RBA shot

Saturday’s Red Bulls-Chicago game: even bigger than you think


The NBC cameras will be in place in Harrison, N.J., for Saturday’s big Eastern Conference clash as the second-place Red Bulls face the third-place Fire at Red Bull Arena (pictured).

Second place is the obvious prize, not to mention the ability to maintain pouncing distance on Sporting Kansas City should the current Eastern Conference leaders stumble.

Best guess, Sporting KC will maintain its slim margin and claim the Eastern crown. So the Red Bulls and Chicago appear to scrapping for those next two places. And if we’re honest, there really isn’t much difference between second and third. (Only, perhaps, a slight increase in chances of hosting the final should enough of the higher seeds fall.)

But …!

There really is something else at stake. Give me a second while I fire up my crystal ball of truth and knowledge:

Houston is looking for its leap-frogging shoes – and may just find them.  Dominic Kinnear’s Dynamo have a reasonable chance of sweeping up all nine points available down the stretch. They meet Montreal at home this weekend and then face Philadelphia at BBVA Compass Stadium, where the Orange remains unbeaten.

(MORE: Brad Davis’ injury leaves Dynamo vulnerable)

They finish at Colorado, which has already been eliminated. So, it’s far from a slam dunk, but nine points is not major stretch, either.

That would put the Dynamo at 58 points, which means that Chicago and New York would have to pick up six of their remaining nine available points in order for each to hold its top-three status. That’s unlikely, especially considering the points they take off one another Saturday in Harrison.

There’s also D.C. United to consider. The schedule for Ben Olsen’s side is tougher than Houston’s, but the Black and Red have found a winning way lately, going more defensive in Dwayne De Rosario’s absence.

(MORE: Why fourth is much better than fifth in the conference finishing order)

Before considering the standings below, remember the meat in this delicious playoff position sandwich: that finishing second or third beats the pants off finishing lower in the playoff arrangement, because those 4th– and 5th-place finishers face one additional post-season round.


Report: David Silva out 2-3 weeks with ligament damage

LOGRONO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 09:  David Silva of Spain is fouled by Lars Gerson of Luxembourg during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier group C match between Spain and Luxembourg at Estadio Municipal Las Gaunas on October 9, 2015 in Logrono, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.

Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.

Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.

[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.

With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.

Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.

City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.

Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico

GLASGOW,  SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 15 :  Alejandro Bedoya of USA  in action during the International Friendly match between Scotland and USA at Hampden Park on November 15, 2013.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.

Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.

Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.