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CaaC (John)

MLS Cup: Atlanta United 2 - 0 Portland Timbers

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Atlanta United v Portland Timbers: Can Liam Ridgewell equal Beckham's MLS Cup haul?

By Matt Davis

BBC Sport

2 hours ago|Football

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Ridgewell lifts the MLS Cup with Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson in 2015

"To win a second MLS Cup and put myself in the same company as David Beckham is extra motivation - if that's the only way to get in his bracket then I will be absolutely buzzing."

You may not associate former Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell with ex-England captain Beckham, but victory for the Portland Timbers against Atlanta United in the MLS Cup final on Sunday will see the pair share the same trophy haul in the US.

Ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder Beckham won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012.

Ridgewell, 34, is hoping to win the MLS for the second time since moving to the Timbers in 2014, after captaining them to their first title in 2015.

"Football can grind at you, things that happen in your career do take their toll," says Ridgewell. "I was losing the love of playing, I wanted that back. I saw an opportunity to come here, revamp my career and enjoy it again - thankfully I was able to do that.

"I was lucky to play in the Premier League which I was honoured to do, but coming here, I have been able to carry on the high level of winning stuff and proved you can fulfil yourself not just by playing in the Premier League. Getting to the final reminds people where I am and what I am doing."

Speaking to BBC Sport, Ridgewell discuses returning to England, the difference between US and UK fans and the tradition of being given a piece of wood by fan favourite Timber Joey.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46453874

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MLS Cup: Atlanta United beat Portland Timbers to win title

1 hour ago|Football

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Atlanta United only started playing in the MLS in 2017

Atlanta United won the MLS Cup in only their second season in the competition with a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers.

MLS Most Valuable Player Josef Martinez opened the scoring on 39 minutes with his 35th goal of the season and Franco Escobar added a second after the break.

It was Atlanta boss Gerardo Martino's final game in charge before he becomes head coach of Mexico.

"We won it, it feels good," he said. "If I had to choose a way to leave somewhere, this is the best way."

Venezuela international Martinez broke the deadlock for the Five Stripes when he rounded Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella before slotting the ball into an empty net.

The Timbers, featuring former Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell, started the second half strongly but were soon undone when Martinez won a free-kick for Atlanta.

Miguel Almiron's set-piece was flicked on by Martinez into the path of Escobar, who fired into the bottom corner.

"For me personally, this is up there with the top moments," said Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who previously played for Aston Villa, Hull, and Middlesbrough.

"You never know if you're going to have this opportunity again."

Atlanta - who finished second in the Eastern Conference in the regular season - was formed in 2014 and started playing in the MLS in 2017.

Victory is the city's first major pro sports title since 1995 when the Atlanta Braves baseball team won the MLB World Series.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46498564

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9 minutes ago, The Palace Fan said:

Josef Martinez was exceptional again. Surely has due a big money move to a European club.

Only 24 and has scored 50 goals in 54 apps for Atlanta, looking at the video he doesn't mind playing in the snow either!! xD  

 

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Deserving winners. They were the best team in the MLS consistently since the start of the season.

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Special team, manager, and organization. Supporters are unreal, breaking record after record. 

Clearly the best team in the league, and only the likes of LAFC seem are par to compete once they get another season or two under their belt. 

I think NY RB are highly overrated and win a lot of scrappy games and not in a dominant fashion. NYFC should be banned from matches until they find a real stadium. 

Regardless, Bravo Tata for what you brought to this city. I'm still over the moon about it and have watched the replay 3-4 times now. This isn't on par with what @Stan and co experienced a few years ago, but damn it's nice. 

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Just now, Eco said:

Special team, manager, and organization. Supporters are unreal, breaking record after record. 

Clearly the best team in the league, and only the likes of LAFC seem are par to compete once they get another season or two under their belt. 

I think NY RB are highly overrated and win a lot of scrappy games and not in a dominant fashion. NYFC should be banned from matches until they find a real stadium. 

Regardless, Bravo Tata for what you brought to this city. I'm still over the moon about it and have watched the replay 3-4 times now. This isn't on par with what @Stan and co experienced a few years ago, but damn it's nice. 

Welcome back Eco.

Thoughts on Seattle this year?

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Just now, Blue said:

Welcome back Eco.

Thoughts on Seattle this year?

Blew it against a subpar Portland team, but your countryman has looked solid. 

But, signing Morris to a long term deal might bite them in the ass as he's done nothing to deserves those years and money. 

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Just now, Eco said:

Blew it against a subpar Portland team, but your countryman has looked solid. 

But, signing Morris to a long term deal might bite them in the ass as he's done nothing to deserves those years and money. 

Ruidiaz has literally carried them if you ask me. Seen a few games and they literally just rely on his movements to bail them out. Not sure what happened this past year but I hope they sort themselves out. I'm a bit tired of Raul having to carry each and everyone of his teams. It dates back to when he was even at La U.

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9_9Maybe if you say it enough times, it will become reality huh? Even after I showed numbers where Ruidiaz contribution was outshine by a teammate who scored almost the same amount of goals as him BUT had even more assists than goals.... Ruidiaz barely had an assist, how can someone say Raul carried the team unless your blind or plain stupid  

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On 09/12/2018 at 04:30, The Palace Fan said:

Josef Martinez was exceptional again. Surely has due a big money move to a European club.

Indeed, all the good ones aim for Europe not for Seattle. xD 

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On 09/12/2018 at 05:30, The Palace Fan said:

Josef Martinez was exceptional again. Surely has due a big money move to a European club.

Yeah not sure about this one. 

