Daily news roundups / Featured

3rd place in the East, Sunday it is

Photo: Nicolae Stoian

Union in the playoffs

Houston’s 3–1 win over LA Galaxy on Sunday night means the Philadelphia Union finish third place in the Eastern Conference behind Kansas City in first and Houston in second. The Union will host Houston at PPL Park on Sunday, October 30 in the first game of a two-game Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. Kickoff for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 4pm and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The second game will be played on Thursday, November 3 (tentatively scheduled for 8:30pm on ESPN2) and the team with the most goals after two games will advance to the Conference final.

Individual tickets for Sunday’s match are available at www.philadelphiaunion.com or by calling comcastTIX at 800-298-4200. To purchase discounted group tickets (15 or more), call 877-21-UNION (877-218-6466).

The Sons of Ben will be hosting a pre-game tailgate from 11am on Sunday that is free to SoB members and their guests (four guests per member). SoB’s must register for the tailgate by noon on Saturday, October 29 at sonsofben.ticketleap.com/2011-tailgates.

You can donate coats to the Coats for Chester charity drive at the SoB tailgate.

Playoffs

Turning to the rest of the MLS Cup Playoff schedule, the Wild Card games, which are single game elimination games, get underway when FC Dallas will host New York Red Bulls on Wednesday at 9pm (Fox Soccer). Colorado Rapids will host Columbus Crew on Thursday at 10pm (Altitude 2, ONN).

Sporting Kansas City will face either FC Dallas away on Saturday, October 29 at 7:30pm (Fox Soccer) OR Colorado Rapids/Columbus Crew on Sunday at 7pm (Fox Soccer)

The first game of the Western Conference Semifinal will feature Real Salt Lake v Seattle Sounders on Saturday, October 29 at 10pm (Fox Soccer).

The start of the other Western Conference semifinal will be Colorado Rapids Columbus Crew/New York Red Bulls v LA Galaxy on Sunday, October 30 at a time to be determined (ESPN or ESPN2).

Union

In case you missed the news, the New York goal agaisnt the Union, originally credited as a Union own goal, was awarded to Dane Richards on Friday. FIFA rules state, ““shots that … rebound from the goal frame and bounce off a defender or goalkeeper are not considered as own-goals.”

Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams have been nominated for The Shin Guardian’s Defender of the Year award.

SB Nation profiles Zac MacMath.

Independence

Independence coach Paul Riley says the future is looking brighter for WPS with seven teams expected to compete in the league in 2012. With plans in the works for expansion on the West Coast, Riley says, “If you can announce straight after the Olympics, ‘We’ve got a 16-team league for next year,’ bang, we’re off and running…I think at least four or five [West Coast markets] will definitely have their acts together.”

Local

Kierstin Rowe has resigned as general manager for Harrisburg City Islanders.

Mike Ryan, a forward for no. 1 ranked in South Jersey Cherokee High School, set a new all-time scoring record on Friday at 52 goals.

MLS

Soccer America says the new MLS playoff format comes with risks that are worth taking.

The SuperDraft, now taking place over two rounds in Kansas City, is set for Thursday, January 12. ESPN will broadcast the first round live at noon. The Union’s number in the order will be determined by the order in which teams are eliminated in the playoffs combined with reverse order of regular season finish.

Dwayne “Dancing Feet” De Rosario won MLS’ Golden Boot Award after finishing the season with 16 goals. Chris Wondolowsi also had 16 goals but De Rosario’s 12 assists put him over the top. Apparently, Chris Seitz had several key saves to prevent Wondolowski from scoring the goal that would have made him the first player in MLS history to repeat as Golden Boot winner in San Jose’s win over Dallas. Unfortunately, Seitz let in four goals on the day. Oh, Seitzy…

Elsewhere

Sir Alex Fergusson described Manchester United’s 6–1 defeat by Manchester City on Sunday the worst of his career. ESPN has a list of some other United heavy defeats.

The Guardian looks at the man who stopped Lionel Messi.

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