After a thrilling weekend, the final two teams in the race to the MLS Cup have been decided. This Sunday the LA Galaxy will play host to the New England Revolution in a game that will crown the new MLS Cup champion and conclude the 2014 season.
Fortunately for Major League Soccer (and all us writers), this past weekend has been full of compelling storylines and captivating narratives that we all get to talk about. It has also set the stage for an exciting final, chock full of stories of its own to explore.
For me, this has been one of the most entertaining playoff races in quite some time and, as a neutral, I found myself discovering more and more reasons to pull for each of the four teams. Although two of the four teams have been eliminated, there are still plenty of questions left to be answered and many story arcs left to be resolved. Here are some of my favorite talking points that have developed from these Conference Finals. Continue reading MLS Playoff Weekend: Exploring the Conference Finals
Every MLS coach’s favorite international break (in the middle of the playoffs) is upon us, and with it another round of USA friendlies. This time, Jurgen Klinsmann has elected take the Yanks to the British Isles for a pair of matches against Colombia on Friday (2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN) at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in London, followed by a trip to Dublin to take on Ireland next Tuesday (2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2). As with every national team camp, this one has its fair share of intrigue and storylines. Let’s get to it.
We Have A Lee Nguyen Sighting
The New England Revolution man, who has seemingly become every MLS observer’s favorite midfielder with his blistering scoring run of 20 goals across all competitions this season, makes his return to the national side for the first time in seven years. Can he win Jurgen Klinsmann’s heart and fill the national team’s gaping hole in attacking midfield? The USA haven’t had an effective number 10 in God knows how long, and Michael Bradley showed in Brazil he is anything but capable of filling that role on a full-time basis. There is nothing but opportunity facing Nguyen in this national team camp, and it’s notable that Jurgen didn’t wait until the MLS-heavy January camp to give the 28-year-old Nguyen a call-up. Perhaps he sees a similar opportunity for Nguyen. Will he capitalize? Impressing in this camp and getting some run in these friendlies could be huge in Nguyen’s national team future.
Continue reading What to Watch For: The Mane Land USMNT Preview