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MLS Player Rankings Week 28: All hail Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Carlos Vela and Josef Martinez have set themselves apart from the rest of the talent in Major League Soccer. 

The trio of goal-scorers have occupied the top spots in our MLS Player Rankings for most of the season, and they are now locked into a battle for the Golden Boot. 

Vela seemed like the runaway winner, but Ibrahimovic is within two and Martinez is four back with a handful of games left. 

Ibrahimovic left the biggest mark on Week 28 in the LA Galaxy’s thumping over Sporting Kansas City, but both Vela and Martinez found the back of the net as well.

Our MLS Player Rankings take into account a player’s form over the last four games, with the most-recent performance carrying the most weight. 

20. Miles Robinson, D, Atlanta United

Previous Ranking: 13

May 5, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) moves the ball during the match against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

May 5, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson (12) moves the ball during the match against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta United’s defense has had a few shaky weeks with the concession of six goals to Philadelphia and Columbus. 

Saturday’s home loss to the Crew was the more surprising of the two results given how poorly Caleb Porter’s team has played this season. 

Before the two-game losing streak, Miles Robinson and Co. put up three clean sheets in four games. They need to revert back to that form in Week 29 against FC Cincinnati and San Jose to secure a home playoff match. 

19. Carles Gil, M, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 14 

Aug 24, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Carles Gil (22) passes the ball against the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

Carles Gil dished out his 13th and 14th assists in New England’s 3-3 draw with Orlando.

The pair of handouts were a welcome sight for the Spaniard, who went two games without an assist, a rare drought in his debut MLS season. 

From July 17 to August 24, the 26-year-old had an assist in six of seven games. That form will be needed down the stretch for the Revs to secure a postseason berth. 

18. Ike Opara, D, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: 9 

Jul 20, 2019; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Saucedo (23) and Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) battle for the ball in the second half at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports)

In three September games, Ike Opara and the Minnesota United defense have conceded a trio of goals. 

On Sunday versus Real Salt Lake, the Loons held the Claret-and-Cobalt to five shots on target in a 3-1 victory

The Loons rank third in goals against in the Western Conference, where they are third behind LAFC and Seattle.

17. Mark-Anthony Kaye, M, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked 

Apr 17, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Los Angeles FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye (14) passes the ball against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half at BC Place. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Mark-Anthony Kaye dished out four key passes and had the shot that helped create Carlos Vela’s goal in LAFC’s 1-1 draw at Philadelphia. 

The Canadian midfielder also recorded four tackles, a clearance and an interception against the second-place side in the Eastern Conference. 

On the season, Kaye has a pass completion rate of 83.9 percent and is averaging 2.2 tackles, 1.7 key passes and 1.3 interceptions. 

16. Luis Diaz, M, Columbus Crew SC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Columbus Crew midfielder Luis Diaz (18) celebrates his goal in the second half against the Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

The acquisition of Luis Diaz flew under the radar because of the Crew’s struggles this season, but he has turned into one of the better midseason signings. 

The 20-year-old Costa Rican has two goals and an assist in his last three games, including a strike in the Crew’s road upset of Atlanta United. 

In 10 contests, the midfielder has two goals and three assists. 

15. Mauro Manotas, F, Houston Dynamo

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 14, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Houston Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas (9) celebrates his goal against Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Zac MacMath (18) (not pictured) during the second half at BC Place. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Mauro Manotas added to his second-highest scoring season in MLS with a strike in each of Houston’s two Week 28 games. 

The Honduran forward, who should be poised for a move in the offseason, found the back of the net against Minnesota and Vancouver. 

Eight of Manotas’ 13 goals have occurred against Western Conference opposition. 

14. Darwin Quintero, M, Minnesota United

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 15, 2019; Saint Paul, MN, Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota United midfielder Darwin Quintero (25) controls the ball against Real Salt Lake during the second half at Allianz Field. (Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports)

Darwin Quintero earned his second straight 10-goal season with a brace Sunday versus RSL. 

The 31-year-old Colombian scored in the 20th and 51st minutes to help Adrian Heath’s side rebound from a midweek loss to Houston.

The Loons need Quintero to continue scoring in a three-game stretch versus Portland, Sporting KC and LAFC in order for the club to host a postseason game at Allianz Field. 

13. Keaton Parks, M, New York City FC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York City FC midfielder Keaton Parks (55) plays the ball against San Jose Earthquakes defender Marcos Lopez (27) during the first half at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Keaton Parks has not received the love he deserves. 

