MLS roundup: U.S. stars lead Toronto, Canadian rookie paces Orlando City (video)

Leave a comment

Home teams went five for six as a busy MLS Wednesday wrapped up most of its action by 10 p.m. ET, leaving just Portland and L.A. to duel in California.

Only DC United found points on the road, all three in fact, as the East’s top squad picked up a win in Chicago.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

How’d the rest of the matches shake out? Glad you asked…

Toronto FC 3-1 Montreal ImpactRECAP

Ambroise Oyongo’s goal looked to give the Quebecois side an advantage in its attempt to pick up a first MLS win at BMO Field, but TFC’s trio of Designated Players soon took over. First it was Sebastian Giovinco to Michael Bradley. Then, Bradley to Jozy Altidore. Finally, “Seba” converted a PK he won to make it 3-1. TFC now has the second-best points-per-match in the East.

[ WATCH: Bradley to Altidore for a match-winning goal ]

Columbus Crew 2-1 New England Revolution

A wild 200 seconds or so to start the match had us set for a thriller between the 2014 MLS playoff foes, as Lee Nguyen and Kei Kamara traded goals. The red-hot Kamara netted his 12th of the season, off an Ethan Finlay feed, to account for the match’s only other goal, though, and we’ll leave it to to adequately describe a bit of included controversy:

But the goal didn’t come without controversy. What looked like a handball on Jeremy Hall wasn’t called in the New England box just seconds before the goal, and when Finlay received a cross from Waylon Francis the ball seemed to hit his arm as well. But referee Fotis Bazakos again stayed silent.

Chicago Fire 0-1 DC United

Hey guys, Conor Doyle scored a really nice goal, and DC proved that good teams often win games they might not deserve to see wind up in the win column.

New York Red Bulls 1-0 Real Salt Lake

Mike Grella scored in the fourth minutes, and RSL saw red twice in a loss at Red Bull Arena. Demar Phillips and Javier Morales were ejected.

source: Getty Images

Orlando City 2-0 Colorado Rapids

Cyle Larin and Kaka both scored nice goals to set the expansion side in the win column once again. Kaka’s eight goals are great but expected; What Larin has done as a rookie is incredibly promising not only for Orlando City and MLS, but for Canada. He has six goals in his first 847 minutes for Orlando, adding three goals in four matches for Canada this year. Wow, this kid can play… and he’s 20.

Philadelphia Union 1-0 Seattle SoundersRECAP

This one wasn’t a beaut by any stretch of the imagination, as Maurice Edu missed a PK and CJ Sapong was denied a goal for a questionable foul on Andrew Wenger. Fortunately for Philly, Seattle was all out of sorts without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, and Sapong’s sixth of the season was enough for a ‘W’.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers — 11 p.m. ET

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.


“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

Leave a comment

L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
1 Comment

Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.


“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”

Bayern Munich kicking the tires on big Zaha bid

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A sensational report is linking Wilfried Zaha not just with a move away from Crystal Palace, but a move clear of the Premier League altogether. says that Bayern Munich has turned to Zaha, having been rebuffed in their pursuit of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.

Palace wants $100 million for Zaha, but so far has only received a $50 million offer from Arsenal for his services. Reports Monday said Arsenal is upping its bid, and offering a loan of Reiss Nelson as a make-good. Palace has had good Fortune with loans from the big boys of the PL, in particular with Ruben Loftus-Cheek two seasons ago.

A lot of this makes sense for all parties, apart from Sane, and it will be interesting to see if the report brings a bigger bid from the Gunners.

Zaha is a sensational player, and has created chances year-after-year for the Eagles. He wants to taste the Champions League, but Palace is not willing to let him go for (much) less than its asking price given its sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.

Bayern will spend less on Zaha than it would on Gareth Bale or Sane, and get a determined player who is very much in his prime. Zaha would also get the chance to showcase himself with actual breathing room on the pitch, thanks to Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, and others.

And Palace, of course, will end up with between $80-100 million and the knowledge that it won’t need to mark Zaha on a Premier League pitch. More importantly, the money raised from Zaha and Wan-Bissaka will allow them to strengthen at nearly every position (above what they have now, not above AWB and Zaha).