Daily news roundups

News roundup: MLS playoff insanity! Altidore v. Kljestan, Crew fairy tale continues, Houston shock Portland, more

Photo via TSN/MLS


Philadelphia International Unity Cup Championship preview! The match will be held Saturday at the Linc between rival squads Liberia and Sierra Leone. Very cool.

Don’t believe Earnie Stewart’s claims that the Union have improved.

Major League Soccer

Big, big Sunday night in MLS playoff action. Toronto lose to New York Red Bulls 1-0 at home to survive by the skin of their teeth on away goals.

The headline, though, is the halftime melee in the tunnel that saw U.S. internationals Sacha Klejstan and Jozy Altidore sent off. Apparently, Red Bulls players and staff confronted Altidore outside the TFC locker room. In the video you can hear Michael Bradley screaming, “Why are you here?”

The other side in the Eastern Conference Championship will be none other than Columbus Crew FC (!), who won 4-3 on aggregate over New York City FC. What a story. And the Crew have a real shot at MLS Cup: For perhaps the first time all season, Toronto did not look great – and they will be without Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco (yellow card accumulation) for the first leg of the conference championship.

More from Columbus: Comic book villain Anthony Precourt, who blamed lack of corporate support as a reason to consider a move to Austin, also priced out those same sponsors by doubling costs.

Out west, Houston Dynamo shocked the Portland Timbers 2-1 at home to advance to the Western Conference Championship versus Seattle.

Analysis of all three truly wild Sunday games.

Around the Globe

Slaven Bilic has been fired by West Ham United and is expected to be replaced by, uh, David Moyes?

Highlight of the Day

Mauro Manotas hits a laser from distance to knock Portland from the playoffs in front of a rowdy – and heartbroken – Providence Park crowd.


  1. Obviously not a Redbull fan, but glad somebody finally called out Jozy for his flopping.

  2. I realize this is not going to happen….because ???…. but former union player Eduardo Coudet is looking for a new job now after leaving Liga MX. A good, young manager with tons of top flight playing experience AND has experience with the Union in MLS.

  3. What a wonderfully cool thing it would be for Columbus to knock off Toronto. Make it happen, boys.

  4. *Columbus Crew SC
    Also, the NASL’s request for a mandatory injunction was denied.

  5. Columbus ice cream company CCO. truth: “Britton Bauer told me she believes Precourt had a plan all along to move the team and what’s happening is terrible, but she thinks it will rally the Columbus community.

    “Maybe he created barriers to corporate sponsorships and didn’t work hard to bring in fans, let his team fall off the radar – all to justify the move to Austin to the MLS, and even more importantly, to our city leaders,” she said. “He knew it would be a tough fight. If this is not true, then he ought to be working really hard to reverse that idea because it will become his legacy – not just in Columbus, but in MLS. As well as the legacy of MLS.”

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      So sad. Precourt is such an asshole. He knows the key to Garber is money. Show they aren’t profitable and it’s over… even if you are scamming and pulling things to prove it. All the talk of legacy and building a league and a culture of soccer in this country and you are going to allow this jerk to just up and move an original club?!? Not to mention leave vacant the Crew stadium that was the first soccer specific stadium in the country and has so much USMNT history?!?! Makes me sick. This whole thing has impacted my decision to ever re-up with the Union. I have already committed for this season, but if they can just up and move teams like this… the whole thing is bullshit and what’s the point of being invested long term?! Really obnoxious

      • +1
        Minor technicality in your post: while the Crew’s stadium was the first SSS in MLS, there were several before it in the United States. For example, the grounds of the original Bethlehem Steel FC was specifically built for their soccer club and still stands today (it is now Moravian College’s athletic field).

      • I’m with you. If the Crew move with MLS blessings, I might be done with the whole operation. Don’t see how you can support a league that would let its flagship franchise just abandon its fanbase. It would mean everything MLS is selling is bullshit.

      • MLS and sports in America is selling entertainment. Their business is to make as much money as possible. Don’t kid yourself that they ever had or ever will be selling anything different.

      • A, no offense, but I hate the “it’s just a business” defense for sports. I’m not naive enough to think sports owners aren’t in it for the money, but a huge part of the social contract between a sports franchise and its fan base is a tie to a region, a city or a club. I happen to think the social contract that MLS pitches is even more dependant on that sort of identity than any other U.S. sport.Let Columbus move and the league is exactly what its critics think it is — just another sports league — a 5th rate one at that. Might as well just watch WWE. Same level of authenticity.

      • It’s not a defense, it’s the way our system is set up. I’m not saying it’s good but it’s the American sports model. Obviously opening the pyramid would help solve this problem somewhat, but sports owners are rich because all the care about is money and power. MLS is no different. Do you think our NY based owner cares about the Philadelphia area? Do you think the Middle Eastern owners care about the Europeans areas their teams are located in? Unless you have local community control of a team that’s the way it is. It has happened recently to every other sports league in this country.

      • I think that the people who like this sport expect better than same-old same-old. Maybe that’s naive. But there’s virtually no parallel in English football. The one team that moved, Wembley to MK Dons is notorious. This sport has a real tradition of clubs tied to community. MLS has been working to make their “product” more authentic, and nothing would fly in the face of that more than sanctioning Columbus’ move south. The only compromise that would be acceptable is a guarantee to the city of Columbus of an MLS franchise.

  6. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    Houston shocks the league by going last in the league to conference final. Now they get a shot at the reigning champs. Columbus vs. Houston for MLS Cup isn’t that far fetched with Toronto missing two of their best players for the first game in Columbus. If that happens,you have two teams competing for the Cup that didn’t qualify for the playoffs last year….true parity.

    • Curtin and Stewart are probably giddy over this development. I fully expect them to repeatedly point this out to fans and media whenever their approach to player spending and roster improvement is questioned this offseason.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Parity in a league and failure to
      Qualify for the World Cup.
      Which is swirling the same whip cream on shit the Sporting Director is down Talen Way.
      Yes the policy which floats the league is the same policy crippling the NT so don’t even bother. Debunked.

      • MLS has done more to improve the region than US soccer.

      • John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

        It’s not the responsibility of the league to develop players for the national team, plain and simple. This is nothing but a byproduct, especially when you see players from CONCACAF who do play in MLS qualify. Can’t have it both ways. MLS is a good vehicle for exposure to the national team and other clubs throughout the world; it’s on the player to decide.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        This as usual is where some arguers lose the plot.
        MLS is a byproduct of policy. The underlying policy is what fails the development of players which then results in missed Olympics and now missed World Cup.
        I didn’t say it was MLS fault we didn’t qualify for these events. Like so many other things the league is a symptom of underlying disease.

  7. Martino is running now for USSF pres:

    He said he had been considering it but wouldn’t do it two weeks ago, so something changed his mind. Like his platform a lot, but I think he’ll just split votes with Wynalda.

  8. John Harris says:

    “But as MLS splits into the haves and the have-nots, the wills and will-nots, the imbalance in ownership ambition and spending is creating a real chasm.”

    • This seems to me a must for MLS. Read also this morning that Atlanta was turning down huge offers for its SA talent. If MLS becomes a credible path to Europe, you’ll see a lot more players willing to play. No one wants to get trapped in a league that refuses to sell players because it doesn’t make financial sense.

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