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Predicting the 2018 MLS standings

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We are almost there.

On Saturday the 2018 Major League Soccer season kicks off and here at Pro Soccer Talk we’ve been previewing the new season and everyone is very excited.

[ MORE: Full 2018 MLS season preview ]

With that in mind, it is time to put our necks on the line and make our preseason predictions for how the 2018 MLS standings will look.

Feel free to get involved in the comments section below too. Here it goes…


Joe Prince-Wright

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto FC
  2. Atlanta United
  3. New York City FC
  4. Chicago Fire
  5. Orlando City SC
  6. New York Red Bulls
  7. New England Revolution
  8. Montreal Impact
  9. DC United
  10. Columbus Crew
  11. Philadelphia Union

Western Conference

  1. Seattle Sounders
  2. Portland Timbers
  3. Sporting KC
  4. LAFC
  5. Vancouver Whitecaps
  6. Houston Dynamo
  7. San Jose Earthquakes
  8. FC Dallas
  9. LA Galaxy
  10. Real Salt Lake
  11. Minnesota United
  12. Colorado Rapids

Nick Mendola

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto FC
  2. New York City FC
  3. Atlanta United
  4. New York Red Bulls
  5. Chicago Fire
  6. Orlando City SC
  7. Philadelphia Union
  8. DC United
  9. Montreal Impact
  10. Columbus Crew
  11. New England Revolution

Western Conference

  1. Vancouver Whitecaps
  2. Portland Timbers
  3. Sporting KC
  4. LA Galaxy
  5. Seattle Sounders
  6. Real Salt Lake
  7. San Jose Earthquakes
  8. Houston Dynamo
  9. LAFC
  10. Colorado Rapids
  11. FC Dallas
  12. Minnesota United

Andy Edwards

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto FC
  2. New York City FC
  3. New York Red Bulls
  4. Chicago Fire
  5. Atlanta United
  6. Orlando City SC
  7. D.C. United
  8. Columbus Crew SC
  9. Philadelphia Union
  10. Montreal Impact
  11. New England Revolution

Western Conference

  1. Real Salt Lake
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. Sporting Kansas City
  4. LA Galaxy
  5. Portland Timbers
  6. FC Dallas
  7. Houston Dynamo
  8. Vancouver Whitecaps
  9. San Jose Earthquakes
  10. Minnesota United
  11. LAFC
  12. Colorado Rapids

Matt Reed

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto FC
  2. Atlanta United
  3. New York City FC
  4. New York Red Bulls
  5. Orlando City
  6. Chicago Fire
  7. New England Revolution
  8. D.C. United
  9. Columbus Crew
  10. Philadelphia Union
  11. Montreal Impact

Western Conference

  1. Portland Timbers
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. LA Galaxy
  4. LAFC
  5. Vancouver Whitecaps
  6. Real Salt Lake
  7. San Jose Earthquakes
  8. FC Dallas
  9. Sporting KC
  10. Houston Dynamo
  11. Minnesota United
  12. Colorado Rapids

Dan Karell

Eastern Conference

  1. Toronto FC
  2. Atlanta United
  3. Orlando City
  4. New York City FC
  5. Chicago Fire
  6. Columbus Crew SC
  7. New York Red Bulls
  8. Montreal Impact
  9. D.C. United
  10. Philadelphia Union
  11. New England Revolution

Western Conference

  1. FC Dallas
  2. Seattle Sounders
  3. LA Galaxy
  4. Portland Timbers
  5. Sporting KC
  6. Vancouver Whitecaps
  7. Houston Dynamo
  8. LAFC
  9. Real Salt Lake
  10. Minnesota United
  11. San Jose Earthquakes
  12. Colorado Rapids

Report: Liverpool agrees to terms for Roma keeper Alisson

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Liverpool has been in search of a new first-choice goalkeeper for several months, and now it appears that Jurgen Klopp and his side have their man.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

The Reds reportedly have a deal in the place for Roma shot-stopper Alisson in excess of $84 million, which would make the 25-year-old the most expensive goalkeeper in football history.

