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Posted at 2:12 AM ET, 11/21/2010

Sunday kickaround: MLS Cup, Barcelona, USA women, Maryland Terrapins, Georgetown Hoyas

By Steve Goff

*Eight months after it began, the MLS season concludes tonight at BMO Field in Toronto with two unlikely finalists.

*The weather outlook at kickoff (8:55 p.m. local time): 43 degrees and cloudy with the chance of rain increasing later in the night.

*The U.S. women's national team moved a step closer to qualifying for the World Cup by defeating Italy, 1-0, on Alex Morgan's goal in the waning seconds. The second leg of the playoff is Saturday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

*The Georgetown women's team advanced to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals for the first time, scoring with less than a minute left to defeat Minnesota, 1-0. On Friday, the Hoyas will play at Ohio State, which ousted Virginia, 3-2. The complete bracket is here.

*The NCAA men's tournament continues today with 16 second-round matches, including second-seeded Maryland seeking its 14th consecutive victory against Penn. Read my feature about midfielder Doug Rodkey, who is in his sixth year.

*Highlights from Barcelona's 8-0 victory at hapless Almeria:

By Steve Goff  | November 21, 2010; 2:12 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer, MLS, Spain, Women  | Tags:  MLS  
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Are they going to have a full stadium in Toronto? Ron16, do you have an update?

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 21, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Barca's starters still in at the end? 8-0? Don't they have a mercy rule, or was Barca looking to improve their BCS rating?

Posted by: b18bolo | November 21, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Barca's starters still in at the end? 8-0? Don't they have a mercy rule, or was Barca looking to improve their BCS rating?

Posted by: b18bolo | November 21, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

See, the thing is that in soccer you are only allowed three substitutions (which Barcelona in fact used), so you are going to have at least 8 of your 11 starters on the field at the end, barring red cards or injuries. ;)

But seriously, Barca is in a really tight race that could very well come down to goal differential, so running up the score is quite appropriate here.

Posted by: BooThisMan | November 21, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

DC United coaching search update: If United is looking at and for Euro coaches who have flamed out spectacularly and been run out of town (like Favre), Avram Grant and Rafa Benitez may both be available soon.

Posted by: fischy | November 21, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Inter did look terrible today. Not as bad as that field, though.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Garbed says at Supporter's summit that they are considering going to the FIFA calendar, with a break from mid-December to February.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 21, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Barca's starters still in at the end? 8-0? Don't they have a mercy rule, or was Barca looking to improve their BCS rating?

Posted by: b18bolo


Winning by 8 goals on the road is poor form!

In spite of Goff's dour opening paragraphs about tonight's MLS Cup, I'm looking forward to the game. Both offenses are doing well and neither team has a very impressive backline. There may not be great atmosphere in the stands but maybe the scoring opportunities can generate some excitement and entertainment.

And there won't be as many Beckham references and camera close-ups as we might have had otherwise.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 21, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Barca subbed out Iniesta, Pedro, and Xavi, and the sub for Pedro, Bojan scored 2.

Posted by: DonR19 | November 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

How about Etoo's Zidane impression?

Posted by: Reignking | November 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 188 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | November 21, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

TYPO. That's approximately 118 days until United's first 2011 league match.

next time, I proof read.

Of course, United might benefit from the extra days.

Posted by: Curious99 | November 21, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The USA WNT had a great game with a nail bitter finish win against Italy SAT . I wish ESPN would televise the USA WNT games. Its 'different' looking at a small fraction of the computer screen than a game on a TV!
Wish I could be there for the next one in Chicago, but we have other plans for Thanksgiving-GO USA!!

Posted by: 10bestfan | November 22, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

8-0 on the road? What kind of league is that?!?!

I thought that a soccer league was supposed to be a competition between similar teams. That's the point. It's supposed to take a whole season to separate the teams because they are so close together. How is a league that is so uneven that the best team wins 8-0 on the road against the cannon fodder even remotely entertaining? DC United was the worst team in MLS this year but no was was blowing them out.

I want MLS to look at La Liga (and the EPL for that matter) and do the exact opposite. They're not better than us. Those leagues are a joke. I don't want two super-rich teams and a bunch of cannon fodder. That's not a league. I like the salary cap. Lots of MLS teams have been bad then came back to contend or win the championship. That never happens in La Liga or the EPL.

Here's to a salary cap and playoffs! It sure beats the alternative, a boring, stale, and predictable league where your team has no hope of ever winning.

Posted by: Cavan9 | November 22, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

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