MLS Snapshot: NYCFC 4-4 Toronto FC

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One game in 100 words: It was quite the entertaining eight-goal game at Yankee Stadium which had two of Major League Soccer’s big signings in full action. NYCFC man David Villa tallied two goals and Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco totaled three. In the 85th and 86th minute, there were back-and-forth efforts from both players, the combination of star power and weak defense in full effect. The remainder of the game didn’t end in a clear victory for one outfit, as opposing defenses couldn’t match the energy of the offensive attacks at many instances. At ninth place in the East, New York City FC is now tied with the Montreal Impact on points (21), while Toronto remains three points ahead at third place.



NYC: David Villa ’17, 65′, Damien Perquis 29′ (OG), Patrick Mullins 84′

Toronto: Sebastian Giovinco 34′, 40′, 43′, Marco Delgado 82′


Three moments that mattered

65’ — Villa’s second, erases deficit — Villa sprinted a hard-cutting path into the box and the 33-year-old tried his best to create a scoring chance by selling his fall to the ground of of opposing goalkeeper Chris Konopka’s challenge. Feeling the call was incorrect, Konopka made his appeal to the referee. Villa ended up nailing the ensuing penalty kick with a standard left-corner shot.

82’ — Vital from Giovinco — The goal was directly a result from Giovinco’s wonderful forward run, zipping down the wing toward the end line and knocking a last-second pass that finished with an easy tap-in. 20-year-old Marco Delgado squared off the assist from the “Atomic Ant”, and TFC appeared to snag the crucial goal.

84’ — Mullins equalizes — NYCFC swung back two minutes later and took advantage of a well-delivered set piece cross that nearly pin balled into the net, though defender Justin Moore managed to clear it out. Former New England Revolution man Patrick Mullins positioned himself well to head the rebounded opportunity between the iron.



NYC: Patrick Mullins, David Villa; Josh Saunders; Andoni Iraola, Kwame Watson-Siriboe (Angelino 46′), Shay Facey, Chris Wingert; Ned Grabavoy, Andrew Jacobson, Mehdi Ballouchy (Pablo Álvarez 76′), Thomas McNamara (Kwadwo Poku 67′)

Toronto: Sebastian Giovinco, Robbie Findley; Chris Konopka; Justin Morrow, Nick Hagglund, Damien Perquis (Eriq Zavaleta 76′), Daniel Lovitz; Marco Delgado, Colleen Warner, Jackson (Warren Creavalle 83′), Benoit Cheyrou

Carlos Vela scored a celestial goal. We are blessed to have seen it

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Carlos Vela is making all other spectacular individual MLS seasons look run of the mill.

I mean, look at the gumption on this guy.

[ VIDEO: Rooney sent off, Kamara scores golazo ]

The Cancun-born playmaker left the San Jose Earthquakes back line on the beach with a soft shoe routine to give LAFC its third goal in a 4-0 win on Thursday

Vela, 30, now has 25 goals and 11 assists in 25 league matches for LAFC this season. He added two goals and an assist in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play.

But this one, yeah, this one takes the cake.

First, there’s Vela’s non-chalant dummy before picking up the pass.

Then, there’s Florian Jungwirth’s body language during and after his being cooked with a nutmeg. That’s an entire mood.

Next, Vela dribbles around the keeper and allows a slide tackler so glide past him before finishing with aplomb, the magic touch his going near post as if to say, “Can I beat this guy a second time, or do I have to use the easier route?”

Diego Rossi also had a goal and an assist, while Mark-Anthony Kaye continued his strong season with an assist to ex-Fiorentina prospect Joshua Perez. It’s a first MLS goal for the California-born Perez, now 21.

WATCH: Rooney sees red for forearm shiver, Kamara scores golazo

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Midweek MLS provided plenty to talk about on Wednesday, with two red cards and a golazo in one match alone.

The two main talking points from the New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 win over DC United weren’t really part of what led the victors to three points.

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How? Well, one of the world’s marquee names earned a red card via VAR and a returning star scores an absolute stunner, that’s how.

Here’s Ola Kamara’s debut marker for the Black-and-Red, adding to a record which included 49 goals in 97 matches between Columbus and the LA Galaxy before moving to the Chinese Super League for a wildly disappointing time with Shenzhen FC.

All of that is forgotten.

As for the Rooney incident, the Red Bulls already led 1-0 when DC’s star striker went forearm shiver on Cristian Casseres Jr.

It’s the second red of the season for Rooney, who is set for Derby County in January.

Amro Tarek was later sent off for the Red Bulls, who moved ahead of DC in the standings. Kaku and Daniel Royer had RBNY’s goals.

Newcastle takeover could be back on if in holiday relegation battle

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How much do Newcastle United supporters dislike their owner Mike Ashley right now?

Enough that this report is likely to condemn many to hoping their favorite club in the world is in the Bottom 3 come Christmas.

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The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas speculates that Ashley will lower his asking price for the club if it is in a relegation fight come December — something that looks certain after the Steve Bruce-led Magpies got bossed around by promoted Norwich City.

Nothing But Newcastle transcribed Douglas’ chatter from his podcast, in which he says,

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we hear more in December because there are still people sniffing around that football club and if the team are in the bottom three, there’ll be people thinking they can get a bargain out of Mike Ashley again. … He will probably more open to listening to lower offers in January and December which is what happened last December. He was basically saying ‘take it off my hands, you now have to take the risk’'”

This is notable for two reasons. First: the social experiment of wondering how many fans could see themselves rooting for their team to take a major and perilous back step just to see the back of a man they perceive is at the root of their failures (and that perception is widespread in this case).

But second, we can see if this rumor comes true because it’s difficult to imagine Newcastle as comfortably mid table by Christmas.

Fan protests and anger are nothing new, but here’s an effort to show how wobbly Ashley’s reputation is on Tyneside: Fans have taken to selling a black and white striped shirt with player name and number but no sponsor just so they can have a Newcastle jersey that doesn’t put money into Ashley’s pockets. And this is after he broke the club’s transfer record twice in one year.

If we’ve learned anything from the past few seasons, though, it’s that boycotts and anger will spur Ashley into insisting that he’s willing to sell and just conveniently enough it will be before the January transfer window. He “won’t be able to buy any players” with the takeover in play, and talks will hit a wall come late January, when they’ll loan a couple young players from Top Six sides.

Yes he spent significant money on Joelinton, Allen Saint-Maximin, and others this summer, but one decent window doesn’t make a culture. Count us amongst the skeptical, for now.

Messi back in training, could be fit for Betis

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi was back in full training again on Wednesday and may be fit to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.

Messi had been training separately from the squad since injuring his right calf in the preseason.

He missed the team’s 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the league opener on Friday.

Barcelona has not said how long it expects Messi to be sidelined.

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Coach Ernesto Valverde is also dealing with injuries to forwards Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Dembele is certain to miss Sunday’s match at the Camp Nou because of a left thigh injury that should keep him out for about five weeks.

Suarez also isn’t likely to play this weekend because of a muscle injury sustained before halftime of Friday’s game in Bilbao.

Two-time defending champion Barcelona hadn’t loss a league opener in 10 seasons.

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