The New York City FC on-loan midfielder rose into the spotlight with his first MLS goal Saturday in a 3-1 win over San Jose, and he has quietly been a rock in the center of the park. 

If Parks continues to thrive for Dome Torrent’s side, he may command a spot in Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. men’s national team.

12. Frederic Brillant, D, D.C. United

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Aug 11, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Uriel Antuna (18) leaps in front of D.C. United defender Jalen Robinson (20) and D.C. United defender Frederic Brillant (13) to head the ball in the first half at Audi Field. D.C. United won 2-1. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Two clean sheets have helped D.C. United move four points above the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference. 

Frederic Brillant has turned in a pair of solid showings against Montreal and Portland. 

In the 1-0 victory over the Timbers, Brillant and the D.C. defense limited the home side to four shots on goal of the 23 attempted. 

11. Sebastian Lletget, M, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Sep 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) reacts after a goal during the second half against Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

In his first game back from USMNT camp, Sebastian Lletget exploded for two goals and an assist in the LA Galaxy’s 7-2 rout of Sporting Kansas City. 

The midfielder’s brace occurred two minutes apart during a 16-minute stretch in which the Galaxy poured in four goals. 

The Galaxy will not score seven goals each week, but if they can continue to put pressure on opposing defenses, they will ease any concerns about their playoff hopes. 

10. Nani, M, Orlando City SC

Sep 14, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando City forward Nani (17) kicks the ball during the first half against the New England Revolution at Exploria Stadium. (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

From June 26-August 31, Nani recorded one goal for Orlando City.

In the last two games, he has three goals and an assist, but the increase in production was not good enough to power the Lions to victory. 

Orlando sits in a tough spot, four points below the playoff line with three games to play, so it needs to win out and some help to claw back into the top seven. 

9. Alexandru Mitrita, M, New York City FC

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Jul 20, 2019; Commerce City, CO, USA; New York City FC midfielder Alexandru Mitrita (28) controls the ball in the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Alexandru Mitrita has helped fill the scoring void left by the injured Heber. 

The 24-year-old Designated Player scored once in both of New York City FC’s victories in Week 28, and now has three strikes in the last four matches. 

With Heber out until at least Decision Day, the Pigeons need Mitrita to continue scoring in order to lock up the No. 1 seed. 

8. Jordan Morris, F, Seattle Sounders

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Aug 10, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris (13) pursues the ball against the New England Revolution in the second half at CenturyLink Field. The teams played to a 3-3 tie. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Jordan Morris has secured the Comeback Player of the Year with his September start. 

Morris, who missed all of 2018 with an injury, bagged his ninth goal and handed out his seventh assist in a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls Sunday. 

Since the start of August, the U.S. international has experienced an uptick in form that includes a goal and assist in two of his last three games. 

7. Chris Wondolowski, F, San Jose Earthquakes

Previous Ranking: 15 

Aug 31, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski (8) reacts after scoring a goal against the Orlando City FC during the first half at Avaya Stadium. (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

While we’ve been fawning over the flashy scorers in MLS, Chris Wondolowski has brought his lunch pail and blue-collar mentality to continue to find the back of the net. 

Wondolowski moved his season total up to 14 with the opening goal in San Jose’s loss to NYCFC on Saturday. 

In the last four matches, the 36-year-old has four tallies to get up to his fifth-highest scoring total in MLS at 14. 

6. Kai Wagner, D, Philadelphia Union

Previous Ranking: 12 

Jul 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner (27) in action against the Chicago Fire at Talen Energy Stadium. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Kai Wagner did what few defenders in MLS have done all season: frustrate Carlos Vela.

Vela still scored in the 1-1 draw at Talen Energy Stadium, but it occurred off a rebound in the box, not a moment of individual brilliance. 

Wagner leads defenders in assists with eight and has become one of the lock-down left backs in the league, something the Union will benefit from in their hunt for the No. 2 seed in the East. 

5. Kacper Przybylko, F, Philadelphia Union

Previous Ranking: 8

Aug 31, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union forward Kacper Przybylko (23) takes a shot during the first half against the Atlanta United at Talen Energy Stadium. (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Kacper Przybylko scored for the third straight game and fifth time in six games. 

The 14-goal scorer struck the back of the net in the third minute versus LAFC, a game in which the Union proved they could play with MLS’ best. 

Next up for Przybylko is a three-game road swing against the Red Bulls, Earthquakes and Crew. 

