29
Jul

Is New York City FC the best five-a-side team in the Big Apple?

Jacobson (R) becomes NYCFC’s fifth player on the roster. (Image: USA Today)

New York City FC acquired FC Dallas midfielder Andrew Jacobson by trade on Tuesday. The expansion side shipped the modest price of a 2016 third-round draft pick to FCD in exchange for the 28-year-old holding player.

As far as transactions go, this swap warrants little more than a footnote for a team still months away from taking the field. NYCFC’s reaction to the deal, however, is quite a bit more notable. 

In response to the swoop for Jacobson, NYCFC boasted about the strength of its five-man roster to the shock and horror of basketball teams and indoor sides everywhere.

Andrew becomes the second midfielder signed to the club after Frank Lampard made the move form Chelsea last week. Spanish striker David Villa, goalkeeper Josh Saunders, and defender Jeb Brovsky fill the remaining spaces in what must currently be New York’s best five-a-side team.

The statement isn’t as rash as it sounds. Times are tough for both New York basketball teams. Carmelo Anthony stayed with the Knicks this summer, but they are hardly Eastern Conference contenders given the weak supporting cast surrounding him. Brooklyn is paying the luxury tax from now until eternity without any flexibility to reinforce an aging team with little real chance to win the NBA title.

Serious questions quickly emerged. Is Melo a better scoring option than the combined strengths of Frank Lampard and David Villa? Can Jeb Brovsky or Josh Saunders repel Joe Johnson’s threat from deep? Will 

These are the dilemma NYCFC asked us to ponder. The only problem: Jacobson quickly joined Brovsky and Saunders by securing a loan deal to fill the time before training camp. So much for the pickup game at Pier 40 to settle the matter, then.

7
Oct

MLS playoff picture still murky with three matches to play

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The New York Red Bulls are the only team in the MLS playoffs. (Getty Images)

Leave it to a typically wacky October weekend to further muddle the MLS playoff picture. What we know is this: New York is in the playoffs. Several other teams are in the mix. The rest? It’s all up for grabs heading into the final three matches of the season.

New York, Sporting Kansas City in the race for top spot in the East

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Houston’s victory over Montréal on Friday night increased the chances that either the Red Bulls or Sporting will finish atop the East. New York either dropped a pair of points or gained one over the weekend, depending on your take on the wild conclusion to the 2-2 draw with New England. Sporting holds a game in hand, but it will use it against the Dynamo on Wednesday night.

At this stage, the Red Bulls will probably finish in the top spot with a pair of victories in their final two outings. Sporting possesses a decent chance of overhauling them if it vanquishes its playoff nemesis in midweek. Houston and Montréal (even with a game in hand) must rack up victories and search for missteps in order to push their way to the summit. Both teams would likely settle for a top-three spot – and the direct berth into the Eastern Conference semifinals – at this stage.

Race for final three East places favors Houston, Montréal — and one other

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The two combatants at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night finished the weekend feeling relatively comfortable about their playoff futures. The remaining four challengers likely face an almighty scrap for one berth, barring some series of missteps by the Dynamo or the Impact somewhere along the way.

Philadelphia enjoys the inside track at the moment after Kléberson (yes, that Kléberson) rescued the points against Toronto FC on Saturday. Chicago faces a pair of winnable games over the next fortnight (at FC Dallas, home to Toronto FC) to bolster its own playoff chances. New England probably needs a point in Montréal to revive its hopes ahead of a season-ending home-and-home with Columbus. Brian Bliss’ side must win its remaining two games against the Revolution and pray for carnage in order to snatch the fifth spot.

Seattle still on track for Supporters’ Shield, Western Conference top seed

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Sigi Schmid’s outfit suffered a rather humbling 5-1 defeat at Colorado on Saturday, but that setback will not harm the Sounders’ chances of claiming top spot and securing the Supporters’ Shield. Seattle currently holds two matches in hand on Real Salt Lake – including Wednesday’s Cascadia tilt with Vancouver – and one on third-place Portland. If the Rave Green take care of business (a point at Portland on Oct. 13 would help considerably), then the top seed beckons.

RSL likely must win its remaining two matches (at Portland, home to Chivas USA) to keep its Supporters’ Shield hopes alive. Portland still harbors realistic dreams of vaulting both teams given the looming head-to-head matchups and Seattle’s difficult final day test against LA Galaxy.

Colorado, LA Galaxy take big steps with weekend thrashings

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It will take some doing for the Galaxy and the Rapids to slip out of the postseason reckoning after their respective victories over the weekend. Colorado, in particular, created some breathing room with that trouncing of Seattle to ease any lingering nerves about the season-ending home-and-home with Vancouver. Both teams will hope Portland, Real Salt Lake or Seattle veer off course along the way to increase their hopes of a top-three place.

Martin Rennie’s side – fresh off the frenetic 2-2 draw with Portland on Sunday – must prolong Seattle’s misery and then snatch six points from the final two games against the Rapids to mount a belated postseason charge. FC Dallas and San Jose face a similar brief to survive: win or else.

25
Sep

Thierry Henry continues on-pitch hilariousness with dance

Perhaps fueled by the introduction of the new internet meme #Henrying, New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry continued his recent penchant for on-field antics.

During a weekend 1-0 win against FC Dallas, Henry reacted to a foul called against him by, well, apparently dancing.

We’re not sure exactly what Henry was trying to convey with his gyration, but it certainly was fun to watch.

(h/t TalkSport)

14
Apr

Fan throws bottle at player after he nets the game winner

With the game in a scoreless deadlock between FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy, Dallas defender George John headed in the game winner in the 87th minute. After he scored, he was promptly congratulated with a bottle hurled towards his jugular (play at 1:48 to get the best view). John was pretty clearly hurt as he was down on the pitch for a few minutes as the training staff rushed to come inspect the damage.

This is inexcusable under any circumstance, but what makes it even more surprising is that FC Dallas was playing at home! What kind of fan nails their own player with a bottle? What kind of fan nails ANY player with a bottle?

Let’s hope that this does not become a trend in the MLS and in the U.S. as a whole. There is no need to exhibit this type of behavior to prove that you’re a “hardcore fan.”

11
Apr

Kevin Alston fights leukemia, MLS family shows support

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by Kyle McCarthy

New England defender Kevin Alston did what most people would do when he felt sick during a 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas on March 30: he told the Revolution medical staff about his concerns.

At the time, Alston could not have expected the forthcoming series of events to unfold. He submitted to a routine physical examination and underwent a series of standard blood tests after completing his 88-minute shift. And then he received a shocking diagnosis: he had chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).

The former MLS All-Star took an indefinite leave of absence from the Revolution on Monday to start treatment for the slow-growing disease. He expects to return to the club at some point in the future, according to a release issued by the team.

Alston’s plight prompted an outpouring of support from within the American soccer community this week. Many prominent figures – including several players from around MLS – and scores of supporters showed their support on Twitter by tagging their messages with #GetWellKA.

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