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Sunday Kickaround

*With all due respect to the Revolution, which overachieved in the absence of Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston and offered admirable playoff performances, Chicago's 2-0 victory Saturday night was in MLS's best interests. Presentation remains important to this young league, and an Eastern Conference final next Saturday at a packed, medium-sized, natural-grass stadium in Bridgeview provides a more soulful atmosphere for a big match than a mostly empty, made-for-the-NFL, artificial-turf venue at Foxborough.

The clincher by Cuauhtemoc Blanco:

*Today's second legs:
Seattle at Houston, 3 p.m. ET (Telefutura)
The clubs played to a 0-0 tie last week
Chivas USA at Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
The clubs played to a 2-2 tie last week

*Devin Barclay went from high school to MLS in 2001 and played for four clubs in five seasons, including D.C. United in '03. barclaytampa.jpg
barclay.jpgWith the ability to kick a ball long distances and wanting to earn a college degree, he enrolled at Ohio State and became a place kicker for the football team. (You can be a professional in one sport and maintain college eligibility in another.) The 26-year-old junior from Annapolis served as a back-up for a few years, but when the starter was injured last week, he moved into the primary role. In a major game at Penn State yesterday, Barclay kicked a 37-yard field goal and three extra points in the Buckeyes' 24-7 upset victory in front of 110,033 spectators.

*A 1-0 victory over North Carolina State earned Virginia the No. 5 seed and a quarterfinal meeting with No. 4 Maryland in the ACC quarterfinals Wednesday in Cary, N.C. The Cavaliers (12-3-1) are unbeaten in eight straight and have five consecutive shutouts. ... The Catholic University men's and women's teams are headed to the NCAA Division III tournament after winning the Landmark Conference titles. The men (16-3-1) defeated Scranton, 3-0, and the women (17-2-1) edged Susquehanna, 1-0.

By Steve Goff  |  November 8, 2009; 10:17 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , MLS  
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Next: Operation Freedom

Comments

Jozy started for Hull today, played 83 minutes - his replacement JVo...Hesselink bagged the winner. Shame Jozy didn't get the glory, but a start helps.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 8, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic goals by Chicago...now that's something to present.

Posted by: Reignking | November 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I get that part of MLS' marketing strategy is soccer specific stadiums. But your remark that "Chicago's 2-0 victory Saturday night was in MLS's best interests" is outright snobbish.

It is terrible to imply that MLS should have any motivation who wins or loses based on "what's best for the league." It is good for the NBA when the Lakers win, but that's why the NBA has very little credibility.

And speaking of NFL stadiums, I don't think you were complaining about the atmosphere when Sounders FC hosted a scoreless draw last year. Furthermore, there were plenty of empty seats at Crew stadium when the referees and Houston defeated Columbus on Thursday.

Seriously, I think your remark is more careless than anything. But take a second and realize how incidence it is to imply the league has two classes of franchise. Those that have been able to get specific stadiums, and those that are still sharing. And you seem to be an advocate for the higher class turning your nose down at the lower (though you are DCU writer so I guess you would consider that team in the lower class as well).

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 8, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

gr8, is this refutable?


an Eastern Conference final next Saturday at a packed, medium-sized, natural-grass stadium in Bridgeview provides a more soulful atmosphere for a big match than a mostly empty, made-for-the-NFL, artificial-turf venue at Foxborough.

Posted by: Reignking | November 8, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

gr8nylacbiz -- so you're saying it's NOT good for MLS to have a TV production with an exciting team (like Chicago) and packed stands for growing the TV audience?

Also, when did he say anything about Seattle? Seattle doesn't meet Goff's adjective of "mostly empty" and "made for the NFL". Seattle's stadium was full and made for soccer in its original designs.

Posted by: hendrix | November 8, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Was pulling for the Revs. Great organization that is competitive every year no matter how many players they lose.

However, there is no question the conference final will have a more serious feel in Chicago than in front of 14k fans in Foxboro on turf.

Goffinho didnt say he wanted MLS to rig it, he just said this is the better result for the league. No doubt.

Sure if NE coulda drawn 35K fans that stood and sang the whole match like in Seattle, Id give them a pass on the playing surface. However, 22K in a SSS is light years better than 14K in an monsterous football stadium with turf.

Posted by: srfinger | November 8, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Also, how is this different than saying MLB was happy the Yankees made the World Series. Better ratings=Better for the League.

