Buck Shaw

MLS best bet tonight: D.C. United at San Jose

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While we all worry about which Galaxy Galacticos boarded the team bus ahead of tonight’s trip to the rainy Pacific Northwest …

And while we all worry about Thierry Henry’s hammy and whether the seemingly jinxed Red Bulls will soon discover that Red Bull Arena was built imprudently on ancient burial grounds …

And while folks in Houston pull the next tab on their wall calendars, eagerly counting down the days before the Dynamo pops the top on Major League Soccer’s latest stadium …

It’s easy to lose track of a particularly tasty match happening tonight at Buck Shaw Stadium outside San Jose.

The hottest team from the East (yes, sorry Sporting Kansas City) has traveled across the country to meet the hottest team from the West.

D.C. United is unbeaten in seven games. San Jose is unbeaten in six.

Yup. This one is worth checking out.

One thing to watch tonight: Chris Wondolowski is second behind Henry in the MLS Golden Boot chase – and the French international’s recent injury setback opens an opportunity for Wondolowski to take some ground. Steven Lenhart’s pair of goals last weekend means teams may need to devote more attention in his direction, which means a little less aimed at “Wonder Wondo.”

By the way, the next strike for Wondolowski will be No. 50 in his career. Personally, I like his chances of finding goal tonight, especially considering the defense depletion factor: an injury to steady D.C. United center back Emiliano Dudar could untether United’s back line.

Wondolowski and Henry share the longest active streak in MLS of games with either a goal or an assist, both sitting at six games. (Wondolowski’s game log is here.)

All that said, United has ample striking power, too. Tonight’s match from little Buck Shaw may not be adorned with all the bells and whistles of Galaxy-Sounders, but it’s probably the night’s best offer overall.

A full match preview is here.

Contest to crown “Best American Bar” for Premier League fans

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For most of the weekend mornings, bars across the United States of America turn into places filled with jerseys of every color imaginable and either screams of despair or yelps of delight fill the air.

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Fans of the Premier League in the U.S. flock to plenty of pubs and bars across the nation to watch all the action and now NBC Sports wants to crown the “Best Premier League Bar in America” with your help.

Below are the details on how to get involved in the contest, as you can submit a nomination by visiting NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest.

Oh, and by the way, the winning bar will receive $50,000 and an exclusive viewing party hosted by NBC Sports, plus be featured in a national commercial.

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Also, hit play in the video above to get a flavor of the competition.

STAMFORD, Conn. – October, 2015 – This week, NBC Sports Group introduced a contest searching for the best Premier League bar in America.

From now through December 6, NBC Sports Group is asking fans to “show their pub some love” by submitting nominations  to help their bar take the throne at NBCSports.com/BestPLBarContest. Additionally, fans can support their pub by:

  • Checking in on the NBC Sports Matchmaker App
  • Sharing stories, images and videos by tagging their bar and using #BestPLBarContest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Describing how much their Premier League pub means to them here.

The contest site also features a full list of participating bars, a list of trending bars, a social media feed with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts with the hashtag #BestPLBarContest, and a schedule of upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Following are the 10 bars currently trending:

  • The Londoner, Dallas, TX
  • Maggie McGarrys, San Francisco, CA
  • Irish Channel, Washington, DC
  • Carragher’s, New York, NY
  • Lucky Bar, Washington, DC
  • Boston Beer Garden, Boston, MA
  • 11th Street Bar, New York, NY
  • Beef & Barley, Chicago, Ill.
  • George and Dragon Pub, Seattle, WA
  • The Blind Pig, New York, NY

2015 MLS playoff scenarios heading into penultimate week

Michael Bradley, Toronto FC
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This is it, we have arrived at the penultimate week of the 2015 Major League Soccer season and there is still a lot to be decided.

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Only five teams, the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps have booked their spot in the postseason so far and the regular season Western and Eastern Conference titles are still up for grabs.

That, coupled with teams on the bubble (Orlando, Houston, Portland and RSL, I’m looking at you) for the playoffs is adding up to an enthralling final few games of the season as teams currently in the playoffs are only separated by a few points here and there.

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Below, courtesy of the league office, are the scenarios for each MLS team to clinch a berth in the playoffs. Study. Worry. Repeat.

We will have an updated list of the scenarios later this week after the next batch of games are played on Wednesday.


Columbus Crew SC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Columbus Crew SC win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New England Revolution will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • New England Revolution win or tie vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Toronto FC will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Toronto FC win or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

Montreal Impact will clinch a berth in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Montreal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday


  • Orlando City SC lose or tie vs. New York City FC on Friday

New York Red Bulls will clinch first place in the Eastern Conference IF

  • New York Red Bulls win or tie vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday