There is still almost a full week before Major League Soccer’s 18th champion is crowned in likely frigid KC – so, no reason to push the panic button. But I am sensing a lack of buzz right now.
There really has been a perfect storm of anti-matter here. The entire playoff schedule was squirrelly, as we’ve talked about several times at PST. Some was Major League Soccer’s fault, but not all; breaking for the FIFA date was the right thing to do, and that added to the buzz killing gaps. So, the starts and stops of the postseason never allowed the MLS Cup mo to build into critical mass. Add the fact that two of the smaller market clubs will compete this week at Sporting Park and, well, here we are.
It’s a light dusting of buzz when we’d prefer to see a big ol’ blizzard of the stuff.
But perhaps MLS Commissioner Don Garber can say something provocative or highly newsworthy Tuesday during his annual State of the League address. It happens at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, when the league’s official Best XI side will also be revealed. Anyone interested can watch online at MLSsoccer.com.
Topics Garber seems sure to address: More on expansion and (hopefully) the latest developments on David Beckham and his Miami maneuvers; more gushing over Orlando and everything MLS No. 21 is doing (and apparently doing right); perhaps some thoughts on the league’s ongoing player development initiatives, and; almost certainly some thoughts on Kansas City (site of this week’s MLS Cup, of course) as one of the amazing success stories of MLS.
Garber’s remarks will also be available via the Google+ Hangout option.
Catch up on all of Friday’s EURO qualification action, as two more teams have booked a ticket to France.
Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla hadn’t scored a competitive goal for Spain in more than six years, but he scored twice today to help earn his country a berth in EURO 2016. Cazorla and Paco Alcacer scored all four goals for the Spanish, while Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas became Spain’s all-time leader in assists. However, both David Silva of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Juventus were forced off with injuries, with Morata’s looking to be serious.
Switzerland 7-0 San Marino
Switzerland led just 1-0 at halftime, but a six-goal second half which included three penalty kicks means the Swiss have secured qualification from Group E for EURO 2016. As expected, Switzerland dominated every aspect of the match against minnows San Marino, and Vladimir Petkovic’s side had seven different goalscorers.
[ MORE: Thursday’s EURO 2016 roundup — Northern Ireland qualify ]
England 2-0 Estonia
England remained perfect in Group E, taking their ninth win from nine matches today at Wembley. Theo Walcott‘s great scoring form from Arsenal carried over to the national side, opening the scoring just before halftime. In the second half, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute and assisted to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who made it 2-0. With a few minutes to play, Tottenham teenager Dele Alli got a short run in his England debut.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine
Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
Slovenia 1-1 Lithuania
Liechtenstein 0-2 Sweden
Moldova 1-2 Russia
Montenegro 2-3 Austria
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.