Your MLS Cup field has been decided, and the remaining teams will be giving MLS Commissioner Don Garber and ESPN executives many sleepless nights between now and December 7. Kansas City knocked off Houston at home and Salt Lake pitched the shutout they didn't even need for their win in Portland. The 31st and 33rd largest TV markets in the country are not exactly the things of ratings records.
Despite record low temperatures, Sporting Park was full to the brim to see KC earn a chance to win their second MLS Cup. Houston took a lead three minutes into the match from Oscar Garcia, but Sporting came roaring back with goals in the '14 and '63 (including one from Dom Dwyer, on loan from Orlando City). Houston had chances, but simply couldn't convert them. Thanks to the victory, KC gets to stay at home for the MLS Cup Final.
It was a different story in Portland, where the hometown Timbers started Sunday night already down two goals. The first goal was crucial, and they almost found it in the '15 when a corner kick found the head of Futty Danso. The ball slipped in behind Nick Rimando, but the goal was called back for a foul. Near the half-hour mark, Timbers keeper Donovan Ricketts would spill a save right to the waiting foot of Robbie Findley, who gave Salt Lake a 5-2 aggregate lead. It was the fourth victory by RSL over Portland this year. One Timbers fan was captured on the broadcast taking the loss especially hard, and his emotion immediately spawned a twitter handle. But he should cheer up, because Portland managed to achieve something that Seattle never has: Losing an MLS playoff series by three goals. Portland: Setting Standards. (And less sarcastically, because US Soccer may be changing the rules for CONCACAF qualification to give the Timbers a spot in the Champions League.)
The University of Washington will move on to face Stanford after dispatching Seattle U in a 4-2 victory that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Over 3,000 people packed the grounds to see the cross-town match, in which Washington had a four goal lead. Believe it or not, that wasn't the UW record for soccer attendance at Husky Soccer Field. The Seattle Times shows 3,400 for a game in 2000.
The MLS Waiver Deadline is today, which means we may see a few well known Sounders hit the road. Hot Time in Old Town explains the process well.
Metal detectors will become part of the process for getting into Major League Baseball games next season, furthering the creep of Security Theater towards more relevant sports leagues.
Speaking of relevant sports leagues, Drew Carey was in Cleveland to catch the Browns at work yesterday, but he wasn't wearing a brown hat. More of a green variety.
Typically we'd be posting about another Seattle Reign trade today, but as of this posting one hasn't happened on 11/25/2013. For up to the minute news, check HasLauraHarveyMadeATradeToday.com.
If you are jonesing for some rosterbating, Pangea Sports has a list of frees.