4. Gustavo Bou, F, New England Revolution

Previous Ranking: 4 

Aug 31, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Revolution forward Gustavo Bou (7) reacts after scoring against the Toronto FC during the second half at Gillette Stadium. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

Gustavo Bou is now up to seven goals in 10 games. 

The New England forward netted one of his team’s three goals in the draw against Orlando City. 

While other forwards have scored in bunches, Bou has been Mr. Consistent, which is exactly what the Revs needed out of their big-money signing. 

3. Carlos Vela, F, Los Angeles FC

Previous Ranking: 5

Sep 14, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) celebrates with forward Diego Rossi (9) after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Union during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Even though he spent most of Saturday night trying to get away from Wagner, Vela still impacted the game. 

The 30-year-old knocked in his 28th goal right before halftime to double his scoring total from a year ago. 

Vela is in possession of a five-game scoring streak that dates back to August 11. He and his LAFC teammates can clinch the Supporters’ Shield with a win over Toronto FC Saturday. 

2. Josef Martinez, F, Atlanta United

Previous Ranking: 2

Sep 14, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates his goal with midfielder Pity Martinez (10) in the first half against the Columbus Crew at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking of scoring streaks, Josef Martinez is now up to 14 consecutive games with a goal.

The Venezuelan striker bagged Atlanta United’s only goal in a 3-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In the last four matches, Martinez has deposited four goals into the net on six shots on target. 

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, F, LA Galaxy

Previous Ranking: 1 

Jul 4, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) and Toronto FC midfielder Richie Laryea (22) battle for the ball in the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park. The Gakaxy defeated Tornto FC 2-0. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

There is a real chance Zlatan Ibrahimovic steals the Golden Boot away from Vela. 

The towering Swede produced his fourth multi-goal performance in six games Sunday by notching a hat trick versus Sporting KC. 

Since August 14, Ibrahimovic has scored 10 goals to move two goals behind Vela with four games remaining. 

The post MLS Player Rankings Week 28: All hail Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared first on Pro Soccer USA.

Original author: Joe Tansey, Pro Soccer USA
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Both teams to score at Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas 3/5 for Thursday’s MLS matchup

Competition: MLS Market: Both teams to score Odds: 3/5 @ Bet 365 In what could be an extremely lively encounter in the early hours of Thursday morning, Seattle will welcome Dallas to CenturyLink Field. Starting with the hosts, while fans around Washington will know that any chance of a late charge for the Western title is firmly off […]

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Greatest goalscoring race reaches stretch run: Week 29 News & Notes

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MLS Power Rankings Week 28: Toronto FC, LA Galaxy surge, FC Dallas falls

With the MLS regular season rapidly winding down, some teams are starting to separate themselves at the top of the table heading into the home stretch.

That is also reflected in the Pro Soccer USA’s Power Rankings following Week 28, with Los Angeles Football Club, New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union all unchanged in the top three spots.

But then it gets fun. The next 12 spots, and 19 of the final 21 overall, have shuffled. Some teams, like Toronto FC, coming off a dramatic 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids, and the LA Galaxy, following a 7-2 trouncing of Sporting Kansas City, have made giant leaps forward. Others (see: FC Dallas) have fallen quite a bit.

The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are created by averaging the rankings submitted by a committee of Pro Soccer USA’s editors and writers.

