MLS Roundup: Seattle, Houston claim midweek wins; San Jose, Colorado end deadlocked

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A rare three-match Wednesday in Major League Soccer saw the crowd atop of the Eastern Conference grow. Coming into the mid-week slate, a trio of teams shared the East’s lead, but after Houston’s victory over Columbus, the Dynamo joined Sporting Kansas City, New England, and New York at 14 points. Going into the 10th weekend of the season, six teams are within three points at the top of the convoluted East.

In the West, Seattle’s simplified things. With their fifth win in a row, the Sounders opened a five-point lead on second place Real Salt Lake, and while the Sounders have played one more match, the points-per-game column affirms SSFC’s strong start. At 2.2 points-per-game, the Sounders are far out-pacing the second-best rate in the league (RSL’s 1.89).

Here’s how Wednesday night played out in Major League Soccer:

Houston Dynamo 1-0 Columbus Crew

Brad Davis and Will Bruin came together on an early second half set piece to extend Columbus’s winless run to six. Though Justin Meram nearly pulled the Crew even, Gregg Berhalter’s team was kept off the scoresheet for the second time in five days. Houston, meanwhile, registered its second straight win, with Bruin scoring in his third consecutive game.

Seattle Sounders 2-1 FC Dallas

For the fifth time this season, Seattle gave up the first goal, but just was they’ve done on three previous occasions, the Sounders came back to win. After Brad Evans gave up an early penalty kick, the league’s leaders came back with second half goals from Lamar Neagle and Kenny Cooper, with the former FCD striker declining to celebrate against his former team as he claimed full points for the Sounders.

San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 Colorado Rapids

A big night from Clint Irwin left the sides locked at zero for the second time this season, but whereas the teams’ first meeting in Colorado led to a combined one shot on target, the Earthquakes and Rapids forced 11 saves on Wednesday. Ultimately (as far as the standings), the teams ended the night where they started. Colorado sits fourth, seven points back of the Sounders, while only Chivas USA keeps San Jose from the Western Conference cellar.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.