A NEW DAWN FOR MLS

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BY STEVE BRENNER

The temperatures plunged to freezing and the world recognized superstars were elsewhere.

Yet as MLS closed its 21st season in Toronto on Saturday night, commissioner Don Garber would have fought the arctic conditions with the warm glow of satisfaction.

When Seattle slotted in the winning sudden-death penalty after 120 minutes of pure statemate – the Sounders failed to muster a shot on target in normal or extra time – history was made in what was ultimately a disappointing, fractious finale.

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THE NEW BOSS. SAME AS THE OLD ONE

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FROM STEVE BRENNER

Bruce Arena’s second coming passed with no fanfare or grandiose predictions.

In a stale, uninspiring telephone conference, the 65 year-old described his delight and drive at landing the job of USA coach over 10 years since being fired by US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, the man who has just reappointed him.

“I view it as Bruce 2.0,” said Gulati, slightly unconvincingly.

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BRAVERY NOT ENOUGH FOR SMITH

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FROM STEVE BRENNER IN ARLINGTON

No-one can doubt the heart of Liam Smith.

The Englishman walked into the lion’s den here in Texas , taking on the Mexican hero Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez who brought a bumper 51,240 crowd to their feet at the home of the Dallas Cowboys with every thumping, fearsome shot which rocked the WBO light-middleweight champion.

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CANELO FRENZY DOESN’T SUIT ALL

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By STEVE BRENNER

GRAPEVINE, Tex. — The Mariachi band played with unmistakable pride. Fans screamed, desperately scrambling to get a glimpse of their hero.

Young and old, several hundred of them came out on Wednesday to pay homage to Sául Álvarez, the Mexican boxer widely known as Canelo and viewed as one of the most popular — and marketable — stars of a sport entering its post-Floyd Mayweather, post-Manny Pacquiao era.

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