Borussia Dortmund's Lewandowski celebrates a goal against Stuttgart during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Dortmund

Stuttgart pokes Borussia Dortmund; BVB responds with six in Bundesliga rout

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The final score was as lopsided as the performances, and in that way, Friday’s was what’s become a typical performance in league from Borussia Dortmund. But en route to their 6-1 win over visiting Stuttgart, BVB were handed one, minor setback. Stuttgart kicked the hornet’s nest.

Borussia Dortmund’s trademark intensity was evident early at the Westfalenstadion, but when Karim Haggui took advantage of Mats Hummels misjudging a corner to give Stuttgart an unexpected 13th minute opener, that persistence turned into vengeance. Although they had started well, Thomas Schneider’s team were in for a long night.

BVB responded within six minutes with defender Sokratis Papastathopolous’s his own corner kick magic. Marco Reus added a second three minuter later, dribbling through a confused and disorganized Stuttgart defense to make it 2-1. Dortmund would carry that lead through halftime.

After intermission, the slaughter commenced. Starting in the 54th minute, Robert Lewandowski took advantage of more astounding Stuttgart defending to score twice in the three-minute span, the Polish international eventually completing his hat trick in the 72nd. With nine minutes left, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the scoring, lobbing a bouncing ball over  Sven Ulreich from a tight angle right of goal.

Here are some mixed-language highlights:


A quick view of the numbers would gives you a good idea of how the match played out. Stuttgart had one shot on goal and one corner kick – Haggui’s goal. They went on to be outshot 16-3, with Dortmund putting 10 on target. The hosts only had 52 percent of the game’s possession, but the foul total hints at the difference in intensity between the two sides. BVB was whistled 15 times. Stuttgart only committed four fouls.

The disparity in form was as wide as the numbers. Stuttgart looked like the team that got Bruno Labbadia fired earlier this year, a surprisingly inept performance from a club that’d gone over a month without a loss. Dortmund, meanwhile, displayed the same venom with which they opened the season. The teams were in completely different leagues, but whereas BVB’s was one of elite, relentless attacking, Stuttgart’s featured Eredivisie-level defending, a combination that produced a landslide result.

Dortmund’s attack shouldn’t be short-changed, though. In fact, with BVB moving to 31 goals in 11 games, we should be asking how good they might get. Marco Reus is playing as well as ever. Robert Lewandowski has improved on a rate that’s produced 46 league goals over the last two season. Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s production has increased as he’s settled into the team. Perhaps this groups won’t make it as far as last year’s Champions League finalists, but they may end up more prolific.

That abundance of goals has temporarily vaulted Dortmund top of the table, two points ahead of a Bayern side that visits Hoffenheim tomorrow. The rout almost moves Lewandowski to the top of the league’s scoring charts with nine goals, two clear of a five-man logjam with seven.

LIVE – EFL Cup: Manchester Derby, West Ham-Chelsea, Saints-Sunderland

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United evades Fernandinho of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 12, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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There are still three more teams yet to join the quintet who clinched quarterfinal berths in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.

We’ve got three all-PL ties to decide their fates.

[ LIVE: Follow EFL Cup scores ]

Follow the action above, as we learn who takes the remaining spots alongside Newcastle United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leeds United, and Hull City.

Holders Man City are off to Old Trafford for a derby match-up in the Round of 16, while it’s an all-London match at the Olympic Stadium between West Ham and Chelsea.

Finally, Sunderland hopes to break out of its season-long slump to join Northeast rivals Newcastle in the quarters. The Black Cats will need to win at Southampton to move on.

EFL Cup fourth round, Wednesday games

West Ham United vs. Chelsea — 2:45 p.m. ET
Southampton vs. Sunderland — 2:45 p.m. ET
Manchester United vs. Manchester City — 3 p.m. ET

MLS Cup Playoffs Thurs. preview: Seattle, DC riding hot streaks

SEATTLE, WA - MARCH 06:  Osvaldo Alonso #6 of the Seattle Sounders FC dribbles against Roger Espinoza #27 of Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field on March 6, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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The 4-5 match-ups in each conference are set for Thursday’s MLS Cup Playoffs, with two of the league’s hottest teams set to hit the pitch.

