Red Bull Arena facade

Heads up on New York Red Bulls-D.C. United series …

1 Comment

UPDATE: The conference call is done and the solution’s been announced. As fallout from Hurricane Sandy, D.C. United and New York have swapped home legs of their Eastern Conference semifinal. Saturday’s opener, originally scheduled for Red Bull Arena, will take place at RFK, with New York now hosting Wednesday’s second leg. Steve has more on the implications, below. -rf

According to The Washington Post, officials from the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United will hold an afternoon conference call to discuss this week’s playoff match scheduled for Saturday in Harrison, N.J., one of the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Red Bulls issued this understandably vague statement yesterday, essentially saying the arena emerged without major damage but that not much else had been decided.

Wednesday, just after 1 p.m. ET, Steven Goff reported in his Soccer Insider blog at The Post that officials would huddle today, and he suggested that a decision would need to be made this afternoon if schedules were to be altered.

The teams could switch game days in their two-leg, home-and-away series, with Saturday’s game being played at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and next week’s contest going to New York.

(MORE: full MLS playoff schedule and post-season explainer)

But that would remove a small, competitive edge that D.C. United earned by virtue of being the higher (No. 2) seed in the East:  If the aggregate score is tied after both matches, a 30-minute extra time will decide the series (followed by penalty kicks if necessary.) If the series venues are reversed, New York would get the home-field advantage in the 30-minute extra time should it come to that.

There are also network TV concerns; Saturday’s match is scheduled for NBC Sports Network.

Suffice to say the choices aren’t easy, because there are a lot of moving pieces – and a lot of them don’t involve a soccer game. What D.C. United president Kevin Payne told Goff:

They were originally told they might not get [electricity] back until Monday, but I would obviously be concerned if the PATH train service isn’t running and you have to think about the emergency service workers and what they are going through right now. Do they really want to now deal with a special event on the weekend where they have to dedicate half of the police force of Harrison to traffic control? It’s a tough situation.” 

VIDEO: Gary Cahill scores shocking own goal to give Man City lead

Leave a comment

Gary Cahill, sort your feet out.

As Jesus Navas’ right wing cross came into the box, Chelsea’s captain for the day got his feet all wrong. Instead of clearing the ball with his left foot, he took a swipe at a clearance with his right and the ball hooked off his right and into the far corner of his net.

1-0 to Manchester City right on half time.

A nightmare end to a promising first half for Chelsea, and for Cahill…

Click play on the video above to see the horror own goal go in.

Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Chelsea (Lineups, Live Stream)

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea celebrates victory after the EFL Cup Third Round match between Leicester City and Chelsea at The King Power Stadium on September 20, 2016 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as two Premier League title contenders collide.

On the sidelines Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte lock horns for the first time in England and in fact, the first-ever time as opposition managers as two of the great minds in the game today.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

On the pitch Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero are joint-top goalscorers in the PL and it should be an intriguing tactical battle with Conte playing a 3-4-3 and Guardiola able to mix-and-match his formations and a gesture or whistle.

It is still early days in both of their projects but plenty of promising signs have already emerged with Chelsea currently on a seven-game winning streak which sees them sit to of the table, while Man City sit one point behind them in third place.

In team news for this clash, Guardiola starts with a very attacking lineup and three men in defense.

Chelsea bring in Cesc Fabregas for Nemanja Matic in central midfield in their only change to the lineup for their last seven games. Fabregas last played in September in the defeat at Arsenal.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo; Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Gundogan, Navas, Sane; De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Zabaleta, Clichy, Fernando, Toure, Iheanacho

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard. Subs: Begovic, Ivanovic, Aina, Chalobah, Oscar, Willian, Batshuayi

Peru extradites ex-soccer boss to US on bribery charges

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 13: A FIFA logo next to the entrance during part I of the FIFA Council Meeting 2016 at the FIFA headquarters on October 13, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)
Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.

Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.

He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.

Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.

San Jose Earthquakes release Clarence Goodson, eight others

San Jose Earthquakes forward Quincy Amarikwa (25) is mobbed by teammates after scoring against the Portland Timbers during the first half of an MLS soccer match Sunday, March 13, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Leave a comment

While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.

Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.