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what week 8 of the premier league taught us

hey premier league fans, welcome back! did you miss me? well buckle up, because throughout the premier league season—that’s right, 38 grueling weeks baby—i’ll be bringing you every thought i can muster.you want predictions? maybe! reactions? sure! awards? perhaps! hot takes? well… how about i just agree to try my best? so let’s get to it, shall we? as always, suggestions are welcome but not always well taken. anger is encouraged if you direct it somewhere else—i recommend a mirror, for starters. plaudits are appreciated, just make sure they’re deserved.comeback of the week: watford fcmy oh my, marco silva is the manager of the year.**until watford lose six of seven or something and everyone turns on him.but seriously, how can you not love what he is doing with watford? after eight matches, watford sit on 15 points—with four wins, three draws and a loss. that loss, by the way? 0-6 to manchester city, who is simply scoring goals for fun at this point. since, silva’s men have responded with a win over swansea (1-2), a draw at west brom (2-2) and arguably their biggest win to date: a 2-1 comeback victory over arsenal -- the same arsenal who have so far struggled to 13 points on four wins, a draw and three losses. but we’re not here to talk about arsenal. it’s watford, who not only recovered from allowing per mertesacker to score, but also had just enough to steal a victory. how’s that? thanks to a stoppage time goal courtesy of tom cleverly.plus, there?...





mls playoff picture: what’s at stake entering end of season

heading into the final weekend of regular-season play leading up to the mls playoffs, many questions remain as to which teams will qualify for the six positions allotted to each conference. the final standings will also determine which two teams are granted a bye next week and which four teams will play in the knock-out stage in each conference beginning next wednesday.with all 11 matches scheduled for this sunday at 4 p.m. et, these teams will be giving their all, not knowing where they will emerge in the playoff schedule until all the matches are completed. with the first three determinants of table position being points, total wins and goal differential, let’s take a closer look at where the contending teams stand leading up to mls “decision day.”eastern conferencewhile all six teams qualifying for the playoffs have been determined, only the top spot (toronto fc) and the sixth spot (new york red bulls) are set. the other four teams in the playoffs (nyc fc, chicago fire, atlanta united and columbus crew) all have a shot at the second spot and can avoid the knock-out stage, with new york city fc and chicago fire the most likely to claim the number two slot.conversely, three of those same four teams will claim slots three through five and will compete in the knock-out match. keep in mind that claiming the third spot is important as well, since that team will have home-field advantage for the knock-out match.western conferenceentering the final week of the regular season...





premier league best 11 of the season so far

the premier league season still has a long way to go, but we are a little over a fifth of the way through the 2017-18 season. with about two months in the books, we now have an idea of who the league’s elite players and teams will be this season.with that in mind, we’re putting together a best 11 to represent the team of the season so far. unfortunately, there are a few deserving players who will be absent — sergio aguero and alvaro morata just miss the cut at striker, for instance, due to the dominance of those just above them. but this is still a good look at just who’s performing well in the young season so far.take a look, with a particular emphasis on players from three teams who have performed at the top of their games so far.gk — david de gea, manchester unitedde gea has been the best goalkeeper in england for some time now, and he continues to offer plenty of evidence as to why. his performance against liverpool — including an unbelievable save to deny joel matip from close range — was basically the only reason united salvaged a point in the match. de gea is an elite shot-stopper and kept seven clean sheets in eight appearances so far, making 20 saves and conceding just twice. he’s setting the standard once again.rb — kyle walker, manchester cityin his first season with manchester city, walker is fitting in seamlessly, and his arrival is a big part of the reason the team’s attack has been so much more fluid this season. he’s already put in three ...





