Written by Travis Clark

USATSI_9635974_167117710_lowresHeading into Thursday night’s MLS playoff clash between D.C. United and Montreal, Didier Drogba dominated the headlines.

Much of that is the player’s stature in the global game. No matter what he does,  Drogba will generally draw the attention, whether good or bad. It’s part and parcel of the approach that Major League Soccer clubs seek with big name signings. Create the splash, by acquiring internationally recognized talent, and deal with the blow backs if conflicts arise

Whatever happened between Drogba and the Impact over the past few days (or weeks even), the Impact sure didn’t need his services in Thursday’s win. Thirty-two year-old Italian forward Matteo Mancosu scored twice and had an assist as Montreal’s lone striker, with Drogba watching on from the stands, sharing his delight on social media.

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Written by Travis Clark

It took only 15 minutes into postseason play, but New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo may have just scored the best goal of the 2015 MLS playoffs.

Agudelo showed no mercy to a curling Kevin Alston cross, smashing the overhead/bicycle kick past Bill Hamid. D.C. United had the last laugh though, coming from behind to win 2-1, with Agudelo eventually exiting the game after getting tangled up with United center back Bobby Boswell.

Just watch and see for yourself. To quote another spurned national teamer: “Are you even watching?”

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Look at the MLS being all cool and stuff. You may have heard this soundtrack once or twice – or literally before every single playoff game – it’s a song called “Champion” from English band The Chevin.

But even better than the record is the way the MLS went about putting its promo together. The league worked with Full Sail University in Florida and gave some of the students a chance to help put on a major production.

Sure beats early morning biology class.

 

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Written by The 91st

Cue up the annual David Beckham is playing for [insert club] next season rumors. The latest rumor, is that Becks is actually planning to play well (ba-dum ching). No, Football Federation Australia started spreading word that Becks’ people had contacted their people and that we the people should know that he could be headed there to entertain the Aussie people.

Not happening, people. At least, not according to this statement from Beckham’s management company to the Associated Press:

“There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia. David is completely focused on the MLS playoffs and winning another championship with the Galaxy.”

Oh, well. On to the next rumor.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

It’s all downhill from here, Mario. The 23-year-old picked a Western Conference playoff game, and a game-winner no less, to conjure up his first career MLS goal – and what a goal it was.

If I were Mario and I’d just scored this goal, I’d take off my jersey right on the spot, walk off the field and hop in my Go-Kart. I’d leave a note in my locker simply saying: It will never get better than this. I’ve retired. I’m off to rescue the Princess from Koopa.

Oh yeah, the Sounders are now in the West Finals against the Galaxy. The league’s glamor team against the best fan base in the MLS.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

The evidence is all right here in front of us. Take a look at the Galaxy pregame photo from prior to the first-round series – all business, nothing personal. Would I want to hang out with this group? Nooooo. But if I’m going into battle, line these dudes up right beside me.

Now, let’s examine the San Jose group: Back row, top right, we see Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart in full class clown mode. And check out goalkeeper Jon Busch who seems to be suffering from A.D.D. just in time for the most important match of the season. Who was she, Jon?

Final score: Earthquakes funny, Galaxy stoic … Galaxy 3, Earthquakes 1.

 

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Written by Travis Clark

There’s never a shortage of a spectacle when MLS rivals D.C. United and New York Red Bulls matchup, and Saturday night was no different – although it wasn’t for a series of breathtaking goals.

Instead, the 1-1 between the two rivals featured a missed penalty kick, a red card for throwing the ball at the ref, and a pair of own goals in what was an extremely entertaining game despite a lack of sharpness from both teams in the final third.

Making its first appearance in MLS postseason play since 2007, D.C.’s inexperience showed, as Chris Pontius missed a first half penalty, Roy Miller and Bill Hamid both scored own goals, before Andy Najar chucked a ball at a referee to earn a red card.

“Andy’s a young kid and he made a young mistake,” D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen said after the game. “I thought [referee] Jair [Marrufo] let it boil up a bit. He made some tough calls against us, but it’s no excuse to react that way. We’ll adjust – it’s what we have been doing all year.”

The result slightly favors New York going into the second leg of the two-game series, a task that Olsen thinks that it’s a doable task.

“We should have won this game tonight, but 1-1, I’m OK with it,” he said. “They are a beatable team, that’s for sure. Ultimately, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t win because I thought we played well enough to get a result.”

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

In the first MLS playoff game of the year on Wednesday night, the Houston Dynamo knocked off the Chicago Fire 2-1 (in Chicago no less) as former Indiana striker Will Bruin scored both goals for the Dynamo in what was a pretty lethargic game overall.

 

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MLS Playoff field set

Written by Jahmal Corner

 

All 10 MLS playoff spots are locked in.

After another hectic weekend of action in America’s top flight, five teams in the Western Conference and five out East all mathematically sealed their spots with one eye on the MLS Cup. Pick of the action was D.C. United’s thrilling 3-2 defeat of the Columbus Crew – catch the highlights above.

But before switching focus to the playoffs themselves, one more week of regular season action remains with much to be decided, as the upcoming playoff matchups are far from certain.

For now, check out the ten playoff teams after the jump.

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