Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC both held serve in the opening of the Amway Canadian Championship semi-finals. The tournament decides Canada's representative to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Vancouver fell behind to NASL side FC Edmonton but scored two goals late to win 3-2 (MLSSoccer.com).
Toronto beat the Montreal Impact 2-0 on goals from two players who don't see much MLS action, as both teams rested their big name strikers for MLS play this weekend (MLSSoccer.com)
The return legs are scheduled for May 1 in Edmonton and Montreal.
Speaking of the Champions League, who among us was still watching as this year's final kicked-off Wednesday? The game ended in a 0-0 draw, but advantage to Monterrey, who held down Santos in Torreon and hosts the second leg next Wednesday (Yahoo Sports).
And, of course, there is that other Champions League going on too. The German sides may be showing the dominance of their league over Spain this year with a second beat-down in as many days. Wednesday Borussia Dortmund dominated Real Madrid, 4-1. That came one day after Bayern Munich outplayed and outclassed the vaunted Barcelona, with a 4-0 victory that some are calling an "all-time great demolition" (SB Nation).
Back in North America MLS fans have been wondering what the heck is going on with Chivas USA this year, with a massive roster turnover, fewer than 9,000 fans attending games on average, and reports that the organization has no marketing budget at all. Well now comes word that the entire Chivas organization, including CD Guadalajara, may be sold soon. The world's richest man, Mexican Carlos Slim, is said to be in negotiations to buy Chivas. Perhaps the most interesting part of the original report from Mexico is that it specifically said Slim doesn't want the MLS side as part of the deal. Lots of speculation out there as to what that might mean (The Goat Parade).
It wasn't all that long ago that the then KC Wizards were annually the worst drawing team in MLS - the Chivas USA of the 2000s. But now the rebranded Sporting KC has local owners, a new stadium, a quality side, and a sold out season ticket base (wibw.com).
Another success story from Philadelphia, where Union officials are meeting Friday to discuss expanding PPL Park beyond its current 18,500-seat size.
Finally today, this treatise on the growth of the game in the United States by the president of the New England Revolution. He points a pretty rosy picture. No mention whatsoever of his club's struggles at the turnstile, where they lead only CUSA and the stadium-limited San Jose Earthquakes in average attendance.
- Scott Ayers