Sylvae MLS News


Making Sense of the Mangled MLS Eastern Conference Playoff Race

If the last weekend of play in Major League Soccer taught us anything, it's that we don't know a thing when it comes to predicting the playoff races, especially in the Eastern Conference.  Only two of the 10 teams in the East took three points out of Week 28, and both of those results were road wins by the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew.  Philadelphia lost on the road, D.C. United needed a late equalizer to tie the Chicago Fire, New York City FC played to level terms with FC Dallas, and Toronto FC came from behind to draw the New York Red Bulls at home.  With a month left in the regular season, basically anything can happen in the East. Toronto are still the clear favorites to capture the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the postseason, but one more slip-up by Greg Vanney's men could open the door for either of the New York sides to slide into the top position.  Philadelphia and Montreal seemed to be locks to qualify for the postseason a few weeks ago, and in all honesty, they should still make it, but a late surge by New England has put the fourth- and fifth-place clubs ...
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MLS Player Rankings: BWP Reclaims Top Spot, Altidore Moves Close to Top

Given the plethora of impressive in-form attackers in Major League Soccer at the moment, it takes something special each week to remain atop the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings. A week after losing out to Giovani dos Santos for the No. 1 position, Bradley Wright-Phillips is back on top thanks to another brace for the New York Red Bulls. Although Wright-Phillips is the top-scoring forward at the moment, there are a number of players lining up behind him, including Jozy Altidore, ready to pounce if he slips up at any point during the closing stretch of the regular season. Our player rankings take into account the last four performances from each player, with the most recent showing carrying more weight. Continue reading to see who fell where behind Wright-Phillips in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 28.Begin Slideshow
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MLS Team of the Week: Altidore, BWP, Rowe Stand Out with Week 28 Braces

It's becoming a weekly routine at this point in the Major League Soccer regular season to put Jozy Altidore and Bradley Wright-Phillips in our Bleacher Report Team of the Week.  The pair of scorching-hot forwards once again marveled in front of goal in Week 28 as their teams played to a 3-3 draw at BMO Field.  The six-goal affair in Toronto capped off an unusual weekend in MLS that saw only two home teams capture three points. In a league where winning on the road is one of the most difficult tasks, three teams picked up victories on their travels.  Altidore and Wright-Phillips weren't the only players to score twice in Week 28 as Kelyn Rowe and Ola Kamara did so for their respective sides as well.  We aligned our latest MLS Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 due to the large amount of goals that flew into nets across North America over the last three days.  Continue reading to see who else was named to our best XI from Week 28. Begin Slideshow
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Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane Face Team of 30 Kids in LA Galaxy Soccer Challenge

Former Premier League stars Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane needed a late winner to see off a team of 30 eight-year-old schoolchildren as part of LA Galaxy's "Ridiculous Soccer Challenge."  Per Sky Sports, the younger team set up in an unorthodox 10-10-9 formation, packing the defence in an attempt to stifle the two 36-year-old Galaxy stars. As can be seen below, Gerrard and Keane opted for a long-ball approach in the main—clearly hoping to make their height advantage count—with the former Liverpool midfielder opening the scoring before their opposition drew level: Keane put his side ahead again at 2-1 after earlier spurning a chipped opportunity, but the team of 30 kids pegged them back and looked to have earned a hard-fought draw. However, in a display of bravado, Keane launched a mazy run from just inside the opposition half late on in proceedings. He skipped past numerous defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and all but walking the ball in for the winner to rob the 30 children of a famous draw.Read more MLS news on
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Chicago Fire Building Foundation for 2017 While Making Late Playoff Chase

No team is ever officially out of the Major League Soccer playoff race.  All you have to do is look at the Chicago Fire for the latest example of the parity that makes the league unique.  The Fire were stranded in the basement of the Eastern Conference for the majority of the regular season until they struck for a nice run of form in August and the start of September.  Veljko Paunovic's side took eight points from five matches, including a pair of 3-0 victories over Montreal Impact and Philadelphia Union, both of whom are expected to qualify for the postseason. The lone loss during that span came at the hands of D.C. United on August 27 at RFK Stadium. The 6-2 defeat looks bad on paper, but if you dig deeper, Chicago put together a decent performance before Khaly Thiam was sent off.  Instead of falling back to the bottom of the East after the blowout loss, the Fire responded with a home win over the Union. The ability to bounce back impressed Paunovic, especially with some winnable matches ahead on the schedule.  "I think it was very important for us to come back, especially winning 3-0," Paunovic said. "It’s important after the loss. We ...
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MLS Player Rankings: Dos Santos, BWP in Tight Showdown for Top Spot

