By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - In world soccer, few scheduling quirks draw more ire than a double-game week. It's standard practice in Europe for teams in the Champions League and Europa League. Add in domestic cup responsibilities, and it stretches even the clubs with massive budgets. Move that to MLS, and it's a tough ask for any team. MLS operates with a . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 22, 2017) US Soccer Players - The challenge for the Columbus Crew at home in the first-leg of the Eastern Conference final against top-seeded Toronto FC was obvious. The suspensions of Toronto's Jozy Altidore (red card) and Seb Giovinco (yellow card accumulation) sent a clear message to Columbus. Take advantage now. Without Giovinco and Altidore, TFC had all . . .
The Eastern Conference finals opened with a 0-0 draw between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium. It was Columbus pressing the offense at home, taking 14 shots to Toronto's seven and putting three of them on frame to Toronto's none. The scoreless draw sets things up for Toronto in their home leg on November 29 with the return of Jozy Altidore and Seb Giovinco. "We planned for them . . .
It's the conference semifinal first-legs from the MLS playoffs on Tuesday's soccer TV schedule. In the East, Columbus hosts Toronto and Houston plays Seattle in the West. Also on the soccer TV schedule, the Champions League returns. Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC at 8pm on ESPN in the MLS Eastern Conference finals. Columbus knocked out NYCFC 4-3 on aggregate, losing the second-game of that series . . .
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 20, 2017) US Soccer Players – The MLS playoffs version of the Final Four finally kicks off Tuesday. We’re used to the upset story in the MLS playoffs, a competition where the tag of “favorite” seldom counts for much. From the Houston Dynamo knocking out the Portland Timbers and the Columbus Crew getting past NYCFC, 2017 is showing once again that anything can . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - The 2017 MLS playoffs lurch back into action on Tuesday. Columbus hosts Toronto and the Seattle Sounders visit Houston in the first-legs of the two conference finals. It will be 16 days since the last playoff game. That lull robs the postseason of momentum. No team benefits from more than two weeks of preparation. At some point, . . .
Clint Dempsey's return from a heart ailment that caused him to miss the end of the 2016 season won the Seattle Sounders forward the 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award. Dempsey missed ten regular season games and the playoff run for Seattle, eventually working his way back for club and country. He made 27 regular season appearances for the Sounders in 2017, scoring 12 goals. "It feels good . . .
Seattle advanced to the Western Conference finals and it was Clint Dempsey making the difference in a 2-0 win over Vancouver. After a scoreless first-leg, Seattle returned home knowing that they needed a scoreless draw in regulation to send the series to overtime or an outright win. Dempsey took care of that in regulation. Dempsey opened the scoring with the first goal of the series in the 56th . . .
The Europa League is on Thursday's soccer TV schedule with Arsenal in action on FS1. Everton is at Lyon on FS2. The conference semifinal second-legs begin in the MLS playoffs with Seattle hosting Vancouver. Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps at 10:30pm on FS1. With the first-leg ending scoreless and drawing criticism for both teams, this needs to be a game that doesn't do the same. The . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 1, 2017) US Soccer Players - With apologies to the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Houston Dynamo, there’s really no argument that the most intriguing possible matchup for the Western Conference final in this year’s Major League Soccer playoffs is of the Cascadia rivalry variety. The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers not only despise each other with the heat . . .