31 October, 2013

Seattle, Houston win

The Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo won their preliminary round matches, and will host the #1 ranked teams in their respective conferences this weekend. Portland will travel to CenturyLink Field on Saturday, November 2, and Red Bull NY will visit BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, November 3.

On a rainy night in Seattle, the Sounders forced Colorado 'keeper Clint Irwin to make several saves early in the first half, and then USMNT right back Brad Evans, playing right midfielder for the Sounders as usual, scored in the 28th minute on a failed clearance by the Rapids defense. My pick to win MLS Cup, Seattle, took a hit when starting goalkeeper Michael Gspurning got a red card in the 85th minute, with Seattle leading 1-0 at the time, for handling a ball outside the penalty area. Gspurning will be suspended for the first leg of the home-and-home series against Portland. The good news for Seattle fans is that Gspurning's backup is a pretty good goalkeeper by the name of Marcus Hahnemann. Perhaps you have heard of him. So, with Seattle down to 10 men, Colorado pushed for an equalizer and were caught forward in the 93rd minute, when Clint Dempsey found Eddie Johnson open in the penalty area, and Eddie Johnson made the final score 2-0, Seattle.

Portland and Seattle are each 1-1-1 against one another in their three previous meetings this season.

In Houston on Halloween night, Will Bruin opened the scoring for the Dynamo with a give-and-go "wall pass" with Ricardo Clark, who back-heeled it back to the streaking Bruin. Will Bruin one-touched the return pass past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins to give the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Later, in the 27th minute, Montreal's Hernan Bernardello of Argentina blatantly pulled down Houston's Boniek Garcia of Honduras in the penalty box for a clear penalty kick. Boniek Garcia waved off team captain Brad Davis and put the PK away himself to double the Dynamo lead. Finally, in the 72nd minute, with Montreal pushing forward, Will Bruin beat all the Montreal defenders and dribbled around Troy Perkins to score his second goal and make the final score 3-0. Houston finished the game with only 8 players, following 3 red cards, but their season was over anyway.

Red Bull NY has beaten Houston in all three previous meetings this season.

Photo: Brad Evans celebrates his goal on Wednesday,  MLS via twitter

Real Madrid v Sevilla Highlights

This one just got way out of hand.  Benzema and Bale with a brace EACH and 2 assists each and Ronaldo nets a hat-trick in this affront to defense.  Real wins 7-3 in this mid-week matchup.

Video: footytube

28 October, 2013

MLS Playoff Preview

The 2013 MLS regular season is in the books. Red Bull NY finishes with the best regular season record to win their first MLS trophy of any kind (MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, or US Open Cup) despite being active for all 18 MLS seasons, originally as the NY/NJ MetroStars.

Ten MLS teams make the playoffs, with the #4 and #5 teams in each conference, East and West, playing in a one-game knockout preliminary round. The survivors will then join the top 3 teams in each conference in the quarterfinal round (conference semifinals) for a home-and-home aggregate series. The four conference finalists will meet for another home-and-home series to determine who goes to the one-game MLS Cup final, to be played on December 7 at the home of the team with the better regular season record. This is only the second time in MLS history that the MLS Cup final will not be held at a predetermined neutral site.

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