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MLS, USA, NCAA

*Real Salt Lake had never been to the MLS playoffs before this year. Now they're heading to the Western Conference final, which they would host next weekend should New York happen to upset heavily favored Houston today (3 p.m. ET, Telefutura). RSL went on the road last night and earned a 2-2 tie at Chivas USA, an entertaining match with some quality goals that resulted in a 3-2 aggregate victory.

*No such surprises in the East as Columbus took care of business with a 2-0 victory over visiting Kansas City. Brad Evans , menacing scorer -- who knew? The Crew will host Chicago on Thursday night (7:30, ESPN2) in the conference final. The sides played to a pair of 2-2 ties in the regular season, and the Fire took a 3-2 decision in the U.S. Open Cup.

*Evans, commenting in the Columbus Dispatch on midfield partner Brian Carroll: "BC was the king tonight. Offensively, defensively, he was an animal."

*Fox Soccer Channel's Max Bretos describing Sacha Kljestan's penalty kick: "Goes to the far post!" How do you go to the far post on a PK? Was the penalty spot off-center? Otherwise, FSC did a nice job capturing the drama of a decisive playoff match before 19,000-plus at HDC.

*Um, 11,153 in Columbus? Really? I know it was cold, but.....

*Check out the Post's Sunday Source section (print edition) for DCU veteran Ben Olsen's favorite cultural spots in Washington, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Woolly Mammoth Theater. Speaking of Olsen, I hear he was in Los Angeles this past week filming a Volkswagen promo.

*USA women wrap up a three-game friendly series with South Korea with a 1-0 victory in Tampa on Heather O'Reilly's goal in the 72nd minute. Average attendance for the games in Richmond, Cincinnati and Tampa: 4,500. Meantime, the USA reached the semifinals of the U-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand with a 4-2 victory over South Korea. They'll face Germany on Thursday.

*The ACC women's tournament final features top-seeded North Carolina against seventh seed Virginia Tech today in Cary, N.C. (1 p.m. Comcast SportsNet). At the same location this week, the ACC men will hold their event with the play-in game Tuesday and the quarterfinals Wednesday. Virginia Tech went from the Final Four last year to winless in conference play this year. The pairings:
No. 1 Wake Forest vs. No. 8 N.C. State/No. 9 Va. Tech
No. 4 Virginia vs. No. 5 Duke
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 7 North Carolina
No. 3 Boston College vs. No. 6 Clemson
In case you missed it, here is my match report from Friday night's Maryland-North Carolina game in College Park.

*The American U. men will be the No. 2 seed in the four-team Patriot League tournament, which top seed Colgate will host starting Friday.

By Steve Goff  |  November 9, 2008; 10:47 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS , Women  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Soehn Officially Returns
Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

Great crowd for Chivas USA, especially considering I constantly read that the are some kind of attendance disaster. Too bad they couldn't see a win.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 9, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

4 years ago...

DC was in the same path

:sigh:


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 9, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Well, it is the far post if you happen to be calling the game from the near side of the field.

Yes, it's retarted, but it's understandable in that extreme context.

Posted by: ARickey | November 9, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, make that "retarded"..

Posted by: ARickey | November 9, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

With just over 30 minutes remaining the Tarheels have taken a 2-0 lead over the Hokies.


FSC should listen to ACC Select commentary during conference tournaments if they want confidence boosters.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

North Carolina adds one more to the scoreboard with 10 seconds remaining to win another ACC Championship.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The GMU men got the CAA third seed, and will be hosting Hofstra Tuesday evening.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know if the Houston-Red Bulls game is going to be streaming live somewhere? I don't get Telefutura on Comcast here in Baltimore....

Posted by: GoCrew | November 9, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I was using this, GoCrew. I don't get it on FIOS either.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Awesome! Thanks!! Wow, just in time to see Richards score... Upset in the making?

Posted by: GoCrew | November 9, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I just tuned in to Telefutura and found RBNY up, 1-0, after 28 minutes.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

If Columbus can't get a big crowd in Crew Stadium for the conference final, then I say move the team. 11,000 for a deciding playoff game (for a team thast plays some pretty nice soccer) is PATHETIC. I don't care how cold it might have been. If the Crew don't draw now they never will.

The 19,000 figure for the Chivas game looked inflated. There were a LOT of empty seats, and the upper deck was roped off.

Things look better attendance-wise for the Houston match.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

PK makes it 2-0 Red Bull.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I take it the PK was for a handball on Clark? I couldn't tell from the replay, and I don't speak espanol.

Posted by: wichne | November 9, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh, I can smell a big prehistoric elephant in the room...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

As a C-Bus native, 11k is just sad. It's not like they were going up against an OSU game either. Temp in the 30's kept all the kids away... They announced 30,000+ for this game (btw it was a Clark handball).

