Ah, Thanksgiving. You know what that means: IT'S TIME FOR FOOTBAWL. Time for out of shape middle-aged folks to try to play contact sports. What could possibly go wrong?
Sports stars just get all the luck, don’t they? First the UCLA basketball players get bailed out of a Chinese jail after shoplifting, not Romelu Lukaku is avoiding jail time in another foreign country: the United States.
The Belgian striker will pay a $450 fine to avoid potentially six months in jail stemming from a series of noise complaints while staying in Beverly Hills over the summer.
Since Major League soccer began play in 1996, the United States and Canada has been home to some of the world’s finest attacking talent. The likes of David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco have been scoring at an unprecedented rate over the last few years, but there are those from the league’s humble beginnings that scored at an even more impressive rate.
A capacity crowd of 21,211 at MAPFRE Stadium provided an electric atmosphere for Tuesday night’s MLS Cup Eastern Conference Final between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC, but a deserved breakthrough for the Crew — who dominated the second half and landed three shots on target as opposed to zero for the visitors — never arrived.
We’re entering the second week of FIFA corruption trials for three men in New York City and already the court cases are providing more entertainment than an HBO series. The FIFA scandal keeps getting weirder, and that’s not really a good thing for fans of the game, but it’s great for fans of an interesting narrative.
AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR. Forgive me, but it’s been 15 days since the Conference Semifinals of the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs wrapped up and I’m just trying to bring the edge back. Tuesday, Nov. 21, sees the first legs of both the Eastern and Western Conference finals kick off in Columbus and Houston, respectively, and we’re here to offer a quick take on what to lookout for in both matches.
MLS Playoffs: Eastern Conference Final
Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC
MAPFRE Stadium | Columbus, Ohio
November 21, 8 p.m. ET | ESPN
What a wild ride the 2017 MLS regular season was. The league, for all its various shortcomings and absurdities, is incredibly exciting and ever-growing in quality. However, for all of its maturation and development, there’s still a brilliant charm to MLS that’s long since left Europe’s biggest leagues and the likes of the NFL, NBA and MLB.
In a league where parity reigns unlike any other, the tenure of Caleb Porter as manager of the Portland Timbers will go down as one of the most wildly successful in Major League Soccer’s 22-year existence. According to reports, that tenure has reached a shocking conclusion — by mutual consent — after a season in which the Timbers finished at the top of the Western Conference.
Here’s a pro tip for all you executives out there who want to run a professional soccer league: make sure your best team doesn’t disband the same week it wins the league championship.
Speaking of, it’s been one helluva week for the San Francisco Deltas — henceforth to be referred to as NASL’s bottle rockets. The Deltas came, they saw, they conquered then they got the hell out of Dodge, all within a span of two years.
In the end, the snitches didn’t get any stitches. Jozy Altidore believed that video evidence would clear him of any wrongdoing during the tunnel bust up between Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, resulting in red cards for both Altidore and Sacha Kljestan, but an independent panel has upheld Altidore’s one-game suspension after being unable to find enough evidence to overturn the ruling.