(1) Los Angeles Football Club (19-4-7, 64 points): It’s now four straight matches without a win — the longest stretch of a remarkable season. After consecutive road draws at Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union, is it time to worry LAFC has lost its magic? (2) New York City FC (16-5-9, 57 points): Three games, a shorthanded roster and seven points. It was quite a week for NYCFC, which are now five points clear atop the East with four games to play. (3) Philadelphia Union (15-8-7, 52 points): For a second straight game, the Union made some noise with a positive home result, following an emphatic win over Atlanta United with a draw against LAFC. (5) Minnesota United FC (14-10-6, 48 points): Darwin Quintero struck for a brace and Ethan Finlay added a late insurance goal in a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake that moved the Loons into third place in the West. (7) Seattle Sounders FC (14-9-7, 49 points): It was a fast start and a strong finish for the Sounders, who beat the New York Red Bulls 4-2 at CenturyLink Field to move into second place int he West. (4) Atlanta United (15-11-3, 48 points): The Five Stripes took the lead through Josef Martinez, but they looked listless in conceding three unanswered goals in a 3-1 loss to Columbus. (14) Toronto FC (12-10-9, 45 points): The biggest movers of the week had a big double-game week, earning a 1-1 draw at East-leading NYCFC and defeating Colorado 3-2 at BMO Field to move to fourth in the East. (13) D.C. United (12-10-9, 45 points): It was ugly, but Ben Olsen’s team doesn’t really care about aesthetics at this point of the season. They’ll gladly take the three points in rainy Portland, courtesy of an own goal. (15) LA Galaxy (14-13-3, 45 points): Zlatan Ibrahimovic proclaimed himself to be the best player in MLS history and it’s hard to argue with a guy who just scored a hat trick in a match that catapulted his team above the playoff line in the West. (6) San Jose Earthquakes (13-12-5, 44 points): Chris Wondolowski gave the Quakes the early lead, but they conceded twice in quick succession in a 2-1 loss to NYCFC. It was Matias Almeyda’s club’s fifth loss in their last seven games. (9) Real Salt Lake (14-12-4, 46 points): A big win over the Earthquakes was followed by a loss at Minnesota United. RSL are fourth in the West, three points behind second-place Seattle, but just three points above the playoff line. (8) Portland Timbers (13-12-4, 43 points): Luck was not in the Timbers’ favor Sunday. Gio Savarese’s club, without injured key attackers Brian Fernandez and Sebastian Blanco, twice hit the woodwork and Bill Tuiloma scored an own goal in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United. (11) New England Revolution (10-10-10, 40 points): The Revs are three points above the playoff line in the East, but will rue blowing a two-goal halftime lead and dropping a pair of valuable points in a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC. (12) New York Red Bulls (12-13-5, 41 points): The Red Bulls battled back from an early two-goal deficit, but conceded twice late in a 4-2 loss to the Seattle Sounders, their third in a row that dropped them to sixth in the East. (10) FC Dallas (12-11-7, 43 points): FC Dallas conceded four goals before halftime in a loss at Chicago that, coupled with other results, has them below the playoff line on a tiebreaker with four games remaining. (16) Colorado Rapids (10-15-6, 36 points): The three-match winning streak came to an end Sunday, though not without a fight. The Rapids erased an early two-goal deficit and probably should have led 3-2 if not for Kei Kamara’s saved penalty kick. (19) Orlando City SC (9-13-9, 36 points): Nani put his team on his shoulders, scoring a brace and, along with a Dom Dwyer strike, rallied from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw against New England. A great rally, but truth be told the Lions needed all three points. (20) Chicago Fire (9-12-10, 37 points): The Fire’s playoff hopes are not doused yet as, led by CJ Sapong’s brace, they blasted FC Dallas at home Saturday. But there is no margin for error going forward. (21) Columbus Crew SC (9-15-7, 34 points): Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz responded to an early Josef Martinez goal and an own goal by Miles Robinson put the finishing touches on a stunning 3-1 win over Atlanta that keeps Crew SC’s flickering playoff hopes still alive. (18) Sporting Kansas City (10-13-7, 37 points): A three-match winning streak has turned into consecutive defeats and it feels like the 7-2 loss at the LA Galaxy just might have been the death knell for Sporting. (17) Montreal Impact (11-16-4, 37 points): Perhaps worse than a five-goal loss at playoff-hopeful LA Galaxy is a 1-0 defeat at home to an FC Cincinnati team long eliminated from playoff contention. (23) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-15-7, 30 points): The Whitecaps have also been eliminated from playoff contention, but that didn’t stop them from battling until the end and claiming all three points in a 2-1 win over the Dynamo courtesy of a Fredy Montero 90th-minute goal. (22) Houston Dynamo (10-16-4, 34 points): Mathematically still alive, albeit barely, the Dynamo rallied to level thanks to Mauro Manotas, but left BC Place with nothing but frustration after conceding Montero’s winner. (24) FC Cincinnati (6-21-3, 21 points): Ron Jans has waited a long time, but his first win as FC Cincinnati coach came in Montreal Saturday thanks to Allan Cruz’s first-minute goal.

Pro Soccer USA writers Dylan Butler, Chris Fuhrmeister, Robert Jonas and Joe Tansey contributed to this report.

The post MLS Power Rankings Week 28: Toronto FC, LA Galaxy surge, FC Dallas falls appeared first on Pro Soccer USA.