jozy altidore gets beer thrown at him, sebastian giovinco drinks out of cup

toronto fc essentially had nothing to play for in sunday’s match against atlanta united, as they had already locked up a supporters’ shield win. but that didn’t seem to affect striker jozy altidore, who scored a sweet goal to level sunday’s game at 1-1.altidore wasn’t exactly showered with praise from the visiting fans afterward — in fact, it was quite the opposite. one of the fans threw a cup of beer at him, which didn’t seem to affect altidore all that much, as he attempted to head it away. the best part about it, however, is that teammate sebastian giovinco picked the cup up and appeared to drink from it.





mls decision day: east to be a rumble while west up for grabs

for starters, david villa continued to wreak havoc on any defense that he faces. the nycfc talisman scored both of their goals against columbus, but he'll be kicking himself after he missed a late penalty that would have sealed a hat-trick and given city the victory. instead, nycfc had to settle for a draw after the crew got goals from ole kamara and former nycfc defender josh williams to tie things up.it wasn't all bad news for new york city since results elsewhere made sure that despite the draw, they were able to clinch the second seed in the east, which means that they get to avoid the dangerous wild card game. instead, the draw meant that columbus will have to play a road game, and both chicago fire and atlanta united failed to capitalize. atlanta played a thrilling 2-2 draw with toronto, and the fire completely flopped against the houston dynamo as they fell 3-0. fortunately for the fire, they were able to clinch the third seed due to having more wins than atlanta, so they'll be hosting the new york red bulls while atlanta united will welcome columbus crew into the snake pit that is mercedes-benz stadium.the western conference was a bit more dramatic, since playoff spots were still on the line going into the final day. if you're a san jose earthquakes fan, then drama is nothing new to you. they've made a habit over recent seasons of pulling out victories in the dying stages of games and the goonies returned to the forefront after marco urena scored a winner in the ...





cristiano ronaldo tweets about beating lionel messi for world’s best male player

the golden boot is awarded to the player in the fifa world cup who scores the most goals.can you name every player who was awarded the golden boot?notes: the award was not officially awarded until 1982 when it was called the golden shoe. it was renamed in 2010. in 2010, ties were now broken by assists and playing time.





here's what week 9 of the premier league taught us

hey premier league fans, welcome back! did you miss me? well buckle up, because throughout the premier league season—that’s right, 38 grueling weeks baby—i’ll be bringing you every thought i can muster.you want predictions? maybe! reactions? sure! awards? perhaps! hot takes? well… how about i just agree to try my best? so let’s get to it, shall we? as always, suggestions are welcome but not always well taken. anger is encouraged if you direct it somewhere else—i recommend a mirror, for starters. plaudits are appreciated, just make sure they’re deserved.comeback of the week: chelsearemember last week when i said that marco silva is the manager of the year? well if saturday’s performance by watford is any indication of what’s to come, i stand by it.and yet, chelsea would emerge from that morning matchup with all three points. that is, not until after falling behind 1-2 just shy of the 50th minute. it’s no surprise that chelsea were victorious, of course. even despite numerous injuries. they are the current champions of the premier league, after all. they have the potential to do what they did saturday to any club.and this time, chelsea just needed to wait a little longer to secure those points—with goals in the 71st, 87th and 95th minutes. but given their competition and what we’ve seen from watford so far this campaign, it truly was the most notable comeback.yes, i understand arsenal was down 1-0 to everton on sunday. but the toffees are a joke. (mor...





watch: tfc's bezbatchenko on off season moves, avoiding playoff disappointment and shootout's in soccer

toronto fc general manager tim bezbatchenko joins prime time sports to talk about everything from his acquisitions in the off season, how they are planning to attack in the playoffs, changing the shootout format and who he would rather play.





mls playoffs: which teams will advance past knockout stage?

after an exciting finish to the mls regular season on decision day this past sunday, twelve teams remain with postseason play set to begin.eight teams will be competing in the knockout stage of the playoffs this week, with the other four teams receiving a bye. the level of parity that has existed this season in mls play likely means that each game this week will be competitive and exciting to watch.let’s take a closer look at the four games on tap, as we predict who will advance to the second round of the playoffs.new york red bulls at chicago firethe chicago fire ended the regular season in third place in the eastern conference, tied with atlanta in total points, but ahead of them based on the tiebreaker rules (total wins). while the team relies on dax mccarty, arturo alvarez and juninho, make no mistake that the engine behind their success is former german international bastian schweinsteiger. at age 33, he has played in many big matches such as this one, and the fire will be counting on him for his experience. he is listed as day-to-day with a leg injury, but we can expect to see him in the starting 11 for chicago.for the red bulls, they finished in the sixth and final playoff spot in the eastern conference, with a goal differential of +4. new york has a knack for keeping their games close, and this game will be no different. look for bradley wright-phillips and gonzalo veron to each score for the red bulls, as they beat the fire 2-1 and play their hometown rivals new yo...





inter milan find stability through the second market

mauro icardi was an obvious figure to score the decisive goal in the milan derby, a penalty in the 90th minute to complete his hat trick. inter took an early lead as milan drew level behind a signature suso left footed curler. icardi gave his side the lead with an inventive finish as milan drew level again, before the argentine decided the match in the last minute. after what was the most entertaining and highest quality milan derby in recent memory, inter manager luciano spalletti refused to be caught up in the moment and called for his side to improve.both milan sides have struggled to keep up in the modern soccer landscape, although that may be changing with the financial might of chinese firms taking over each club. from a perspective of mixing and matching a group of summer transfers, milan are this year where inter were last season when the nerazzurri spent over $100 million in the transfer market headlined by joao mario, antonio candreva and gabriel barbosa. they were led by frank de boer, who still had the ajax shine. their season fell apart just as quickly, as de boer was fired after 85 days, replaced by stefano pioli and fired six months later, then replaced by stefano vecchi.this summer was quiet by comparison and quiet on purpose, with new sporting director walter sabatini emphasizing that his club work “in silence”. sabatini said italian clubs operate in a “second market”, hence the importance of his lower profile signings this past summer. of course,...





martial’s late heroics earn united 3 points against tottenham

lukaku unmarked on the long ball? check. the entire back line switching off? check. hugo lloris essentially left for dead? check. of course they’re going to put that away.coming on as a sub in the 70th minute, martial would make the most of his opportunity just 11 minutes later. now the red devils hold a three-point advantage over spurs to go along with their plus-seven goal differential.as for tottenham, it’s another rough loss after failing to see out their midweek efl cup match against west ham. now they get to face real madrid on wednesday. will harry kane be available? time will tell.in the meantime, spurs need a boost. moreover, they need to start taking care of business again.just like manchester united did saturday morning.





toronto fc stars vie for mls individual awards

toronto fc were shut out of major league soccer’s individual awards in 2016 despite a club-best regular season. this time, after a record-breaking campaign to wrap up the supporters’ shield, 11 reds have been shortlisted for the season-end honours, with the three finalists in each of the 13 categories to be announced tuesday. here’s the line on each player’s chances:sebastian giovincoup for: most valuable playerwhy he could win: even in a year plagued by injury, giovinco bagged 16 goals and 6 assists, producing plenty of highlight-reel moments along the way.why he won’t: giovinco’s 2015 mvp season saw him nab 22 goals and 16 assists; until the striker reaches such heights again, he will have a hard time replicating that feat. why he won’t: no goals, two assists — fickle statistics that are overvalued during award season.victor vazquezup for: mvp and top newcomerwhy he could win: vazquez seamlessly filled toronto’s creativity gap — no small task. that he shared the club lead in game-winning goals helped, too. why he won’t: he’s a top contender for newcomer of the year but it will be tough to beat portland timbers’ diego valeri’s 21 goals and 11 assists for mvp.justin morrowup for: top defenderwhy he could win: few have thrived in toronto’s 3-5-2 formation like morrow. he added an offensive threat to his game, becoming the highest-scoring defender in the league with seven goals.why he won’t: some question how authentic a defender morrow is, with ...





