Photo by Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
After completing a worst-to-first turnaround this season, D.C. United return to the MLS playoffs this weekend against their Atlantic Cup rivals.
First-place D.C. United visit the New York Red Bulls in the second Eastern Conference semifinal match of the weekend, following the third-place Columbus Crew hosting the second-place New England Revolution.
It’s a rematch of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals for the Red Bulls and D.C. United, one that ended in ignominy for the Red Bulls with Rafa Marquez being sent off and then Kenny Cooper missing an extra-time penalty kick. The Red Bulls won their first playoff game at Red Bull Arena on Thursday, and will hope to win their second on Sunday.
A day earlier in what’s set to be rainy Columbus, the Crew face the Revolution for the fourth time this season, with the Crew winning the season-series, 2-1.
Here’s a closer look at the Eastern Conference semifinal matchups:
Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
With the Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup title in their back pocket, the Seattle Sounders now look toward the MLS Cup playoffs with the hope of completing a historic treble.
The quest towards the league’s first ever treble begins Sunday, as the Sounders kickoff their postseason campaign against the surging FC Dallas.
While the Sounders enter the playoffs as one of the favorites to claim the MLS Cup, the LA Galaxy are believed to have plenty to say in response. Fresh off a disappointing 2-0 loss to the Sounders last week, the Supporters’ Shield runners-up will look to book their spot in the conference finals in a series with last year’s MLS Cup runners up, Real Salt Lake.
Here is a closer look at this weekend’s Western Conference playoff matchups: Continue reading
Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Just over two days ahead of a crucial playoff battle, FC Dallas’ Mauro Diaz has been hit by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
The league announced Friday that Diaz has been suspended for one game for leaving the bench area in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. In addition, Diaz has been fined an undisclosed amount, while the club has been issued a warning for their first violation of the mass confrontation policy this season.
The incident in question occurred in the 85th minute of Wednesday’s action following a Fabian Castillo foul on the Whitecaps’ Sebastian Fernandez that sparked pushing and shoving between both sides. Diaz then entered the field of play and joined the fracas despite having been substituted in the 79th minute. Diaz was issued a yellow card for the incident.
Diaz, who is in his second season with the club, has scored three goals in 17 appearances this season.
FC Dallas are back in action Sunday when they host the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference semifinals.
What do you think of Diaz’s suspension? How will FC Dallas cope without him?
Share your thoughts below.
By EVAN REAM
Two games in particular stand out in the final weekend of regular season NASL play as both the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Carolina RailHawks have a chance of garnering the fourth and final postseason spot.
The Strikers have the easier job, taking on expansion side Ottawa Fury FC at home Saturday night in a game that they will likely just need a point in to secure a first-round match against No. 1 seeded Minnesota United.
Fort Lauderdale comes into the game unbeaten in their last five matches, while Ottawa has dropped three straight after a promising mid-season run of form.
With a win, the Strikers will secure their first playoff spot since 2012, but with a tie they could still get in with a RailHawks loss or a win that doesn’t make up a goal differential of four.
Here’s a look at the rest of the upcoming NASL action: Continue reading
Photo by Wilson Tsoi/Washington Athletics
By AARON CRANFORD
Both No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Stanford had players score a brace, but neither side could find a win in the thrilling 2-2 tie Thursday night.
Cardinal midfielder Corey Baird scored a brace, netting one in the 14th minute and in the 77th minute, while Bruins forward Seyi Adekoya also slotted two on the night. Adekoya equalized by scoring 34 seconds after the opening goal by Baird. Adekoya finished his second in the 59th minute, but the Bruins could not hold on for the win.
No. 7 Creighton bounced back from their weekend loss to No. 15 Georgetown with an important 2-0 win against No. 8 Marquette Wednesday.
Ricardo Perez opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Timo Pitter assisted, and Pitter scored a goal of his own to secure the Blue Jays’ win in the 79th minute. With the loss, the Golden Eagles have gone winless in their last five matches.
Meanwhile, No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 18 Michigan State played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday. Fighting Irish midfielder Evan Panker tallied the first goal of the match in the 56th minute, but the Spartans found a late equalizer from Tim Kreutz in the 80th minute.
If you missed it, here are Tuesday’s midweek results. Take a closer look at Wednesday’s and Thursday’s top college matches below:
By DAN KARELL
The most anticipated match on the Mexican league calendar has finally arrived.
On Saturday evening at Estadio Azteca, Club America take on Chivas Guadalajara in the Apertura edition of the Super Clasico, with both teams again at opposite ends of the table. Chivas continue to struggle this season, and if they can’t turn around their fortunes in the next few months, they could be relegated.
America, on the other hand, remain at the top of the table despite two defeats in their last three games. Manager Antonio Mohamed is feeling the heat from the fans and local media, and he’ll want to make a statement against Chivas to relieve some of the pressure.
With only three matches left in the Apertura, the race to qualify for the playoffs, or Liguilla, is heating up. Queretaro, Club Leon, Santos Laguna, Club Tijuana, and Pumas UNAM all sit three points or less behind the final playoff spot, and will need to put together a late-season run to continue their season into late November and December. Queretaro take on fourth-place Tigres UANL and Leon face second-place Atlas, in two of the bigger games to keep an eye on this weekend.
Here’s a look at this weekend’s Liga MX slate: