Major League Soccer
With a blistering 5-2 win over Chicago, the New York Red Bulls secured the 2013 Supporters Shield, helping early season Supporters Shield favorites, Montreal Impact qualify for the playoffs. This is the first major trophy in the 18 year history of the franchise. Montreal's qualification for the playoffs means that Toronto is the only Canadian MLS team to have never qualified for the playoffs, despite being in the league for 4-5 more seasons than Vancouver or Montreal, who each qualified for the playoffs within their first two years in the league.
Vancouver Whitecaps forward Camilo Sanvezzo is the winner of the 2013 MLS Golden Boot, thanks to a hat trick on the last day of the season against Colorado.
Not only did the Portland Timbers secure the #1 seed in the Western Conference, but the team also set a new league record for becoming the first team in MLS history to have 4 different players score at least 9 goals in a single season.
DC United set a league record at the other end of the spectrum. With its loss to Houston, DC United finished 2013 with the worst record in the history of the league. Even worse, the team's leading scorer is some guy named "Owen Goal".
The last remaining active player who was involved in the inaugural MLS season in 1996 has played the final game of his career. In honor of the 18 year career of Ramiro Corrales, Quake, Rattle and Goal has compiled a photo gallery in celebration of his contributions to the team and the league.
San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski reportedly played most of the 2013 season with a broken foot. If the timeline is correct, he probably also played with a broken foot during the Gold Cup.
San Jose interim head coach Mark Watson may have done enough to remove "interim" from his job title. John Doyle, the GM of the San Jose Earthquakes announced last night that the team will sign Watson to a long-term contract.
The Columbus Crew has already met with a few high profile coaching candidates to fill its vacant head coaching position, including former Crew players Brad Freidel and Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Columbus owner Anthony Precourt also has his sights set on Egypt manager Bob Bradley, in a clear statement that he isn't afraid to spend good money on his team.
With the end of the season, the Schellas Hyndman era has officially ended in Dallas, but Hyndman thinks that the team's fans have reason to be optimistic about the future.
Now that Orlando seems well on its way to be the 21st MLS franchise, Orlando Sentinel reporter Jon Busdeker decided to interview locals on the street in downtown Orlando to test their knowledge of soccer, MLS and Orlando City SC. Orlando may not be the only MLS team in the southeastern part of the country for long, with stadium plans in Atlanta moving along and two potential ownership groups in Miami.
With a 2-1 win over the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday night, the New York Cosmos clinched the NASL fall season title and a spot in the 2013 Soccer Bowl in Atlanta against the Silverbacks. This will mark the first appearance in the Soccer Bowl by the Cosmos since the 1982 Soccer Bowl, in which New York narrowly defeated the Seattle Sounders, then coached by Alan Hinton.
Despite the fact that the New York Cosmos will face the Atlanta Silverbacks in the Soccer Bowl in Atlanta, based on Atlanta winning the spring season and New York winning the fall season, the Carolina Railhawks are the team with the best overall league record this season. Whoever finishes the season with the best combined record between the fall and spring seasons will be presented with the Phillip A Woosnam Memorial Cup. Atlanta actually still has a chance at winning the 2013 Woosnam Cup, as they only trail Carolina by 3 points. The 2011 Carolina RailHawks and the 2012 San Antonio Scorpions have been given the Woosnam Cup for having the best overall record in past seasons.
The 2013 Soccer Bowl will air live on ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes on November 9.
"Soccer for a Cause", Gordon Hartman's nonprofit organization that includes the San Antonio Scorpions, has raised over $660,000 this year for the special needs community.
Bayern Munich reserve midfielder Julian Green has accepted a call up to join the USMNT as they prepare to take on Scotland and Austria next month. He is not currently eligible to play in either match, as he has represented Germany at the youth level and would be required to file for a one-time switch to the United States before he can appear in a match for the US. Nevertheless, the fact that Green accepted a call up to train with the national team would seem to indicate that there is some interest in switching to the United States.
Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore finally were able to make an impact on the scoresheet with their respective clubs for the first time in the 2013/14 season. Bradley was a second half substitute for 10-man AS Roma, providing the winning goal in the 82nd minute, preserving Roma's 100% record 9 games into the Serie A season, which sets a new league record. Altidore was named Man of the Match for Sunderland, after providing the game winning assist against hated rival Newcastle. Sunderland are no longer at the bottom of the Premier League table, though they are still a good 4 points away from clearing the relegation zone.
United States central defender Oguchi Onyewu has landed with Queens Park Rangers, at least in part due to Jürgen Klinsmann selling Harry Redknapp on Gooch's ability, even going as far as saying Onyewu will "almost certainly" be on the USMNT's World Cup roster.
Remember when the Mexican announcer thanked the United States for keeping Mexico's hopes alive for the World Cup? It turns out that he was about as critical of Mexico as he was grateful to the US. A translation of the entire rant is now available and is worth a read.
The German Football Federation (DFB) has confirmed that it will bid for the 2024 European Championship. If the bid is successful, it will be the first major international tournament in Germany since the 2006 World Cup. The 2016 tournament will be held in France. The 2024 announcement isn't expected for a few more years.
There were plenty of new faces involved in the first Clasico of the 2013/14 season, but it was Neymar who made the biggest impact, helping Barcelona notch a 2-1 win over Real Madrid
FIFA and the FA
On the defensive against a great deal of negative media attention on FIFA and his administration of soccer's governing organization, Sepp Blatter had some interesting quotes while in London for celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the FA.
Perhaps responding to the strong statements made last week by Yaya Touré and others, Blatter called for zero tolerance of racism in the sport. He went as far as saying teams should have points deducted or be kicked out of the competition on the third offense. CONCACAF president and head of FIFA's antiracism committee reportedly met with Touré yesterday concerning the racist chants in Manchester City's Champions League match at CSKA Moscow.
Prince William, who is the head of the FA, praised Kick It Out for its work combatting racism in soccer.
Sounder at Heart community
Sounder at Heart reader and Alliance Council member Brendan Vaughn recently spent two weeks in East Africa, primarily to visit with a nonprofit organization called Krochet Kids International. He brought a significant amount of donated Sounders gear to give to the organization. You should read his fan post about the visit. It's really interesting stuff.