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Angels Links: Jozy Altidore fires Toronto FC into MLS Cup

Toronto FC will host MLS Cup for the second year in a row.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Columbus Crew at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto defeats Columbus Crew 1-0 to win Eastern Conference, advance to second straight MLS Cup

Toronto FC is back in MLS Cup. After a scoreless first leg against Columbus Crew SC, they prevailed in the second leg 1-0 on Wednesday behind Jozy Altidore’s goal in the 60th minute. Altidore had gotten hurt right after halftime, and it was unsure if he would continue. And he did leave the match in the 68th minute, but not before scoring the winning goal after a nice passing exchange with Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez. Toronto could have gone ahead in the first half after earning a penalty kick, but Vazquez’s effort was saved by Zack Steffen, who really has a knack for saving penalties. This was a spirited effort by Columbus, but in the end Toronto had just enough to pull it out. And now Toronto FC has another chance to capture the only trophy they are missing, MLS Cup.

Sterling saves City, Rooney hits hat trick for Everton in more midweek Premier League action

Raheem Sterling continues his stellar season with another late winner for Manchester City, this one for a 2-1 result over Southhampton. This was the 3rd game in a row Sterling has grabbed a goal after the 80th minute, scoring late goals against Feyenoord and Huddersfield, respectively. Manchester City jumped out to an early lead, but gave up an equalizer in the 75th minute. Just when it seemed like they would drop points, Sterling stepped up to be the hero.

In other action, Wayne Rooney grabbed a hat trick in Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham. This was Rooney’s first Premier League hat trick since 2011. For West Ham, this is another blow in a season that has not been a fun one for the Hammers. Chelsea won 1-0 to keep their hopes at retaining their title alive. Beyond the win, probably the most notable thing from the game was that Antonio Conte was sent off for yelling at the 4th official.

MLS names four finalists for the two expansion slots

Sacramento, Detroit, Nashville, and Cincinnati are the four finalists for the two MLS expansions spots that the league will award in December. Each team will make a presentation to the league’s expansion committee on Dec. 6th, and those will be discussed by the MLS Board of Governors and a decision will be made later that month. These cities aren’t really a surprise. Each city has been rumored to be in the running, all have some sort of stadium solution worked out, Cincinnati’s is kind of fluid, but in a much better spot than before. These four are the only ones competing for these two spots, while the other bids remain for the other two spots MLS will award later. Also, there’s David Beckham’s Miami team which there will be a decision made on that project at some point soon (Probably. I think. Honestly at this point who knows). After months of rumors, speculation, and planning by everyone who bid for a team, the two expansion spots will be awarded by the end of the year.

Xavi was one of a kind

There are arguments to be made that Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona was the greatest team of all time. Their style of play was irresistible. Obviously everything Barcelona at that time starts and ends with Lionel Messi. But then there was captain and great defender Carles Puyol, and sublime midfielder Andres Iniesta, as well as Sergio Busquets, whose passing and defending skills allowed those great attackers to operate. However at the center of everything was Xavi. The man drove the play for those brilliant Barcelona teams and the almost equally as brilliant Spain team, and he was spectacular. Zito Madu of SB Nation looks back on Xavi, and argues he’s the greatest midfielder of all time.

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