, I have four kids, I am healthy, the rest doesn’t interfere on me so I am very glad. I am a happy man. We have done a statement two weeks ago and I am glad,” Ronaldo said. “Of course I am not going to lie in this situation, my lawyers are confident and I am too. I enjoy the football, my life and the rest people take care of my life. The truth always comes in first position. I am good.”
Ronaldo was then asked about his return to United, the club he played for from 2003-2009 and where he won three Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson before leaving for Real Madrid.
“It is emotional for me. I can remember I won lots here. Cups and leagues,” Ronaldo said. “The support was fantastic and my best possible wishes to Sir Alex Ferguson. He gave me a huge lift in my career.”
Ahead of the final week of the 2018 Major League Soccer season, a list of the top player jerseys have been released.
Some will surprise you. Others won’t.
[ MORE: Rooney, Zlatan to PL on loan? ]
LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic sits top of the pile, while LAFC’s Carlos Vela is in second and Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez is third. Wayne Rooney has only been in MLS for half a season but the D.C. United star is in fourth, while Atlanta’s Paraguayan star Miguel Almiron is fifth.
Some surprising names high up on the list include Diego Rossi, Darlington Nagbe and Dom Dwyer.
[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
Below is the full list of the top 25 best-selling jerseys in Major League Soccer.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
2. Carlos Vela
3. Josef Martinez
4. Wayne Rooney
5. Miguel Almiron
6. Bastian Schweinsteiger
7. David Villa
8. Sebastian Giovinco
9. Clint Dempsey
10. Ezequiel Barco
11. Diego Valeri
12. Diego Rossi
13. Bradley Wright-Phillips
14. Giovani dos Santos
15. Darlington Nagbe
16. Jozy Altidore
17. Alphonso Davies
18. Hector Villalba
19. Dom Dwyer
20. Luciano Acosta
21. Graham Zusi
22. Cristian Roldan
23. Darwin Quintero Jr.
24. Paul Arriola
25. Diego Chara