Posted by: srfinger | November 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"when Sounders FC hosted a scoreless draw last year"

"plenty of empty seats at Crew stadium when the referees and Houston defeated Columbus on Thursday"

This is why I do not take your opinions seriously. That and the argument you make is clearly one of pure foolishness. You bring up the NBA not having much credibility, but do you think MLS has more? The NFL is the most credible sports league in America. Do you think they'd rather have Jacksonville vs Detroit in the Super Bowl or Pittsburgh vs Minnesota? Every business "roots" for what is in it's best interests, including sports leagues. Especially one like MLS that has comparatively few opportunities to showcase itself to a national television audience. That's one of the reasons why Seattle has been such a good thing for the league.

If New England could fill the lower bowl there, we'd all be clamoring for it to have been there, too. But they don't. Instead it's like having middle school football game in the Georgia Dome, and it's nearly impossible to watch on tv. We
had a conversation earlier this week about the stadium/attendance situation in Italy made it harder to watch that game, and that's the fifth best league in the world.

Point being, everyone who is rooting for the growth of soccer in this country was rooting for Chicago last night, simply for the way a conference final, and league semifinal, would have a much better presentation value in Toyota Park. To think otherwise is simply delusional.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 8, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I watched Chicago vs NE last night. The atmosphere was amazing. Fans were in it 100%. I agree with Goff. Chicago will defiently sell out next week. Chicago vs LA in the finals.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | November 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I think you're giving the Revs waaaay too much credit in assuming 14k would show up for them in the conference final.

that place is a morgue and is the furthest stadium away from the city they "represent" (Boston). It's no suprise no one shows up there.

Posted by: ARickey | November 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Just watch the video and look at the fans in the background. The answer lies with them.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | November 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

To add to what others wrote, a few years ago ESPN expressed their concern to MLS execs about the presentation of the games. In other words, ESPN did not like televising games in empty stadiums.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Clint Dempsey gets the PK for Fulham. That's quite an honor.

Is he the 1st Yank to take a PK in England, or anywhere outside of MLS?

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 8, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that Giuseppe Rossi has taken PKs.

diving under the table

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Michael Bradley has taken a few for Gladbach

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 8, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Brian McBride took penalties for Fulham, no?

Posted by: Kev29 | November 8, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

NBA Officials have now been confirmed to have fixed games. And unless you're among the few chosen franchises in the NBA, your team is struggling hard.

Maybe it's wrong for me to hope MLS would have more credibility. All I'm pointing out is that while SSS's are important there are not the be-all end-all of the league, certainly not to the point where we should be rooting against teams simply because they don't have one.

I agree the NFL is the most credible of the leagues in this country, but part of that is that it matters little who advances to the playoffs. The Super Bowl and playoff games have no equal in american sports when it comes to ratings. The only reason you would want Minnesota and Pittsburgh in the super bowl is because they are belived to be the best teams in their respective conferences, not because of the size of their markets (both are average to under average).

Goff didn't come out and say he wanted MLS to rig it, but the implication that they would have a motivation to rig it should give everyone pause. Lest there be an NBA like scandal.

I'm just advocating caution of this attitude of rooting against teams because of their stadium. Admittedly I've watch more MLS this season than in years past (I'm in Minnesota so I'm not really a partisan and there's probably no hope of a franchise ever coming here) but if the product's good, fans will watch regardless.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 8, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

So is blanco gone for sure to Veracruz?

Its a shame, he still has atleast another good year in him. His play and passing basically won it for chicago, had he not played they would have lost.

I hope they can keep him in chicago for one mroe year, but maybe it will be in his best interests to go back to mexico to make it to the WC...

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | November 8, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone catch Bush's comments after the game about a certain "red-headed" soccer annalyst? Spot on, Bush.
IMO, what's best for the league is irrelevant if the league chooses the silly playoff structure currently used. An east coast championship game in an empty stadium is no worse for MLS than a west coast team making the playoffs in the east bracket over an east coast team with the same amount of points.

Posted by: ratco | November 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

gr8- as a fan of a team playing in an NFL stadium (and, no, Qwest was not designed for soccer- it was designed to accomodate soccer in addition to the NFL) I take Goff's remarks to reflect more on attendance than venue. Have all the SSS's you want- if you can't draw more than 10,000 you are an embarrassment.