Original author: Dylan Butler, Pro Soccer USA
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Lloris interested in MLS switch

“I do not think I’m going to finish [my career] at Tottenham.  I still have a few years ahead of me. In any case, I will do everything to make the most of it.  “You also have to know when to say stop at the right time, but I’m not against the idea of discovering […]

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BODYARMOR to become official sports drink of Major League Soccer in 2020

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MLS Announces eMLS 24 Hours of FIFA 20 Live Stream

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Ibrahimovic: Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke an LA Galaxy goalscoring record in Sunday’s 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City and said finding the target is easy for him.  Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s rout, taking him to 26 MLS goals for the season, surpassing Carlos Ruiz as the player with the most league goals in a single […]

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Ibrahimovic: Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke an LA Galaxy goalscoring record in Sunday’s 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City and said finding the target is easy for him.  Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s rout, taking him to 26 MLS goals for the season, surpassing Carlos Ruiz as the player with the most league goals in a single […]

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Ibrahimovic: Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke an LA Galaxy goalscoring record in Sunday’s 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City and said finding the target is easy for him.  Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s rout, taking him to 26 MLS goals for the season, surpassing Carlos Ruiz as the player with the most league goals in a single […]

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Ibrahimovic: Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke an LA Galaxy goalscoring record in Sunday’s 7-2 win over Sporting Kansas City and said finding the target is easy for him.  Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s rout, taking him to 26 MLS goals for the season, surpassing Carlos Ruiz as the player with the most league goals in a single […]

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MLS Review: Ibrahimovic breaks Galaxy record with hat-trick in rout

Hat-trick hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic made history for LA Galaxy, while DC United boosted their play-off chances in MLS on Sunday. Ibrahimovic set a single-season scoring record for Galaxy by moving onto 26 goals, netting a hat-trick in a 7-2 thrashing of Sporting Kansas City at Dignity Health Sports Park. Galaxy had fallen behind to a […]

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MLS Review: Ibrahimovic breaks Galaxy record with hat-trick in rout

Hat-trick hero Zlatan Ibrahimovic made history for LA Galaxy, while DC United boosted their play-off chances in MLS on Sunday. Ibrahimovic set a single-season scoring record for Galaxy by moving onto 26 goals, netting a hat-trick in a 7-2 thrashing of Sporting Kansas City at Dignity Health Sports Park. Galaxy had fallen behind to a […]

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Toronto FC beats Colorado Rapids 3-2, spoiling Robin Fraser’s homecoming

Jonathan Osorio broke a tie in the 70th minute and Toronto FC beat the Colorado Rapids 3-2 Sunday  at BMO Field to spoil Rapids coach Robin Fraser’s homecoming.

Fraser, a former Toronto assistant coach, had won three straight matches since taking charge of the Rapids Aug. 25.

Toronto FC (12-10-9, 45 points) extended an unbeaten run to seven matches and moved up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of D.C. United on a tiebreaker. The Rapids (10-15-6, 36 points) suffered a blow to their already slim hopes of reaching the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Returning home from a 1-1 draw against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium Wednesday, Toronto FC roared out of the gate and led 2-0 after just 13 minutes. Tsubasa Endoh opened the scoring in the 8th minute. After Richie Laryea was played into the box by Jozy Altidore, he cut the ball back to Endoh, who hammered his shot in off the crossbar. 

Five minutes later, Alejandro Pozuelo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Lalas Abubakar pulled back Altidore in the box. Pozuelo, who went 1-for-2 from the penalty spot in the Bronx Wednesday night, made no mistake with his panenka. 

Just when it looked like the rout was on, Keegan Rosenberry pulled the Rapids back a goal in the 31st minute, following his initial shot that was blocked by Michael Bradley to beat Quentin Westberg. After taking down Sam Nicholson inside the box, Westberg atoned for his mistake with a diving stop on Kei Kamara’s penalty just before halftime. 

Nicholson, who helped setup Rosenberry’s goal, then leveled in the 62nd minute, sliding in front to meet Rosenberry’s lofted cross. However, the final heroics came from Osorio, who came off the bench for the injured Nicolas Benezet, clipped an Erickson Gallardo pass over Clint Irwin and into the net for the winner. 

[See image gallery at appserver-927ee6c5.c.pantheon-dmz.internal]

— The Associated Press contributed to this story

The post Toronto FC beats Colorado Rapids 3-2, spoiling Robin Fraser’s homecoming appeared first on Pro Soccer USA.

