08 November, 2012

Both MLS #1 Seeds Out

In what I am sure is the least shocking upset of a #1 seed in recent memory, the LA Galaxy knocked the San Jose Earthquakes out of the MLS playoffs in the quarterfinal round. It is a little more surprising how they did it. The Earthquakes defeated the Galaxy 1-0 in the first leg at the Home Depot Center with a 94th minute direct free kick goal by Victor Bernardez of Honduras. But, San Jose dropped the home leg 3-1 to lose 3-2 aggregate, in an impressive Robbie Keane show. Robbie Keane scored two goals to put the Galaxy up 2-0 (2-1 aggregate) and Mike Magee added a third before the first half was over at Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium. Former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon scored a late goal for the Quakes to bring the aggregate score to 3-2

The Houston Dynamo also defeated the #1 team in the East, Sporting KC, by a narrow 2-1 aggregate score. The Dynamo won at BBVA Compass Stadium 2-0 with goals by Adam Moffat of Scotland and 23-year-old sophomore Will Bruin, the playoff's leading scorer with three goals. Then, Sporting KC could only manage a 1-0 win in the second leg at Livestrong Park, with the lone goal by Kansas City born and raised left back Seth Sinovic.

07 November, 2012

EPL Is Your New NFL Pregame Ritual

I know some of this got lost in the mess that was the Presidential Election the past week, but in case you missed it, EPL rights starting for the 2013 season were up for bids a few months back.

The three finalists:

ABC/ESPN (status quo)
BeINSports (Al-Jazeera's new sports channel)

So ABC put in their usual bid.  BeINSports put in the expected bid to steal it away from ABC... then NBC came and blew them both out of the water.

With a bid nearly 3x what ABC bid (ABC's was reportedly $23mil), NBC has won the bid.

So what does that mean?

Well, NBC has promised to show 6 games each week. Live.  Whether that will be split between MSNBC, USA, NBC Sports, and NBC, it's not clear.  With games on Saturday and Sunday, typically, that means we are going to be seeing some morning or early afternoon matches on primetime and then comes Sunday where NBC will be putting the EPL matches up against NFL pregame.

With NBC already doing well with MLS, how do you think they'll do with a pregame of footie followed by NFL?  I'm not sure what the British slang is for pretty freaking well, but it's that.

Game on NBC.  No word on what we can expect from ESPN now that they have no EPL or MLS.  Perhaps we'll start seeing some J-League, Bundesliga or more Series A?

Photo: NBC

04 November, 2012

EPL: Manchester City v West Ham Highlights

Not quite sure what Mancini is trying to do other than try to get all the payroll onto the pitch at once.  Fresh off a loss in CL action to Ajax running a 3 man back line, he decides to slap Tevez, Balotelli and Dzeko into the lineup all at once.  On paper and Fifa 13, that spell for a 20 goal match against West Ham.  In reality, that spells for 22 shots (5 SOG), 65% possession, and 0 goals.  This was a colossal disappointment of a game and allows Man U to move into sole possession of 1st in the EPL.  0-0 the final.

Video: BBC/Youtube

EPL: Arsenal v Manchester United Highlights

Perhaps it was that the Gunners were tired after their 7-5 Cup win over Reading.  Either way, Man U had their way with Arsenal, despite a Rooney PK miss, and it was literally in Fergie time that they gave up a token goal to keep the score line respectable.  Van Persie and Evra score for the Red Devils as they go on to win 2-1 at home.

Video: RUtube

EPL: Chelsea v Swansea Highlights

Pablo Hernandez scores late for Swansea to earn a point at home as Chelsea look surprisingly tame this match.  Swansea 1 - Chelsea 1.

Video: BBC/Youtube

EPL: Tottenham v Wigan Highlights

Bale returned to the lineup, but Spurs looked lost at home and were booed off at halftime as they went on to lose to Wigan, 1-0 behind a decent display by Wigan and a horrible one by Spurs.

Video: BBC/Youtube

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