MLS Cup Playoffs

Seattle Sounders

With history on the horizon, TFC, Sounders collide yet again in MLS Cup

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It's not easy to make it to an MLS Cup. There are so many pitfalls along the way in a league defined by parity and the unexpected. In truth, the best teams rarely survive a viciously long playoff cycle that follows a rugged regular season campaign. It's just the way things are.

The Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC have made it to MLS Cup twice in a row now, finalizing a championship rematch between two of the league's marquee clubs.

Seattle vs Houston gave us a lesson on soccer players and aging

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 1, 2017) US Soccer Players - Soccer fans and analysts often engage in a dour sort of ageist arithmetic about players. The ones in their mid-to-late 20s are deemed "in their prime." Those on the north side of 30 tend to not get the same respect.

Sounders finally hitting stride as MLS Cup looms

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SEATTLE The defending champion Seattle Sounders did not storm out of the gate in 2017.

Not like Toronto FC did.

"We had some dark days," said Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer after Thursday night's 3-0 (5-0 aggregate) romp over the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference finals of the MLS playoffs.

Seattle Sounders win the Western Conference

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The Seattle Sounders advanced to the 2017 MLS Cup with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, taking the Western Conference final 5-0 on aggregate. Leading 2-0 from the first-leg, Victor Rodriguez opened the scoring at CenturyLink Field in the 22nd minute. Clint Dempsey added a goal in the 57th. Houston's Tomas Martinez saw red for violent conduct in the 66th minute.

Los Sounders ganan el Oeste y van de nuevo a la Final contra Toronto FC

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Se vale repetir. Por segundo año consecutivo los Seattle Sounders FC obtienen el título de la Conferencia Oeste de la MLS al superar fácilmente al Houston Dynamo 3 0 en el partido de vuelta y 5 0 en el marcador global. Y la ciudad de Toronto es de nuevo el destino final para ... Seguir leyendo Los Sounders ganan el Oeste y van de nuevo a la Final contra Toronto FC →

Sounders dominate Dynamo to return to MLS Cup

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SEATTLE Talk about peaking at the right time. After a trying, injury-riddled season, the defending champion Seattle Sounders punched their ticket back to MLS Cup with a bravura performance in front of 45,298 at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.

Entering the second match of the two-legged, aggregate-goal Western Conference finals with a commanding 2-0 lead, the Sounders outplayed the Houston Dynamo from the start, scoring early and often and never looking seriously troubled on their way to a 3-0 (5-0 aggregate) victory.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Your Running Commentary

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Toronto FC is already set to host MLS Cup Final. On Thursday, one team will join them in the 2017 finale.

The Seattle Sounders have one foot in the door following a 2-0 first leg in win in Houston, but the reigning MLS Cup champions still have work to do at CenturyLink Field. They'll have to take down a tough Dynamo squad without the suspended Roman Torres, who is replaced by first leg goalscorer Gustav Svensson at centerback.

Who joins Toronto in the 2017 MLS Cup final?

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The other half of the MLS playoff bracket is an open question for most of Thursday, with the Western Conference final second-leg scheduled for 10:30pm ET on ESPN. The Seattle Sounders are the obvious favorite with a two-goal lead and home field advantage. For the Houston Dynamo, it's another scenario where getting anything out of this game will be a surprise.

MLS Playoff Preview: Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo

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The Seattle Sounders have one foot in the MLS Cup Final. They may even have a few additional toes in there as well. But there's still work to be done on Thursday night if the club hopes to defend last year's crown in the very same building in which they claimed it.

Following a 2-0 win in Houston, the Sounders enter Thursday night's clash with the Dynamo in a very good place.

Soccer TV: Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo

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The MLS playoffs continue on Thursday's soccer TV schedule with Seattle hosting Houston on ESPN. There are also games from the Copa del Rey and the Copa Sudamericana. The Liga MX playoffs move to the semifinal stage on Univision Deportes.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo at 10:30pm on ESPN in the second-leg of their Western Conference final series.

Mind the gap- Fixing the MLS playoff’s uneven schedule

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov 23, 2017) US Soccer Players - In world soccer, few scheduling quirks draw more ire than a double-game week. It's standard practice in Europe for teams in the Champions League and Europa League. Add in domestic cup responsibilities, and it stretches even the clubs with massive budgets.

Sounders still seeking improvement after first leg win

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Anytime you can put in a strong performance on the road in the postseason, you're putting yourself in a great position to contend for a championship.

The Seattle Sounders took a huge step in making their second consecutive MLS Cup final appearance with a 2-0 first leg victory over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Moving on to the second-legs in the MLS Conference semifinals

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 22, 2017) US Soccer Players - The challenge for the Columbus Crew at home in the first-leg of the Eastern Conference final against top-seeded Toronto FC was obvious. The suspensions of Toronto's Jozy Altidore (red card) and Seb Giovinco (yellow card accumulation) sent a clear message to Columbus.

