ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthday: As Rangers current manager in Scotland, Ally McCoist finds himself in charge in unprecedented turbulent times. He turns 50 today.

Best guess, this job will be like the presidency in our land, where it he ages about three years for every one actual year during his time in charge.

Fabio Aurelio turns 33 and John Arne Riise 32.

Big Important Stories of the Day: D.C. United’s Branko Boskovic (pictured from Sunday) finally did what the men in charge around RFK Stadium brought him here to do: make a difference. We may eventually look back at his goal Sunday in the nation’s capital as the one that delivered playoff soccer to the Black and Red for the first time since 2007. Indeed, the team’s playoff footing looks more stable today than it has in weeks.

That has a lot to do with the struggles of Houston and Columbus, but credit to United for taking care of business.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): John Doyle

*Ahead on the blog today: Monday stuff. Which means MLS Player of the Week (some tough choices to make there) and MLS Team of the Week, plus the Monday “Meh” list of the slightly overrated in soccer.

We’ll also look at Federico Higuain’s decreasing output with the Columbus Crew. Plus, we’ll begin zeroing in on some of the MLS post-season awards.

Twitter daps:

source:

What you should watch on TV today:

Slim pickin’s today. If you have the beIN Sport platforms, you may witness the Blackpool-Huddersfield clash at 2:40 p.m. ET. So, congratulations.

And if you have beIN SPORT en Espanol, even better! You may watch the Deportivo la Coruna-Sevilla clash at 3:25 p.m. ET.

And the answer to your next question is: “No, we also had no idea there was a beIN en Espanol. But we’re glad there is.

If the MLS playoffs started today (following 29 rounds):

Eastern Conference

(Wildcard round)

  • Houston vs. D.C. United

(Second round)

  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
  • Chicago vs. New York Red Bulls

Western Conference:

(Wildcard round)

  • Seattle vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

(Second Round)

  • San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
  • Real Salt Lake vs. L.A. Galaxy

PST background noise while blogging today: Newest ep of Being Liverpool. And we’ll probably start re-watching first series of Homeland, in anticipation of new greatness to come.

We’ll leave you with this: I know all fans around  United aren’t happy that United is  struggling to get these points lately. But c’mon! They are getting the points. That’s what this time is all about, finding a way through. Because that’s how it will be in the playoffs.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is…

Reina faces hearing over links with trio connected to mafia

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ROME (AP) Outgoing Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been summoned to a hearing at the Italian football federation over his association with people with links to the mafia.

Reina, along with Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica, is to face the FIGC’s disciplinary committee after an investigation by Naples’ anti-mafia department.

It is reportedly one of the reasons why Napoli decided not to renew Reina’s contract, with the former Liverpool goalkeeper set to move to AC Milan on a free transfer.

The FIGC says Reina “has had and continues to have inopportune association and friendship with Gabriele Esposito, Francesco Esposito and Giuseppe Esposito.” It adds that that includes holidays and “an exchange of favors.”

Cannavaro, who had two spells with Napoli, retired at Sassuolo last year. Aronica also spent several years at the southern club before joining Palermo in 2013.

Iran names initial squad for World Cup

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Jalal Hosseini and Vouria Ghaffouri have both been left off Iran’s provisional 24-man squad for the World Cup.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz did not say why Hosseini, a Persepolis defender, and Ghaffouri were not included.

There was space for midfielders Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi, however. Both played with Greek club Panionios against Maccabi Tel Aviv in August 2017. Iran does not recognize Israel and its supreme leader has threatened the country in the past. Both Shojaei and Hajsafi missed matches with the national team after the game.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, a 24-year-old forward who plays in the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar, is also in the squad, which was announced Sunday.

In the midfield, Queiroz chose Saeid Ezatolahi, although the Amkar Perm player will miss the team’s first World Cup match because he was given a red card in a game against South Korea in qualifying.

Nottingham Forest midfielder Ashkan Dejagah was also chosen.

Goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh of Portuguese club Maritimo made the squad. His father, Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, was Iran captain and goalkeeper at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Iran will play in Group B at the World Cup with Portugal, Spain and Morocco. The team will play warm-up matches in Turkey and Greece before heading to Russia.

Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo)

Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (KV Oostende), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Saad), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal)

Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Ashkan Dejagah (Nottingham Forest), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiakos), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds FK), Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa)

Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiakos), Mahdi Taremi (Al-Gharafa Sports Club), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (SC Heerenveen)

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

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Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

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