MLS Soccer 2014 Schedule: TV Coverage and Rule Changes for Upcoming Season

The 2014 MLS season is scheduled to get underway on Saturday with the Seattle Sounders taking on defending league champions Sporting Kansas City at 3 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field. The soccer entertainment won't be limited to that excellent matchup either. In all, there are seven games slated for an action-packed opening day. The Portland Timbers will host the Philadelphia Union in the day's last game at 10:30 p.m. ET.  Looking further ahead, circle the calendar for the weekend of April 5-6. That is when fans will get the season's first stab at the rivalries. Most of that action will come on April 5 with Portland vs. Seattle, Columbus vs. Toronto, Houston vs. FC Dallas and an MLS Cup 2013 rematch with Sporting KC taking on Real Salt Lake.  On April 6, Chivas USA will take on the Los Angeles Galaxy.  There are some rule changes for the upcoming league year. MLS Press Box has the new rules and information on the salary cap.  The most notable one alters the playoffs. There will still be five teams from each conference that qualify for the postseason, and the format will be the same as last year.  The change comes with the tiebreaker. Like it is for most of the ...
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Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake: Score, Recap and Analysis for MLS Cup Final 2013

Sporting Kansas City came out on top in a 10-round shootout following a 1-1 tie to defeat Real Salt Lake and win the 2013 MLS Cup on Saturday at Sporting Park. This is the second time, and first since 2000, that Sporting KC have hoisted the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy. This wasn't the most beautifully played match, but it was exciting.  There was also a decent reason for why the players weren't performing at their peak ability. It was insanely cold for this match:   With a matchup of MLS' highest scoring team, Real Salt Lake, and the league's stingiest defense, Sporting KC, fans witnessed a tale of two halves. The first was a defensive affair inspired by the strong defensive pressure of Sporting. Salt Lake took just three shots in the half and none were on goal. Conversely, Kansas City took 10 shots with three coming on goal in the first half.  Sporting was the far more aggressive side in the half and it helped them take Real Salt Lake out of their game. RSL likes to control possession and build a rhythm. Sporting kept them from doing that with intense on-the-ball pressure and wound up winning 52 percent of possession for the first half.  Were it not for the stellar ...
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Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo: Score and Recap from 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs

After coming up on the wrong end of playoff outcomes against the Houston Dynamo in the previous two seasons, Sporting Kansas City turned the tables on their Eastern Conference foe and earned a trip to the MLS Cup in the process. After falling behind by a goal early, Sporting netted the match's final two goals to earn a 2-1 win in the second match of their two-leg Eastern Conference Final at Sporting Park. The two played a scoreless draw in Houston in the first leg.  The energy at Sporting Park was fantastic. Of course, it was far too cold for fans to just sit quietly in their seats. This picture was taken a few hours before kickoff: After the scoreless draw in the first leg of this playoff, it took only three minutes for Houston to get on the board. After some sloppy defense, Oscar Boniek Garcia took a headed pass by Brad Davis and drilled a right-footer from the center of the box into the bottom left corner. The fast start for Houston did not destroy the confidence of Kansas City.  Sporting was aggressive playing in front of the energetic crowd, and it didn't take long for their effort to show up on the ...
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MLS Cup Playoffs 2013: Schedule and Predictions for Thursday’s Action

The MLS Cup playoffs head back to the pitch on Thursday with the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals.   Holding a 2-1 lead, the Portland Timbers will host the Seattle Sounders. Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake will host the Los Angeles Galaxy facing a 1-0 deficit. With just a one-goal difference in both matchups, it sets up an exciting Thursday. Check out the full schedule below, and then I'll offer up predictions for Thursday's games.    Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders The Sounders found great success with the 4-4-2 lineup in the previous round against the Colorado Rapids. However, that wasn't quite as effective against the Timbers. Portland's width and ball control spread out and frustrated that formation, and if it wasn't for a late goal by Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle would be facing an even more dire position. So, what do the Sounders do now? Seattle has to aggressively look for goals to try and steal this series while on the road, but with Portland's ability to maintain possession and launch counters, that is not going to work out well. Portland only lost one game at home all season and that was back in March. I don't see that streak ending on Thursday.  Prediction: Portland 2, Seattle 0   Real Salt Lake vs. Los ...
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Toronto FC Trade No. 1 Overall Pick in MLS SuperDraft to New England Revolution

In a bold trade with Toronto FC, the New England Revolution have attained the No. 1 overall selection in the the MLS SuperDraft. The official website for the Revolution reported the news, and added that the Revolution gave up the fourth overall selection and an amount of cash that was not identified. It is a nice coup for the Revolution to make this kind of jump in the draft order without having to give up extra picks. The draft is on Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center. ESPN's SportsCenter will televise the first pick at 12 p.m. ET. This is the first time in the 18-year history of the draft that the Revolution will make the first selection, and they will undoubtedly be hoping for the kind of success they found when they made their previous highest selection. That came in the 2002 draft, when they selected second overall and took Taylor Twellman, who went on to become the club's all-time leading scorer. With the No. 1 selection, the Revolution can't afford to do anything but take the best player available. In this case, Andrew Farrell, a defender from Louisville, appears to be the smart choice. The Revolution have had good success drafting defenders, and Farrell appears to be a can't-miss ...
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MLS All-Stars vs. Chelsea: Bold Predictions for Showcase Exhibition

The MLS All-Stars are going to make a statement by taking down the defending Champions League winners Chelsea. Of course, the statement will be somewhat muted, considering this is nothing but a tune up for Chelsea. Yet that makes it even more important for the all-stars to produce a good showing—and they will. The last two years, the all-stars were embarrassed by mighty Manchester United by a combined score of 9-2. The all-stars will be trying hard to prove they are able to hang with the big boys better than those lopsided outcomes indicate. Let's get into the specifics of how the game, which will be Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET, will unfold.  High Scoring AffairThe all-stars played Chelsea in 2006. They won that match by a score of 1-0. This one will feature quite a bit more scoring. The MLS side was shutout last year, and it will be on full attack to prevent that from happening again. Meanwhile, Chelsea has little reason to put full effort into team defense. This will leave some opening for the all-stars, and for their part, they certainly won't be able to keep Chelsea off the board this time around. There will be at least five goals scored in this contest.  MLS ...
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