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An all-timer: Toronto onto MLS Cup Final, outlasting Montreal in thriller

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The game in (more than) 100 words: The thrills didn’t relent over 90 minutes in Toronto, and they had no choice but to give the fans more.

In front of a rambunctious BMO Field crowd, Toronto and Montreal took the 3-2 first leg in Quebec and flipped it on its ear in regulation.

Jozy Altidore backed up his big words, bulling his way around the field, clobbering Impact players in both legal and illegal fashion.

Ignacio Piatti was effective even when he stumbled for the visitors, keeping pace with his MVP-caliber season.

[ MORE: Sounders win the West ]

The first chance of overtime fell to Piatti, and Clint Irwin stopped the cross from reaching substitute Didier Drogba. The next twist came via withdrawal, as Sebastian Giovinco had to be substituted in the first period of extra time.

With names like Drogba, Bradley, Piatti, Altidore, and Giovinco, of course you had Steven Beitashour and Benoit Cheyrou teaming up for the winner, right? Right?

The leg ended 5-2. The match? 7-5. Seattle, you’re coming to Toronto.

Seven moments that mattered

24′ — Piatti opens up TFC back line for Oduro — Ignacio Piatti was one of the best players in MLS this season, and the electric Argentine carried a Montreal counter deep into Toronto territory before sliding a pass onto the path of Oduro. Goalkeeper Clint Irwin could only get a piece of the ex-TFC man’s shot, and it was 4-2 on aggregate.

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38′ — Cooper cleans up the trash — Nick Hagglund’s header off a corner kick was cleared off the line by Hernan Bernardello, but the rebound kicked off Hagglund into the path of Cooper, who scored his first TFC goal to level the tie and put the Reds back within a goal of advancing to the final.

44′ — Jozy does it (again) — Another set piece, another goal for TFC. Sebastian Giovinco’s near post corner kick was turned just inside the pipe by the head of Jozy Altidore, who put Toronto in front.

53′ — Piatti flips the script — Piatti got one of his own to put Montreal back on the plane to Seattle, as Johan Venegas slipped him through and the Argentine’s mishit shot fooled Clint Irwin and trickled over the line.

68′ — Hagglund makes amends — The Xavier alum was partially at fault for Montreal going ahead, but Hagglund rose high to hammer a header home to put extra time back in play. More set piece woes for Montreal, but no one said this was an advertisement for defense.

98′ — Guess who? Cheyrou! — Reigning MVP Sebastian Giovinco had to be subbed off in the first period of stoppage time, and his substitute scored moments later. Steven Beitashour swept a cross right into the thick of the box, and Cheyrou rose high to bury a header.

Man of the match: Altidore

Goalscorers: Oduro (24′), Cooper (37′), Altidore (45′), Piatti (53′), Hagglund (68′), Cheyrou (98′), Ricketts (100′)

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Leeds, Bielsa win Fair Play honor FIFA’s The Best awards

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Well this is peak FIFA.

Football’s governing body has just awarded Leeds United and much-admired manager Marcelo Bielsa its FIFA Fair Play award at its 2019 The Best awards ceremony in Milan.

[ MORE: Klopp wins manager award ]

The reason the Whites won the award is understandable, if you just ignore the fact that they were publicly caught cheating months earlier… and that the “fair play” moment came after an extremely questionable play which led to a brawl.

The win comes for Bielsa’s decision in late April, when his player Mateusz Klich scored a goal despite Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija being injured on the pitch.

Bielsa instructed his players to allow Villa to tie the match after a post-goal fight saw a red card to Anwar El Ghazi.

Fair play? Sure, and Leeds kissed goodbye its slim hopes of finishing in automatic promotion place in the Championship.

However, Leeds was also caught monitoring Derby County training sessions, leading to Bielsa to admit in January that he had spied “all the rivals” that season.

I mean, who were the other nominees? Jose Callejon and the Turkish player who fouled players with a sharp object during play?

Bielsa admitted this during an extraordinary Powerpoint session for media members in England which showed the maniacal depths of his preparation, which curried a lot of favor with the media and fans.

Yes, even though he admitted Leeds cheated the whole season.

He also said, “I thought I wasn’t violating the norm,” which is ridiculous.

Now of course we should be too pious, either; A whole lot of teams cheat in this way and football is a cutthroat game. Bielsa is a managerial legend and loved by Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, and Jorge Sampaoli.

Jurgen Klopp wins FIFA’s The Best men’s manager

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Jurgen Klopp has been named the top manager in the world for the past season at FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony on Monday in Milan, Italy.

The UEFA Champions League-winning manager beat out Premier League winner Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and UCL finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Spurs.

[ WATCH: FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony ]

Klopp, of course, was magnanimous in victory.

 “It is great, nobody expected this 20, 10, five, four years ago that I would be standing here,” Klopp said. “We know what an incredible job Mauricio Pochettino did and what Pep did.”

He thanked the owners and players of his club.

“To the owners thank you, they gave me an incredible team. I have to thank my team – as a coach you can only be as good as your team is. I’m really proud of being manager of such an incredible bunch of players. This is an individual prize, I don’t 100% understand individual prizes, I’m here for a lot of people.”

Good for Klopp.

Watch Live: FIFA’s The Best awards 2019

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FIFA’s The Best awards ceremony takes place in Milan, Italy on Tuesday as the top players and managers on the planet will be crowned.

The ceremony starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and you can watch it live online in Spanish via Telemundo Deportes (click on the link below).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo are the three nominees to be crowned the best male player on the planet.

USWNT duo Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan are up for the top female award, as is England’s Lucy Bronze.

Outgoing USWNT head coach Jill Ellis is the favorite to land the award for the best coach in the women’s game, while Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino are all among the candidates to be named the best managers in the men’s game.

Click on the link above to watch the glitzy ceremony from Milan as plenty of other awards, like the Puskas Award for the best goal scored in the world, will be dished out.

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Matchweek 6 produced some stunning displays across the Premier League, with big wins, comebacks and late drama across plenty of games.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Players from Liverpool, Man City and Leicester City dominate our rankings, while the likes of West Ham and Bournemouth are also well represented. There are also plenty of new entries among our top 20.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


1. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – New entry
2. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Even
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – Up 13
4. James Maddison (Leicester) – Up 16
5. Joel Matip (Liverpool) – New entry
6. Bernardo Silva (Man City) – New entry
7. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – New entry
8. Steve Cook (Bournemouth) – New entry
9. Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester) – New entry
10. Fernandinho (Man City) – New entry
11. Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea) – New entry
12. Mark Noble (West Ham) – New entry
13. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Even
14. Mason Mount (Chelsea) – Down 10
15. Callum Wilson (Bournemouth) – Even
16. Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth) – Up 3
17. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham) – New entry
18. Chris Wood (Burnley) – New entry
19. Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal) – New entry
20. Jamie Vardy (Leicester) – New entry