Manchester City v Sporting Kansas City

Premier League on tour, Weds roundup: Five play, only Liverpool loses


Liverpool’s opposition was the stiffest challenge for any of the five Premier League teams playing in North America on Wednesday night, and the Reds were the only team to fall.

[ RELATED: Schedule for PL teams on North American tours]

AS Roma 1, Liverpool 0

I Lupi’s Marco Borriello used a shot through traffic in the 90th minute to claim “Football at Fenway” over Brendan Rodgers’ bunch. The bigger story coming out of Boston was the shoulder injury to Fabio Borini, who was playing despite Liverpool having agreed to a fee with Sunderland for his transfer.

“It’s probably not as bad as first thought.  He’s had problems in the past with his shoulder, but he’s only bruised it.

“He’ll miss a few days of training. He won’t train now for the remainder of the trip here, but it’s only going to be a matter of days before he’s back training and playing again.”

Liverpool’s next match is 6pm ET Sunday against Olympiakos in Chicago.

[ RELATED — WATCH: Daniel Sturridge breaks down Liverpool expectations with NBCSN crew ]

Manchester City 4, Sporting KC 1

Four different Citizens tallied in a battle KC deemed the “Clash of the Champions”. Bruno Zuculini, 21, netted in the match, as did trialist Kelechi Iheanacho — the Golden Ball winner at the 2013 U-17 World Cup —  and more familiar names Dedryck Boyata and Aleksandar Kolarov.

City controlled the match, as new goalkeeper Wily Caballero was hardly troubled. CJ Sapong did manage to make things tight for a bit in the first half when he scored with help from Benny Feilhaber. Man City put nine shots on frame,while KC managed just two.

Manchester United 7, Los Angeles Galaxy 0

The Galaxy fielded a weakened lineup, and the Red Devils took great advantage in Louis van Gaal’s first match in charge. Los Angeles players used the term “embarrassing” after the game, and that’s no exaggeration.

The first goal came on a horrific giveaway, the second was a PK following a handball in the box and the third was an absolute mess, as Wayne Rooney tapped a ball over Jaime Pineda after a low, mediocre cross went through a defender’s legs.

It was a brutal match for the Galaxy, and not a good indication of where Major League Soccer stands.

[ RELATED: ‘Embarrassed in L.A.’, thrilled in Manchester; Reactions from a 7-0 blowout ]

[ RELATED: Louis van Gaal gives Antonio Valencia a shooting lesson (video) ]

United next plays Sunday in Denver against AS Roma.

Tottenham Hotspur 3, Toronto FC 2

BMO Field gave a warm welcome to Spurs, who opened up a two-goal lead on ex-teammate Jermain Defoe and the host Reds. Twenty-two-year-old Erik Lamela netted twice for Tottenham in the first frame.

But Toronto FC came back, poking holes in Tottenham’s much-changed second-half backline. First Andrew Wiedeman picked up a slick through ball from Daniel Lovitz to make to 2-1 before the scorer turned passer on a strong finish by 18-year-old Homegrown player Jordan Hamilton.

Alas, Andros Townsend pounced on an opportunity caused by a TFC giveaway to bend home a winner in the 85th minute.

Spurs finish their tour with a match in Chicago on Saturday.

Aston Villa 2, FC Dallas 0

Villa played two different formations and a boatload of players. Both were fit enough to easily handle the challenge for Dallas. Andreas Weimann and Charles N’Zogbia were your goal scorers in the match.

Dallas played the friendly game with a juggled lineup as well, with some youth getting experience and some injured players working back to fitness. Not much to be judged from either side here, so perhaps Aston Villa’s Saturday tilt in Houston can be a better indicator for Villa fans.

MLS Cup Playoffs: LA Galaxy 3-1 Real Salt Lake (video)

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme (37) congratulates forward Alan Gordon (9) for scoring against the Real Salt Lake during the first half of a knockout round MLS playoff soccer match in Carson, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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The game in 100 words (or less): The LA Galaxy are through to the conference semifinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs, where they’ll take on the Colorado Rapids beginning Sunday, for the seventh time in eight years with a 3-1 knockout-round triumph over Real Salt Lake at the StubHub Center on Wednesday. Alan Gordon put the home side ahead inside the first quarter-hour before RSL drew level seven minutes later, but Emmanuel Boateng bagged a quickfire brace to complete a pair of brilliant individual exhibitions of dribbling inside the penalty area. With Steven Gerrard unavailable and Robbie Keane only fit to feature off the bench, Bruce Arena turned to Gordon, who gave way to Keane early in the second half after picking up an injury of his own, to play the fulcrum of the Galaxy attack, and it worked to near-perfection during the opening half-hour. Landon Donovan started the game and played 87 minutes, providing the kind of defensive work rate that’s been missing up and down the flanks of LA all season. Sebastian Lletget put in a near-flawless passing performance while playing deep in midfield. Don’t look now, but those are the Galaxy’s biggest question of 2016, all just about answered as the playoffs begin. I won’t say, “I told you so” if/when they win MLS Cup 2016, but…

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

Three Four moments that mattered

14′ — Gordon finishes from close range for 1-0 — Landon Donovan -> Giovani dos Santos -> Alan Gordon. Just like Bruce Arena drew it up in preseason midseason last month this week this morning.

21′ — Plata converts from the spot after Morales’ dive — Javier Morales was angling for a penalty from the moment he entered the penalty area. All Emmanuel Boateng had to do was look at him, and Morales was going down.

26′ — Boateng weaves through to make it 2-1 — Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Boateng took advantage of some poor defending, and the Galaxy were back in the lead.

34′ — Boateng cuts inside, blows past his man, makes it 3-1 — There’s playing in top gear, and there’s having an extra gear that you rarely have to use because no one else on the field has it. Boateng falls into the latter category.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Emmanuel Boateng

Goalscorers: Gordon (14′), Plata (21′), Boateng (26′, 34′)

MLS Cup Playoffs: Toronto FC 3-1 Philadelphia Union (video)

Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): 10 years later, Toronto FC are MLS Cup Playoffs victors. For eight seasons, the playoffs eluded them altogether. Last year, they were one-and-done in embarrassing fashion at the hands of their local rivals. In 2016, it was  their year — a proclamation we’d heard plenty times before — and so far, they’ve lived up to the hype. Wednesday’s 3-1 home victory over the Philadelphia Union in the knockout round gets the monkey off the Reds’ back, but more importantly, afforded Sebastian Giovinco, who bagged a goal and an assist on the night (his second straight game with such a line), 90 more minutes of game time after missing more than a month through injuries as the regular season wound down. After 270 minutes of action, the Atomic Ant looks sharp as ever, and destined to terrorize New York City FC, whom TFC will face in the conference semifinals, beginning Sunday.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

Three Four moments that mattered

15′ — Atlidore feeds Giovinco for 1-0 — The first playoff goal in TFC’s 10-year history. Poor goalkeeping, ball-watching defending, terrible touches, an overhead cross, and a strike off the crossbar. There’s a lot going on here. Watch it all right here.

49′ — Osorio slams home from the corner for 2-0 — The Union have been bad at defending set pieces all season, so is it at all surprising a set-piece gaffe effectively ended their season? No, it’s not.

73′ — Bedoya puts the loose ball home for 2-1 — Speaking of failing to effectively clear a corner kick, the Union were gifted a lifeline 15 minutes before full-time.

85′ — Altidore puts it out of reach, seals it for TFC — Ken Tribbet did not have the best night a center back has ever seen. His final blunder resulted in Jozy Altidore reclaiming TFC’s two-goal lead, and ending the Union’s 2016 season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Giovinco (15′), Osorio (49′), Bedoya (73′), Altidore (85′)

Men In Blazers podcast: Mourinho’s Chelsea return; Bradley’s 1st point

Men In Blazers
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Rog and Davo break down Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea with Manchester United, another stumble for Manchester City and Bob Bradley’s first Premier League point.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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VIDEO: Altidore, Giovinco combine for TFC’s first-ever playoff goal

Sebastian Giovinco
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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It’s been 10 years in the making, and Toronto FC finally have their first-ever goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in each of their first eight seasons, 2015 saw the Reds venture into the postseason for the first time ever, only to be thumped in the knockout round, 3-0, by their 401 derby rival Montreal Impact, of all sides.

This is the year, though, or so we’ve said and been told all season long. While it remains to be seen how deep of a run TFC can muster in 2016, they’ll always have the Jozy Altidore‘s terrible first touch; Altidore’s wayward second and third touches; Altidore’s overhead cross; and Sebastian Giovinco’s strike, all of which you can watch in all its hilarity glory below.

[ MORE: Power rankings — Playoffs edition | MLS Cup predictions ]