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 By Matt Pentz

MLS pushes on while the rest of the globe's gaze fixates on the World Cup

Has any recent slate of Major League Soccer games ever felt as overshadowed as the midweek sextet scheduled for Wednesday night?

American soccer is still abuzz with the news that the World Cup is coming back to North America, in 2026, to be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada. Although the United bid ended up winning comfortably over Morocco, that outcome felt in doubt all the way up until the vote, adding to the sense of relief.

Soccer in this country badly needed a jolt in the...

NYCFC boss Domenec Torrent not Guardiola-lite, he wants his own challenge

Paul Mariner and Mark Donaldson assess Patrick Vieira's move to Nice, his impact at NYCFC and what new coach Domenec Torrent will bring to the club.

Despite winning his 24th trophy as one of the trusted lieutenants to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, it came as no surprise to those at the club that Domenec Torrent decided to take the New York City FC manager's job when it became available following Patrick Vieira's departure.

Torrent, 55, had been considering a return to management 11 years after leaving Spanish Segunda B side Girona to join up with Guardiola's backroom staff at Barcelona B, and the MLS side represented the perfect opportunity.

The...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Transfer Talk: Atletico Madrid have deal in principle for Monaco's Thomas Lemar

D.C. United's Paul Arriola joins the Heineken ESPN FC Boot Room to discuss his season so far, the prospect of playing with Wayne Rooney and more.
ESPN FC's Brian McBride explains why D.C. United need to make Wayne Rooney's move to MLS happen, following reports that he might opt to stay at Everton.
ESPN FC's Taylor Twellman explains why the onus is on D.C. United and not Wayne Rooney to make his potential move to Major League Soccer a success.

The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.

TOP STORY: Atletico have deal for Lemar

This is a big one. After Spanish outlets Marca and AS reported earlier that Atletico Madrid and Monaco had a deal in principle for Thomas Lemar, both clubs have now confirmed the news.

The Lemar deal is not technically done yet but the two clubs have agreed in principle and will now work out the formal...

 By Arch Bell

Costa Rica better off with Major League Soccer's influence

Costa Rica were 2014's 'giant killers', but can they repeat, or better their accomplishments in Russia?
Keylor Navas and Costa Rica will begin their fifth World Cup appearance against Serbia in Group E.
Take a behind-the-scenes look at Whitecaps training as it was announced Kendall Waston had been named to Costa Rica's 23-man World Cup roster.
Why is Brazil's World Cup squad so weird? What's Costa Rica's job? The Exploding Heads and Neymar's dad cover all the important aspects of Group E.

On Sunday, Costa Rica will make their fifth appearance on football's biggest stage at the World Cup -- the Ticos' fourth in the last five editions.

This is no small feat for a country with fewer than five million people. It can also be argued that the Ticos have become the most consistent team from CONCACAF in terms of World Cup qualifying, having breezed through qualification for Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, unlike Mexico's drama-filled 2013 Hexagonal and the United States' disaster in 2017.

At...

NYCFC put faith in City Football Group in replacing Patrick Vieira with Domenec Torrent

Paul Mariner and Mark Donaldson assess Patrick Vieira's move to Nice, his impact at NYCFC and what new coach Domenec Torrent will bring to the club.

Crisis? What crisis?

At any other club, an internal appointment to replace a marquee manager who has suddenly departed midseason might be regarded as an embarrassing climbdown. For City Football Group and New York City FC, moving Domenec Torrent across from his position as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City to take over for Patrick Vieira as head coach at the sister club is a statement of belief in the CFG way.

Footballing history is full of dedicated assistants who never transitioned...

 By Jason Davis

MLS Power Rankings: Atlanta United, Sporting Kansas City locked at the top

1. Atlanta United

Record: 9W-3D-3L
Week 14 ranking: 1

The Five Stripes became the first team to take points off of NYCFC at Yankee Stadium with a 1-1 draw Saturday. Brad Guzan's nine saves -- and the interventions of the post -- were crucial to securing the point for Atlanta.

2. Sporting Kansas City

Record: 8-5-2
Week 14 ranking: 2

Good defending, good goalkeeping and the hallmark organization of a Peter Vermes team pushed Sporting to a road draw against the Timbers. The point does nothing to hurt...