Monaco 0-0 (0-1 agg.) Juventus: Strong defensive display sees Juve through

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Monaco always faced a tall, tall task in trailing Juventus, 1-0, ahead of the two sides’ UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg on Wednesday, as the French hosts’ only hope of advancing to the semifinal round was to break down one of Europe’s stingiest, most organized defenses.

[ Tuesday’s UCL roundup: Bayern 6-1 (7-4 agg.) Porto | Barcelona 2-0 (5-1 agg.) PSG ]

Geoffrey Kondogbia nearly put Monaco ahead on the day and level on aggregate in the 6th minute, but the French midfielder’s volleyed effort rose and swerved just over the crossbar of Gianluigi Buffon, who had no chance of making the save if the shot was on target. Kondogbia’a early effort would prove to be the game’s best chance.

Monaco remained the side on the front foot for much of the first half, with Juventus happy to sit deeper and soak up the pressure, making their way inside Monaco’s defensive half of the field on only a handful of occasions.

[ MORE: Real Madrid 1-0 (1-0 agg.) Atletico Madrid: Chicharito plays the role of hero ]

Despite holding over 58 percent of the game’s possession, Monaco could manage only one shot on target through 80 minutes. The game’s final 10 minutes saw the Ligue 1 side throw everything they had at Juventus, but the Italian giants held firm and secured their passage into the semifinals.

Juve will face one of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the semifinals, where they’ll likely be heavy underdogs no matter the opponent they draw.


Monaco: Subasic, Raggi, Fabinho, Abdennour, Kurzawa, Kondogbia, Toulalan (Berbatov 46′), Silva, Moutinho, Carrasco (Carvalho 87′), Martial (Germain 76′)

Juventus: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Lichtsteiner, Vidal (Pereyra 77′), Pirlo, Marchisio, Evra (Padoin 90′), Tevez, Morata (Llorente 69′)

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

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
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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.