Last night, the Seattle Sounders laid waste to the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Western Conference final, running out 3-0 winners on the night for a 5-0 aggregate victory. It was shades of Brazil’s 4-1 triumph over Italy in the 1970 FIFA World Cup Final. What I mean by that is the final goal was a thing of supreme beauty.
The Vancouver Whitecaps pulled off what might be one of the biggest moves of the MLS offseason on Thursday, signing Venezuela international Anthony Blondell. The striker led the Primera Division in Venezuela with 23 goals in 2017, leading Monagas SC to the Torneo Apertura title.
Anthony Blondell (pronounced blun-dell) could be a coup for the Whitecaps. At 23 years old, he’s an emerging star, having made his international debut earlier this month. His 2017 haul of 23 goals came in 33 starts and 37 appearances and many of them were impressive strikes.
Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former FIFA president who once suggested female players wear tighter shorts to promote “a more female aesthetic” in the women’s game, has dismissed Hope Solo’s claims of sexual assault at the 2013 Ballon d’Or award ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland.
On December 6 in New York City, four Major League Soccer expansion hopefuls will stand in front of the league’s expansion committee and commissioner Don Garber and make their case to be one of two new sides slated to begin play in 2020. They’ll talk about things like business metrics (“F*ck that,” says Columbus), stadium plans and making bank.
Maybe you haven’t heard, but the U.S. will not be participating in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But that hasn’t stopped Americans from purchasing more tickets for next summer’s tournament than any other country outside the host nation. And the U.S. isn’t the only country that won’t be competing in Russia to rank in the Top 10 in World Cup ticket sales.
Monday marked Contract Deadline Day in Major League Soccer, meaning that all clubs (apart from the four still participating in the MLS Cup playoffs) had to announce which player contract options they’d picked up and which players they’d effectively cut.
The 2017 NCAA Men’s College Cup field has been whittled to eight with many of the usual suspects advancing to the quarterfinals. The marquee matchup of the quarters will be a rematch of last year’s College Cup final — Wake Forest, the top-seed, will take on back-to-back national champion Stanford. Seeds 2 through 5 remain alive as well: Indiana, North Carolina, Louisville and Akron.
You could forgive Stefan Frei for suffering from a professional hangover following his heroics in the 2016 MLS Cup final. The 31-year-old native of Switzerland's legend is forever woven inside the fabric of the league following that save on Jozy Altidore in the second half of extra-time, one of seven saves for Frei in a performance that saw him named MLS Cup MVP.