Posted by: GoCrew | November 9, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

In the midwest, 30 degrees is jacket-weather. I really wonder if "cold" is the real reason people stayed away in Columbus. I am afraid it is just lack of interest in MLS and the Crew. Columbus, it seems to me, is just not a soccer town. Maybe (I hope for MLS' sake) it will be different if they win MLS Cup. But I doubt it.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Red Bull have gone up 3-0...

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Methinks we have a case of Houston looking past the Red Bulls.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to say they were looking past the Red Bull when it's a home and away series.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Best case for MLS, a NY - Chicago final. I had been pulling for Columbus to gain and win the final, but that would do nothing for the growth of soccer in this country. Sadly it likely would do nothing for the growth of the popularity of MLS soccer in *Columbus*. Chi-NY might get some ratings and buzz.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

re: "It's hard to say they were looking past the Red Bull when it's a home and away series.

Posted by: sitruc | November 9, 2008 5:06 PM "

No, it isn't. Houston likely thought they would win it going away at home, probably thought destiny was on their side for the final leg, took their foot off the gas a bit, and proceed to get beat 3-0.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree the Crew should be moved if they don't sell out the conference final. Put a USL-1 team there so it's still used for pro soccer. Too many good MLS applicants to accept these attendance numbers.

By the way, although we all dislike NY/NJ it is cool that Rio Tinto now gets a conference final in its first year.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 9, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The Navy women were upset by Army in the Patriot League championship game, so their season is almost surely over. The GWU men lost to St. Bonaventure. That will probably keep them out of the Atlantic 10 tournament, although they would have been buried pretty far down in the bracket in any event.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

...it is cool that Rio Tinto now gets a conference final in its first year.
__________________________________________

First year? That is an understatement. It is barely into its second month.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, you guys are sounding a little bitter. The Red Bulls only brought in 11,000 in the first game v Houston - and that was on a day everyone was wearing short sleeves. Are you going to move the Revs too? They could only manage 5k.

Posted by: GoCrew | November 9, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

30k in Houston? Were they not counting people 30 years or under? It looked like standing room only.

Sad that the top teams as far as fan support (attendance) are mostly out...

1) Galaxy - didn't make the playoffs
2) Toronto - didn't make the playoffs
3) DC - didn't make the playoffs
4) Houston - Out in the first round
5) Chicago - In


Posted by: Southeasterner | November 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

GoCrew, both the Red Bulls and the Revs have potential upside. The Red Bulls attendance problems have been addressed in the form of leaving Giants stadium going to Harrison. They'll draw at Harrison. The Revs have a stadium and location problem, and that will keep their attendance down until they move closer to Boston. Once they do they'll be fine, as Boston has shown itself to be a good soccer town.

Columbus, on the other hand, has an SSS, they have probably the best team in MLS (would I say that if I were bitter?), they have a *deciding playoff game*, at home, against a worthy opponent, they have seasonal (though not warm) November weather for a Saturday night game, and a paltry attendance of 11,000. That tells me there is little upside in Columbus.

I'll say it again -- if Columbus can't draw now, when will they?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America recently pointed out that a lot of executives of MLS and its teams regard the first leg of the series as little more than a throwaway. One reason they like the two-game format is precisely that it provides more lead time to market the second match, for which they have much higher expectations. In some sense, a crowd of 11K for the second leg of a series is more troubling than 5K for the first leg.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Come on 28 comments and only one person is going to touch the "Wooly Mammoth Theater"?
Really? It just seems like a slow floater right over the plate.

Posted by: ncguy | November 9, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Florida lost to Georgia (0-3) in the SEC semi-final round :-( The Gators may have been looking ahead to the final. Now we're just looking for an NCAA berth. (This is about the women. UF does not have a men's team).

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

re:

Come on 28 comments and only one person is going to touch the "Wooly Mammoth Theater"?
Really? It just seems like a slow floater right over the plate.

Posted by: ncguy |

----------------------------------

OK, I'll bite.

What on earth are you talking about?

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Off Topic: Hopefully Goff wasn't one of the people who got pissed on at the 9:30 club this weekend by a New Jersey council member... Nice show recommendation folks:-)
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/post_45.html


Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Come on Ron, don't tell me you've already forgotten about DC's favorite Pink Cows fan have you?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I-270: What do you mean, just looking for an NCAA berth? There will be 64 teams in the field, and I would be very surprised if Florida is not among the 16 schools to host the first two rounds next weekend. Of course, if they had done better this past week, they could well have been among the top eight seeds.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I just learned that the SEC women's championship game was carried on XM Radio. That may be a first.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Re Max Bretos' comment. The far post means the furthest post from our viewing angle.

