After a long international break, the MLS conference finals kicked off on Tuesday. Toronto FC and Columbus Crew SC drew 0-0. The Crew’s fans were again brilliant, but they were unable to will the team to a win. Columbus had the better of the chances but couldn’t put one away. Toronto definitely got the result they wanted, especially missing Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco on the road. However, Columbus did not give up any away goals, which could factor in to the 2nd leg of the series.
In the Western Conference game, Seattle Sounders won 2-0 away to Houston Dynamo to bring them very close to another MLS Cup appearance. Gustav Svensson opened the scoring for the Sounders, and then Jalil Anibaba was sent off for Houston right around the half-hour mark for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Seattle took advantage by doubling their lead right before halftime through Will Bruin. Seattle got the road victory and looked very good in the process. Houston pulled off the upset at Portland in the last round, and they will need a similar effort to come back from this deficit.
Another day, another series of fascinating results in the Champions League. Tottenham Hotspur came back from a goal down to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1. Tottenham not only advance to the knockout rounds, but they win the group. To add on to their disappointing season, Borussia Dortmund were eliminated. Real Madrid grabbed the second spot in the group, sealing it with a 6-0 win over Apoel. Elsewhere, Liverpool got out to a 3-0 lead, but gave it up as Sevilla scored three second half goals to draw 3-3. Liverpool would have advanced if they had held on to the win, and now need to win at home against Spartak Moscow to secure qualification for the knockout rounds.
AC Milan are arguably the biggest team in Italy (*cue furious reaction by Inter and Juventus fans*). However they have had a rough few years, in no small part to the ownership of one Silvio Berlusconi. The thought was things would be turned around once Berlusconi was bought out. And it worked on the field, kind of (Milan started out well but have faltered lately). However off the field, it appears Milan is in as much off field turmoil as ever. James Rushton of the AC Milan Offside takes a look at the precarious situation AC Milan are in ownership-wise.
West Bromwich Albion made a coaching change this week, and it will not surprise you to hear the list of people that it is rumored will take over that job. Alan Pardew, Nigel Pearson, Sam Allardyce, Louis Van Gaal. You may have also noticed that David Moyes recently took over at West Ham. The Premier League, like the NFL, hires the same old coaches over and over again, and it’s stale. It’s very hard for new young coaches to break through, and none of the coaches that I mentioned play a particularly attacking brand of soccer. Hopefully some new faces get opportunities to lead teams, but I would not expect too many of them anytime soon.
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