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03 November 12:03 de la mañana

After the Seattle-Salt Lake match, MLSsoccer.com editors Greg Lalas, Jonah Freedman, and Jason Saghini go together in a Google+ Hangout to break down the match. CHECK IT OUT:

02 November 10:14 de la tarde

We weren't exactly planning on a trip down to DC this weekend, but with the conditions from Sandy taking their toll on game ops are Red Bull Arena, we're here.

To borrow a favored phrase from pretty much all MLS head coaches at one point or another: It is what it is. And it ain't that bad. It's freezing, but we have no complaints

Neither, it seems, do the two sides contesting tomorrow's match. We arrived early enough to catch the end of D.C.'s training which, while closed off to public and press alike, still featured plenty of levity during the team's cooldown period and subsequent media session. 

They might not admit it, but this is a confident group facing New York at home, having put it to their Atlantic Cup rivals here once already this season. And even though it will be hosting a match in November weather on just three days notice, word is that RFK is inching closer and closer to max capacity.DCU assistant Josh Wolff remarked that he worries for some of his kid's soccer-playing friends who's parents haven't finalized their tickets yet.

Sell-out on Saturday or not, many will no doubt be in attendance thanks to the club's marketing push this fall. It's obviously working.

By early afternoon the temperature had dropped considerably (It was really cold) and a big ol' bus arrived to drop off 30-odd dudes in navy adidas gear outside the D.C. United training ground.

As we've come to find out over time, the Red Bulls have a certain someone who revels in training ground shenanigans, and today was no different: Thierry Henry was on song.

Joking and jabbing, poking and prodding, no one was safe. For someone who's portrayed as quite closed-off away from the pitch and a cold-blooded killer on it, it was a refreshing sight.

So after a week of worry, everything is ready for tomorrow. The players are ready to get going, you can see it. The venue switch might be gnawing at the minds of a few in each respective camp, but outwardly everyone seems to share the same attitude.

It is what it is. And it ain't that bad.

02 November 5:48 de la tarde

The clubs have finished the regular season, yet they continue to make a difference and recognize their season-long efforts off the field. Here's a recap from this week:

 Columbus Crew midfielder Bernardo Anor was honored with the Donate Life Champion Award. Anor received the Award for advocating organ and tissue donation and supporting Crew partner Lifeline of Ohio. Read more.

 The Montreal Impact announced on Wednesday that Quebec-native Patrice Bernier was selected by members of the media and team supporters as the 2012 Communitarian Award winner, presented to the player most involved with the community. Read more.

Long reach of Hurricane Sandy affects Sounders

Philadelphia Union supports Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

New England Revolution supports Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

D.C. United supports Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

United Reads makes one final stop

The Crew's throwback Thursday

Montreal's Patrice Bernier receives 2012 Communitarian of the Year Award

Rapids join MLS W.O.R.K.S. to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Rapids staff join efforts to support Movember

MLS supports Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

New York Red Bulls support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Toronto FC supports Movember

Toronto FC players visit Sick Kids Hospital

LA Galaxy's Buddle thinking about friends impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Crew in the Community: Bernardo Anor receives Donate Life Champion Award

Sounders FC Movember team

San Jose Earthquakes Goals for Education

Stand Together Awards Banquet

Dynamo Charities receives award

For more community news from around the League, visit the MLS W.O.R.K.S. news section.

02 November 4:25 de la tarde

A rising tide, the saying goes, lifts all boats. And in this case, it helps keep a few afloat.

That's the good news out of NASL and, specifically, Minnesota on Friday afternoon. The club and league announced that a local ownership group has been found, meaning the Stars — who have made it to the past two NASL title games, and won it in 2011 — will be back for 2013.

“We cannot overstate how delighted we are at this outcome,” said NASL Commissioner David Downs in a press release. “The team has represented Minnesota in NASL play in extraordinary fashion over the past two years despite the lack of local owners, and now we believe this will give the Stars the foundation needed to flourish for years to come. As of today, we now have local owners for the team who are clearly committed and dedicated to promoting soccer as an integral part of the community.”

Minnesota had been a league-run team for the past two years, and the ownership search had reportedly become an existential one in recent months.

The fact that it's been resolved in this fashion is good news for fans of the Stars, first and foremost. But from a broader perspective, it's good news for anyone in North America who's a fan of the game. A stable and healthy second division means more opportunities for meaningful soccer all over the map, and more opportunities for youth development in a metropolitan area that's produced a fair number of pros.

Win-win. Today's a good day for soccer.

02 November 11:32 de la mañana

À peine le premier tour terminé, avec la victoire au forceps hier du LA Galaxy contre Vancouver (2-1 - résumé vidéo), qu’on entre déjà dans les demi-finales de conférence avec, ce soir, le match aller du duel Seattle - Salt Lake.

Ils ont eu chaud, les champions en titre ! Mattocks avait ouvert la marque après 182 secondes à peine pour les visiteurs, qui ont bétonné ensuite. Le LA Galaxy a eu du mal à trouver la clef de la défense adverse. Mais juste après que Miller et Robson n’aient raté le 0-2, le match est entré dans cinq minutes de folie et a basculé en faveur de l’équipe locale. Même si Martin Rennie a laissé Camilo sur le banc, sorti Mattocks et fait entrer Bonjour, auteur de la faute qui a offert le penalty victorieux, il a reçu des éloges de ses joueurs. Mais le héros du jour est l’auteur du but égalisateur, Mike Magee, à qui la fin de saison réussit décidément bien. En demi-finale de conférence, le LA Galaxy affrontera San José.

Et les demi-finales de conférence, on y entre dès ce soir avec Seattle - Salt Lake. Les deux équipes se sont déjà affrontées trois fois cette année, et il n’y a eu qu’un seul but, lors du premier duel en mai gagné par les montagnards à l’extérieur. Malgré cela, et le fait qu’ils aient terminé devant leur adversaire au classement, ils ne partent pas favoris. Seattle a les faveurs des pronostics, grâce à sa défense solide, mais aussi à son attaque prolifique, au sein de laquelle il va toutefois bien falloir remplacer Eddie Johnson. Le principal atout de Salt Lake est son expérience : le groupe est ensemble depuis longtemps et arrive à maturité.

01 November 11:53 de la mañana

Houston s’est imposé de maîtresse manière hier soir à Chicago (1-2 - résumé vidéo). L’autre rencontre du premier tour opposera ce soir le LA Galaxy à Vancouver (22h30 HE, direct RDS2, TSN, NBC Sports Network).

Dès l’entame de la partie, Houston a pris les choses en mains sur le terrain de son adversaire, déployant son meilleur jeu depuis longtemps, et a été récompensé par deux buts de Bruin : l’un suite à un corner de Davis côté gauche, l’autre suite à une passe de Carr côté droit. Malgré un petit relâchement qui a permis à Alex de relancer le suspense en fin de match, les Texans ont su préserver leur avance. « On ne peut pas laisser de telles possibilités à ce genre d’équipe », regrettent les joueurs de Chicago. En demi-finale de conférence, Houston affrontera Kansas City.

Ce soir, le LA Galaxy partira largement favori contre Vancouver dans l’autre rencontre du premier tour. Notamment parce que les Canadiens restent sur une deuxième moitié de saison régulière catastrophique. Cela n’émeut guère Landon Donovan, qui prône patience et concentration. Ce sont surtout ses passes décisives qui risquent de faire mal à des visiteurs qui pensent déjà à la séance de tirs au but.

Vancouver aime attendre son adversaire : il n’y a pourtant rien de plus dangereux que de laisser le LA Galaxy déployer son jeu. Si Martin Rennie compte beaucoup sur le duo Miller - Mattocks, à mes yeux, Camilo et les montées de Lee Young Pyo face à Todd Dunivant seront les meilleurs atouts d’un improbable exploit.

01 November 11:05 de la mañana

Victorious locker rooms are generally more fun to be in than losing ones, and the Dynamo's was no exception Wednesday night. Brad Davis and Bobby Boswell started giving teammate Tally Hall a tough time during the end of his interview with MLSsoccer.com, and turned to some old favorites for inspiration.

-Scott

31 October 11:25 de la tarde

The Houston Dynamo have defeated the Chicago Fire, 2-1, in the Eastern Conference Knockout match, the opening match of the MLS playoffs.

Let the chatter, the praise, and the second guessing begin.

Watch +Greg Lalas +Simon Borg +Jonah Freedman and +Jason Saghini break it all down.

31 October 7:51 de la tarde

We're getting close to kickoff between Chicago and Houston. Like, really, really close.

The opening whistle will blow, and the 2012 edition of the MLS Cup Playoffs will be off and running. 

With everything else going on, it'll be really nice to actually, you know, watch the matches play out. 

Not like we needed any extra help getting hype, but the NBC Sports Network just dropped the spot below for good measure. Enjoy. 

31 October 2:54 de la tarde
Happy Halloween!  This past week, we held the Second Annual #MLSPumpkin Carving Contest and received over forty eerie entries that varied from unique club logos, favorite players, and even coaches.  Pumpkins were judged on creativity, originality and connection to MLS or a MLS club.
 
Congratulations to Marcelo Nina Valencia from D.C. who created an outstanding rendition of RFK stadium. His tribute was inspired by the "Blackout" that is taking place when D.C. United hosts the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Playoffs.  
For his seven hours of craftsmanship, Marcelo won a D.C. United authentic home jersey from MLSGear.com.  
 
And, because we love our supporters as much as you love us, we're going to add to the prize pack an autographed Chris Pontius MLS All-Star ball we've got here in the office at MLS HQ.  Congrats, Marcelo.
 
We'd like to thank all of the fans that took part in the contest, and we've chosen a few of this year's finalists to share below. 
Take a look at the #MLSPumpkin Facebook album to see more of this year's entries.
 
For fans who missed out on participating, keep your goblin eyes peeled for the Third Annual #MLSPumpkin Contest next year.