[ MORE: MLS Cup predictions ]

Both Seattle and DC are at home for their “play-in” matches, and face road teams with plenty of veteran experience and firepower in what should be a pair of beauts on each side of our country.

DC United vs. Montreal Impact — 7:30 p.m. ET

The Black-and-Red have hit their stride under coach Ben Olsen, and seem on board the plan.

Montreal, however, has not seen tranquility in Quebec. Ignacio Piatti has been fantastic, but the headlines have revolved around Didier Drogba‘s unhappiness at not starting under Mauro Biello.

It’s difficult to think Biello won’t start the Ivorian in a must-win match on the road, given Drogba’s experience and ability to dominate a game.

[ MORE: Nyarko says DC can aim high in MLS Playoffs ]

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC — 10:30 p.m. ET

Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris have helped Seattle make up for the absence of transferred Obafemi Martins and injured Clint Dempsey.

The duo has been simply fantastic in “rave green”, and Sporting KC is going to have a whale of a time slowing Seattle. Consider the ability and season of under-the-radar MVP candidate Osvaldo Alonso in the center of the park, and all bets are off.

Of course, the thing about KC is there’s little question it has the mettle to not just win on the road, but win a tournament. Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer, Brad Davis, Benny Feilhaber… who in that locker room is going to shrink under the bright lights of the playoffs?

TFC’s Bradley: “Responsibility, privilege and passion” on line in playoffs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: Michael Bradley #4 of United States looks on against New Zealand in the second half during an International Friendly at RFK Stadium on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Toronto FC’s supporters fell in love with the club almost immediately, but it’s taken to Year 10 for the Reds to get a home playoff match.

The latest batch of TFC stars have embraced the battle for relevance, at times even surpassing expectations the lofty expectations of championship-starved Toronto.

[ MORE: Bradley talks TFC renaissance

This is a city which has seen the Blue Jays and Raptors find the precipice of glory in recent seasons, but not reach the apex. The Leafs haven’t been to a Stanley Cup final since the NHL had a whopping six teams.

So winning would be a mighty big accomplishment, right Michael Bradley?


“Being captain or a big player on a team in this city carries an extra weight,” said captain Michael Bradley. “I’ve loved every second of that; playing in this city, for this city, and being captain. It’ll be nights like Wednesday night where the responsibility, privilege and passion that I have for this role will get magnified that much more.”

He has a way with words, doesn’t he? The USMNT captain begins Canada’s quest for a title at 7:30 p.m. ET against visiting Philadelphia.

Whitecaps lock up Welsh coach Robinson through 2020

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 5:  Head coach Carl Robinson (right) of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC during their MLS game against the Colorado Rapids April 5, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Colorado won 2-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
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Vancouver is hanging onto stalwart coach Carl Robinson despite a massively disappointing season.

The Whitecaps were tipped to compete for the Supporters’ Shield, only to miss the playoffs. There were plenty of excuses for the ‘Caps, including an injury to Kekuta Manneh and the transfer of Octavio Rivero.

And Vancouver is alive as the No. 1 seed in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, also claiming the Cascadia Cup.

[ MORE: Nyarko says DC can aim high ]

Robinson has signed an extension through 2020, from

“Carl’s body of work over the course of his five years at the club has shown that he is one of the top up-and-coming head coaches in North America. While this past season was certainly a learning experience for everyone involved within the club, we have complete faith in Carl’s continued vision in acquiring the necessary players to build a team that will compete with the best in MLS.”

Robinson turned 40 this month, and has been leading the ‘Caps since December 2013. This is a smart move for both Vancouver and its coach.