The soccer news starts with Sunday's MLS Cup final (3pm ET - ABC). Home field advantage would be a bigger deal had Seattle not gotten it with a road win at Banc of California Stadium and Toronto hadn't won at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That took out the two biggest home field advantages in MLS, suggesting that a capacity crowd at CenturyLink is nice but not a huge issue for either team. Whatever . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Nov 7, 2019) US Soccer Players - The two clubs left standing in the 2019 season are not the top two teams in these rankings. LAFC slipped from the top spot, but the club's season was so stellar. That's still better than Toronto FC's even though the Reds are playing for the MLS Cup title and not the second-year Los Angeles club. For the rest of the teams involved, . . .
The soccer news starts with the new coach in Houston. Tam Ramos left his role as US Soccer's youth technical director to take the job with the Dynamo. It's an interesting transition for a coach with plenty of experience with the youth national teams. After retiring in 2002 as a member of the MetroStars, Ramos was involved with youth soccer in New Jersey before taking the USMNT U-20s job. He has . . .
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Oct 30, 2019) US Soccer Players - MLS Cup is heading back to the West Coast, but in Seattle rather than Los Angeles. LAFC took care of the Galaxy and then Seattle took care of LAFC to set up an unlikely Sounders vs Toronto MLS Cup. Both clubs are playing for their second league title. In a league where only five clubs have won more than once, it's an accomplishment. . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 6, 2019) US Soccer Players - Truly historic seasons are easy to spot. They come with gaudy numbers and long winning streaks. They seem to buck the odds and cut against the type of bad luck that invariably affects everyone. They are marked by great individual campaigns that reflect on the work of the team as a whole. They always prompt debate, particularly when . . .
The soccer news starts with NYCFC's exit from the 2019 MLS playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion was one and done, losing 2-1 to Toronto at CitiField on October 23. That already seems like a long time ago, but timing was part of the problem for NYCFC. Winning the Eastern Conference meant bypassing the opening round of the playoffs. NYCFC didn't play from Decision Day on October 6 to the . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 4, 2019) US Soccer Players – Were these the best MLS Cup Playoffs in league history? It's always easy to lean to the present for hyperbole. In this case, however, it may prove true. Better players, stronger coaching, and a revamped format all certainly helped. The one-and-done playoff format contributed to a greater sense of urgency. The home-field advantage . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 1, 2019) US Soccer Players - Not that long ago, we considered the possibility of a Seattle Sounders versus Toronto FC matchup in the 2019 MLS Cup final in this very space. At the time, that possibility seemed remote. Neither team held favored status heading into their respective conference finals. The club they'd face were easy picks as the league's clear best. . . .
By J Hutcherson (Oct 31, 2019) US Soccer Players - If one thing stood out from the lower seeds advancing on both sides of the 2019 MLS Cup bracket, it's that the same old truism still holds in this league. A standout player can make the difference, but one team doing even a slightly better job holding shape is more likely to result in a championship. That's what turned a mismatch between LAFC and . . .
The soccer news starts with another conference final upset. 4th-place Toronto FC knocked out 2nd-place Atlanta United 2-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Toronto advances to play at Seattle in the 2019 MLS Cup final on November 10 (3pm ET - ABC). Toronto and Seattle met in the 2016 and 2017 MLS Cups, both held at BM Field. Seattle won in 2016 on penalties after finishing scoreless and Toronto completed . . .