Thursday's soccer news starts with the problem scenario for MLS teams in the knockout round. It's already an issue when making the playoffs ends up meaning just one extra game. Even more so when that extra game turns into a lopsided loss. Step up Chicago, 4-0 losers at home to the Red Bulls, and San Jose who lost 5-0 at Vancouver.
How you went out certainly counts, threatening to cast a shadow over an entire season as well as impacting plans for next season. It's hard to shake off that kind of loss.
"Obviously, in the second half we had to risk a little more and the defeat was bigger, but not because of the lack of preparation," Chicago coach Veljko Paunovic said. "We ran like hell today, not because of lack of talent, we are so proud of our guys. We are so happy with the talent we have and I'm proud and grateful to all the guys for their effort they gave the entire season. It's my fault obviously it's my fault. If there was anyone to blame it's me. We all can do better."
In the other game, San Jose coach Chris Leitch also stressed the scenario for the team that falls behind in a knockout game. "Tough one obviously," he said. "It didn’t go the way we hoped. Tough, you know the first three goals all on set pieces, and the second two were us pushing pretty darn aggressively to get back in the game and it happens at times."
Where this leaves both clubs is the question. Chicago has the players to contend in the Eastern Conference. They can point to injuries for what happened in the regular season and the knockout round. San Jose celebrated just making the playoffs on the final day of the regular season for good reasons. How much weight they put on 90 minutes of playoff soccer has to influence the decisions they make for 2018.
MLSsoccer.com's Charles Boehm on why the Western Conference means the three Cascadia clubs. The Orlando Sentinel's Alicia DelGallo talks to Cyle Larin about his preference to play in Europe. The Guardian's Jakub Frankowicz on the proposed move of the Columbus Crew.
Eintracht updates Timmy Chandler's status following meniscus surgery. The Mirror's John Cross talks to Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke. ESPN FC's Mattias Karen reports from Arsenal's AGM. Pro Soccer Talk's Joe Prince-Wright relays former Everton manager Ronald Koeman's comments about what went wrong at the Premier League club.
Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson on the first sentence handed down by US authorities in the FIFA corruption scandal. The NY Times' Tariq Panja reports on a potential issue with how FIFA sold some World Cup TV rights in Central and South America.
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