It's like basketball announcers often say 'The PG dribbles up the near side'. You don't hear type of description from TV announcers much, but I hear it all the time from radio announcers when they're trying to paint a picture for their listeners.

Posted by: Gotberg | November 9, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Houston looking past New York? Get serious.

Dynamo dominated early but got nothing for their dominance. Then Richards' speed burns Barrett and a spread-out Houston defense. The handball -- seemed a bit iffy -- makes it 2-0.

New York has a period of real control, then it's Houston's game again as it, naturally, pushes forward for goals. And they come close again. Great job by Cepero, player of the game. Then NY scores on a counter with Richards again doing a great job.

The game was closer than the score, but NY was deserving. They play that game tomorrow, or Saturday, and Houston probably wins.

Posted by: LAStory | November 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

re:

"Come on Ron, don't tell me you've already forgotten about DC's favorite Pink Cows fan have you?

Posted by: DadRyan"

I had to go back to Goff's post and found the reference to the Wolly Mammouth Theatre. I didn't read that paragraph at first because I saw the words, "Sunday Source" and assumed the para had nothing to do with soccer, and so didn't read it.

I give a Zzzzzzzz to that whole line of discussion.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 9, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Right on Ron16. Come on in, make yourself at home.

I actually mistook you for someone else and was talking about another regular know as Mastodon Juan.

If being given a heads up on a story on Ben Olsen, I get a feeling your a little out of place here dude.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Crud, I meant to type if being given a heads up on a story about Ben Olsen bothers you, I get a feeling you're a little out of place here Ron16.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Great game from Red Bulls. I still pick Real Salt Lake to go thru. Columbus in the east.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 9, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Its good there will be a new MLS cup champ this year. Houston probably still is the best team in the league but luck was not on their side today. The way that field in Houston plays, its almost as if its a turf field - fast and Richard's runs were pure speed. All those games Houston played this year probably had something to do with the home loss. Houston still has a CCL game later in November, no?

Posted by: sbg1 | November 9, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Olsen is goin Hollywood on us. LOL.

Posted by: TheJim1 | November 9, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

@universityandpark

I was being glum. Although only the SEC champion is guaranteed a berth, Florida will get in somewhere. It's just better to write your own ticket. On the bright side, maybe, after an 11-game win streak, it's better to lose now than in the final 64.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 9, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

re:

If being given a heads up on a story on Ben Olsen, I get a feeling your a little out of place here dude.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 8:37 PM
-------------------------------------

Thanks, I'll file that under "Free Advice from the Far Reaches of Space".

Ron

Posted by: Ron16 | November 10, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Um, if anyone other than Chicago or Columbus win MLS Cup - it proves the Playoffs and the MLS Season a farce.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 10, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I hope Ben likes the Play Doh sculpture my seven-year-old made last year. It's on display at the Hirshhorn.

Glad to see the U17s recovered from their opening game loss to Japan. Thoughts, OWNTF?

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 10, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Paul Kennedy of Soccer America predicts that Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and William and Mary will get into the NCAA women's tournament, but that Georgetown and James Madison will not.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 10, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The tournament format is such that four teams go to each of 16 sites for the first two rounds. My guess is that Charlottesville will be the only such site near here. And since they take geography into account in placing the other 48 teams, Tech, WVU, and W&M (if indeed they are selected) are good candidates to be playing at Klockner, too.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 10, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

re:

If being given a heads up on a story on Ben Olsen, I get a feeling your a little out of place here dude.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 9, 2008 8:37 PM
-------------------------------------

Thanks, I'll file that under "Free Advice from the Far Reaches of Space".

Ron

Posted by: Ron16 | November 10, 2008 6:35 AM


That makes less sense than what I wrote.
Go back to Columbus Barney.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 10, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Joe Doc, one thought on U17s is I'm a little ambivalent on even having a U17 world championship. But I guess WNT need to do it to stay ahead of the pack. Haven't tracked it that closely. I read that DiMartino has 4 goals -- I am pretty sure her older sister has been capped. There must have been pretty good hallway 1v1s in the DiMartino house. Also noticed England is through. With their infrastructure, they could be dangerous long term in the womens game, they played well in WWC.

Interesting womens TV games this past weekend, Big Ten final PSU/Minnesota from Iowa and Big East final UConn/Notre Dame from South Bend. SoccerPlex in November seems balmy. Intense games. Quite a few WAGS players on PSU.

Also looking forward to rebroadcast of ACC final Thursday night -- read there was one goal by Noguiera, Victor's daughter. Young players -- and older fans who think USA coaching is mass-producing "dancing robots" -- should watch her play Thursday, and Tobin Heath etc.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 10, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

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