Of course, if you have football lines on the pitch, you are also an embarrassment.

Posted by: captainwierd | November 8, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else catch the guy brushing his teeth whenever Chelsea was making a sub? He was in the first row, and just holding a toothbrush, then put it in his mouth, brushed his teeth for 10 seconds, then just left it in his mouth like a straw or toothpick or piece of hay. Totally bizarre.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 8, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, another Colgate fan!

Posted by: OWNTF | November 8, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I am so happy for Devin Barklay. We are going to try to go see him next year at OSU.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 8, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

wow just looked at the RedBulls Arena animated tour...

its a nice arena...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaITyZ99tbk

if it looks like that I would personally go to NJ and deface it...

=)

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 8, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Question: who was the home team in LA last weekend? We were thinking Chivas since it looked like they had more fans. Would a nil nil or 1 1 draw put this weeks visiting team through? or is it overtime?

Over at FSC, I'm real pissed this being at about Beckham (now post-metro-sexual). Anybody that watches knows Donovan is the star for Galaxy.

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Chivas was indeed the "home" team last weekend.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | November 8, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Chivas was the home team courtesy of the Galaxy winning the western conference. And no, away goals do not count, it's total aggregate.

Posted by: Josh8 | November 8, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

TY Josh8
I mean, what is away for Galaxy Chivas? I take it that the home team gets first chance for tickets, but most of the home field advantage is lost the the home despot.

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Last night the GMU men gave up a goal in the 89th minute to lose to ODU, thus losing their CAA tournament slot. Their overall record will not get them an at-large slot.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

An at-large NCAA slot, that is.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Seattle-Houston scoreless at the half.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Really great stuff coming out of Chicago last night. Not only the crowd but the quality of play. Not so much currently in Houston right now, but it is better than what is going on at the Georgia dome...

Posted by: rademaar | November 8, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Last night's game was riveting soccer, enhanced by a sellout crowd that was vocal. Just great.

One added note. Some folks want to tear their hair over certain potential sites for a DCU stadium. Ahem, ever been to Bridgeview? The closest "transit" is Midway Airport. Stuck in a very gritty industrial area off of S. Harlem Avenue. Unpaved parking lots, but a very pretty stadium. If you put a good product in it no matter where its built, they will come.

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 8, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I mean, what is away for Galaxy Chivas?
Posted by: johnlclark
==============

The differences are: order of player introductions; which team stays in place during the pre-game handshake; number of pre-teen girls screaming for Beckham; number of beer-swilling, out-of-shape guys wearing Chivas de Guadalajara jerseys. I think that covers it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'll never say anything bad about the RFK pitch again. Watching Sea-Houston on that cow pasture is making me long for artifical turf

Posted by: Wyrm1 | November 8, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The Freedom's Cat Whitehill is working for Disney today, in the broadcast booth at the SEC women's championship match in Orange Beach, AL, which is about as an obscure a place for such a tournament as one can come up with.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I was at the UVA - NCState game last night. I'd be glad to give a full, Chest-like report, but I stabbed my eyes out in the 75th minute.

College ball is tough to watch, despite the charming atmosphere of Klockner (dang, where's the umlaut? Found it!) Klöckner

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Ty exit1, for your Wildwood based, deep thought analysis of Home Despot Field. As for Beckham, many middle aged Latinas also get the vapors in his presence. At least the MLS Chivas ain't pushing snack food on their kit. Landon might have a pattern baldness gene, but his hot model wife is hotter than the spice girl. Maybe MLS shoulda' given us that 1/4 bil for a new park for DCU? Or just take out them 400 seats at RFK & make them suites. That and a choice of micro brew would make me happy.

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Ching! Golazzo!

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

brian finished? back to the team? he has been hurt.

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I take it you hand't already seen UVA or NC State this season, JkR-? Sorry you had to see that.

Posted by: sitruc | November 8, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

& XBox360 goes home... (this from an Ubuntu computer).

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

now its LA v LA (south)!!! on espn2 & 360 (where i will be watching). Landon shows his old buddy Brian what's next...

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

cue DadRyan in 3...2...1

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I take it you hand't already seen UVA or NC State this season, JkR-? Sorry you had to see that.

