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Old 2013-10-22, 17:50   Link #4621
Bri
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Did anybody watch the Arsenal-Dortmund game today? It was some good football with good tempo based on what was displayed.
I only caught a few glimpses. Great football from both sides. Could have gone either way I thought. I missed most of it, too busy being frustrated by Ajax not killing off a dire Celtic side and blowing their chances to make next round.
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Old 2013-10-22, 19:33   Link #4622
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All unbeaten runs are meant to come to an end and I must say Arsenal could very easily have avoided defeat, but their luck wasn't to be, I guess.
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Old 2013-10-22, 21:45   Link #4623
Azuma Denton
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Great match last night. Both teams played good. But Dortmund winning on their determination to press Arsenal player.

On the other side, Arsenal player seem a lil bit tired. Well, hope that Walcott, Chamberlain and Podolski can come back sooner to ease the burden of midfielder.
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Old 2013-10-23, 05:33   Link #4624
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Walcott's injury appears to have taken a set-back and he won't be back for another two weeks at least. They should all be back by November, but I'm already glad Cazorla is already back. Time to give Ozil a rest in a couple of games.
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Old 2013-10-28, 09:34   Link #4625
Nerroth
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 34


The 2013 MLS regular reason is in the bag, with the New JerseyYork Red Bulls winning the Supporters' Shield (the regular season championship) by beating the Chicago Fire 5-2 at home.


(It's been a busy weekend for soccer in that area; down in NASL, the new New York Cosmos secured a spot in the 2013 Soccer Bowl by winning the autumn short season.)


Back to MLS, and the MLS Cup playoff brackets are now established.

In the Eastern Conference, the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams (the Houston Dynamo and l'Impact de Montréal) will play a one-off play-in round down in Houston. The winner will play in a two-legged conference semi-final against the Red Bulls. The winner of that match will face either the New England Revolution or Sporting Kansas City for the right to go to this year's MLS Cup.

Over in the west, the play-in round will see the Seattle Sounders host the Colorado Rapids. The winner will go into the semi-final round against the Portland Timbers (who finished top of the West in the regular season), while the other semi will see Real Salt Lake square off against the LA Galaxy.

Once the dust is settled, the MLS Cup finalist with the best regular reason result will host the event on the 7th of December.
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Old 2013-10-30, 15:48   Link #4626
Elo the Blue
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Not happy to see Arsenal lose to Chelsea. The next three games against Liverpool, Dortmund and Manchester will be a great litmus test. As great their run has been, they haven't faced many quality teams and losing to the past two they've faced has been rather disappointing.
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Old 2013-10-31, 10:16   Link #4627
Nerroth
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The first of two play-in games is done, with the Sounders advancing at the expense of the Rapids. An all-Cascadia conference semi against the Timbers awaits.

Tonight, it'll be the turn of l'Impact and the Dynamo to settle things in the Eastern play-in round.
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Old 2013-11-01, 11:15   Link #4628
Nerroth
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Well, that was embarrassing for l'Impact, especially near the end. Here's hoping they (and the other Canadian teams) put in a better showing next time around.

So, it'll be the Dynamo on to play against the Red Bulls in their conference semi. The first leg will be in Houston, with the return leg held at Red Bull Arena.
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Old 2013-11-02, 21:49   Link #4629
RapidPotential
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Five points clear after a fantastic win over Liverpool. Re-affirming our title credentials is very important in the crunch period we face now.
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Old 2013-11-03, 15:16   Link #4630
Nerroth
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Two of the MLS conference semi-final first-round matches took place yesterday. Unfortunately, both managed to show the pitfalls which a handful of clubs in the league are obliged to struggle with due to their sharing of a home stadium with an NFL team (or a CFL team, in the case of the Vancouver Whitecaps).

The New England Revolution were forced to play their home leg on gridiron handegg lines. For them, the long-term hope has been to get a smaller and more accessable soccer-specific stadium, where they can finally escape the ever-looming shadow of Gillette Stadium's primary sports tenants.

For Seattle, the situation is quite different. With the highest average attendance in the league, the Sounders aren't going anywhere. But while they are usually able to co-ordinate their schedule with the Seahawks in order to avoid having to play on another code's lines, there wasn't enough time or opportunity to get around it for last night's match.

Fortunately, most teams in the league have already managed to secure themselves as the main tenants of their own soccer-specific stadia. With luck, the Revs can join that list in the not-too-distant future; while the Sounders will have to kick out the Seahawks work on getting their ducks in order at the business end of each season.
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Old 2013-11-04, 09:50   Link #4631
Nerroth
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Two more conference semi first leg matches were played yesterday. Houston managed to fight back from a 2-goal deficit against the Red Bulls to level the match at 2-2, while RSL were lucky to escape from the Home DepotStubHub Center with only a 1-0 loss going into their home leg later this week.

All four conference semis are still up for grabs, not least since the away goals rule is not in effect here.


