There’s never been more on the line in the latest Trilliam Cup matchup.
For the first time, Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew will meet in the MLS Cup playoffs, kicking off at 8:00 p.m., with both teams taking different paths to the Eastern Conference finals.
Toronto FC battled the New York Red Bulls to win on away goals, after a 2-1 win in Red Bull Arena in the first leg, but tempers flared and the Supporters Shield winners will be without both Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore on Tuesday night. The Crew meanwhile survived an incredible 120 minutes at Atlanta United to win in a shootout, and then carried that momentum into a 4-3 aggregate victory over New York City FC.
[FOLLOW: MLS Conference Finals Play-by-Play]
Now, with the Crew’s status in Columbus still up in the air, Crew fans have one chance to pack MAPFRE Stadium to support their team and prove to the league they can support an MLS franchise.
Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the upstart Houston Dynamo host a sold-out crowd as the defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders visit, with kickoff set for 9:30 p.m.
The Dynamo stunned the injury-riddled Portland Timbers in the last round and the Dynamo has lost just once at home in MLS action this calendar year. On the other side, the Sounders are getting a major boost, with Osvaldo Alonso and Jordan Morris close to returning, either in this game or next week, and Clint Dempsey remains fit and raring to go back in his home state.
Follow all the action from tonight’s MLS Cup playoff matchups.
After his first game in charge of West Ham, David Moyes thought he had a better squad. Apparently he was mistaken.
A 2-0 loss to Watford gave Moyes a rude awakening as he looks to replace Slaven Bilic and pull the Hammers out of the relegation zone. He was not pleased with his players.
“Overall, that level of performance will not be good enough,” Moyes told reporters after the match.
He wasn’t done.
“I thought this was a big job, but there were some players with big reputations who disappointed me. There were some who I thought would show me more, and why they play for the team regularly. They need to show me, ‘If that’s your reputation, show me why you’ve got it.'”
He backtracked slightly, agreeing that the players are in a difficult position changing managers, but ultimately that excuse wasn’t enough for him. “It’s tough for the players – I could sense that – but I didn’t enjoy our performance in the end. I didn’t enjoy us giving the ball away too cheaply, too many times and I expected us to do better.”
Moyes even called out striker Andy Carroll, saying he removed the England international because he feared Carroll would pick up a second yellow card. Carroll could have been carded seven seconds into the match, leaving Marvin Zeegelaar with a bloody nose after an elbow to the face, something Carroll has been sent off for earlier this season. He was eventually given one in the 28th minute.
“I thought we defended OK,” Moyes said, “but then we gave away cheap goals by getting bundled off the ball and we didn’t really deal with it. We didn’t do well enough in all departments at different times.”
That’s about as ruthless as you’ll ever hear the mild-mannered David Moyes, and all West Ham players should beware that their places in the team are in jeopardy.
La Liga saw an American amongst its Starting XIs on Sunday.
Shaquell Moore made his first La Liga start in Levante’s 2-0 win at Las Palmas on Sunday.
According to WhoScored, Moore completed 71 percent of his passes, had three interceptions and four tackles won. He was credited with one key pass and three crosses.
[ MORE: McKennie impresses again ]
The right back turned 21 earlier this month, and our primitive research shows him as the first U.S. player to make a La Liga start since Oguchi Onyewu at Malaga in 2013.
Oddly enough, Sunday’s opposition had an American on the books last season with Emmanuel Sabbi skipped college soccer to join Las Palmas. Sabbi joined Danish side Hobro this summer, and made his first start on Friday.
Jozy Altidore spent time with Villarreal and Kasey Keller played for Rayo Vallecano.
Levante’s next match is Sunday at Real Sociedad.
David Moyes needed to see his charges in action, and didn’t love the mental side of West Ham’s 2-0 loss to Watford on Sunday at Vicarage Road.
The Irons had plenty of chances on the day, with Cheikhou Kouyate seeing one shot saved before missing another in perhaps the two best of the day.
[ RECAP: Watford 2-0 West Ham ]
And Watford’s first goal was pretty unlucky, as Andre Gray bungled a shot that went right to Will Hughes for his first Premier League goal.
Moyes’ Irons also lost Marko Arnautovic with what he thinks is a broken thumb, but is more worried about the club’s poise. From the BBC:
“I was only ever going to find out what the players were like by working with them and seeing them play today. When the opportunities didn’t go for us, the confidence went away.
“We have to try to find a way of winning. The important thing is to be in the game, and when we lost the second goal, it became difficult.”
- Unhappy debut for Moyes
- Hart, Gomes make wild saves
- Hughes scores early
- Richarlison adds insurance
Will Hughes and Richarlison scored on either side of half time to lift Watford to a 2-0 win over visiting West Ham on Sunday at Vicarage Road.
It’s a debut loss for new Irons boss David Moyes, whose club remains in the Premier League’s 18th position.
Watford rises to eighth, with 18 points.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
West Ham looked bright and industrious in the first 10 minutes, yet Watford had a lead in the 11th.
Andre Gray whiffed on a shot, and the ball bobbled to Hughes for an advantageous finish.
Watford was on the back foot for much of the latter stages in the first half. A slick one-touch endeavor ended with Heurelho Gomes getting a piece of Cheikhou Kouyate‘s low shot.
Gomes then twice denied Marko Arnautovic, the first an incredible leg save.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Kouyate and Abdoulaye Doucoure traded chances early in the second half, with neither on frame.
Andre Gray and Doucoure worked a fine 58th minute chance, with Winston Reid‘s slight deflection stopping Gray from curling inside the far post. Joe Hart made a terrific save as Watford then pressed off the ensuing corner kick.
Richarlison put it away, essentially, with a 64th minute goal. Hughes handled the ball in the run-up, but the Brazilian’s finish was electrifying.
It’s Richarlison’s fifth PL goal of the season, matching his half-season total with Fluminese.
Christian Kabasele blocked a Lanzini rip off the line in the 74th minute as the Irons kept battling for an unlikely comeback.