At this time of year, it usually takes two teams in the MLS playoff hunt to kick up a major media fuss.
A club led by someone chasing historic scoring records is an exception. (C’mon, Chris Wondolowski; You can do it!)
Oh! And you know what else draws out the high-profile types and creates a media ruckus? A night that draws 66,000 and change for a match between rivals, even if one has long, long since been eliminated from any playoff conversation.
That match, last night in Seattle, didn’t just draw the ESPN cameras, it drew the commissioner. And he was more or less just there to watch. What he told reporters at halftime, courtesy of The Seattle Times:
I’m not even here on official duties tonight. I’m here just to experience it. I knew this would be a historic event as it was leading into this weekend. I was in New York at the Red Bulls game last night. I spoke with (Sounders majority owner Joe Roth) and I said, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘We’re at 67,000,’ and I hopped on a plane this morning and I’m going home on a red-eye in about an hour. It’s just another one of these great moments. We’ve been saying that a lot lately, but it’s really true. To be out in that stadium walking around on the field and seeing the fans — also seeing the Portland fans, 1,200 of them come up the freeway — is a great moment for the sport. Very exciting.”
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 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.