The soccer news starts with midweek MLS games. Toronto and DC United finished 0-0 at BMO Field. Toronto put 13 shots on target to DC's 2 with United goalkeeper Bill Hamid credited with 12 saves. Given the amount of offense, it's no surprise that Toronto was proud of their performance even without it ending up with goals and three points.
"Putting the game on our terms, being aggressive, playing in their half, trying to win the ball back quickly, re-pressing… doing it over and over and over again for 90 minutes," Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley said. "I thought we were very very good. Obviously frustrating not to be able to make a play and get a goal, but we said it amongst ourselves afterward, (coach Greg Vanney) said it. If we continue to play like that, if we continue to play with that mentality, if we continue to play with that aggression then we're going to be in a good spot."
Houston and Portland drew 1-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mauro Manotas scored for Houston in the 40th minute with Brian Fernandez equalizing in the 77th.
"We knew the kind of game it was going to be when we came in here," Portland defender Jorge Villafana said. "We knew they like to leave the guys on the top on flanks and use the counter-attack. We were smart about that. We knew they could score on a set piece, and unfortunately we lost our mark on one, but nevertheless we came back with attitude. We never let our foot off the pedal and we came up with a really important game that gave us a lot of confidence."
Atlanta shutout Vancouver 1-0 at BC Place. Josef Martinez converted a 29th minute penalty with Brad Guzan making two saves to keep the clean sheet.
"I'm very proud of the team," Atlanta coach Frank de Boer said. "It’s a long trip, short period in between those two legs. I think we started off a little bit sloppy. With passes lacking concentration, but after 20 minutes we took the control a little bit. In the second half we were even more concentrated, and at the end I think the best team won. But it was still tense at the end, as it was only 1-0 and we could’ve ended the game a number of times before."
Seattle beat Orlando 2-1 at home. Raul Ruidiaz put the Souners up in the 19th minute with Handwalla Bwana doubling the lead in the 68th. Chris Mueller scored for Orlando in the 75th.
"Obviously we’re bitterly disappointed not to get anything from the game," Orlando coach James O'Connor said. "We felt we had a decent amount of possession and caused them some problems. Overall the killer instinct in the final piece, we just needed more. Great little bit of magic from Chris, a great goal. The players showed a lot of fight I thought. It’s really rough for them because I thought we deserved a little bit more than we’re getting at the moment. On their second goal, I think we were a little bit lax, but overall, I thought the effort and the commitment that the guys showed was very, very good."
The Eredivisie season ended on Wednesday with Erik Palmer Brown’s NEC drawing 0-0 ay home with PEC Zwolle. NEC finished in last place. Andrija Novakovich subbed out in the 74th minute for Fortunate Sittard’s 4-1 home loss to Feyenoord. Trailing from the 6th minute, Jorrit Smeets equalized in the 45th. Fortuna went a man down with a red card to Kia Heerings in the 68th minute. Feyenoord scored in the 70th, 79th, and 90th minutes. Fortuna finished in 15th-place.
Pro Soccer USA's Manuel Veth reports on the latest fan protest at BC Place over the Whitecaps' handling of abuse allegations from 2008. SI.com's Brian Straus on the urgency for older teams in MLS. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald on Union midfielder Marco Fabian's situation with Mexico's Gold Cup roster. ESPN has Club America's home playoff game against Leon moved to Queretaro over air quality issues.
FourFourTwo's Graham Ruthven looks at Steven Gerrard's first season as Rangers manager. The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke reports that Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho won't be joining Manchester United. The Guardian's Richard Foster looks at the oddity of Crystal Palace having a better road record this season.
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