He is currently about to sign (rumor) a massive extension. He's sounded by players who speak Spanish, he's a god in this city that is successful and has one of the largest crowds in the world, and he's played in Europe and didn't seem to really enjoy it. 

Now Miggy is gone, and sounds like to Newcastle. 

But we are clearly making our footprint in South/Central America, getting players that are young and talented, who will likely make that move to Europe. 

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I'd argue a lot of South American players don't want to play in Europe to be honest. They do it to win their life savings, but most don't enjoy it.

I think Argentina is the biggest culprit though since they have the biggest football club culture. Tevez, Riquelme and Farfan are 3 examples of players that never cared about playing in Europe.

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He should stick around and help end the MLS drought of winning the concacaf champions league.. the Mexican domination is making the MLS look like the same amateur league as always, just with more exposure. 

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Nicolás Lodeiro 8 goals 16 assists

Raul R. 10 goals 1 assist 

:ay:its more than crystal clear which player "carried the team".

 

Teso once again exposing lies and fairy tales one post at the time . 

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3 minutes ago, José said:

He should stick around and help end the MLS drought of winning the concacaf champions league.. the Mexican domination is making the MLS look like the same amateur league as always, just with more exposure. 

No way. Going 6 months without seeing your family? That's too much. This sport is great and all, but family and happiness is much more important. 

With Titi coming in to replace Miggy, I imagine that we'll be one of the favorites to reach the finals, depending on course how De Boer works. 

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Josef Martinez stays with Atlanta.

This season won't be as easy for him though as Raul Ruidiaz is in the league. Both will be competing for the golden boot I reckon.

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13 minutes ago, Blue said:

This season won't be as easy for him though as Raul Ruidiaz is in the league. Both will be competing for the golden boot I reckon.

Wasn't Ruidiaz there last season too?

Martinez doesn't need to worry about Ruidiaz and just needs to focus on what he does and just score how he has been recently. Ruidiaz, or any other striker in the league, may even spur him on to score more.

I was hoping we could have a chance of signing Martinez as he is quality and think he'd be just what we need - obviously the new contract puts an end to any hope of that!

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1 minute ago, Stan said:

Wasn't Ruidiaz there last season too?

Martinez doesn't need to worry about Ruidiaz and just needs to focus on what he does and just score how he has been recently. Ruidiaz, or any other striker in the league, may even spur him on to score more.

I was hoping we could have a chance of signing Martinez as he is quality and think he'd be just what we need - obviously the new contract puts an end to any hope of that!

Ruidiaz was only there from half the season and he scored 10 from 14, which is not bad at all.

I didn't say he needed to worry about him, just that he'll be having more competition as both Josef and Raul's style is purely goalscoring.

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Atlanta have run into a problem.

Newcastle were going to buy Almiron but apparently don't want to give him the wages he was asking for. If he doesn't go, then they will have more DP's than what allows after signing Pity Martinez, and renewing Josef's contract.

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32 minutes ago, Blue said:

Atlanta have run into a problem.

Newcastle were going to buy Almiron but apparently don't want to give him the wages he was asking for. If he doesn't go, then they will have more DP's than what allows after signing Pity Martinez, and renewing Josef's contract.

Apparently he was asking for £100k/w wages so no wonder they've told him to do one

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Just now, Stan said:

Apparently he was asking for £100k/w wages so no wonder they've told him to do one

Yeah, I've seen some people complain about this on Twitter, that Newcastle doesn't take risks, etc, but I fully agree with you. He's unproven in Europe and shouldn't be asking for wages so high. If he tore it up for a team like Real Sociedad or Atalanta, I could maybe understand it. However, that is not the case.

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On 18/01/2019 at 09:11, Blue said:

Atlanta have run into a problem.

Newcastle were going to buy Almiron but apparently don't want to give him the wages he was asking for. If he doesn't go, then they will have more DP's than what allows after signing Pity Martinez, and renewing Josef's contract.

Not a problem at all really. 

It's obvious that we will loan out Barco and thus open up the much needed DP slot. 

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1 minute ago, Eco said:

Not a problem at all really. 

It's obvious that we will loan out Barco and thus open up the much needed DP slot. 

I have read that - but you've got to think the whole plan has backfired.

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22 minutes ago, Blue said:

I have read that - but you've got to think the whole plan has backfired.

Maybe, but not really. We'd much rather have Almiron than to have another year of Barco. Barco was absolutely dreadful, and with the money we spent for him, it just seems like moving him would be much better for the club going forward. 

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5 minutes ago, Eco said:

Maybe, but not really. We'd much rather have Almiron than to have another year of Barco. Barco was absolutely dreadful, and with the money we spent for him, it just seems like moving him would be much better for the club going forward. 

He's younger though - I know he wasn't great (I didn't see him much in the MLS, just heard about it) but with Pity Martinez there could have been a cover for him. Barco is a talent, he pretty much lead Independiente to a Sudamericana final (that team on paper was really not that good). It's all about waiting for him to click I would say.

I don't think a loan move is wrong mind you.

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2 minutes ago, Blue said:

He's younger though - I know he wasn't great (I didn't see him much in the MLS, just heard about it) but with Pity Martinez there could have been a cover for him. Barco is a talent, he pretty much lead Independiente to a Sudamericana final (that team on paper was really not that good). It's all about waiting for him to click I would say.

I don't think a loan move is wrong mind you.

Barco fecked up by messing around with player's wife. 

He's dead to me. 

  • Haha 1

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4 minutes ago, Eco said:

Barco fecked up by messing around with player's wife. 

He's dead to me. 

Off topic - what do you think of San Jose this coming season?

I've really only taken an interest in them because Marcos Lopez joined them - but they going to be any better now that Almeyda has joined?

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