Houston Dynamo v DC United - Eastern Conference Championship - Leg 2

Quiet Stage 1 sees one player selected in Re-Entry Draft

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Though one is the lowest number of players ever taken in stage one of an MLS Re-Entry Draft, it wasn’t surprising that only Maicon Santos was selected on Friday, the Chicago Fire picking up the now former D.C. United forward. In the two previous iterations of the draft, only five players had been selected, and with teams having another crack at the players next Friday (stage two), there wasn’t much urgency to make a selection which would spring a contract option (or mandate an offer, in the case of out of contract players).

We spent a lot of time this morning talking about rules, players of intrigue, and a minor conspiracy, but it all ended up being so much talk for so little action. After the results were announced, the bottom line rang through. Except Santos, there was nobody in this draft so compelling that teams wanted to pass on a chance to get them cheaper next week. Between the lack of quality, teams lacking flexibility under the cap, and next week’s stage two, there just wasn’t enough demand to generate picks.

Santos is set for his fifth team in as many seasons. Chivas USA, Toronto FC, FC Dallas and DC United have all seen and let go of the Brazilian. Last season at RFK, Santos had seven goals in 26 games but only saw playoff time when Ben Olsen’s squad started being hit by injuries. Well travelled at 28, Santos is neither unknown nor likely to improve.

It’s a curious pick, particularly for stage one. Given the number of teams that passed on him today (10) and in the past, Chicago could have taken the chance Santos would survive the draft’s last eight picks and be available next week. Obviously, the Fire saw that as a worthless gamble and took the striker, adding him to a team that already counts Sherjill MacDonald, Dominic Oduro, Chris Rolfe, Alvaro Fernandez and Patrick Nyarko among is attacking options.

Ultimately, Chicago saw something the other 18 teams did not: A player they liked. Where players like Ike Opara couldn’t get a look, Maicon Santos did.

Expect more action next week.

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