messi maintains barca’s unbeaten start, 4-point lead – prosoccertalk

here’s something said by anyone and everyone who’s watched an hour of the premier league over the last 24 months: liverpool won’t win the pl title until jurgen klopp sorts out that shambolic defense.[ pl roundup: man city’s historic start; man united, arsenal win ]well, duh, and thanks for really going out on a limb with that one.on saturday, nbc sports’ robbie earle went error-by-error in picking apart one of the reds’ many defensive breakdowns (above video) during last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of tottenham hotspur. in short, dejan lovern, joel matip, joe gomez and simon mignolet were all guilty of critical errors as harry kane opened the scoring after just four minutes. there’s another group of players, though, which is worth considering as opponents continue to pick liverpool apart on a near-weekly basis.[ pl preview: battle of the new bosses; brighton vs. southampton ]theory: it’s actually liverpool’s midfield which is most responsible for this season’s repeated disasters at the back. the results are as poor as they’ve ever been under klopp — they had the worst defensive record of the pl’s “big six” sides during klopp’s first (partial) season at anfield, followed by the second-worst of the six last season, and are sixth out of six thus far in 2017-18 — with little reason to expect significant change as the defensive characters remain the same. when called upon in 2016-17, again, it was simply more of the same.the key differenc...





higuain fires juve past milan; roma outlast bologna – prosoccertalk

here’s something said by anyone and everyone who’s watched an hour of the premier league over the last 24 months: liverpool won’t win the pl title until jurgen klopp sorts out that shambolic defense.[ pl roundup: man city’s historic start; man united, arsenal win ]well, duh, and thanks for really going out on a limb with that one.on saturday, nbc sports’ robbie earle went error-by-error in picking apart one of the reds’ many defensive breakdowns (above video) during last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of tottenham hotspur. in short, dejan lovern, joel matip, joe gomez and simon mignolet were all guilty of critical errors as harry kane opened the scoring after just four minutes. there’s another group of players, though, which is worth considering as opponents continue to pick liverpool apart on a near-weekly basis.[ pl preview: battle of the new bosses; brighton vs. southampton ]theory: it’s actually liverpool’s midfield which is most responsible for this season’s repeated disasters at the back. the results are as poor as they’ve ever been under klopp — they had the worst defensive record of the pl’s “big six” sides during klopp’s first (partial) season at anfield, followed by the second-worst of the six last season, and are sixth out of six thus far in 2017-18 — with little reason to expect significant change as the defensive characters remain the same. when called upon in 2016-17, again, it was simply more of the same.the key differenc...





juventus: gonzalo higuain is back

a painful end to the 2016/2017 seasonever since gonzalo higuain transferred to juventus, the 29 year old striker has endured lots of negative media attention. whether it was his lack of participation in defense or his mediocre performances in big games, higuain was always a topic of discussion. once all the pundits had exhausted their criticisms of his talent, they turned towards his athleticism claiming he is not fast or conditioned enough to play at the highest level of competition. despite all this, higuain manged to lead juventus to their second champions league final in three years.however, it was in that champions league final that higuain was exposed once more; failing to score in juve’s 4-1 defeat to real madrid. with such a painful defeat closing out the 2016/2017 season there were concerns as to whether juventus would be able to bounce back in both domestic competition and international play.higuain’s sluggish startas the 2017/2018 season started, it was paulo dybala who made an initial statement of intent by scoring several goals in the first few matches. however after two months of serie a play higuain was still seeking his first goal of the new campaign. given this fact, reactionary fans of the bianconeri felt that higuain was no longer fit to lead the juventus attack given his fellow countryman mauro icardi had already reached double digits in goals scored.higuain’s comparisons to mauro icardi intensified when argentina coach jorge sampaoli selected the 24...