Posted by: sitruc | November 8, 2009 5:53 PM
===================================

No, I hadn't. My daughter is a 'First Year' there and has been to lots of games (she thinks she's watching lacrosse, but at least she's enthusiastic), but this was my first.

NC State clearly thought they had no chance coming in. Their defensive shape was superb; sadly all 11 of them were in their own defensive third. I didn't see much from UVA either. Soooo many times the defense bypassed the midfield and let loose with a thunderous boot up-field to a grassy, empty area.

Still, a good time was had by most...

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess it safe to say Garber is pulling his hairs right about now. And if Chivas win tonight, i think he will cry.

hear that...

its called silence from the sounders camp.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 8, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

From memory, I think UVA has given up something like 6 or 7 goals this season. Fun stuff.

Posted by: sitruc | November 8, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

At worst, you were in Cville...

Looks like Seattle can keep their wewintrophy.com site going.

Posted by: Reignking | November 8, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

So now that the Sounders are out, what's the over-under for the actual MLS Cup attendance in Seattle? Will they just opt to keep the tarps on the upper deck?

Posted by: Juan-John | November 8, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John: The MLS Cup final has never drawn a crowd smaller than 34K, when it has been held at an NFL-size stadium:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mls_cup

Posted by: universityandpark | November 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I'm being entertained by 2 teams from LA. Is that wrong? Feels a little skeevy...

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Capello saw Beckham's miss.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The AU women are one victory from their second NCAA tournament appearance after defeating Bucknell, 1-0, in the Patriot semifinals. The second-seeded Eagles (12-9) will play top-seeded Colgate (11-6-3) on Sunday afternoon in Hamilton, N.Y.
==========

Colgate 1-0 in double OT. Completing the Raider double this weekend. And on to the NCAA tournament . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | November 8, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

But Charlottesville is supposed to be one of the nicest town's in the country, Reignking...

If I'm subtle enough with my digs, I might be able to turn JkR-'s daughter to the dark side, Reignking.

Posted by: sitruc | November 8, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Capello saw Beckham's miss.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 8:36 PM
==============================

Cabbage Man see's all...

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

So Colgate squeezed out the win?

Don;t blame me, Joe Doc started it.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

If I'm subtle enough with my digs, I might be able to turn JkR-'s daughter to the dark side, Reignking.

Posted by: sitruc

==========================

She's been to the darkside. They asked her to leave. Too perky...

Posted by: JkR- | November 8, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else hear Rock and Roll Part 2 during the game? Does LA now have a marching band?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 8, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I heard it and commented on BS, I-270Exit1. Nobody else said anything. I assumed I was feeling the side effects of the Seattle-Houston match still, but I just saw them too.

Posted by: sitruc | November 8, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

landon hit the PK
LA v Houston
MLS is putting on a good show

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Anybody see what Kovalenko did to get Preki to go after him following the final whistle?

Posted by: addick | November 8, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Landon hit the PK; LA v Houston; MLS is putting on a good show. What more do you want? So DCU ain't in. It is great to see our national team members playing in the playoffs. Whoever wins, we are getting ready for SA. & showing the world our game. If you don't think they're watching, just check out the international streams for this game.

Posted by: johnlclark | November 8, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Seattle, is OUT.. That alone made my day

Posted by: Norteno4life | November 8, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...gotta think Chi/LA in the Cup this year. While it's competing against SNF, the fact that it will be at night with the LA glamour boys against the Second City grit will bump up ratings. That, and Beckham vs. Blanco, each who are going quite nicely for the national teams, too.

While Houston may have something to say about this (and has a sizeble soccer market as well), RSL has no shot in crazy Chi-town next weekend. Road warrior record and all.

As for the Sounders...while having them would've been cool at home in a 67K wall of "sound", they looked gawd-awful this afternoon, and have struggled to score at home. They're close, but this was not the year.

Someday we'll see another MLS Cup final before a rockin', soakin' packed house where you can't hear yourself think. Ahh, memories of 1997...

Posted by: wxdancer | November 8, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more that Le Stade de Gilette (where the Revs play) couldn't be less deserving of a playoff game...and I'm a Revs fan! I found myself thinking as time wound down that Chicago, with its sold out 'built-for-soccer stadium', is more deserving and a much better theater for an MLS semi than Gilette.

Here's to hoping that Robert Kraft gets an itch to build a stadium for the Revs/Breakers!!

Posted by: Ush11 | November 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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