Toronto and Los Angeles advanced last night in the first Knockout Round games of the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs. Both were favored, and their matching 3-1 wins were a strong representation of their performances.
Toronto’s 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation was a nice tactical shift from manager Greg Vanney. It allowed them to stretch the width in order to create more space in the middle for their stars to operate in.
The Reds looked a little nervous in the opening minutes as they were looking for their first playoff win in history. The opening goal from Sebastian Giovinco settled their nerves. Philadelphia’s second half goal from Alejandro Bedoya made for a frenzied last few minutes until Jozy Altidore restored the two goal lead. With a win under their belts, Toronto moves on to face New York City FC in what should be a great series.
Outside of Javier Morales earning a controversial penalty, RSL struggled to generate sustained attacks against Los Angeles. Alan Gordon opened the scoring, but it was 22-year-old forward Emmanuel Boateng who was the brightest star for the Galaxy. He scored twice to send LA through to face Colorado in the Western Conference semifinals.
It has been a middling season for the Galaxy by their standards, but the playoffs is where Bruce Arena’s squad shines. They might the underdog on paper against the Rapids, but the series will be very even.
Toronto gets their first playoff win, eliminating Philadelphia with a 3-1 win (Waking the Red)
Also, Giovinco is still filthy:
Emmanuel Boateng scores twice to lead the Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake (LAG Confidential)
Great goal from Boateng! 2-1 LA! pic.twitter.com/IL08Jjtz22— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) October 27, 2016
Landon Donovan had a huge impact on last night’s game, and it was because of his defensive work (MLS)
It’s all coming together for D.C. ahead of tonight’s playoff match against Montreal (Washington Post)
Wade Barrett will not be the head coach of the Houston Dynamo going forward (Dynamo Theory)
Some are not happy with the New York Red Bulls’ treatment of Gonzalo Veron (Once a Metro)
Is it time to consider a two-leg MLS Cup final? (Guardian)
Which MLS teams could consider Wayne Rooney? (FOX Sports)
Julian Green scored in his start yesterday for Bayern Munich (Stars and Stripes FC)
Chivas defeat Club America in penalties to reach the Copa MX final (FMF State of Mind)
Georgia State’s men win 1-0 in overtime against the College of Charleston. Kyle Clinton scored the winning goal.
Congratulations! North Georgia soccer teams will play at home next week in Peach Belt playoffs. Men play Tue, Nov 1; women play Wed, Nov 2.— WGTJ Radio (@WGTJ) October 27, 2016
Young Harris’ men defeat Georgia Southwestern (YHC)
Georgia College’s women win 2-0 over Lander.