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MLS Week 26: Your Running Commentary



Week 26 of Major League Soccer will wrap up on Sunday evening with three quality matchups, including the highly anticipated Seattle vs. Portland rivalry match later tonight.

Sunday’s action will start in Los Angeles, where Chivas USA will host the New York Red Bulls. Chivas USA are winless in four straight matches after last month’s narrow win over fellow cellar dwellers Toronto FC. On the other end of the spectrum, New York can reclaim first place in the Eastern Conference with a road win today over Chivas, a side they have not defeated since 2010.

Out East, two teams in the middle of the conference’s tight playoff race will square off at Gillette Stadium. The Philadelphia Union and the New England Revolution have split their earlier two meetings this season, with the home side posting a shutout win in both matches. The host Revolution will be hoping that trend continues, as they would move into a tie with Houston for the fifth and final playoff spot with a victory on Sunday night.

Last but certainly not least, the marquee match between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers will wrap up this weekend of MLS action. Clint Dempsey is expected to start tonight for Seattle, and his first home match as a Sounder could not come on a bigger stage. Between the clubs’ intense Cascadia Cup rivalry, the massive sellout crowd at CenturyLink Field and the Western Conference playoff implications, tonight’s match has the potential to be the league’s game of the year.

Here is a rundown of Sunday’s MLS schedule:

5pm – UniMas – Chivas USA vs. New York Red Bulls

7:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union

10pm – ESPN2 – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers


If you will be watching today’s MLS action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.


  1. Wow, this Dempsey guy much suck. He’s been in 3 matches and hasn’t scored against the worst league in the world. Certainly this proves that THE (sic) Minor League Soccer is a retirement league. There is no way that he could have cut it in Europe. This just proves he was a flame out in his short stint at Spurs. I hope he enjoys his perfectly comfortable life back in the USA. Dempseycakes is will never help the NATS. His time is up. I hear that Justin Braun is great though.

    • It sickens me all the negativity towards Clint Dempsey just because he chose MLS…..Should we all disregard him as anything USMNT now? Do folks hate him as the latest USMNT captain or because he chose to play in his home country league??….Vice riding the bench at Tottenham, playing in FA Cup qualifiers? I hope he lights it up at Costa Rica and at home vs Mexico……………Maybe there will be less bitterness and hatred!!!

  2. I felt like I was watching the slow death of a career that was still seemingly rising only a short time ago. Dempsey already looks like he’s in semi-retirement mode; sad to see. The game picked up in the last 15 but in general was kind of hard to watch. There’s a reason the ratings are where they are…

    I’m not an MLS hater — I want to like it, I really do, but…the quality’s just not there. I’m sorry, it’s just not. And I’d be lying to myself if I said otherwise. Now don’t confuse that with me thinking it’s rampant elsewhere. I don’t clamor to watch the Scottish premier league, either.

    And kudos to Lalas’ ridiculous spin that “parody” (nice one ESPN) is a highlight not a flaw. With the way the league is run you can expect this, but it’s merely an equal distribution of sub-mediocrity. People want competitiveness combined with excellence, not randomness.

    • I couldn’t disagree more with everything you said. I find it hard to believe you were actually watching the same match I was. Maybe you have diarrhea and missed half the match on the toilet?

      • You disagree with everything I said? So you like what it says about the league when half the league is separated by less than 10 points?

        But yes, to be fair to Dempsey, he definitely looked better towards the end. But he also looked awkward and dispassionate at many times, too. It was just weird. I definitely stand by my statements about the league though — overly physical and seriously lacking finishing quality.

      • That’s a strawman, I didn’t say that. Besides, the playoff setup changes everything anyway.

        Just as it is in life, so it is in soccer: a cap on success is a surefire way to mediocrity (at best).

        I don’t see how anyone who wants to see MLS grow would want teams prevented from improving (so long as it’s financially solvent). But that’s what the parity argument is tantamount to.

      • The cap is for stable growth and not bubble growth, I’m sure you know what happened to the old NASL. Maybe in 20-30 years the league will be big enough not to have a cap.

      • Zach,

        put your thinking cap on. If the lack of a salary cap equaled a league folding wouldn’t we be seeing dozens and dozens of leagues folding all over the world? None of them have salary caps. And in countries where soccer is not even a top three sport their soccer leagues don’t have salary caps.

        There are ways to avoid a league collapsing without a salary cap. Yet, every time someone raises the point that the salary cap harms the quality on the field you guys just bust out that tired wrongheaded argument that without a cap the league would fold.

        You don’t actually believe that do u?

      • I will back Jeff and say that the game tonight was on par with some of those EPL games. Sunderland/Soton was terrible. The Hull match was bad. So forth and so on. Across the board MLS matches aren’t there, yet. But, you’re a fool you can’t recognize growth and improvement.

      • most MLS sides would get relegated our of the Championship in England.

        Not one MLS side would survive in the EPL.

        Its one thing to cherry pick one game and then compare it to one game in a top league. But its different when you look at the overall quality top to bottom.

        Btw, I don’t think last nights game had a lot of quality anyway.

      • Jack you are everything that people don’t like about Euro-snobs. Yes, it is clear that EPL is superior in talent to MLS.

        But you and so many others refuse to acknowledge the massive growth in the popularity of the league….which equals more money….which will eventually (and now in the cases of Seattle, NYRB and LA) lead to big name talent still in their prime (even though it may be late prime for now). If MLS keeps going in the direction they are going, every team will have the money and be expected to bring in that level of talent and better.

        I have no problem expecting the best quality that MLS can put on the field and it is fine to continue to point out that MLS does not have the talent of EPL, but your total disregard for the accelerated positive direction of MLS makes you at best ignorant…at worst, arrogant.

    • agree with JJ.

      MLS is the only league on the planet that purposely lowers the quality on the field all in the name of fairness. They talk about parity as if its a good thing no matter how you get there.

      Look, parity is good when it happens organically. But not when it is forced on a league. It just leads to mediocrity.

      • The whole parity thing is not a long term goal….but rather a means to an end and it has been ridiculously successful in recent years. With tweaks to the Designated Player rule, clubs like NYRB, LA and Seattle can start to seperate themselves from the pack. Yet the ability for teams like Portland and Real Salt Lake to still win without expensive talent keeps people coming to the stadium each week (not to mention better sponsorships, more shirt sales, etc). And you can bet that as MLS makes more money (which is clearly happening year of year) that more tweaks will be made to allow teams to bring in as much world class talent as possible without over-extending financially.

        Also, don’t forget that a rising tide helps lifts all boats. The single owner model of MLS has allowed all teams to slowly get better talent wise as some of the extra money that Seattle and LA make gets spread around the league. That means eventually, as a league, there will be massively better talent all around as every team receives more money to work with.

        In sum, yes, parity has restricted the rich teams from becoming the best they can be right now, but MLS is in this for the long term and looking at the recent direction of the league, it’s obvious to me that the long term looks a helluva lot better for MLS than any other “non-top” league in the world.

        On a side note, an earlier post mentioned that no top league in the world has financial constraints on teams buying whoever they and yet none of those leagues has gone bankrupt. Well do your homework. Yes the leagues are fine, but teams all over Europe are going bankrupt in their attempt to keep up with the Man U’s of the world. So don’t lecture about how all the top leagues are financially stable when clearly the financial model of most leagues leads to financial ruin for many teams. And that’s a ridiculous way to do business.

    • Parity is a good thing and healthy for such a new league. MLS is the most competitive league in the world and this also is a good thing. Half of the EPL has the best quality in the world but having four or fives teams in the hunt for the title is BORING!! Spanish and Italian leagues are a joke for this reason too. You can complain about mediocrity but that is incorrect. It is competitive because talent is spread out very evenly across the entire league unlike most places in Europe. Stacking a handful of teams with all the highest quality players doesn’t make the league have more quality it just means they have concentrated it. MLS is equal in quality to 90% of French, Dutch and Scandinavian leagues and much of the bottom halves of the EPL, and Bundesliga. MLS is doing it the right way and in 10 years or so it will be among the top 3 leagues in the world for quality and it will remain to be the best league in the world for competitiveness.

      • The MLS is no where near as weak as most across the pond think it is (on that point it seems most of us can agree), but to say it’s equal to the bottom half of the EPL or Bundesliga is ridiculous. Hell, half the USMNT play in the bottom half of the top leagues — I guess you’re arguing the MLS as a whole offers comparable talent? Seriously?

        Look at the rosters. Look at the fact that some top MLS’ers transfer there and struggle to find playing time. Those who make this argument about being as good as half the premiership don’t realize the depth there is in that league. Just look at Cardiff City dropping 3 goals on Man City. Those type of results are becoming more and more common in recent years.

        That’s not to say that if you turn a game on you’re going to see beautiful football — I second the comments about the EPL games so far this year. Even teams I loved watching last year like Swansea have looked pretty bad.

        And all of this is OK to admit. I hate when people use “Europe” as a catchall when what they really mean is the top of the top leagues. EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga, and Serie A stand above the rest of “Europe” too, which I agree MLS is probably already comparable to.

  3. I’ve been coming to this site for 8 years so no, I’m not gonna stop just coming here and enjoying some great soccer conversation;

    That said: the people who routinely post negatively really make this site less enjoyable. You know who you are.

    Kudos to the posters who show perspective and manage to say positive things too. Thank you.

  4. Are Seattle fans chanting “Let him die” while Jewsbury is down with a head injury? I’m gonna assume I didn’t hear that correctly on the TV, but if not then that is a beyond classless chant.

  5. To continue with his fine form, the official decided that head injuries are no longer important and he has no responsibilities for player safety.

    Granted he’s already made that clear with the nonsense that’s been allowed.

  6. Classy from Seattle there. Dempsey kicks Jewsberry in the head and they don’t stop the game. Also this is the ref previously suspended for not stopping play during a head injury.

      • Yeah, same atmophere, im sure. I guess 13,000 at Gillette Stadium sounds just like 68,000 screaming Sounders fans, huh? Or should I say duh.

      • Youre funny. I was just trying to popolitely disagree. I didn’t realize we were talking about stadium atmosphere. Clearly it is wonderful in Seattle. I’ve been dying to go to a game there. No argument on that point.

      • I d
        Admit that I didn’t see the Revs game but I have a hard time believing it had as much pace and intensity as this match. This was much higher than most MLS matches in those respects. To be fair, I just finished watching the NYRB Chivas snoozer before watching this, though.

  7. If there isnt already an “EJ stepovers per game” stat, someone needs to start keeping track. Would love to see a correlation between that and total goals. It could be called the “GAM Score” for short.


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