Actually, the turn-around for all eight teams will be quite short this post-season. The second leg matches will be held on the 6th and 7th of November, while the first leg of the conference finals will be on the 9th and 10th. But after that will be a notable gap (due to the international calendar) before hostilities resume on the 23rd and 24th, with the MLS Cup final to be held on the 7th of December.

So, for those teams still in the running, the next few weeks will be both a marathon and a sprint.
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Old 2013-11-06, 20:15   Link #4632
Irenicus
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Meh, Dortmund are just overrated. Arsenal still hasn't faced a real test this season and aren't really title contenders until they, like, win it or something.

...

Spoiler:
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Old 2013-11-06, 21:19   Link #4633
Bri
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I suppose the calls to sack Wenger have quieted down a bit.
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Old 2013-11-07, 11:42   Link #4634
Nerroth
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So, it'll be another HOU-SKC conference match-up, then.

(This is the third year in a row in which the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City have faced off against each other in the Eastern Conference playoffs. And the two teams squared off in the Western Conference final back in 2007; when Houston was still in the West, Kansas City were still the Wizards, and the playoffs included a number of "wild card" entries.)

Given the regular season rankings, SKC, as the highest-ranked team still in playoff contention, can secure home field advantage at this year's MLS Cup if they can break their poor run of form against Houston in post-season play. If the Dynamo make it through to their third successive MLS Cup final instead, they will have to travel west for the championship match (since they finished lower in the regular season standings than all four remaining teams in the Western Conference).

Speaking of the West, those conference semis will be settled there tonight, as Seattle travel to Portland hoping to overturn a 2-1 deficit, while LAG go to RSL with a 1-0 advantage in tow.
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Old 2013-11-07, 12:33   Link #4635
Elo the Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
Meh, Dortmund are just overrated. Arsenal still hasn't faced a real test this season and aren't really title contenders until they, like, win it or something.

...

Spoiler:
It's a good time to be a Gooner.
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Old 2013-11-08, 03:28   Link #4636
RapidPotential
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo the Blue View Post
It's a good time to be a Gooner.
Our best times since early 07/08? Hell yes.
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Old 2013-11-08, 12:33   Link #4637
Nerroth
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The LA Galaxy's efforts to secure an MLS Cup three-peat are done for, as RSL managed to overturn the first-leg deficit and win last night's game 2-0.

Meanwhile, the Timbers went for the jugular against the visiting Sounders, racing up a 3-0 lead (and a 5-1 series advantage) in their own match. Seattle pulled two goals back later in the second half, but it wasn't enough to avoid losing the series 5-3 on aggregate.

(Also, what is up with the Sounders' away kit? Vety questionable colour combination. Portland have a much more respectable set of home and away jerseys in comparison.)
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Old 2013-11-09, 18:22   Link #4638
Nerroth
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I suppose it was inevitable that the hectic pace of the playoffs to this point would catch up with both sides, but Houston and Kansas City were only able to play out a 0-0 draw in the first leg. (Unfortunate, since this was one of the few games in this post-season to feature on the "big network".)

I wonder if Portland and RSL will be any less worn out for their clash tomorrow. At least there will be a two-week gap before each second leg match, courtesy of the FIFA calendar.



Also, down in the second-division NASL, the reborn New York Cosmos will be playing in Atlanta against the Silverbacks for a shot at the Soccer Bowl championship. For those interested in seeing whether or not the new Cosmos are set to inherit any of the trophy-winning ways of the old-NASL originals, there is a list of ways to watch that game at this link.
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Old 2013-11-10, 13:06   Link #4639
Irenicus
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Go fuck yourself, RVP.

Bendtner couldn't put the last chance in. ARGH. Arsenal played so, so much more aggressive on the second half than the horrible first half.

I'm even more pissed because the NBC pundits are shitheads who keep repeating "Rooney - work rate - Rooney - work rate" for the whole fucking game.
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Old 2013-11-11, 11:35   Link #4640
Nerroth
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Age: 34


There was more action to be had in this match, with RSL finishing with a 4-2 lead to bring to Portland later in the month. Still, with the Timbers earning a solid reputation at home this season, I wouldn't count them out of the running just yet.

Actually, they may already benefit from a rumoured change to the US qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League. Supposedly, the slot which is currently awarded to the MLS Cup runners-up may instead go to the highest-placing American team from the conference which did not win the Supporters' Shield.

So, in this case, since the Red Bulls won the Shield (and finished top of the East), the CCL slot would default to the top-finishing Western team, who in this case would be Portland. (Presumably, if the Timbers went on to win MLS Cup, this slot would instead go to the next-highest-ranking team in the West - which, as it happens, is RSL.)



Also, the reborn New York Cosmos managed to win their first Soccer Bowl of the current era of NASL, with a 1-0 victory over the Silverbacks courtesy of a fine goal by Spanish veteran Marcos Senna.

However, as a second-division side in a soccer pyramid with no promotion or relegation, the only way for the Cosmos to qualify for the CCL is to win the U.S. Open Cup - assuming that the USOC winner retains its own berth in the coninental championship. (There was another rumour that it would go away, but the USSF has come out and said this report was inaccurate.)
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