Chivas USA and the Portland Timbers made a trade that saw them swap Jorge Villafana for Andrew Jean-Baptiste, the New York Red Bulls re-signed forward Andre Akpan, and more notes from a busy day in MLS.
Spain, Italy and England all figure to qualify for the 2012 European Championship without a problem, but the traditional powers will all have to adjust to some major roster changes for the upcoming stretch of qualifiers.
Dutch midfielder Nigel DeJong will always be remembered by U.S. men's national team fans for his leg-breaking tackle on Stuart Holden (and by most other soccer fans for his chest stomp on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup Final). The leg breaker was at it again on Sunday, snapping the leg of Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa in a tackle that could best be described as reckless.
How bad was it? So bad that Dutch national team manager Bert van Marwyjk has rescinded a call-up of De Jong because of it.
If you haven't seen the tackle, here it is (and it's not for the squeemish):
What do you think of the tackle? Praying for the day someone gives De Jong a taste of his own medicine? Have more respect for the Dutch national team manager for his decision? Think FIFA should step in and ban De Jong?
A year after wallowing in the Eastern Conference basement with the worst record in Major League Soccer, the New York Red Bulls are in first place in the East. Their 1-0 victory against Kansas City on Saturday wasn't pretty, but it provided the latest evidence that this Red Bulls squad has learned how to win even when they don't play their best.
The top four teams in MLS all won matches this weekend, with the Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas all posting victories as they each look to build momentum heading into the post-season.
One team that isn't building momentum head into the playoffs is the Columbus Crew, which saw its winless streak go to four after settling for a scoreless home draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.
If Week 27 did anything, it brought us closer to solidifying the eight MLS playoff teams, and at this point it is looking less and less likely that any Eastern Conference teams are going to catch the trio of Colorado, San Jose and Seattle for the final playoff berths.
Europe's top five leagues have now played between six and eight weeks each, and only in England is the preseason favorite at the top of the league table. After suffering its first defeat of the campaign to Manchester City last weekend, Chelsea rebounded nicely with a 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Everywhere else, traditional favorites have given way to upstart challengers, and in Germany and France, the traditional powers are a long way off the pace. In France, it's Rennes who have taken the league lead with a 3-1 home win over Toulouse, while in Germany Mainz continued their perfect start to the season with a 4-2 victory over Hoffenheim.
The big clubs are within striking distance in Italy and Spain, but relative minnows are still setting the pace. Valencia and Villareal top La Liga with 16 and 15 points, respectively, but Real Madrid put the league on notice Sunday with a 6-1 demolition of Deportivo la Coruna.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Inter Milan dropped points for the second straight week, this time drawing 0-0 with Juventus at home. The result paved the way for Lazio to claim top spot in Serie A with a 1-0 win over Brescia.
Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:
When you run down the list of goal-scoring threats on Chelsea's formidable roster, Brazilian defender Alex isn't going to be near the top of the list. Things are a bit different when you're talking about a free kick straight on goal, because few can hit a ball harder and with more purpose than Alex.
The Chelsea defender reminded us just how deadly his free kicks can be when he added the insurance goal in Chelsea's 2-0 win vs. Arsenal.
Tim Howard and Everton did something this weekend that they had yet to do this season.
The Toffees finally won.
Howard and Everton earned their first three points of the Premiership campaign as they defeated Birmingham, 2-0, at St Andrews Stadium. The result marked Howard's second cleansheet of the season despite him not having to make a save in the match.
This weekend was one to remember for Luis Robles, who earned his first start for his new club, Karlsruhe. Robles helped Karlsruhe avoid defeat while also improving his chances of getting more playing time with five saves in the club's 1-1 draw against FC Ingolstadt 04.
It wasn't all good news this weekend. Jermaine Jones was ejected from Schalke 04's 2-1 loss against Nurnberg, while Jonathan Spector once again failed to dress for West Ham United in its 1-1 draw with Fulham.
The SuperClasico may be a rivalry on paper, but on the field, the dominance lies with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
A pair of first half goals by Edson Buddle and David Beckham was enough to cancel out a second half strike from former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon and the Galaxy were able to take home the SuperClasico trophy for the third consecutive time. The victory puts the Galaxy's advantage to 12-3-5 all time in the regular season against Chivas.
With the victory, the Galaxy were able to return to the top of the league table and officially eliminated their arch rivals from playoff contention. The match was a fierce one with a number of harsh tackles and the Galaxy finishing with 10 men.
"We had real pressure on us. Salt Lake won and we were in second. Winning the Supporters Shield is really important for us so this was a big game for us," said Landon Donovan. "It’s always going to be difficult against Chivas, they played hard and give them credit, we’re still happy we won."
The Super Clasico kicks off as the Chivas USA host their cross hall rivals the Los Angeles Galaxy.
This match has major implications for the playoffs as the Galaxy find themselves in second in the league table to Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy will need a win tonight to regain their spot at the top of the table. Chivas USA's dreams of the playoffs are all but over, but the Rojiblancos will look to avoid being eliminated by their hated rival.
I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
It was a night of landmarks for FC Dallas as the hottest team in MLS increased its unbeaten streak to 18 games in a 3-0 thrashing of the Chicago Fire.
Jeff Cunningham tied Jaime Moreno for the career MLS goals lead and Milton Rodriguez added another goal to his tally as FC Dallas stayed in the race for the Western Conference title.
The defeat pushed the Fire to the brink of playoff elimination. Chicago stands 11 points out of the playoffs with four games remaining, all but dooming he club to missing the playoffs for just the second time in the team's history.
Cunningham converted a penalty kick goal for his 132nd career goal, tying him with D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno. He will have three more games to break the MLS career mark.