ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings

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19. D.C. United – League records for all-time futility creep ever closer after yet another loss. To Chivas USA, no less.

18. Toronto FC – The Reds came close early on the West Coast but eventually succumbed in a 4-0 loss at Portland.

17. Columbus – After an initial win under interim manager Brian Bliss, the Crew settled back into what they probably are now, a team that just doesn’t have enough to make the playoffs. The Crew fell in Kansas City, 3-0.

16. Chivas USA – Erick “El Cubo” Torres has seven goals this year! His latest was the game-winner Sunday against D.C. United. What might the Goats have done if they had their exciting, young summer arrival all year?

15. Chicago Fire – Mike Magee ended his short personal scoring drought, hitting No. 15 for the season, but a late own goal did in the Fire in a 2-1 loss at Seattle.

14. Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo defense is in a very bad place, having recently conceded five to Montreal and then having given up four at home over the weekend to New York. At home!

13. Vancouver Whitecaps – The Whitecaps are 1-5-2 since mid-summer, and Saturday’s 3-1 loss in Dallas pushed Martin Rennie’s team further down in the standings. Oh, and the schedule ahead is pretty unkind, too.

12. FC Dallas – Schellas Hyndman’s team is hanging in there. Two sensational goals, including Mauro Diaz’s game-winner and Jair Benitez’s goal of the week highlighted the Red Stripes’ valuable 3-1 win over visiting Vancouver.

11. New England Revolution – Matt Reis’ fifth-minute ejection in Sunday’s loss to Montreal put the Revs behind the 8 ball quite early. The Impact eventually earned a 4-2 win at Gillette Stadium. (Which was resplendent with real grass for this one!) Diego Fagundez did get his 10th goal of the year for the Revs.

(MORE: MLS Round 27 week in review)

10. San Jose Earthquakes – The Earthquakes just keep climbing the Western standings, now level with fading Vancouver in the tight,  playoff-chasing pack. Shea Salinas had the second half game-winner in Sunday’s late 1-0 victory over Philadelphia, the league’s Round 28 nightcap.

9. Philadelphia Union – What a frustrating night for Philly fans, forced to stay up late Sunday to watch their team, and then forced to watch their team unable to exploit 10-man San Jose for about half an hour in a 1-0 loss to the Earthquakes.

8. New York Red Bulls – The Red Bulls attacked defined efficiency in a 4-1 win at Houston. That’s two wins in a row for Mike Petke’s up-and-down bunch.

7. Portland Timbers – What a difference Will Johnson and Diego Chara make, now back on the field for Caleb Porter’s team. The Timbers got two late goals in a 4-0 romp over Toronto.

6. Seattle Sounders – Two wins at home recently minus Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey were a bit of a struggle, but it was “mission accomplished” nonetheless. Chicago actually supplied the own goal winner (but off of Zach Scott’s zippy, centering pass) in a 2-1 weekend triumph over Chicago.

5. Montreal Impact – These are the games that make us call Montreal a legitimate MLS Cup contender, a 4-2 win over 10-man New England. Yes, the Revs were short-handed for 85 minutes, but any two-goal win on the road has some merit. Marco Di Vaio scored twice to regain his league leadership, now with 17 goals.

4. Colorado Rapids – In fairness, the LA Galaxy was missing all three DPs. Still, Oscar Pareja’s young team got the job done, a 1-0 win in Southern California that was a sure shape-shifter in the tight MLS West playoff positioning jostle. Edson Buddle (pictured above) had the game-winner against his old team.

3. LA Galaxy – The youngsters just couldn’t get it done as a side missing Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez fell to Colorado, 1-0, at the StubHub Center. All three should be available to join the team in the nation’s capital, where big road points are there to be had in Round 29 against the league’s doormat, D.C. United.

2. Sporting Kansas City –  Benny Feilhaber ran the midfield show once again as Sporting KC made easy work of the Columbus Crew. Matt Besler and Graham Zusi return soon to Sporting Park as the schedule sets up favorably for Peter Vermes’ team through the remainder of September.

1. Real Salt Lake – Jason Kreis’ team had a week off before three Western Conference matches that will define how far this balanced team of young and experienced can go in 2013: matches at Seattle and Vancouver, and a home contest against San Jose (as September comes and goes with just three MLS contests).

Report: Minnesota United chasing Ecuadorian national teamer

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
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Minnesota United may be hoping another Ibarra can cure what ails its attack.

