Sylvae MLS News

30Sep/160

Ambitious Atlanta United Make Bold Statement with Hire of Gerardo Martino

Before the business end of the 2016 Major League Soccer regular season begins, the hype for the 2017 campaign has started thanks to ambitious expansion side Atlanta United.  Atlanta, who will join Minnesota United as newcomers to the league next year, stepped into the spotlight with their hire of former Barcelona and Argentina boss Gerardo "Tata" Martino on Wednesday.  Martino will take control of a club that has made it clear from day one that they want to contend in year one. Before inking Martino to the role of head coach, Atlanta secured the signature of Trinidad and Tobago international Kenwyne Jones to be the club's main scorer. Argentinian winger Hector Villalba and Irish midfielder Chris McCann are also part of the growing group of new recruits.  The 53-year-old Martino, who finished second in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America with Argentina, enters MLS with high expectations given his pedigree.  But it won't be smooth sailing from the start for Martino, since he'll have to navigate the murky waters of the MLS acquisition methods. Martino admitted he's familiar with the basic rules of MLS but is still working on understanding the intricacies.  “The first thing you do when you become involved in a ...
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27Sep/160

Clint Dempsey Out for Remainder of 2016 MLS Season with Irregular Heartbeat

Seattle Sounders general manager and president Garth Lagerwey announced Tuesday that star forward Clint Dempsey would miss the remainder of the season because of an irregular heartbeat, according to Ryan Krasnoo of SoundersFC.com. "If we prioritize this now, hopefully we can get Dempsey back in 2017," Lagerwey said, per Sounders Beat, adding, "Clint has overcome a lot, and I believe he can overcome this as well." Sounders interim head coach Brian Schmetzer also addressed the media. "The messaging was not that big of a shock to anybody," he said, according to Sounders Beat. "It's a sad story because Clint is an integral part of the team." Schmetzer isn't worried about whether his team will fold without Dempsey in the mix as the Sounders pursue a playoff spot: Dempsey's irregular heartbeat was discovered in August, and he hasn't appeared in a game since Aug. 21. He returned to training Sept. 14 but ceased training with the Sounders last week, per Krasnoo. In total this season, he's made 17 MLS appearances, scoring eight goals and adding two assists. He remains one of the best players in MLS and one of the truly important contributors for the United States men's national team, and his availability for the country's two World ...
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27Sep/160

MLS Player Rankings: Morris, Kamara, Villa Make Big Moves After Week 29

The season may have flipped from summer to fall last week, but the heat is being felt all over Major League Soccer by teams jockeying for playoff positions.  Plenty of on-fire forwards helped their respective sides earn three points in the two playoff races in Week 29.  Jordan Morris, Ola Kamara, Dom Dwyer and David Villa were among a plethora of top scorers who struck the back of the net in the last week. All of those players are in the top 10 of our latest Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings.  Our rankings take into account the last four performances from an individual, with the most recent showing holding more importance.  Continue reading to see who landed where in the Week 29 edition of the MLS Player Rankings. Begin Slideshow
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26Sep/160

MLS Team of the Week: Morris, Manotas, Shelton Stand out in Attack-Heavy Week 29

Week 29 in Major League Soccer belonged to strikers and attack-minded midfielders beginning at Yankee Stadium on Friday night and ending in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday.  Seven different players found the back of the net more than once over the last three days, and a pair of players dished out three assists, one of which was a defender.  Since we couldn't fit all of those massive individual performances into a single Team of the Week, we selected three forwards whose showings on the pitch meant the most to their respective sides.  As tempting as it was to name only forwards to the Bleacher Report best XI from the weekend, we aligned our squad in a 4-3-3 since there were some strong defensive performances as well.  Continue reading to see who was named to the Week 29 Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week. Begin Slideshow
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23Sep/160

Making Sense of the Mangled MLS Eastern Conference Playoff Race

If the last weekend of play in Major League Soccer taught us anything, it's that we don't know a thing when it comes to predicting the playoff races, especially in the Eastern Conference.  Only two of the 10 teams in the East took three points out of Week 28, and both of those results were road wins by the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew.  Philadelphia lost on the road, D.C. United needed a late equalizer to tie the Chicago Fire, New York City FC played to level terms with FC Dallas, and Toronto FC came from behind to draw the New York Red Bulls at home.  With a month left in the regular season, basically anything can happen in the East. Toronto are still the clear favorites to capture the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but one more slip-up by Greg Vanney's men could open the door for either of the New York sides to slide into the top position.  Philadelphia and Montreal seemed to be locks to qualify for the postseason a few weeks ago, and in all honesty, they should still make it, but a late surge by New England has put the fourth- and fifth-place clubs ...
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20Sep/160

