By JASON MITCHELL
SEATTLE — It took all spring, summer, and much of autumn, and even that wasn’t enough. It took nearly 90 more minutes of tense, testy, and at times ugly soccer, but the Seattle Sounders won their first Supporters’ Shield on Saturday afternoon, the last day of their 2014 season.
Second-half substitute Marco Pappa netted twice to lift the Sounders to a 2-0 win over the visiting LA Galaxy in front of 57,673 at CenturyLink Field.
Needing only a tie to win the Shield, the Sounders managed a paltry four shots on the afternoon. Fortunately for the Sounders, Pappa made his two count.
Pappa first struck off a quickly-taken Obafemi Martins free kick, darting into the penalty area in the 85th minute for a one-touch strike past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
The Galaxy nearly responded twice in the waning moments of the match.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite conceding minutes into the first El Classico of the 2014-15 season, Real Madrid proved to be the dominant side.
The reigning Champions League winners bounced back from a fourth minute Neymar goal with finishes from Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema to pick up a 3-1 victory over rivals Barcelona Saturday at the Bernebau.
Back in England, Manchester City were shocked by the surprising West Ham, who topped the reigning champions, 2-1, to climb up the Premier League table to fourth.
In addition, Borussia Dortmund’s struggles continued against Hannover, Paris Saint-Germain trounced Bordeaux and Liverpool slumped to a scoreless draw against Hull City.
Here is a closer look at all of Sunday’s action from across Europe’s top leagues:
Photo by USA TODAY Sports
The MLS Supporters Shield will be decided today in Seattle when the Sounders take on the Los Angeles Galaxy (2:30pm NBC).
The top two teams in the league for much of the season, the Sounders and Galaxy face off today with the winner securing the top seed in the MLS playoffs, as well as the Supporters Shield.
The Sounders need just a draw today to secure that top spot, and will be heavily favored against a Galaxy side playing without star forward Robbie Keane (injured) and U.S. Men’s National Team central defender Omar Gonzalez (suspended).
SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s action so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Our SBI Live Commentary is after the jump):
After spending the past few weeks scoring at will, Real Madrid and Barcelona are set to display their new attacking talents against one another in Saturday’s El Clasico (Noon, BeIN Sports).
Today will see the long-awaited return of controversial forward Luis Suarez, who has been suspended since the World Cup for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Suarez, who scored 31 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season, will now join up with the strike force of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who has led the way thus far with eight goals in five starts.
Real Madrid bring the attacking talent to match their rivals, headlined by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who has averaged more than two goals- per game thus far in La Liga. Ronaldo will be joined by newcomers James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, who will be experiencing their first Classico. However, last season’s Champions League winners will be hampered by injuries, as both Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos are doubtful for Saturday’s clash.
SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s edition of ‘El Clasico’, so feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):
By DAN KARELL
Barcelona have a chance to move seven points clear of arch-rival Real Madrid when the two meet in today’s El Clasico encounter.
The Catalan side hold a four-point lead over Real Madrid and remain undefeated in the 2014 La Liga season, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side are feeling confident, especially with new signings Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez settling in. The game could also see history as Lionel Messi sits only one goal behind Telmo Zarra’s La Liga goalscoring record of 251 goals, and the match could be stopped to honor Messi if he breaks the record.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City look to rebound from disappointing mid-week performances in the UEFA Champions League, with Man City visiting West Ham in the lunchtime kickoff and Liverpool hosting Hull City. Arsenal meanwhile visit Jozy Altidore and Sunderland.
Elsewhere in action on Saturday, Bayer Leverkusen face Schalke 04, the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy battle for the Supporters Shield, and in Mexico, the Clasico Regiomontano takes place with Monterrey hosting Tigres UANL.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s schedule is after the jump):
Photo by USA TODAY Sports
By IVES GALARCEP
Major League Soccer fans will endure a wide range of emotions this week as the CONCACAF Champions League failures of some teams come just as other teams prepare to take important steps toward the MLS playoffs.
Episode 173 of The SBI Show takes a look back at a disappointing group stage for American MLS teams, with just one of four advancing to the CCL quarterfinals after Sporting KC and Portland were eliminated. D.C. United join the Montreal Impact as the lone MLS representatives in the knockout rounds.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also look ahead at MLS Week 34, including the key Seattle Sounders-LA Galaxy clash, as well as the New York Red Bulls’ visit to Sporting Kansas City. We also discuss the season’s first edition of ‘El Clasico’, between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and more.
Give Episode 173 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump: