Breaking Down the 2014 MLS Supporters’ Shield Race

With the 2014 MLS regular season winding down, teams are starting to make that final push for the coveted Supporters' Shield, the annual award given to the team that finishes the season with the most points. In 2013, the race for the Shield was extremely tight with three teams finishing within three points of the winners, the New York Red Bulls. The top of the standings isn't as jam-packed this season as years past, but there are still a few teams that are in great position to finish strong and take home the Shield.  Starting with the teams that have a bit of work to do, Real Salt Lake (12-6-10, 46 points, 28 GP) and D.C. United (14-9-5, 47 points, 28 GP) would need to put together a nice run to get back in the race. Not only that, RSL and D.C. better hope that the Galaxy and Sounders drop a few points along the way. Both teams are behind Seattle (17-7-3, 54 points, 27 GP) and Los Angeles (14-5-9, 51 points, 28 GP) in the standings, and to make matters worse, Seattle has a game in hand and a chance to extend its lead. Salt Lake and D.C. look to be in very ...
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2013 MLS Re-Entry Draft: Recapping an Active Stage One of the Draft

Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Draft saw an unusual amount of activity this year. Since the draft was created in 2010, the first stage of the draft rarely saw more than a couple picks. This year, a total of five selections were made. Before the draft began, a few big names were pulled out of the pool of players who were eligible for the Re-Entry Process. Toronto FC's Bobby Convey, FC Dallas' Kenny Cooper and New England Revolution's Kevin Alston were removed from the draft. The full list of eligible players was cut down to 57. With the first pick of the draft, D.C. United selected former LA Galaxy defender Sean Franklin. The 2008 MLS Rookie of the Year and two-time MLS Cup champion will enter his seventh year in MLS with a D.C. team that is hoping to rebound after one of the worst seasons in team history.  D.C. also selected former Houston Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell in the second round of the draft. All of a sudden Ben Olsen's back line already looks much better than last year's woeful defense that allowed 59 goals. Chivas USA had the second overall pick in the draft but traded it to the Portland Timbers. ...
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Omar Gonzalez Becomes Los Angeles Galaxy’s Third Designated Player

The Los Angeles Galaxy have announced that Omar Gonzalez will become their third designated player (DP).   The 24-year-old's contract was set to expire at the end of the season, and a move across the pond would've been the next logical step for him. Now, his European aspirations will have to be put on hold for now. The U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT) defender has enjoyed tremendous success with the Galaxy, winning two MLS Cups and MLS Defender of the Year. Gonzalez is far from the best DP ever that many expected though. Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan are L.A.'s two other current DPs. Former Galaxy designated players include none other than David Beckham and Juan Pablo Angel. With the likes of Kaka, Frank Lampard, Andrei Arshavin, Gio dos Santos, and Samuel Eto'o all rumored at some point to be the Galaxy's third and final DP, signing Gonzalez to the lucrative contract seems to be somewhat of a letdown. As for how this impacts the national team, it can be debated whether or not staying in MLS is the right choice for Gonzalez. Going up against tougher competition in Europe is always good for a young player, but staying with the Galaxy and getting guaranteed minutes ...
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MLS Continues to Grow with Sale of Columbus Crew to Precourt

Hunt Sports Group and the Columbus Crew announced today the sale of the Crew to Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV). A new owner for the Crew not only helps the team immensely, it is also good for the growth of Major League Soccer. Hunt Sports Group, headed by Clark Hunt, has a long history with MLS. Clark's father, Lamar Hunt, was considered one of the founding fathers of MLS. He owned three of the league's original 10 teams. These included the Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wiz and Columbus Crew.  In 2006, the Hunts sold the Kansas City franchise to Ongoal, LLC, currently known as Sporting Club. Now with the acquisition of the Crew by PSV, Dallas is the only remaining team owned by Hunt Sports Group. The Columbus Crew can now have an owner that is fully committed to only them, and the same goes for Dallas. The new money will no doubt benefit the Crew. Perhaps the new owners will reward the team and its fans by signing two more designated players (DP). Columbus currently has just one DP in Federico Higuain. Precourt's new ownership role now puts the league at 19 teams and 18 owners, which is far from where the league was just ...
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Los Angeles Galaxy: 3 Takeaways from 2-0 Loss to Rapids

