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11/23 FINAL
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Eastern Conference Championship

Kick Off: Voyageurs trumps Stanley for 'Caps fans on Wednesday

Kick Off - Vancouver Whitecaps fans

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Getty Images

Who said Vancouver is a hockey town? Fans at the Vancouver Whitecaps' Nutrilite Canadian Championship match on Wednesday night have challenged that label.

They were playing an NHL conference finals playoff game at the same time in Vancouver but that didn’t stop more than 15,000 Whitecaps fans from supporting their club in another chapter of the Canadian rivalry against Toronto FC.

It finished 1-1 in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship with the Whitecaps dominating the contest, but TFC emerging with the edge on away goals going into the second leg at BMO Field next week. Here are the full match highlights. (VIDEO)

The match wasn’t without controversy. When asked about a potential penalty kick for his side during the match, Vancouver manager Teitur Thordarson quipped, “How many did you say?”

The controversy surrounding comments made by both managers after Saturday night’s Cascadia rivalry match have yet to die down. Sounders manager Sigi Schmid responded to the rant by his counterpart at the Timbers, John Spencer. Schmid said he will be sending the Scotsman a dozen roses, minus the petals.

The AS Roma rumors of the last few days feel like flowers without petals. That’s because the agents of both LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan and former New York midfielder Michael Bradley deny there is any truth to approaches by the Italian Serie A side.

Following Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League draw, which sees Seattle play Panama’s San Francisco in the preliminary round, there is some degree of consensus in media circles about which of the four groups is the “Group of Death.”

FC Dallas are also involved in the preliminary round and they get set to face Salvadoran champs Alianza. FCD manager Schellas Hyndman says his team will be looking to go deep in the tournament thanks in part to RSL, who helped break a mental barrier that existed with their run to the final.

The recent Champions League final was also the beginning of a “funk” for RSL and manager Jason Kreis believes that a trip to FC Dallas, where his team has never won in league play, could be just what the doctor ordered because the “pressure is off.”

With the long-term injury to Javier Morales and call-ups expected for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June, RSL will be seeking a contribution from back-ups, including youngster Luis Gil, who is currently with the US Under-20s. “He is going to need to contribute when he gets back,” Kreis said.

It’s not easy being a young player in MLS. Look at Ethan White of D.C. United, who downed a plate of raw jellyfish. Captain Dax McCarty was a witness.

Another MLS central defender is in the news as the Timbers’ Eric Brunner gets set to face his former club for the first time. When Portland acquired him from his hometown Columbus Crew, they received four calls within 10 minutes from teams looking to get acquire him.

Underrated no more. That’s also the story of the Chicago Fire’s Corben Bone. All he needed, according to his manager, was time.

While the LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA matchup this Saturday night is shaping up to be one of the most competitive derbies between the two sides in recent years, the SuperClásico doesn’t stand next to a potential New York Cosmos vs. New York Red Bulls rivalry, according to Shep Messing.

D.C. United forward Charlie Davies is due to return to his French club Sochaux unless the MLS club exercises its option to pick him up for a prearranged transfer fee at the end of this year. It’s hard to imagine that Sochaux really want him back, however, after Davies accused the club of not giving him playing time “so they could get money for me from insurance.”

Manchester United fans in the United States can expect to see new faces at the club during its participation in the World Football Challenge this summer. Sir Alex Ferguson says the club is looking to make three signings.

Man United’s Wayne Rooney is in the news for a Twitter message in which he fights fire with fire after receiving a nasty note from a Liverpool fan.

Mexican soccer will return to the scene of the crime as Morelia host the first leg of the Mexican Clausura final tonight against Pumas UNAM (9:30 p.m. ET, Azteca America). Morelia will be without two key figures after the semifinal brawl against Cruz Azul that led to a number of suspensions.

After Vélez Sarsfield of Argentina and Brazilian side Santos advanced to the Copa Libertadores semifinals on Wednesday, two more semifinalists will be determined tonight. Uruguay’s Peñarol travel to face Universidad Católica of Chile (7 p.m. ET, Fox Deportes) while Cerro Porteño welcome Mexican side Jaguares of Chiapas in their quarterfinal second leg (9:30 p.m. ET, Fox Deportes).

Did you know that they didn’t have anything like the US Open Cup in Argentina? In fact next year they’re looking to launch a new tournament called the “Copa Argentina.”

One US club that may one day aspire to play in and win the US Open Cup? Portman Kunis United in Dallas. Yes, the movie buffs out there will immediately notice that the name of the club pays homage to the two star actresses of the movie Black Swan. Take a look at the jerseys and logo, which look pretty classy.

Many speak about American coaches and whether they will ever get the opportunity to ply their trade overseas. One head coach took a novel approach: working his way up in Guatemala, where his club has won promotion to the second division.

Lastly, as the NFL lockout continues, one Redskins wide receiver is spending his down time coaching youth soccer. He couldn’t get his son registered in time for the local team, so he became a coach himself. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

What the future holds in store for bottom-of-the-table Sporting KC

Estupiñán is happy at Chivas USA despite Facebook folly

Earthquakes’ Ryan Johnson emerging as attacking threat for San Jose


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