Chelsea had also been viewed as a potential landing spot for the budding star in net, however, it seems likely that Liverpool has beaten their Premier League rivals for the player.

The previous transfer record for a keeper came 17 years ago when Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon completed a $69 million move from Parma to Juventus.

Alisson started in all five of Brazil’s World Cup matches this summer in Russia, including the team’s 2-1 defeat to Belgium that knocked the Selecao out of the competition in the quarterfinals.

He managed to keep three clean sheets in the tournament.

The move for Alisson will likely spell the end for Loris Karius at Anfield, after starting 33 matches in all competitions last season for the Reds, including the team’s UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Iceland coach steps down after 7 years in charge

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) The coach that led Iceland to its first World Cup has stepped down.

The Icelandic Football Association says Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to leave at his own request, ending seven years in the role.

[ MORE: Schedule for PL giants on U.S. tours ]

Hallgrimsson was the co-coach with Lars Lagerback of Sweden at the European Championship in 2016, when Iceland reached the quarterfinals after beating England.

After Lagerback left, Hallgrimsson assumed sole control of the national team, which became the least populous team to ever play at a World Cup. Iceland drew with Argentina in its opening group game but failed to advance to the knockout stage.

Hellgrimsson is a part-time dentist.

Report: Real Madrid close to Courtois, Hazard deals

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According to radio network RMC Sport in France, Real Madrid has an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The report states that Courtois would cost Los Blancos $41 million, and the transfer is imminent. That would be significantly cheaper than Liverpool’s widely reported bid for Roma goalkeeper Alisson, who is supposedly costing the Reds $81 million, which would be a record for a goalkeeper.

This could likely be attributed to the player’s contracts, with Courtois’s set to run out at the end of the coming season, while Alisson’s contract at Roma is good through the summer of 2021.

Courtois has been at Chelsea since 2011 when he arrived from Belgian club Genk, but spent the first few years out on loan at Atletico Madrid in Spain. He won the Golden Glove at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the award for the top goalkeeper in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the same RMC Sport report states that Real Madrid is close to an agreement for Courtois’s Chelsea teammate and Belgian countryman Eden Hazard. The 27-year-old has spent six years at Stamford Bridge since his move from Lille, and has heavily been speculated to be Real Madrid’s preferred replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both players are currently on holiday at different vacation destinations inSpain following the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup.

Cazorla returns to field for first time in almost 2 years

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Arsenal fan favorite Santi Cazorla saw his time with the Gunners come to an unceremonious end this summer. He had struggled for almost three full seasons with an ankle injury that continued to baffle doctors.

At one time, it got so bad that doctors told him he was lucky to walk again. Now, Cazorla is doing much more than walking.

The 33-year-old Spaniard, who is training with his old club Villarreal this summer after the expiry of his Arsenal contract, returned to the field for the first time in 636 days when he entered in the 67th minute of Villarreal’s friendly against Segunda B side Hercules.

Beaming with a massive smile, Cazorla received a hearty reception from the home Villarreal fans at the Mini Estadi on his enterance to the match. The match eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

Cazorla posted on Twitter a week ago to say how happy he was to “feel like a footballer again” while training with Villarreal and said while there’s “much more work ahead” he has “more enthusiasm than ever.”

The Spaniard made 180 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions during his six-year stint in the Premier League, providing fluid creativity at the front of the Gunners’ attack, but the last three seasons were a nightmare. First a knee injury kept him out nearly the entire second half of the 2015/16 season, and then he ruptured his Achilles in October of 2016. It was not a standard recovery, eventually requiring a total of eight operations. A nasty infection required more surgery, forcing doctors to graft tendons from his left arm into his foot.

Gunners fans may not see him at The Emirates again, but they will be happy to know Cazorla has crossed a major hurdle in his attempt to return to the field competitively.