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06 April 5:34 pm

You may have noticed that this Saturday's match between the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls has shifted from Galavision to Univision Deportes.

The reason for that is that the Univision Deportes Network, the new all-sports network from Univision, is set to kick off on Saturday on DishLATINO and DISH’s America’s Top 200. The new network launches at 3 pm ET on Saturday with a live broadcast of New York's visit to Crew Stadium and will also air the Red Bulls match against Chivas USA on May 23. Viewers can also watch the Crew and Red Bulls' meeting on MLS LIVE outside the Columbus and New York areas.

“We have created a programming lineup that will connect and inform sports fans all day long on the teams and leagues they follow so passionately,” said Eric Conrad, vice president of Programming, Univision Deportes. “Univision has been bringing many of the most-watched matches to Hispanic viewers for 50 years and created Univision Deportes Network to bring expanded access to the content we know our viewers can’t get enough of. And through our partnership with Televisa, we are now able to offer U.S. audiences access to even more sports content.”

Univision Deportes Network’s launch day schedule for Saturday includes:
 
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET                 Major League Soccer: Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. ET                 Solo Boxeo Tecate: Special Edition
7 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET                 “Futbol Central”
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET               Liga Mexicana: Santos vs. Estudiantes Tecos
1 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET               Liga Mexicana: Monterrey vs. Tigres de la UANL
12 a.m. – 1 a.m. ET               “Univision Deportes Extra”

06 April 5:23 pm

New England Revoltion derrotó como visitante al flamante campeón de la MLS, LA Galaxy. San José hizo lo mismo en Seattle. Vancouver Whitecaps sigue invicto y no ha recibido un gol en contra hasta ahora… esta temporada ha sido simplemente impredecible.

Aun así, vamos a tratar.

A partir de la esta Jornada 5, el grupo de Tiro Libre: Kristel Valencia, el Gringo Simon Borg, nuestro productor (e incansable fan del Arsenal FC) Carlos Rodriguez, y yo ofreceremos nuestras predicciones de los partidos a jugarse cada fecha.

Tendremos aciertos y tendremos fallas, pero los invitamos a que nos acompañen en esta travesía y nos den sus predicciones cada semana por este medio o por Twitter en @FutbolMLS.

¿Quién será el Walter Mercado del fútbol?

ESCUCHA: Víctor Bernárdez (SJ Earthquakes) y Olman Vargas (Columbus Crew) en Tiro Libre

JORNADA 5

PARTIDO

Kristel Valencia
Editora

Edgar Acero
Editor Asociado

El Gringo Simon
Editor Senior

Carlos Rodriguez
Editor de Video

MTL v TOR
(Sabado, 12 ET)

CLB v NY
(Sabado, 3 ET)

EMPATE

EMPATE

SKC v LA
(Sabado, 4 ET)

EMPATE

EMPATE

SJ v VAN
(Sabado, 7 ET)

EMPATE

DC v SEA
(Sabado, 7:30ET)

EMPATE

RSL v COL
(Sabado, 9 ET)

POR v CHV
(Sabado, 10:30ET)

EMPATE

Correcto/Total

 

3/7

 

 

3/7

 

 

6/7

 

 

2/7

 

 

06 April 4:51 pm

With the Twitter world working overtime during the MLS season, every Friday we'll post five of the most inventive and interesting tweets from the North American soccer community from the previous week.

The best snippets of entertainment, knowledge and intrigue from inside the world of North American soccer will be displayed here, so be sure to keep up to date on what the players, coaches and journalists are tweeting about.

In our first week, we see how SI.com's Grant Wahl is having pet issues, USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann addresses his squad and an MLS star enjoys early morning word puzzles.

Don't forget to follow our two official Twitter handles to find out the latest from inside MLS   

So here they are: our five favorites from soccer's Twitterati:

06 April 12:51 pm

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

With the exception of Shaquille O'Neal – known to some as the Big Aristotle – pro athletes are not necessarily known for their smarts. Leave it to the Swedish to shatter our worldview.

A new study by Stockholm's Karolinska Institutet on the cognitive function of top-tier soccer players in Sweden reveals that they are way smarter than we are. As a matter of fact, the 29 players tested combined for an average score in the top five percent of all participants.

My immediate reaction is that these results are skewed: I assume everyone who lives in Sweden is smart, attractive and interesting. But apparently even by that lofty standard, these soccer players are at the top of the heap, because they also scored better than guys in the lower divisions.

So now the people who are in much better shape than us are also better at using their brains. Ladies and gentlemen, we are truly, desperately in trouble.

06 April 12:26 pm

Après le match avancé de ce jeudi, toutes les rencontres de cette fin de semaine pascale se joueront samedi. Sept duels au programme, avec un menu très alléchant…

L’autoritaire meneur, Kansas City, recevra un LA Galaxy malade (mais qui affirme ne pas douter) à la peine cette saison face à des adversaires qui font le jeu. Que pourra faire le champion en titre devant les caméras d’ESPN contre un adversaire qui sait désormais faire preuve de sang froid ?

Auteurs d’un excellent début de saison, Salt Lake (dont l’entraîneur est pourtant insatisfait) et Colorado se retrouveront dans l’Utah pour le choc des Rocheuses qui mettra aux prises deux équipes habituées à marquer en fin de match. Le duel des bonnes surprises du début de compétition verra San José recevoir Vancouver, qui n’a toujours pas encaissé de but.

Contre Seattle, DC United tentera de confirmer son regain de forme à domicile, alors que New York ira à Columbus (direct Univision Deportes) dans l’espoir de grappiller ses premiers points en déplacement.

En bas de classement, le duel Montréal – Toronto sera celui de la plus grande rivalité canadienne (direct TSN et RDS), mais aussi des deux déçus du milieu de semaine, toujours en quête d’une première victoire

LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Déjà joué
Dallas - New England 1-0
Samedi 7 avril
12h00 : Montréal - Toronto
15h00 : Columbus - New York
16h00 : Kansas City - LA Galaxy
19h00 : San José - Vancouver
19h30 : DC United - Seattle
21h00 : Salt Lake - Colorado
22h30 : Portland - Chivas USA

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs ou LiveSport.tv

05 April 7:50 pm

Not many MLS players are the focus of a documentary, let alone lend their first name to the film's title.

Kei Kamara is one of the few (only?) to have that honor. Copper Pot Pictures chronicled his return to Sierra Leone for a Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and life in general for a short documentary called KEI.

In the filmmaker's own words:

KEI is a short documentary about Kei Kamara, a forward for Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City. Set against Kei's return to his native Sierra Leone for a critical match with his national team, the film relives Kei's epic journey from refugee to soccer star.

Check out the trailer below, and visit the official website for more information and additional clips.

05 April 6:08 pm

How does a 5-foot-9 goalkeeper last for 13 seasons in MLS and remain one of the best in the league? Footwork and athleticism are among the many reasons for Nick Rimando's continued success, and both are on full display in this little clip I shot Wednesday night at Rio Tinto.

In super slow motion, he almost looks like a volleyball player (or better yet, one of his beloved Lakers) soaring through the air for a spike or a dunk.

05 April 11:47 am

Ah, rentrer au vestiaire à Santos Laguna avec, à la mi-temps, de grands espoirs de qualification historique… Après Montréal et Seattle, Toronto a vécu l’enfer de Torreon, s’effondrant après la pause pour repartir avec un cinglant 6-2 dans les valises.

Tout avait bien commencé pour les hommes d’Aron Winter, qui ont mené à la marque deux fois… Jusqu’à ce que Santos Laguna se réveille. “Ils étaient bien organisés, mais quand on l’a décidé, on a marqué”, disent ainsi les Mexicains qui aiment être poussés dans leurs derniers retranchements.

Une fois de plus, offensivement, le TFC a répondu à l’attente, mais sa défense a péché. Un but encaissé dans les arrêts de jeu de la première mi-temps, deux penaltys concédés au retour de la pause et le match était plié.

Désormais, Toronto doit se concentrer sur la MLS, et rattraper son mauvais départ dès ce samedi à Montréal. Ce sera face à un adversaire lui aussi battu ce mercredi, 1-0 à Salt Lake. Il faut se fier aux occasions, et non aux statistiques, pour voir que l’Impact a souffert dans l’Utah, contre des joueurs locaux mécontents de leur prestation.

Quant à Santos Laguna, il disputera la finale de la Ligue des champions contre Monterrey, qui a assuré l’essentiel sur le terrain des Pumas de l’Unam (1-1 après son succès 3-0 à l’aller).

04 April 6:31 pm

In recent weeks, MLS has been putting it's money where it's mouth is, so to speak. The MLS Disciplinary Committee has been dishing out punishments after the fact for violent tackles and simulation.

It's come down hard on embelishment, too.

In my book, there are different forms of embellishment. There is embellishment that is used -- and, really, necessary -- to alert the referee that you have been fouled. This is the type of thing you see when, say, a faster player gets around a slower defender and is impeded. It might not be enough contact to bring a player down, but it is enough to stymie the attacker.

WATCH: Cruz and Benitez battle for possession

Unfortunately, refs are reluctant to blow the whistle in this scenario, thereby actually punishing the attacker. In many of these instances, the attacker will embellish the effect of the contact, making sure the referee recognizes that there was a foul. I'm okay with this kind of embelishment.  

I'm not okay with embellishment that is meant to con the referee into thinking a foul has taken place when it hasn't or a foul is worse than it really is. For examples, check out Danny Cruz's shameful writhing after being elbowed by Jair Benitez in D.C.'s win over Dallas last weekend. Or Alvaro Fernandez's histrionics a few weeks ago against Houston. It's sophomoric stuff, and both players were rightly fined for it.

It's also nice to see that at least one of the players involved isn't throwing a hissy fit about being sanctioned for his actions.

"There are different perspectives on soccer in the world," Fernandez told The Seattle Times this week. "So where I'm from, down in South America, we work on getting an advantage out of every situation that we can -- no matter what that is. It's not looked upon badly. Here it is looked upon badly. It's not a bad thing, it is what it is, and I just have to adapt to the league."

Well said.

04 April 6:13 pm

With NBC Sports continuing their great coverage of MLS for the first time in their history, check out the awesome "All Rise" promo video below.

Make sure you tune into their next nationally televised game between Philadelphia and Columbus at 3:30pm on Saturday April 14.

Hands up if your enjoying the coverage so far…..oh I see David Beckham is a fan of the production on NBC Sports!