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Wednesday Kickoff: RSL wins CCL group, USA drops in FIFA rankings and more

Paulo Araujo (Reuters) 

Real Salt Lake continued its dominating form at home on Tuesday night, and did so playing a team made up mostly of reserves.

The defending MLS Cup champions became the first MLS team to win a CONCACAF Champions League group thanks to its 3-1 victory against Cruz Azul at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday night. Paulo Araujo scored two goals for RSL, while rookie Collen Warner added a goal and assist to help Real Salt Lake defeat a Cruz Azul squad that played most of its key players.

Toronto FC closed out its Champions League campaign with a 1-0 victory against Arabe Unido at BMO Field. Playing a squad with several youngsters, Toronto was able to keep the Panamanian club off the scoreboard, with Nana Attakora providing the game-winning goal.

It wasn't a perfect night for MLS though, as Seattle dropped a 2-1 decision to Deportivo Saprissa at Qwest Field. An uncharacteristic blunder from Kasey Keller gifted the visitors the game-winning goal, to help Saprissa advance to the quarterfinals.

Here are highlights from Real Salt Lake's victory, followed by some other stories to get your Wednesday going:


USA drops seven spots in latest FIFA rankings

The U.S. men's national team dropped seven spots while Russia bolted into the top ten in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

The United States slid down to No. 25 after draws against Poland and Colombia, while Russia bolted 15 places to No. 10 overall. Spain remained No. 1, with Netherlands second. Brazil edged past Germany for No. 3.

Mourinho won't rule out Rooney move to Real Madrid

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho insists that he believes Wayne Rooney will stay with Manchester United, but the Portuguese mastermind did admit that he would be interested if a Rooney departure from Manchester United were inevitable.

"He will stay. He probably wants to leave for some reason but I believe he belongs to Man United, he belongs to Man United fans, he belongs to Old Trafford. I believe he is going to stay," Mourinho said of Rooney.

"But if at the end of the day Man United decide that he is to leave, then give me a call."

Real Madrid is believed to be one of the few clubs capable of pulling off a move for Rooney, and Mourinho's latest statement seems to open the door to the possibility.


Galatasaray has removed Frank Rijkaard as manager. The Dutch former manager of Barcelona is believed to be a favorite to replace struggling Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson.

Speaking of Liverpool, the Red will take on Napoli in Europa League action without Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes will miss tonight's Champions League match against FC Copenhagen due to illness.


What do you think of these developments?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. 1) during the euro qualifiers most euro teams who do well in the prelims, advance in the FIFA ranking.

    2) this ranking is reasonable and may be still a little generous given or recent results.

    3) anytime we finish above mexico FANTASTIC! (even though it means squat)

  2. I’m not that surprised by the drop…we’ve gone D-D-W-L-L-D-D in our last seven, and the last three were at home.

    I’m not sweating a big drop from a few friendly results. I think it just goes to show how tight things are in that 10-30 range. As long as we take care of business in meaningful cup and qualifying games down the road, our ranking will look much better by the next World Cup.

  3. This comment doesn’t even make sense. No one cares about the FIFA rankings at all let alone for whether or not they retain a coach.


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