Romario Ibarra, 23, is on the Loons’ radar according to The Athletic‘s Kristian Dyer and Jeff Rueter, who say Minnesota would like to land the Ecuadorian when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

[ MORE: Modric urges humility ]

Ibarra was limited to eight matches for Universidad Católica this season as he battled through a lingering metatarsal fracture. But he’s scored against Argentina and Chile in each of his appearances for the national team, both World Cup qualifiers.

From The Athletic:

Sources say that Ibarra’s contract is unlikely to make him a designated player, leaving Quintero as the club’s sole DP. (It could depend, in part, on the size of the transfer fee.) Based on league standards, his salary will likely be drawn from Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) contract seems likely.

Ibarra’s older brother Renato plays for Club America, and has 36 caps.

Minnesota is six points outside the West’s final playoff spot, and has scored just 17 goals in 14 matches.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal field set

Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP
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The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is down to one non-MLS entrant after LAFC fought past Sacramento Republic’s dogged effort to make it two, twice equalizing en route to a 3-2 win.

[ MORE: TFC extends Bono ]

Louisville City won a battle of USL sides in Wednesday’s final day of fifth round action, knocking off Nashville SC by a 2-1 score.

Now attention turns to the quarterfinals, where USL champions Louisville City will face the Chicago Fire on July 18.

All four quarterfinals will be staged on that day, and the winner of Louisville-Chicago will face the winner of the duel between Philadelphia Union and Orlando City.

The other side of the bracket shows Houston Dynamo against Sporting KC, and LAFC against the Portland Timbers.

Chicago and KC have won the cup an MLS-best four times each, while Philadelphia has finished second twice.

The remaining quarterfinalists have not advanced to a USOC final.

Sprawling translated Emery interview talks PSG, Guardiola, more

AP Photo/Thibault Camus
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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has given a sprawling interview, translated by France Football News, in which he discusses his history and his philosophies.

The interview was conducted after Emery was dismissed by Paris Saint-Germain but before he was hired by the Gunners.

[ MORE: Sampaoli defends Messi ]

It’s a fascinating read, with Emery going deep into his relationship with Neymar, the need for PSG to get an “A-ha” goal for its history books, and much, much more.

The interview is with Marti Perarnau, the author of “Pep Confidential,” and there are plenty of good nuggets regarding the Manchester City boss, as well as Rafa Benitez, Zinedine Zidane, PSG, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

It’s fairly clear that Emery figured he’d be going to a new league, and he certainly seems like a guy fit for a project like succeeding Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. For one thing, he’s proud of his team’s style.

That’s something valued by the North London set, and Emery pointed out that Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid and Pep Guardiola at Man City had to fail before they succeeded.

Let me say this: PSG played well and won. Many people don’t value that enough and believe that it is easy. But what happened to us? We lacked competitiveness in important moments. Why? Because this team is not confronted with enough moments of adversity in the league. Being competitive also means being faced with adversity. One has to suffer like Simeone’s team to win. One has to suffer like Pep’s team to win in England.

My team had two basic principles: having possession and pressing. That was the basis. Having the ball, and winning it back as fast as possible. I should add a little nuance. I’m talking about having possession and not positioning because there are moments where you can win the ball through positioning, and others where moving out of position can surprise the opponent. And like Guardiola says, if you have to win with a long ball from the goalkeeper towards the striker and that the forward scores with his ass, then so be it! We work like that as well.

And here’s just a quick nugget on the importance of playmaking, and how good players make a coach look better.

During his first match against Toulouse at the Parc des Princes, we get corner. Neymar takes it quickly and Kurzawa scores. We hadn’t worked that at all with him. Afterwards, I told Neymar, “My work is limited to your strokes of genius.”

Love it. Arsenal seems like it’s in good hands. Read the full interview here.

Khedira laughs off Swedish reporter’s offer of tickets home

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
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Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira brushed off a gesture from a Swedish reporter, trading a bit of banter ahead of Germany’s big World Cup match against Sweden on Saturday.

Germany fell 1-0 to Mexico in its opener while Sweden beat South Korea, leading a playful Swede to hand Khedira boarding passes for a flight home to Germany.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Khedira’s reply? He joked that Sweden won’t be a problem and he’ll use the tickets after the World Cup Final.

From Goal.com:

“After this bad start, we know that it’s super difficult, but we know that we are a strong team. We analysed the game, we saw Sweden play and we are sure that we are winning this game.

“I think we’ll need them [plane tickets] on the 16th of July.”