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Vancouver defender Ali Adnan has ugly Panenka penalty saved (video)

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There’s been a wave of Panenka penalty attempts across world soccer in the last few months, and when they work, they make the penalty taker look really slick.

When they don’t work, they’re U-G-L-Y.

That’s what happened to Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ali Adnan on Friday night, as he came off worse for wear after failing to capitalize on the chance to give his side an early lead at home over the LA Galaxy.

Lass Bangoura was fouled by Jorgen Skjelvik in the very first minute of the game, leading the referee to award Vancouver the penalty. Adnan stepped up and attempted the Panenka. Unfortunately, his effort was far too light and instead of tucking into the back of the net over top of a sprawled out David Bingham, the weak shot fell short, allowing Bingham to recover just enough from his dive to reach back and collect the ball before it went over the line.

*cringe*

The LA Galaxy twitter account poked fun at the miss, alluding to the daring nature of their own striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic that has become famous as his own slogan. Zlatan started the match for the Galaxy having scored three goals in the two matches he has been healthy enough to play in, bagging a brace last time out against Portland that included – you guessed it – a Panenka.

The saved penalty is another blow to Vancouver, who has collected just two points through the first five matches of the season, nestling into the bottom third of the Western Conference and finding themselves on the wrong end of a major gulf in points already. The Galaxy, meanwhile, came into this match with 10 points through five matches, having already collected three wins.

Zlatan will not be limited by turf fields this season

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Away box offices and fans are excited, while defenders will be less pleased at the news that LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is willing to play on artificial turf this season.

[ MORE: Weah scores Celtic winner ]

Ibrahimovic, 37, has three goals in two matches this season and missed the other two with an achilles problem.

He posted 22 goals and 7 assists in 27 MLS matches last season so, yeah, he’s been good.

LA Galaxy insider Adam Serrano said Ibrahimovic is ready to go regardless of surface. The Galaxy are 3-1 to start the MLS season under Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

Rooney, Zlatan underline key role for global stars in MLS

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As much as Major League Soccer pushes towards a model of developing young talent either from North America or South America, the stunning individual displays of ageing superstars this weekend proved there is still a place for them in MLS.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage

There is still a place for the wondrous, flying flick of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s heel, the audacity of Wayne Rooney’s free kick and the beauty of Carlos Vela’s curler.

All three delivered stunning, memorable moments and their moments of brilliance were viewed all over the world. People in pubs in England will have smiled at Rooney’s free kick. There will have been a nod of appreciation in Paris for Zlatan’s flick. And in Mexico Vela’s hat trick, and stunning goal, will have raised eyebrows.

In a league still growing and far from reaching its potential, the role these superstars play is sometimes underrated within American soccer circles.

As much as we like to get behind playing philosophies and building solid, sustainable teams, sport is still an entertainment business. We remember moments and veteran stars know better than most how to provide them.

Look, bringing over stars from Europe doesn’t always work. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo may be the first to tell you their time in MLS didn’t exactly go to plan.

But from Thierry Henry to David Beckham, and now Zlatan to Rooney, there is still a place for stars who scores goals and create memorable moments which will be shown across the world.

MLS, despite plenty saying otherwise, doesn’t need to lose that ability to attract superstars approaching the end of their careers. It needs to continue to embrace.

If anything, it now has a one-two punch situation. With young, exciting players coming through, MLS is now seen as a breeding ground for young talent as well as a final showground for experienced stars. Attracting Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and others to MLS should be a priority, as well as developing academies and providing minutes to homegrown talent.

As long as that continues to be the case, everyone wins. Especially MLS.

Zlatan earns, scores both penalties as Galaxy top Timbers

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked the one-year anniversary of his memorable MLS debut by winning, and converting, a pair of penalties to give the LA Galaxy a narrow 2-1 home victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

[ VIDEO: Wayne Rooney’s impossible free kick wins it for DCU in Orlando ]

They were goals no. 2 and 3 of the season for Ibrahimovic after missing each of the last two games due to injury, and the Galaxy’s third victory in four games to start the 2019 season.

Ibrahimovic was shouldered to the ground for the first one, which he calmly tucked inside the left post in the 33rd minute. LA’s lead lasted just 11 minutes, though, as the Timbers quickly carved up the often-troublesome Galaxy defense with some slick one-touch passing to set up Jeremy Ebobisse just before halftime.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League? (video) ]

The big Swede was then tripped up inside the box by goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, though there was plenty of discrepancy over 1) whether or not there was any contact, and 2) who initiated said contact which might or might not have occurred. With the game potentially on the line in the 65th minute, Ibrahimovic opted for the panenka penalty, which floated so slowly toward the goal that Attinella actually made a second attempt at saving the shot after his initial dive left proved foolish. Alas, he had no chance as Ibrahimovic strolled to the endline and celebrated yet another game-winning goal.

Watch: Behind the scenes on Zlatan’s LA Galaxy debut

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One year ago, Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival to Major League Soccer in a style fit for the Lion.

[READ: Pulisic could miss up to a month with injury]

With an outrageous 40-yard chip and a header goal, Zlatan’s two strikes helped the LA Galaxy top Los Angeles FC, 4-3 in the first El Trafico in league history. In the video below from MLS, take a behind the scenes look at Ibrahimovic coming to LA, subbing onto the field and scoring two incredible goals.

Watch the video below: