Are the Los Angeles Galaxy going to make the playoffs?

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Don’t look now, but the Los Angeles Galaxy won two in a row, and suddenly everyone’s all “they’re back!” Landon Donovan and co. still sit eight points behind the Western Conference’s No. 4 team, Seattle Sounders FC, but they are only four points back of the Chicago Fire, who currently hold the final playoff spot. (The Fire have a game in hand, as do some of the other teams between the Galaxy and the promised playoff land.) (UPDATE: As tylerbetts points out in the comments, the Galaxy only need to finish 5th in the West to make the playoffs. They are only two points back of the Rapids.)

So here’s the question: Will Bruce and the boys make it to the postseason to defend their title?

A look at the upcoming schedule might help:

6/23 v. Vancouver Whitecaps (Home): Jay Demerit’s club is third in the west, but only 2-2-2 on the road.
PST prediction: W

6/30 v. San Jose Earthquakes (Away): The Quakes are flat good, but LA’s on a roll.
PST prediction: D

7/4 v. Philadelphia Union (Home): The Union are 1-4-1 on the road. Also: bad.
PST prediction: W

From here, the schedule gets tricky. In the 33 days between July 4 (fireworks!) and August 5, the Galaxy play nine games. That’s a bunch, especially in the heat of the summer and especially for a team of older stars. Granted, two of those matches are exhibitions with Tottenham and Real Madrid, but the fans and the league office will expect Arena to play his stars.

Additionally, five of the six MLS matches over that stretch are away from the friendly confines of Home Depot Center, as are the squad’s two games after that. In fact, between July 5 and August 25, the Galaxy play an MLS game at home exactly one time. And it’s against Chivas USA. Tough break, dudes.

Break it down: The Galaxy certainly can make the playoffs. They have the best talent in the league and the best coach as well. They are perfectly capable of reeling off a string of four, five, six wins in a row. But despite the two-game win streak, the odds they make the playoffs are still against them. There are too many other factors at work. The league is more fun when the Galaxy are in the playoffs, but don’t hold your breath.

Brazil’s Gremio wins Recopa Sudamericana in penalty shootout

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PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) Brazil’s Gremio has won the Recopa Sudamericana, beating Argentina’s Independiente 5-4 in a penalty shootout Wednesday night.

The two-legged final ended 1-1 on aggregate, with no goals scored after 120 minutes in the second.

The winners of last year’s Copa Libertadores overcame the holders of Copa Sudamericana after goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe stopped the last penalty of the series, taken by Independiente’s striker Martin Benitez.

The Recopa is played between the champions of South America’s two most important tournaments.

Independiente played most of the match down to 10 players after defender Fernando Amorebieta was sent off after 38 minutes.

The Brazilians made most of the pressure until the end of extra time, but failed to score.

Gremio also won the Recopa in 1996.

CCL wrap: FC Dallas disappoints; Club America struts (video)

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The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas

Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.

Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.

Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America

Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.

Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET

Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.

West Ham to friendly neighbors Dag & Red: “Will help save our club”

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English Conference Premier side Dagenham and Redbridge has seen better days, and is getting a hand from a Premier League pal.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

West Ham United will pay a visit to Dag & Red as part of the latter’s #SaveTheDaggers campaign, and the March 21 date will cost fans between $7 and $21 to see a top flight side at 6,000-seat Victoria Road.

Dagenham and Redbridge chairman Paul Gwinn said, “It really will help save our club.”

“So please come on down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium for an additional night of football. Bring a friend, or two, or more and we can use the gate takings to help get us back on track,” reads a press release.

Dag & Red was founded in 1992 and climbed as high as League One in 2011, and plays just 2.5 miles from West Ham United’s training ground. Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are among Dag & Red alums in the Premier League.

It’s a terrific gesture from West Ham, and is even more impressive in the United States where the growing club game is increasingly cutthroat (especially between non-synced leagues).

Angry Di Francesco extremely quotable after Roma loss

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AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.

Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.

[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.

4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”

— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.

3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”

— Schoolboy errors!

2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”

— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.

1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”

— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.