MLS Player Rankings: BWP Reclaims Top Spot, Altidore Moves Close to Top

Given the plethora of impressive in-form attackers in Major League Soccer at the moment, it takes something special each week to remain atop the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings. A week after losing out to Giovani dos Santos for the No. 1 position, Bradley Wright-Phillips is back on top thanks to another brace for the New York Red Bulls. Although Wright-Phillips is the top-scoring forward at the moment, there are a number of players lining up behind him, including Jozy Altidore, ready to pounce if he slips up at any point during the closing stretch of the regular season. Our player rankings take into account the last four performances from each player, with the most recent showing carrying more weight. Continue reading to see who fell where behind Wright-Phillips in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 28.Begin Slideshow
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19Sep/160

MLS Team of the Week: Altidore, BWP, Rowe Stand Out with Week 28 Braces

It's becoming a weekly routine at this point in the Major League Soccer regular season to put Jozy Altidore and Bradley Wright-Phillips in our Bleacher Report Team of the Week.  The pair of scorching-hot forwards once again marveled in front of goal in Week 28 as their teams played to a 3-3 draw at BMO Field.  The six-goal affair in Toronto capped off an unusual weekend in MLS that saw only two home teams capture three points. In a league where winning on the road is one of the most difficult tasks, three teams picked up victories on their travels.  Altidore and Wright-Phillips weren't the only players to score twice in Week 28 as Kelyn Rowe and Ola Kamara did so for their respective sides as well.  We aligned our latest MLS Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 due to the large amount of goals that flew into nets across North America over the last three days.  Continue reading to see who else was named to our best XI from Week 28. Begin Slideshow
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16Sep/160

Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane Face Team of 30 Kids in LA Galaxy Soccer Challenge

Former Premier League stars Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane needed a late winner to see off a team of 30 eight-year-old schoolchildren as part of LA Galaxy's "Ridiculous Soccer Challenge."  Per Sky Sports, the younger team set up in an unorthodox 10-10-9 formation, packing the defence in an attempt to stifle the two 36-year-old Galaxy stars. As can be seen below, Gerrard and Keane opted for a long-ball approach in the main—clearly hoping to make their height advantage count—with the former Liverpool midfielder opening the scoring before their opposition drew level: Keane put his side ahead again at 2-1 after earlier spurning a chipped opportunity, but the team of 30 kids pegged them back and looked to have earned a hard-fought draw. However, in a display of bravado, Keane launched a mazy run from just inside the opposition half late on in proceedings. He skipped past numerous defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and all but walking the ball in for the winner to rob the 30 children of a famous draw.Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
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16Sep/160

Chicago Fire Building Foundation for 2017 While Making Late Playoff Chase

No team is ever officially out of the Major League Soccer playoff race.  All you have to do is look at the Chicago Fire for the latest example of the parity that makes the league unique.  The Fire were stranded in the basement of the Eastern Conference for the majority of the regular season until they struck for a nice run of form in August and the start of September.  Veljko Paunovic's side took eight points from five matches, including a pair of 3-0 victories over Montreal Impact and Philadelphia Union, both of whom are expected to qualify for the postseason. The lone loss during that span came at the hands of D.C. United on August 27 at RFK Stadium. The 6-2 defeat looks bad on paper, but if you dig deeper, Chicago put together a decent performance before Khaly Thiam was sent off.  Instead of falling back to the bottom of the East after the blowout loss, the Fire responded with a home win over the Union. The ability to bounce back impressed Paunovic, especially with some winnable matches ahead on the schedule.  "I think it was very important for us to come back, especially winning 3-0," Paunovic said. "It’s important after the loss. We ...
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13Sep/160

MLS Player Rankings: Dos Santos, BWP in Tight Showdown for Top Spot

The competition for the No. 1 position in the MLS Player Rankings is the fiercest it's been all season.  Bradley Wright-Phillips and Giovani dos Santos are both in stellar form for their respective sides as the postseason inches closer. Wright-Phillips is on track to win his second Golden Boot award in three years, while Dos Santos is stealing the majority of the headlines for the LA Galaxy, even with Landon Donovan back in the squad.  Our player rankings take into account the last four performances from each player selected, with the most recent showing counting more. Continue reading to see which superstar snagged the top spot in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 27. Begin Slideshow
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