revealed: the numbers victor lindelof and romelu lukaku will wear for manchester united

manchester united have announced on their official website the shirt numbers for next season.new signings victor lindelof and romelu lukaku will wear the no. 2 and no. 9 respectively.the belgium international will take over the no. 9 jersey from zlatan ibrahimovic.he signed from everton for an initial £75m on a five-year contract.manager jose mourinho was delighted after the transfer was completed at the start of the week."romelu is a natural fit for manchester united. he is a big personality and a big player," the portuguese said."it is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club."he will be a great addition to the group. i am really looking forward to working with him again."





development academy u-17/18 semifinals: seattle sounders fc vs. la galaxy

added by u.s. soccer on july 14, 2017.saved under latest news, us soccer, videosrelated on tsdfacebooktwittergoogle1emaildeliciousdigggooglestumbleuponreddittechnoratiyahoobloggermyspacerss





could wesley sneijder be heading to mls?

leicester’s fall from premier league champions to mid-table side certainly didn’t help their case for keeping riyad mahrez.[ more: costa, matic missing for chelsea preseason tour in asia ]now, the algeria international is on the minds of another big-time club that looks to fill a void on the wing.according to goal, serie a side roma is preparing a bid of $40 million for the leicester winger, who moved to the king power stadium in 2014.mahrez, 26, has had significant interest from several major european clubs, including barcelona and arsenal, both of whom made big pushes for the speedy attacker last summer.with mohamed salah moving on to liverpool this transfer window, roma will be looking to plug the hole left by the egyptian, and mahrez would be a logical fit for a number of reasons.on top of the fact that he is a natural replacement out on the wing, mahrez is openly seeking champions league soccer in the future, which roma would be able to offer immediately in 2017/18 after finishing runners’ up in serie a a season ago.the greatest hurdle for roma or any side interested in the leicester attacker will be the price tag set forth by the foxes. leicester is said to be seeking nearly $63 million, a stark difference between what roma initially offered.follow @mattreedfutbol





u.s. open cup: earthquakes host sporting kc, red bulls to travel in semis

leicester’s fall from premier league champions to mid-table side certainly didn’t help their case for keeping riyad mahrez.[ more: costa, matic missing for chelsea preseason tour in asia ]now, the algeria international is on the minds of another big-time club that looks to fill a void on the wing.according to goal, serie a side roma is preparing a bid of $40 million for the leicester winger, who moved to the king power stadium in 2014.mahrez, 26, has had significant interest from several major european clubs, including barcelona and arsenal, both of whom made big pushes for the speedy attacker last summer.with mohamed salah moving on to liverpool this transfer window, roma will be looking to plug the hole left by the egyptian, and mahrez would be a logical fit for a number of reasons.on top of the fact that he is a natural replacement out on the wing, mahrez is openly seeking champions league soccer in the future, which roma would be able to offer immediately in 2017/18 after finishing runners’ up in serie a a season ago.the greatest hurdle for roma or any side interested in the leicester attacker will be the price tag set forth by the foxes. leicester is said to be seeking nearly $63 million, a stark difference between what roma initially offered.follow @mattreedfutbol





could wesley sneijder be heading to mls?

we already know three of the four teams that will represent the field for the lamar hunt u.s. open cup semifinals, and now we know the scenarios of where the matches will be played.[ more: closer look at the concacaf gold cup standings ]the san jose earthquakes, sporting kc and new york red bulls all booked their places into the final four this week after advancing past the quarterfinals in their respective matches, while miami fc and fc cincinnati will battle it out at a later date after their fixture was postponed due to inclement weather.miami and cincinnati represent division ii leagues nasl and usl, respectively.the earthquakes and sporting kc will meet at avaya stadium on august 9, while the red bulls will travel to the winner of miami fc vs. fc cincy on the same day.from there, sporting kc drew the highest priority of hosting the final. simply put, if sporting kc wins its match against the quakes, peter vermes’ side will go on to host the title match on september 20.the red bulls drew the second-highest priority, while miami fc/cincy were picked third and the earthquakes were last — meaning they would be on the road regardless of which club they draw in the final.follow @mattreedfutbol