Tar Heels duo go atop the NWSL Draft

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Anson Dorrance has a lot of accolades under his belt, what with winning 94 percent of his games in a simply-stunning career as head coach of the North Carolina women’s soccer team.

And Friday found two of his charges going at the top of the NWSL Draft. No, not just two selections in the top ten or in the first round, but Nos. 1 and 2. Crystal Dunn went to Washington at No. 1 while Kealia Ohai went to expansion Houston at No.2.

Dunn scored 14 goals and added six assists in 21 games this year and has won both the Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best player but also Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the ACC, while Ohai scored three less goals with the same amount of helpers.  Both women were a big part of the US women’s U-20 World Cup title in 2012, where Dunn played left back and Ohai scored the tourney winning goal.

source: Getty Images
Dunn

Here’s the full list of picks:

First Round
1. WAS: Crystal Dunn, North Carolina
2. HOU: Kealia Ohai, North Carolina
3. CHI: Julie Johnson, Santa Clara
4. CHI: Vanessa DiBernardo, Illinois
5. KC: Kassey Kallman, Florida State
6. SKY: Maya Hayes, Penn State
7. SEA: Amanda Frisbe, Portland
8. BOS: Nkem Ezurike, Michigan
9. WNY: Courtney Verloo, Stanford

Second Round
10. HOU: Rafaelle Souza, Mississippi
11. HOU: Marissa Diggs, Central Florida
12. KC: Morgan Marlborough, Santa Clara
13. BOS: Natasha Anasi, Duke
14. WNY: Cloee Colohan, BYU
15. SKY: Hayley Haagsma, Texas Tech
16. KC: Jenna Richmond, UCLA
17. SEA: Megan Brigman, North Carolina
18. WNY: Kelsey Wys, Florida State

Third Round
19. KC: Frances Silva, West Virginia
20. KC: Mandy Laddish, Notre Dame
21. BOS: Jazmine Reeves, Virginia Tech
22. CHI: Hayley Brock, Maryland
23. BOS: Mollie Pathman, Duke
24. SKY: Michelle Pao, Pepperdine
25. POR: Emily Menges, Georgetown
26. WAS: Molly Menchel, Virginia
27. WNY: Annie Steinlage, Virginia

Fourth Round
28. HOU: Jordan Jackson, Nebraska
29. WAS: Shasta Fisher, Virginia
30. SEA: Ellen Parker, Portland
31. POR: Elisabeth Sullivan, Mississippi State
32. BOS: Jami Kranich, Villanova
33. SKY: Elizabeth Eddy, USC
34. BOS: Kim DeCesare, Duke
35. KC: Maegan Kelly, Marquette
36. WNY: Kristen Hamilton, Denver

MLS Best XI unveiled with awesome foosball video

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Major League Soccer, wow, this is terrific #content.

MLS released its Best XI on Monday with a dynamite video of the players passing the ball from Zack Steffen in goal to Josef Martinez up top… via a virtual foosball table.

[ VIDEO: An unprecedented goal ]

The XI is set in a 3-4-3, with the New York Red Bulls, DC United, and Atlanta United leading the way with a pair of players each.

My predictions? Well, I only got six correct. Whoops. The only absence that really surprises me is Graham Zusi, and Sporting KC not having representation at all. I guess that explains why SKC manager Peter Vermes is going to be announced as the next USMNT– Wait, what’s that? Oh. I’ll stop talking.

2018 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen (Columbus)

Defenders: Kemar Lawrence (RBNY), Aaron Long (RBNY), Chad Marshall (Seattle)

Midfielders: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta), Luciano Acosta (DC), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal), Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), Josef Martinez (Atlanta), Wayne Rooney (DC)

WATCH: Striker scores potentially unprecedented goal while helping teammate

Photo by John Thys/EuroFootball/Getty Images
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“Look, I know you’re injured, but I’m gonna be right back. Got a goal to score for us.”

Maccabi Petah Tikva forward Habib Habibou scored what can only be described as an unprecedented goal — at least in terms of being captured on video — Israel this weekend.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Habibou, 31, and his club were locked in scoreless tussle with Maccabi Netanya on Saturday when one of his teammates was injured in the box.

The CAR striker, formerly of Zulte Waregem and Royal Charleroi, was taking care of said teammate when he spotted an 87th minute spilled rebound.

What was he gonna do, really, other than dart onto the loose ball, score the match-winner, and then return to his ailing mate?

Petah Tikva won 1-0.

Juventus executive: Bring season Serie A game abroad

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Juventus chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci likes La Liga’s idea of taking a regular season match outside of its domestic borders.

Ricci would like Serie A to explore a similar move, saying Italian soccer can only benefit from putting its brand in other markets.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Serie A lags behind other top European league in TV money, which has hindered its ability to recruit top end talent relative to its competitors.

Ricci says if American sports see value in bringing their top leagues to Europe, it holds that the reverse would be true. From the BBC:

“If we look at some other more developed leagues in terms of commercial strategy; the NBA and NFL, they are exporting one or two of their matches abroad, to the UK or elsewhere in Europe. I think it is a good strategy. It is a way to export something that is not an exhibition.”

Would a regular season match bring any more eyes or attention than the International Champions Cup, at least enough to offset the sacrifice of atmosphere? It seems doubtful, but the money is the key here. Italy wants to catch up with Spain, Germany, and England.

FC Cincinnati switches crest ahead of MLS debut

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FC Cincinnati has unveiled its crest for 2019’s maiden voyage in Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Sticking with the orange and blue color combination which has served them since inception, the shield has FC in the top left corner, Cincinnati running diagonally left-to-right in blue script on white, and a winged lion holding a sword as the primary icon.

FCC will draft up to five current MLS players in the Expansion Draft on Dec. 11. Teams will announce their protected lists on Dec. 10.

Cincinnati will play in the Eastern Conference. It won the USL regular season championship under coach Alan Koch in 2018.