Draw in the East, Seattle takes the lead in the West

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The Eastern Conference finals opened with a 0-0 draw between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium. It was Columbus pressing the offense at home, taking 14 shots to Toronto's seven and putting three of them on frame to Toronto's none. The scoreless draw sets things up for Toronto in their home leg on November 29 with the return of Jozy Altidore and Seb Giovinco.

Sounders toman control en Houston

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Fue una constante en esta temporada y la anterior. Los Sounders de Seattle casi nunca ganan fuera de casa. Este año solo lo lograron dos veces en 17 partidos. Un pobre récord de cara al primer encuentro contra el Houston Dynamo de visita en la Final de Conferencia Oeste de la MLS. En el BBVA ... Seguir leyendo Sounders toman control en Houston →

2017 MLS Playoffs, Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders Final Score: Sounders Dominate Leg 1 of Western Conference Championship

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Dynamo fall at home to the Sounders in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship.

Things didn't exactly go as planned at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night in front of a record breaking sellout crowd as the Houston Dynamo hosted leg 1 of the Western Conference Championship against the Seattle Sounders.

MLS Playoff Tuesday: Your Running Commentary

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After an extended break, the MLS playoffs return on Tuesday with the start of the conference finals.

Tuesday night's festivities begin in Columbus as Toronto FC visits the Columbus Crew for the first leg of the Eastern Conference final (8 p.m., ESPN). The Supporters' Shield winners enter Tuesday's match shorthanded with both Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco out of action due to suspension, while the Crew possess a full complement of players after holding off NYCFC in the conference semifinal round.

MLS Playoff Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders

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The Houston Dynamo stunned the Portland Timbers at Providence Park in the Western Conference semifinals, sealing a major upset of a team considered to be among the league's favorites.

Their reward? A clash with the reigning MLS Cup champions, a team that's beginning to find its stride at the right time.

Soccer TV: Columbus Crew vs Toronto and Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders

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It's the conference semifinal first-legs from the MLS playoffs on Tuesday's soccer TV schedule. In the East, Columbus hosts Toronto and Houston plays Seattle in the West. Also on the soccer TV schedule, the Champions League returns.

Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC at 8pm on ESPN in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals.

Three things for the 2017 MLS conference finals

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 20, 2017) US Soccer Players – The MLS playoffs version of the Final Four finally kicks off Tuesday. We're used to the upset story in the MLS playoffs, a competition where the tag of "favorite" seldom counts for much. From the Houston Dynamo knocking out the Portland Timbers and the Columbus Crew getting past NYCFC, 2017 is showing once again that anything can happen.

Preview: The 2017 MLS Eastern and Western Conference finals

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - The 2017 MLS playoffs lurch back into action on Tuesday. Columbus hosts Toronto and the Seattle Sounders visit Houston in the first-legs of the two conference finals. It will be 16 days since the last playoff game.

Columbus Crew

Crew rue missed opportunities after narrowly falling to Toronto FC

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Wednesday night was an opportunity for the Columbus Crew. It was an opportunity to go into a hostile environment, score a goal and book an MLS Cup berth. It was an opportunity to continue a magical run punctuated by big moments and stunning results. It was an opportunity to put relocation's rumors and franchis uncertainty behind them, a chance to keep the focus on that field.

MLS Playoff Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC

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There are few guarantees in soccer, but one thing is for sure: Wednesday's Eastern Conference final decide will be more engaging than the opening leg between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC. It's a winner-take-all 90 minute battle with the right to host MLS Cup on the line.

Without Seabstian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore available, TFC was able to secure a 0-0 draw in Columbus in the opening leg in a match highlighted by few chances and fewer reasons to get excited.

Soccer TV: Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew

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It's the MLS playoffs on Wednesday's soccer TV schedule with the Eastern Conference final second-leg. Toronto regroups at home with their first choice lineup against a streaking Columbus Crew. Also on Wednesday's soccer TV, there's afternoon games from the Premier League.

Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew at 7:20pm on FS1 in the Eastern Conference final second-leg.

Major League Soccer

Toronto FC advances to the 2017 MLS Cup

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Toronto FC won the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday night at BMO Stadium, knocking out the Columbus Crew 1-0 on aggregate. With the first-leg in Columbus ending scoreless, Toronto welcomed back Seb Giovinco and Jozy Altidore for the home leg. Giovinco missed the opening leg for yellow card accumulation while Altidore served a red card ban.

MLS Playoffs: Alex Bono and Toronto’s shot at history

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 29, 2017) US Soccer Players - Toronto FC's 2016 quest for the MLS Cup failed at the last hurdle. The Reds lost to the Seattle Sounders in a penalty shootout in their own stadium. If 2016 had looked like nothing more than a one-off season for the club, a lightning-in-a-bottle campaign of the kind that sometimes happens in MLS, fans in Toronto might have despaired.

Around The Forest: U.S. Soccer not in a rush to hire next Coach

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Reports on Thorns abroad, LAFC looking at Egyptian international, MLS Playoffs start back up tonight and more!

Portland

Thorns FC Abroad | Hayley Raso scores as Brisbane Roar defeat Adelaide United | Portland Timbers
Four Thorns FC players featured in week four of Australia's Westfield W-League action, two of whom found the back of the net for their Australian club sides.

MLS Playoff Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC

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After holding on despite a furious NYCFC comeback, the Columbus Crew now face-off with a Toronto FC team that enters the Eastern Conference finals shorthanded.

The Crew, who have thrived on the field despite the relocation rumors of the last month, have everything set up for them to win the first leg in front of their home fans.

Who helped their MLS stocks most on eliminated teams?

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov 9, 2017) US Soccer Players - This international break is always a bit of a strange one for Major League Soccer. The two-week layoff occurs right in the thick of the postseason, as we've pared the field down to the final four teams. There are plenty of questions to ask moving forward.

The same questions for MLS in New York

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 6, 2017) US Soccer Players – NYCFC has come a long way. A team that struggled under the popularity and modest success of its rival the Red Bulls in recent years, New York City FC has used its success on the field over the past seven months to market itself to fans across the city.

"Everything to gain" mentality helps Dynamo move into West final

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The Houston Dynamo appeared to have their backs against the wall entering Sunday night

Wilmer Cabrera's side won once on its travels in the regular season and was entering the cauldron that is Portland's Providence Park.

But even with the cards stacked against them, the Dynamo didn't feel a ton of pressure heading into the second leg of the Western Conference semifinal.

Crew dig deep to secure spot in East final

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For the Columbus Crew, Sunday was about maintaining a mentality and finding a balance. Thanks to a 4-1 win in the opening leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal, the Crew simply needed to keep things calm, prevent a flurry of goals and maybe score one of their own.

The Crew played with fire on Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium.

2017 MLS Conference finals are set

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The Eastern and Western conference semifinals concluded in the MLS playoffs on Sunday. The schedule started in Toronto with the home side advancing on goal difference 2-2 on aggregate over the New York Red Bulls. Both teams played a man down in the second-half. Toronto's Jozy Altidore and the Red Bulls' Sacha Kljestan carried an on-field disagreement into the tunnel at halftime that resulted in a skirmish involving multiple players.

News Update

MLS has an expansion final four

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There are four teams left in the MLS playoffs and we now know that there are four teams left for the next round of MLS expansion. Unlike the MLS playoffs, expansion will name two winners. At a Soccer Business Journal symposium on Wednesday morning, MLS commissioner Don Garber named Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, and Sacramento.

The beginning of the end of the Champions League group stage

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The Champions League returns later today with six points left up for grabs in the groups. Only in Group B have both teams already advanced to the knockout round. That's PSG with the best record of any team at 12 points and a +17 goal difference and Bayern Munich three points back.

Portland Timbers

News Roundup: Union offseason needs, continuing Columbus drama Columbus, an important discussion about net quality

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The headlines you missed if you weren't paying attention this weekend.

Playoff Edition: Pick the Houston Dynamo Starting Lineup against the Portland Timbers, Part 2

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Who do you want to start in Leg 2 of the playoffs against the Portland Timbers?

This past week we saw the Houston Dynamo draw the Portland Timbers 0-0 in the first leg of the Conference Semifinals of the 2017 MLS Playoffs. While the Dynamo dropped an opportunity at home to get some goals up on the Timbers, they also prevented the visiting side from collecting any away goals which could prove influential in their next fixture.

La Liga

Footy on the Telly Nov. 17-24

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Looking to watch Footy from Liga MX, Ligue1, MLS Cup Playoffs, Premier League, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Taca de Portugal, La Liga, Copa MX Copa Sudamericana or Copa Libertadores? This week's action is all here. Bundesliga

Soccer TV: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich

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The weekend soccer TV schedule features the biggest game in German soccer with Borussia Dortmund hosting bayern Munich. There's also the MLS playoffs on the schedule, with three games on Sunday. The national Premier League game is West Ham vs Liverpool on Saturday on NBC. NBCSN has the better matchups on Sunday with Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Manchester United at Chelsea.

The Rest

TFC survives Red Bulls push following Altidore, Kljestan red cards

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Emotional. Frantic. Tactical. Physical.

The second leg of the Eastern Conference semi-final between Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls was everything you could ask for in a knockout match.

In the end, the Red Bulls won the battle, but lost the war with a 1-0 victory at BMO field Sunday afternoon following a 2-1 loss on home turf in the opening leg.