In a tightly contested Western Conference, the Los Angeles Galaxy are now in fourth place after losing 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. With the win, the Rapids are now second in the West but have played 23 games so far, the most in MLS.  Just one point ahead of sixth-place FC Dallas, not to mention the game in hand Dallas has, the Galaxy are dangerously close to falling below the playoff line. Without Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers, the Galaxy played one of their worst matches of the season. Here are three takeaways from the lackluster performance.Begin Slideshow
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L.A. Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids: 3 Players to Watch

The Los Angeles Galaxy will take on the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday in a match where three points means a lot for both teams. The Galaxy are just four points behind Western Conference leader Real Salt Lake in the standings. However, they must overcome their road woes. Losing six of their last seven away games in all competitions, Bruce Arena's squad has a minus-7 goal difference on the road. Colorado currently sits in sixth place in the West, and a win could put them back into playoff position. With a 5-3-3 home record, the Rapids need to make good use of their home-field advantage and get a few points off of L.A. and Real Salt Lake next week. In what should be a low-scoring affair, here are three players to pay special attention to in this crucial matchup between Western Conference foes.Begin Slideshow
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Los Angeles Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes Is Starting to Realize His Potential

In his 10th-consecutive start for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Gyasi Zardes netted his third goal of the season, and it wasn't just any old goal. It was the first goal he's scored using his feet. The equalizer against the Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday showcased the incredible talent and skill that the 21-year-old possesses.  After signing with the Galaxy as a Homegrown player before the season began, expectations were high for the youngster. He was widely considered to be one of the best players coming out of college, and if he had gone through the MLS superdraft, there's no doubt that he would've been picked first overall. Known for his speed and eccentric hairstyle, the young forward has had somewhat of an average season so far. The match against the Whitecaps was his chance to step up and lead the Galaxy attack as both Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan were unavailable to play. Zardes did indeed put his best foot forward and out-shot the entire Vancouver team 6-2. He's done the same to Chivas USA (8-6) and FC Dallas (7-6) this season. Not afraid to shoot, the 21-year-old ranks seventh in the league (minimum 11 appearances) in shots per game with 3.2. Just for some perspective ...
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3 Dark-Horse MLS Teams That Could Make a Run for the Playoffs

With a little over half of the MLS regular season gone, it's time to start looking at the playoff picture. Both conferences are jam-packed near the top with only four points separating first-place Sporting Kansas City from fifth-place Houston Dynamo in the East and seven points between first-place Real Salt Lake and fifth-place L.A. Galaxy in the West. In the Eastern Conference, bottom-dwellers Toronto FC and DC United have almost no chance of making the postseason, which leaves New England, Columbus and Chicago among those who are currently on the outside looking in. The Western Conference is a bit more competitive. Chivas USA is the only team that hardly has any chance of making the playoffs. This means Colorado, Seattle and San Jose are the ones that need to climb their way back up the standings. The playoff hopes of many teams may look dim right now, but let's not forget the Galaxy's incredible run to make the postseason that started around the midway point of last season. Who has the potential to make a similar run? Keep on reading to find out.Begin Slideshow
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DeAndre Yedlin, US Youngsters Shine in CONCACAF Champions League Play

In an exciting week of CONCACAF Champions League matches, Seattle Sounders FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy were able to best their opponents and advance to the semifinal round of the tournament. Having two teams represent MLS this far into the tournament is a great achievement for the league and has never been done since the competition was reformatted in 2008.Both the Galaxy and Sounders couldn't have made it this far if it weren't for key contributions from some of the team's youngsters. Seattle had the help of newly signed Homegrown player DeAndre Yedlin, while LA's own Homegrown products, Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean played huge roles for the Galaxy.Yedlin and the Sounders had to overcome and 1-0 loss to Tigres UANL from the first leg of the quarterfinals in order to advance.The second leg did not start well for Seattle even though they were playing in the safe confines of CenturyLink Field. Tigres added to their aggregate lead in the 23rd minute with a goal from Elias Hernandez, but just before halftime, Tigres' Manuel Viniegra received his second yellow card of the match and was sent off.Seattle pulled off the miraculous comeback and scored three goals in the second half, while ...
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Reactions to Robbie Rogers Coming out as Gay and ‘Stepping Away’ from Soccer

At the age of 25, US international and former Columbus Crew star Robbie Rogers came out as gay on Friday in a blog post titled, "The Next Chapter...".Rogers, who made 18 appearances for the United States Men's National Team, was one of Major League Soccer's most promising players when he was with the Columbus Crew. After the 2011 season, he made the jump across the pond but struggled to get playing time with English side Leeds United. He was released by Leeds last month and has been without a club since.In his blog post, Rogers also announced that he is "stepping away" from the game. He wrote: Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.  I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS ...
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