Romero, McInerney goals see New England crash in Montréal

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLxyVmHTbYw]

New England was the hottest team in Major League Soccer before today’s game in Montréal, a status few saw changing with a visit to Stade Saputo. Though the Revolution were on the road, a home side coming off a 4-1 loss against goal-shy Colorado looked unlikely to be more than a speed bump. With a league-low seven points through 11 games, Montréal appeared to be a known commodity.

After 90 minutes in Quebec, however, those appearances proved deceiving. With first half goals from goals from Andrés Romero and Jack McInerney, Montréal ended New England’s seven-match unbeaten run, jumping back into the win column with a shock 2-0 win.

How shocking was the result? Consider the teams’ recent form. In its previous five games, Montréal had been outscored 12-3. Over that same span, New England had outscored its opposition 16-5. On goal difference, the Revolution had a 20-score during that time, but on Saturday, Montréal somehow managed to produce a plus-two. For only the second time this season, Frank Klopas’s team left the field with full points.

Romero opened the scoring in the third minute when his run from the flank allowed Marco Di Vaio to find him sprinting through the right channel. Sliding his shot until an oncoming Bobby Shuttleworth, the Argentine winger gave the underdogs a surprise lead.

Seven minutes before halftime, a speculative shot from newly acquired Issey Nakajima-Farran was spilled in front of goal by Shuttleworth. McInerney, lurking between the central defenders, was gifted an easy finish, closing the day’s scoring in the 38th minute. With the Revolution seemingly sleep-walking through the first half, the Impact had all they needed to send New England back into the loss column.

With only three shots on target, this was New England’s worst performance since its season-opening 4-0 loss at Houston. Not only did its high-powered attack fail to get on the scoresheet, but the Revolution defense conceded twice to a team that only had two multi-goal games this season. This wasn’t the an underdog collecting a couple of lucky goals. Playing its best game of the season, the Impact fully deserved this result.

If Revolution are truly going to contender for silverware, they’ll have to adapt to teams rising to their challenge. On Saturday, New England was too willing to occupy the other side of that cliché’s spectrum. Jay Heaps’ team looked over-confident. It played down to its competition.

Moore takes hold of West Brom’s promotion bid

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Darren Moore‘s spell as West Brom caretaker manager couldn’t quite pull off a miraculous run to Premier League safety, but the promise it contained has helped him to the first chance at earning promotion back to the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion announced Moore as its new manager on Monday, with the boss promising his Baggies would play attractive football while also being a side “that’s willing to fight and scrap for every ball.”

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Moore is also happy to carry a flame for minority coaches — called BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) — in England.

“If it does inspire others, I would be extremely proud,” he said. “I don’t just speak on behalf of BAME coaches but the young, aspiring British coaches across the board.”

Moore, 44, only lost one of his six PL matches as WBA boss, winning three times and inspiring many to wonder what would’ve happened had the Baggies’ pulled the plug on Alan Pardew — and Tony Pulis before him — earlier.

A center back in his playing career, Moore spent 18 seasons between a number of clubs including West Brom, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers. He won promotion as a player twice with West Brom, and again with Derby.

Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan

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BRUSSELS (AP) Belgium left midfielder Radja Nainggolan out of its World Cup squad despite a standout season with Champions League semifinalist Roma.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has long had a difficult relationship with the stormy midfielder. But after being called up for a warm-up game in March against Saudi Arabia, expectations had been that he would be on the 28-man roster announced Monday.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

On top of the troubled relationship, Nainggolan was also the victim of the unparalleled wealth of talent the small nation has produced over the past few years.

Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were all named in the squad, which will be cut to 23 before the World Cup.

Nashville MLS expansion club snares ex-Liverpool CEO Ayre

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Former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre is moving from Merseyside to the Music City.

The Tennesseean’s Joe Rexrode says Ayre is set to take the reins of Nashville SC as the first CEO in club history when it makes its debut in the 2020 MLS season.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Liverpool hired ex-EA Sports executive Peter Moore to replace Ayre in 2017 after the latter, 54, spent six years with the club as managing director and then CEO.

From the Tennessean:

“The MLS has huge ambitions to be one of the biggest and leading leagues in the world, and is on that trajectory,” Ayre said. “Both as a soccer fan and an executive in the industry, it’s something I’ve had my eye on because it’s important. … You talk about MLS and its growth, I think it’s becoming easier and will become easier to attract the right talent to something that’s exciting and developing. And if you have a reputation of being involved in a club like Liverpool, you hope that stands for something when you start to try and attract talent.”

The timing of Ayre’s addition hearkens back to that of former Tottenham executive Darren Eales at Atlanta United. If it has the same success, Nashville will be proud.

Report: Lampard interviews twice with Championship club

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Steven Gerrard‘s longtime England midfield mate Frank Lampard could soon be joining him in a management.

While Gerrard is tasked with rebuilding Rangers’ Scottish title push, Lampard’s reported new gig would entail leading Ipswich Town back to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Sky Sports says Lampard has already interviewed twice with Ipswich Town ownership in a bid to earn his first senior management gig.

Lampard, 39, played for Chelsea, Man City, New York City FC, West Ham United, and Swansea in a sparkling 20-year playing career.

Town finished 12th in the Championship, 15 points back of a playoff spot and 19 clear of relegation.