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Monday Kickaround

*MLS playoff calendar.....
Eastern Conference final
Real Salt Lake at Chicago, 8 p.m. ET (Fox Soccer Channel)
Previous Meetings: Patrick Nyarko's 76th-minute header lifted the Fire to a 1-0 home win Aug. 1. Six weeks later, the clubs played to a 1-1 draw at RSL on goals by Chris Rolfe late in the first half and Jamison Olave in the 72nd minute.

Western Conference final
Houston at Los Angeles, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Previous Meetings: In June, Todd Dunivant's first-half goal provided a 1-0 victory for Los Angeles, ending the Galaxy's four-game winless streak at home against the Dynamo. Three weeks ago, Brian Ching was sent off late in a 0-0 tie at Robertson Stadium.

Second leg attendance:
Columbus (Thu.) 10,109
Chicago (Sat.) 21,528
Houston (Sun.) 27,465
Los Angeles (Sun.) 27,000

*We're awaiting the USA roster announcement ahead of the friendlies at Slovakia on Saturday and Denmark on Nov. 18. Candidates from Columbus, New England, Seattle and Chivas USA, as well as the seven other inactive MLS clubs, are now available to join the European- and Mexican-based players.

*The pairings for the 64-team NCAA Division I women's tournament will be unveiled Monday after 8 p.m. ET on ESPNews (30 automatics, 34 at-larges).

*Lyon 5, Marseille 5 (video no longer available)

By Steve Goff  |  November 9, 2009; 6:49 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , France , MLS , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: USA Roster for Friendlies


Except for Columbus, great playoff crowds and atmosphere this weekend. Chicago was insane after Blanco hit the GWG.

Depressing thought: In three years, DCU and New England will have the worst stadiums in the league, hands down.

Posted by: jofij | November 9, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

I watched UNC dismantle Florida State yesterday in Cary. Anson has another impressive team, and Tobin Heath can flat-out play.

@jofij: You're spot on.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 9, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Kevin Payne was bored with the soccer played this weekend? I sure wasn't. Very exciting finishes in Chicago and Houston. And Beckham's cross to Donovan that set up the PK was freakin unbelievable. LA-Chicago would make for a great Final, but don't count out RSL yet either. They really know how to frustrate a team, and are better than NE defensively.

On a separate note, Chest Rockwell is falling behind and could use your help in the DC United Next Coach Cup.

Posted by: DCUMD | November 9, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@jofij: I'll take RFK over Crew Stadium any day.

Posted by: asnoel | November 9, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

And, by the way, I was also loving the crowds in Chicago. What an atmosphere...and Blanco's celebration with the fans after his GWG was just a class act. (Never thought I'd put the words "class act" in the same sentence as "Blanco")

Posted by: asnoel | November 9, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Wonder where all those LA birdbrains went who spent the first part of the season hatin' on Beckham.

I also wonder what Kovalenko did that caused Preki to go ballistic. I don't dig Kovalenko and I don't dig Nagamura. Two birds of a feather -- Cheap shot artists and antagonists.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 9, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Not a gardner fan but this is a good line: "Maybe there really is a Gresham's Law of sorts at work in soccer -- maybe if you put a Dema Kovalenko on the field, the bad soccer does drive out the good."

Posted by: OWNTF | November 9, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Lyon and Marseille tied 5-5 this weekend...two goals (one each) in injury time. The last one being an own goal!

Posted by: Reignking | November 9, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

For those who wondered about Kovalenko, he reportedly made a gesture to Chivas at the whistle. Now what Preki was saying to beckham afterwards makes more sense. As reported:

"The gesture was, um, a little hip motion, shall we say.

BTW, I asked Dema about it in the locker room afterward and said, "you screwed them again, huh?"

He smiled wryly without actually saying anything."

Kovalenko is pure class, 100%.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's hoping for an LA/Chicago final...

Posted by: DCUSince96 | November 9, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

So when does DCU hire Preki? I cannot wait!

Posted by: kris77 | November 9, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

*The pairings for the 64-team NCAA Division I women's tournament will be unveiled Monday after 8 p.m. ET on ESPNews (30 automatics, 34 at-larges).

We know that Colgate has bitten off one of the 30 automatic bids. Who are some of the other 29, for those of us who wish to brush up on the field?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 9, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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