Sylvae MLS News

31Oct/130

Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles Playoff Clash Is About More Than the USMNT Stars

When the Western Conference playoff matchup between No. 2 Real Salt Lake and the third-seeded Los Angeles Galaxy was announced, the initial thought of American fans was that they would see plenty of their brightest national team stars on display.  While it is true that Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez should all be playing in Sunday's first leg at the StubHub Center, there are some underrated players from other nations that could be the key contributors in the playoff matchup.  Perhaps the biggest cog in the Galaxy machine this season has been their Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who was the final piece to the team's puzzle after being added following the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  Penedo replaced former Tottenham Hotspur keeper Carlo Cudicini, who put together a miserable debut season in Major League Soccer before the Panama international took over.  Another massive part of the Galaxy's success is due to the play of Brazilian midfielders Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, who as a duo have provided the two-time defending MLS Cup champions with stability and class in the middle of the pitch all season.  Lest we forget the stellar play of Irishman Robbie Keane, who is an international superstar in his own ...
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31Oct/130

MLS Cup Playoffs 2013: Full Schedule for Postseason Tournament

The 2013 MLS playoffs officially kick off on Wednesday, and it's time to start looking ahead at the entire schedule for this exciting tournament. The New York Red Bulls were able to take the top spot in the Eastern Conference over Sporting Kansas City by a single point, going 17-9-8 this season.  Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers also edged out Real Salt Lake by one point, going 14-5-15 on the year. Wednesday and Thursday will feature the two knockout round games.  Other than the MLS Cup finals, this is the only round where it's one game with the winner advancing.  In the other two rounds, the team to advance is the one that scores the most goals in the two games played. Let's take a look at the complete schedule for the MLS playoffs, followed by a quick preview of the two knockout games.   No. 4 Seattle Sounders FC vs. No. 5 Colorado Rapids Date: Wednesday, Oct. 30 Time: 10:30 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN The MLS playoffs will officially begin with this exciting Western Conference knockout match, with the winner advancing to play the Portland Timbers in the conference semifinals. The Seattle Sounders have a number of solid players with a balanced offensive attack.  The top three goal scorers are Eddie ...
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29Oct/130

David Beckham Reportedly Chooses Miami as Target City for New MLS Franchise

David Beckham will reportedly bring some football talent down to Miami. According to Rob Harris of the Associated Press, the retired international footballer has finally reached a decision about the location of a proposed MLS franchise: From ESPN's Darren Rovell: MLS executive vice president Dan Courtemanche confirmed that Beckham and the league have discussed a new expansion franchise and spoke of Miami with regard to its soccer enthusiasts, via Harris: We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in North America. We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club. Back in June, Beckham told the South Florida CBS affiliate about the Miami fanbase's enthusiasm for soccer: I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be exciting,” said Beckham. “I think Miami fans are very passionate about the sport and about winning and of course, it would have to be success but it’s definitely exciting.” Late last month, Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald reported Beckham and Miami-based cellphone tycoon Marcelo Claure were in serious negotiations that would land Miami its newest sports team: Beckham has an option to buy a franchise for a sharply discounted price believed to be ...
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29Oct/130

Impact vs. Dynamo: Houston Looks to Make Home-Field Advantage Count

Having home-field advantage at this time of the Major League Soccer season can prove to be vital for the team playing in their own stadium.  One of the best known home-field advantages in North American soccer will be under the spotlight in Thursday night's Eastern Conference knockout round game between the host Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact. At one point this season, the Dynamo had a 36-game unbeaten streak in all competitions dating back to June 18, 2011.  That streak was ended by Sporting Kansas City on May 12, and it handed a dose of confidence to other sides in the league that they could venture down to BBVA Compass Stadium and leave with a full three points.  That is exactly what happened on three other occasions, including the week after the Dynamo's streak was snapped, in the 2013 regular season.  Heading into their knockout round clash with Montreal, Dominic Kinnear's side have a stark advantage by playing at home, especially if you look at the season series between the two Eastern Conference foes.  In the three meetings between the Dynamo and the Impact in 2013, the home team has come out with a victory and a clean sheet.  With that statistical nugget in mind, Houston fans ...
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29Oct/130

Martin Rennie Reportedly Fired by Vancouver Whitecaps

The Vancouver Whitecaps have fired manager Martin Rennie following the 2013 Major League Soccer season, according to reports. Marc Weber of The Province confirmed the news on Twitter:  I can confirm that Martin Rennie is out as coach but not that Yallop will be his replacement, as obvious as it seems. @aftncanada says done — Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) October 29, 2013 The Whitecaps' front office wasted no time making the move, as the squad's season ended on Sunday after a 3-0 win over Colorado. This season was Rennie's second with the club after becoming head coach in late 2011. The Whitecaps job was the first MLS gig for the 38-year-old. Rennie significantly overhauled the roster upon his arrival, and it seemed to pay dividends early on, as the Whitecaps finished fifth in the Western Conference a year ago and were eliminated in the knockout round of the playoffs. It was the first time a Canadian team qualified for the MLS playoffs. However, the 2013 season didn't bring more improvement for Vancouver. It finished 13-12-9 on the season, finishing seventh in the West and finishing three points out of the playoffs. Vancouver may have Frank Yallop waiting in the wings, as the tweet indicated. He has won multiple MLS Cups and just parted ...
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28Oct/130

Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact: Previewing Eastern Conference Play-in Game

On Sunday, both the Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact slid into Major League Soccer’s playoffs on the last day of the season. Now, as the fourth and fifth seeds in the Eastern Conference, they will face each other in the dreaded one-off play-in game. The match will take place in Houston, courtesy of the Dynamo’s higher finish in the standings and will kick off on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Here is breakdown of the matchup.   Houston Dynamo The Houston Dynamo, despite their lowly finish in the standings, are still a team to be feared in the playoffs. Last season, the Dynamo finished in fifth place in the Eastern Conference before dispatching the Fire in the play-in game in Chicago, top-seed Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals and D.C. United in the conference finals. While the Dynamo went on to lose to the L.A. Galaxy in the MLS Cup in 2012, it was Houston’s second straight appearance in the league finals and they return a roster full of experience. Led by Dominic Kinnear, who helped the Dynamo win back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007, Houston has more top-to-bottom talent than any other team in the ...
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28Oct/130

Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids: Complete MLS Knockout Round Preview

The date was October 5.  The Seattle Sounders, sparked by the arrival of United States men's national team star Clint Dempsey, marched into Dick's Sporting Goods Park with a seven-game unbeaten streak. Sigi Schmid's club had all of the momentum in the world on its side, as the Sounders were surely going to contend for the Western Conference and Supporter's Shield titles in the final month of the Major League Soccer regular season. After October 5, the Sounders spiraled into a run of miserable form.  The reason for their five-game winless streak to end the season?  Well, that would be the Colorado Rapids.  The Rapids torched the Sounders back four that night in Commerce City, Colo. and revived their own playoff hopes in the process. The 5-1 victory by Oscar Pareja's club was started by a goal from Deshorn Brown just 14 seconds into the match, and it continued its trampling of Seattle with four more goals before the final whistle blew.  Now, just 25 days later, the two sides are paired up against each other in the Western Conference knockout round.  Seattle stumbled into the playoffs and, by some divine intervention, ended up earning the fourth position in the West, which in turn handed it the opportunity to host Colorado at ...
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28Oct/130

Final MLS Power Rankings

Name an emotion and it was felt during the final weekend of the Major League Soccer season. Disappointment was felt in Philadelphia and Chicago as those two teams missed out on the Eastern Conference playoffs.  Relief was felt in Seattle as the Sounders ended a dreadful final two months of the regular season with a draw against Los Angeles and earned a home playoff match on Wednesday against Colorado.  The mood was celebratory in San Jose as the Earthquakes honored the career of Ramiro Corrales, who played in the league's inaugural season, as he hangs up his boots. Last, but not least, an overwhelming sense of joy was felt by the fans of the New York Red Bulls, who finally won a trophy after 18 long years.  Find out where all of these teams and the rest in MLS landed in the final edition of the B/R MLS Power Rankings. Begin Slideshow
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28Oct/130

Best and Worst from MLS Week 35: The Red Bulls, Goal-Line Technology and More

The best action in MLS Week 35 was highlighted by the New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution and Ramiro Corrales, but what about the worst? Chivas USA failed to meet the criteria after a 5-0 loss at the StubHub Center on Saturday. The club's 20th loss of the season is considered old news at this point. The Philadelphia Union also failed to capture a victory this past weekend. A 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City eliminated them from postseason play. They won't be featured, either. Some tough competition also kept Camilo Sanvezzo—the 2013 Golden Boot winner—from making the list of best and worst from MLS Week 35. Read on to find out why.Begin Slideshow
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28Oct/130

MLS Cup Playoffs 2013: Full Schedule, Bracket and Final Predictions

Everything was on the line in the final day of the season, and the MLS teams in action didn't disappoint. The LA Galaxy ensured that the Seattle Sounders would have to battle through the knockout round after Robbie Keane's 78th-minute goal resulted in a 1-1 draw. The Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution each clinched playoff spots with key wins on Sunday. The New York Red Bulls clinched the league's Supporters' Shield with a win over the Chicago Fire. And the Colorado Rapids cost themselves a No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs after losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0, a game that saw Camilo Sanvezzo notch a hat trick and earn the league's Golden Boot award. So the playoff picture is set, and a memorable postseason certainly appears to be in the cards, with all 10 teams separated by just 10 points in the standings this season. Let's take a closer look at the road to the MLS Cup.    Schedule   Bracket   Predictions Clint Dempsey erased a 590-minute scoreless drought since his return to the MLS, but Seattle was once again unable to earn a win, extending their winless streak to end the season to seven games (they had two draws in that time). They face a Colorado ...
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