The playoff race looks a lot less muddled today after two meaningful results, including one that made a whole bunch of fans at other clubs quite happy.
Philadelphia’s loss to Sporting Kansas City means the Union is eliminated, so that takes some of the “muddle” off the board. But the one that really affects other clubs is Montreal’s loss at Toronto FC. Here’s what it means for Sunday’s MLS matches:
- Chicago can now qualify for the playoffs with a draw at New York. (Obviously, the Fire qualifies with a win, too.) That’s important, because going into the weekend, there was a big chance that Frank Klopas’ team needed all three points. Now, getting in with just a draw gives the Fire a smidge more wiggle room, which may take a little pressure off the visitors – and may even alter the way Klopas approaches his tactics or his substitutions.
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- Nothing changes for New England in that Jay Heaps’ team needs a win to qualify for the 2013 playoffs. But Montreal’s loss improves the Revs’ chances of escaping that mid-week elimination match; a New England win Sunday could now push 18-year-old scoring sensation Diego Fagundez (pictured above) and his Revs into the East’s third spot, which is far better than fourth or fifth in the current MLS playoff format.
- Montreal’s loss means the most for Houston. Coming into the weekend, Dominic Kinnear’s team needed a victory and just a little help to make the post-season. Well, mark down the Impact’s loss as “a little bit of help.” Now, if the Dynamo can prevail Sunday at RFK Stadium, the Orange will definitely qualify. Remember, the club has missed the post-season just once since arriving in Houston in 2006.
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.
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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.