The number crunchers at FiveThirtyEight have updated their MLS predictions, and the results are looking rosy for the Sounders: a 97 percent chance of making the playoffs; a 54 percent chance of a bye in the first-round of the playoffs; and, a 10-percent chance of winning the MLS Cup (second only to Toronto). You can read more about the methodology behind the numbers here.
Before we start building a trophy case though, there is business to attend to. Though most eyes are on the more prestigious MLS trophy, the Cascadia Cup is still up for grabs, and Seattle has two vital matches coming up soon. Portland is in the lead with seven points. Seattle has four points and Vancouver has three points (but Seattle and Vancouver have each only played three of six matches while Portland has played four).
The Whitecaps, it was just announced, have lost midfielder Matias Laba to a season-ending right knee anterior cruciate ligament rupture. They are working on getting their new international signee, midfielder Aly Ghazal, on board but there was some questions about whether he will be match fit.
FC Cincinnati's Cinderella run to the U.S. Open Cup final is finally over. In front of a raucous sellout home crowd, the Orange and Blue had taken a 2-0 lead over New York Red Bulls on goals by Corben Bone and Austin Berry. However, two goals in three minutes by Gonzalo Veron and Bradley Wright-Phillips for New York leveled the score, and in the 11th minute of extra time, Wright-Phillips scored the game winner. You can enjoy highlights here.
The New York Red Bulls, who have now won eight of their last nine in all competitions, advance to their first U.S. Open Cup Final since 2003. They will face Sporting Kansas City in the final, Sept. 20 at Children's Mercy Park.
The attendance number of 33,250 in Nippert Stadium bests FCC’s fifth round attendance of 32,287. Those numbers are good for second and third best attendance in the U.S. Open Cup (since 1995). Seattle still invented the record, though.
The Colorado Rapids have fired head coach Pablo Mastroeni after three and a half seasons. The Rapids looked as if they were on the cusp of a breakout in 2016, however this season they’re once again plumbing the depths of the division. Assistant coach Steve Cook will take over for the rest of the season.
Nico Lodeiro got tongues wagging back in January when he joked that he could recruit Luis Suarez, who was "a phone call away", to play for the Sounders. Now Carlos Vela, whose signature with Los Angeles Football Club is barely dry, is saying he wants friend Antoine Griezmann to join him at his new club. Watch them put the pieces together at Angels on Parade.
The U.S. Men's National Team starts the next round of CONCACAF Hexagonal 2018 World Cup Qualifying Sept. 1 when they play Costa Rica. Until then, some of our U.S. stars abroad are getting ready to start new club seasons in Europe. Stars and Stripes FC provided a helpful breakdown of the action.
Midfield Press makes a persuasive argument that modular stadiums are an affordable, adaptable and practical option that could help promote the growth of soccer in North America.
Meanwhile, the team behind Nashville's MLS expansion bid is dreaming bigger, with a concept for a 30,000-seat soccer specific stadium. Sports Illustrated notes that a lot of details still need to be filled in, including on the critical question of financing.
2016 Copa Sudamericana champions Associação Chapecoense were defeated by 2016 J. League champions Urawa Red Diamonds in the Suruga Bank Championship. It was the first competitive overseas match for Chapecoense since the tragic plane crash last November that killed all but three of its players.
ESPN FC has released a piece about the 25th Anniversary of the Premier League. From the number of teams and attendance, big money and media coverage, to international rosters and level of play, the league has seen a lot of change in the last quarter of a century.
And, in a related article, talkSPORT has a fun piece ranking every Premier League club, worst to first, by their greatest European achievement.