The competition for the No. 1 position in the MLS Player Rankings is the fiercest it's been all season.  Bradley Wright-Phillips and Giovani dos Santos are both in stellar form for their respective sides as the postseason inches closer. Wright-Phillips is on track to win his second Golden Boot award in three years, while Dos Santos is stealing the majority of the headlines for the LA Galaxy, even with Landon Donovan back in the squad.  Our player rankings take into account the last four performances from each player selected, with the most recent showing counting more. Continue reading to see which superstar snagged the top spot in the Bleacher Report MLS Player Rankings after Week 27. Begin Slideshow
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MLS Team of the Week: Dos Santos, Dwyer, Howard Star in Week 27

All the talk entering the weekend of action in Major League Soccer surrounded the return of Landon Donovan.  Although the Los Angeles Galaxy man's entrance as a substitute on Sunday was a major headline, it was far from the most important thing to occur in Week 27.  The Western Conference playoff race experienced quite the shakeup on Saturday as Colorado handed FC Dallas their first home loss of the season. The Galaxy took advantage of that result with a win over Orlando City on Sunday.  Over in the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC continued to distance themselves from the pack as a few results didn't go the way of home teams in the division where no one wants to lock up a playoff position.  Since there were a bevy of impressive performances at the forward position, we shaped our Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week in a 4-3-3. Continue reading to see who was named to the best XI from Week 27.Begin Slideshow
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Landon Donovan’s Sudden MLS Comeback Is a Shocker, but It’s Not a Stunt

Landon Donovan never let anyone else write his story. He remained in Major League Soccer when many in the American soccer community wanted him to challenge himself in Europe. He took a sabbatical from the U.S. men's national team because he needed a break, a decision that hurt his chance to make the 2014 World Cup roster. He's been outspoken about issues within the sport he played so well, in addition to talking openly and honestly about his personal battles with mental health. At the end of 2014, he walked away from MLS—a league he played a large role in helping grow—on his own terms, well before he was physically unable to compete. In doing so, he left millions of dollars on the table but found peace. He appeared to have moved into the next phase of his life, settling down and having a baby boy with his wife, buying a stake in English Premier League club Swansea City and turning up to coach the Chipotle MLS Homegrown team during the last two All-Star weekends. Thursday's news that Donovan is coming out of retirement to join the Los Angeles Galaxy for the remainder of the season is shocking, even considering the Californian's penchant for ...
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Landon Donovan Ends Retirement, Returns to LA Galaxy

Longtime Los Angeles Galaxy star Landon Donovan is coming out of retirement to rejoin the club for the remaining portion of the 2016 season.   Blake Thomsen of The Cauldron first reported the news Thursday.  Donovan is the most decorated player in Major League Soccer history. The 34-year-old forward is the league's all-time leader in both goals (144) and assists (136) after stints with both the San Jose Earthquakes and the Galaxy. He also owns both of those records for the United States national team with 57 goals and 58 assists at international level. Donovan, whose career with the U.S. squad didn't receive a storybook ending after head coach Jurgen Klinsmann left him off the 2014 World Cup squad, walked away from the sport after winning the 2014 MLS Cup, his sixth league title overall, with Los Angeles. There were some hints over the past few years that a return could happen, though. Last June, he told Scott French of he missed the feeling of competing on a weekly basis. "I miss the game days," Donovan said. "When I'm here in the stadium on game days, I miss that. I don't miss the travel, I don't miss the hot summer training sessions, I don't miss having to take care of yourself ...
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MLS Team of the Week: Chicago Fire Trio Impress in Shortened Week 26

Major League Soccer presented us with a limited slate of five matches on Saturday during the international break.  FC Dallas were the biggest winners in the Western Conference as they moved eight points ahead of Real Salt Lake at the top of the West and in the Supporters' Shield race.  Over in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Fire made a major leap in the direction of the playoffs with a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union. The Fire, who found themselves at the bottom of the East for most of the season, are all of a sudden six points back of sixth-place D.C. United.  The New York Red Bulls also picked up a key victory as they were the only road team to earn three points during Week 26.  We shaped our latest Bleacher Report MLS Team of the Week in a 3-4-3 formation to suit the number of impressive performances in attack. Continue reading to see who was named to our best XI from Week 26. Begin Slideshow
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