ProSoccerTalk’s MLS awards choices: Coach of the Year

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We continue to roll out our choices for the league’s top defender, top goalkeeper, top rookie, MVP and more:

Today we look at ProSoccerTalk’s writer’s picks for Major League Soccer’s Coach of the Year:

  • Steve Davis

source:  Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers

This is easily the toughest choice for me, with three managers from the Western Conference fully deserving. (By the way, the fact that New York’s Mike Petke, blessed with such a talented roster, is one of three official MLS finalists rather than Colorado’s Oscar Pareja is a darn shame.) Porter gets my vote for orchestrating the greatest turnaround. It wasn’t just the raw improvement of the numbers (the club improved by 23 points, going from 8th place to 1st in the West) but a turnabout of such high style, too.

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  • Richard Farley

source:  Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers

We usually vote for the coach who does the most with what he’s got, but when you think about it, that just ends up filling an information void for an award where we have very little clue as to coaches’ real contributions. We’re not there, watching the team on a minute-by-minute basis, so we go with what we can see. But with the Timbers, we clearly saw the complete overhaul – the effect of those minute-by-minute contributions. Porter didn’t just turn a team around. He remade one.

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  • Joe Prince-Wright

source:  Jason Kreis, Real Salt Lake

To perform such a stunning overhaul and still bring success to RSL is a remarkable achievement. Kreis, and the club for that matter, go about their business with minimum fuss and are the envy of most MLS sides. A strong youth policy and clear playing philosophy has helped them keep on par and ahead of their wealthier rivals. The job Kreis has done is phenomenal… can RSL keep hold of him?

Follow @SteveDavis90

Mexico receives FIFA fine for insulting chant

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FIFA handed a $10,400 fine down to Mexico on Wednesday for “discriminatory and insulting chants” that occurred during El Tri’s 1-0 victory over Germany.

[ MORE: Spain tops Iran after overruled goal ]

The FIFA disciplinary committee reportedly levied the fine to Mexico for directing a derogatory chant towards German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) with a fine of CHF 10,000 for the misconduct of a group of Mexican fans (cf. art. 67 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code) in relation to discriminatory and insulting chants during the first half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup match played between Germany and Mexico,” FIFA declared in a press release.

The Mexican Football Federation has aimed to eliminate an ongoing epidemic of homophobic chants that supporters have screamed during goal kicks for some time.

El Tri was sanctioned 12 times during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying for those chants.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.