By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 18, 2019) US Soccer Players - The Portland Timbers announced late Monday that Argentine playmaker Diego Valeri signed a new multi-year contract to remain with the club for the foreseeable future. The 33-year-old Valeri helped the Timbers lift an MLS Cup back in 2015 and won the league's Most Valuable Player Award in 2017. He remains one of the most dangerous . . .
The soccer news starts with Toronto announcing that club captain Michael Bradley will stay with the team. Bradley was out of contract at the end of the 2019 season, but there was little speculation of him ending up anywhere else. "I feel so attached to the city of Toronto, the club, the team. I love it here and I am really proud of what we’ve been able to do over the past six years," Bradley . . .
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 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 . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 30, 2019) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer doesn't have titans. Even the David vs Goliath narrative is an overreach because no MLS team truly merits the label of "Goliath" relative to any other MLS team. The traditional, non-specific designations used so casually in Europe like "big club" and "small club" won't work in a single-entity league. It's not . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 22, 2019) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer is taking the FIFA international break... to a point. While most of the league will be off through this week and into next, 10 teams have games on the schedule. That, quite naturally, means 10 teams will be dealing with key absences when they hit the field for matches that matter. Never an ideal situation, the . . .
The soccer news starts with Houston becoming the first MLS team to advance and Toronto FC the first MLS team to exit the 2019 Concacaf Champions League. The Dynamo came back at home in the second-leg against Guastotoya to win 2-1, 3-1 on aggregate in the round of 16. Guastatoya scored in the 72nd minute to level the series. Mauro Manotas responded with goals in the 77th and 85th to send Houston to . . .