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Cahill, Defoe, Keane chosen as Porter, Garber round out MLS All-Stars

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Premier League imports Tim Cahill, Jermain Defoe, and Robbie Keane were among 12 players added to Major League Soccer’s All-Star team on Saturday, a group that joins the league’s Fan XI to form the squad that will face Bayern Munich on August 6 in Portland. With strikers Bradley Wright-Phillips and Erick Torres also named to the 23-man squad, Timbers head coach Caleb Porter and league commissioner Don Garber have named a forward-heavy team to face the German champions at Providence Park.

With his two choices, Garber selected Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri and Torres, whose 13 goals have pushed Chivas USA into playoff contention in the Western Conference. He’ll form a forward corps that includes Defoe, Keane, Wright-Phillips, as well as three players voted in by the fans: Clint Dempsey, Thierry Henry, and Obafemi Martins.

In midfield, Valeri joins Cahill, Osvaldo Alonso and Portland teammate Will Johnson in earning Saturday selections, with the quartet joining Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, and Graham Zusi as options in the middle.

In defense, Aurélien Collin, Chad Marshall, and Michael Parkhurst have been added to a squad that already featured Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, and DeAndre Yedlin.

D.C. United’s Bill Hamid will join Nick Rimando in goal.

With any All-Star selection, the snubs are nearly as interesting as the actual selections. We’ll get to those as the night moves on. For now, here’s the full squad as distributed by the league, with Dempsey and Donovan’s positions flopped:

2014 MLS All-Star Team

Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)

Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)

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

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 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