Original author: Dylan Butler, Pro Soccer USA
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Ibrahimović Voted MLS Player of the Week

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Vela, Ibrahimović and Martínez racing toward record-breaking Golden Boot finish

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MLS Review: New York City pull clear, Martinez scores again

New York City pulled clear atop the Eastern Conference in MLS, while Josef Martinez extended his goalscoring streak on Saturday. Keaton Parks and Alexandru Mitrita scored as New York City came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. Chris Wondolowski poked in a Valeri Qazaishvili cross to give the Earthquakes […]

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LAFC looking at Mandzukic

Los Angeles FC have won the Major League Soccer Supporters Shield and next month they will be attempting to win their first MLS Cup since setting up the franchise in 2018. But whilst the players are trying to make a big victory on the pitch, the club want to make another win, but this one […]

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Bale linked with MLS switch

According to a recent report over in Spain, Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is the latest big name being linked with a switch to Inter Miami. David Beckham, the president of the new Major League Soccer franchise, hasn’t been shy when it comes to putting out feelers for top stars to come and test the […]

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Shinyashiki on the dribble and other takeaways from Colorado’s 2-1 win over LA

Zlatan Ibrahimović and the LA Galaxy came to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a midweek clash with Colorado, looking to secure points in a tight Western Conference playoffs race. In what looked to be destined to be a 0-0 draw after a scoreless first half, the game came to life late with all six of the game’s goals coming in a six-minute span. Cole Bassett opened the scoring to give Colorado a 1-0 lead in the 79th minute, but LA responded with the leveler from Giancarlo Gonzalez four minutes later. Nicolas Mezquida scored the game winner on a controversial penalty call just moments later and the game ended with a 2-1 Rapids win, despite a wild 10 minutes of extra time that included multiple cards and VAR reviews.

Here are three takeaways from Colorado’s 2-1 win over LA:

Rookie of the Year

Colorado Rapids rookie Andre Shinyashiki continues to impress for Colorado. Following his two-goal performance last weekend against Seattle which earned him MLS player of the week and a Team of the Week nod, Shinyashiki continued to propel Colorado’s attack on Wednesday and his play in the second half led to the penalty call (albeit controversial) and the Rapids second goal.

“I think each game you gain more and more confidence,” Rapids head coach Robin Fraser said of Shinyashiki. “What we saw was a really aggressive No. 9, not an impressive rookie No. 9. impressive nine period no matter what.”

Despite the controversy of the penalty call, which many LA Galaxy players disagreed with and what replays showed as little to no contact, Ibrahimovic chose to recognize the quality of Shinyashiki’s play instead of blaming refereeing.

The play was too far away from me. The only thing I saw was [Shinyashiki] dribbled [Giancarlo Gonzalez] in the box. If you allow somebody to dribble you like that, then there are consequences.”

Abubakar gets it right

With Sam Vines out due to Illness, Lala Abubakar slotted in as an emergency right back for Colorado – and it worked. It was a good display not only from Abubakar, but a saavy coaching move by Fraser.

It was Abubakar’s first time ever playing the position as a professional.

“The coach called us in the office and he asked me if I ever played right back. I told him ‘no’. He told me I’d play right back. But we are all professionals so the best thing you can do is focus and execute it. They told me to stop Pavon and I knew if I stopped that guy, we’d have a chance to win,” Abubakar explained postgame.

The defensive performance impressed Fraser, as well.

“We had a center back playing right back, we had a right back playing left back, we had two left footed center backs and the guys just did what they needed to do,” he said.

Three on the bounce

The Robin Fraser head coaching era in Colorado continues its honeymoon phase as the Rapids have now won three in a row under the former Colorado player and have scored six goals total.

To little surprise, his system has done well to keep the attacking players happy.

“What he brings is positional play,” Shinyashiki said of Fraser’s system. “It’s very similar to what my coach in college did so I’m very happy. Creating overloads and being in the right positions is what he’s brought.”

Aside from tactics, Colorado also looks to be working together in harmony.

Said Fraser, “I’m so proud — I’m so proud of the team. You look at the players that they have, obviously some very accomplished players — then you look at our group and they just play as a team — they play for each other, they fight for each other, and play cohesively offensively and defensively. Every week — it’s been three weeks, but every week I think — well, that was a good one, but what happens next week? What keeps happening is that they keep playing like a team. As a result, they keep getting good results. It’s been really a fun start for me as a coach and I feel really happy to be a part of this group.”

The post Shinyashiki on the dribble and other takeaways from Colorado’s 2-1 win over LA appeared first on Pro Soccer USA.

Original author: Marco Cummings, Pro Soccer USA
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