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The Daily Dirt, October 28: End of the Beginning

Knockout Round complete with a surprise and some drama

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MLS: Montreal Impact at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You had both sides of the MLS Playoffs last night. In the early game, D.C. United never showed up and Montreal ran them out of their own building in a 4-2 win. The late game was a cagey, ill-tempered affair that saw Nelson Valdez come off the bench to score a late winner for Seattle in front of their fans.

In the early going of the nightcap, the Sounders sat very deep and let Kansas City bring the game to them. If they had converted on some of the chances that were created, the game would have followed a very different path. As the game continued, Seattle started to come out of their shell and everything opened up.

Osvaldo Alonso was lucky to not see a second yellow on a lunging challenge in the second half. Benny Feilhaber was lucky not to lose his mind afterwards. The drama continued to ratchet up as it looked like extra time was imminent.

Give Brian Schmetzer credit, he did not pack it in and wait for extra time. He went for the game and gave Nelson Valdez an opportunity. Valdez has struggled during his time in Seattle, but he made good on his signing with a late goal to put the Sounders through to the Western Conference semifinals.

Kansas City fans have a right to be unhappy after last night. The Alonso challenge notwithstanding, Valdez appeared to be a step offside on his goal. Matt Besler had a goal disallowed earlier due to being a step offside. This is the third straight year for playoff heartbreak for Kansas City.

In the first game last night, Montreal ran roughshod over D.C. United at RFK Stadium. It was not a matter of Montreal playing amazing soccer, D.C. was just that bad and never seemed to show up. Ben Olsen said that they were “second best” at halftime, and that continued in the second half. It was a surprise to see an Olsen team appear so lethargic and disinterested.

The Impact’s counterattacking was on display last night and will cause the Red Bulls problems in the next round. The tactical battles between Mauro Biello and Jesse Marsch should make for an interesting match-up.

The biggest question for Montreal is whether they will allow Didier Drogba to suit up for the next match. It is unknown what the situation is between Drogba and the club after his refusal to dress after not being selected to start a few weeks ago. The team looked better without him last night.

Sunday’s schedule was announced late last night:


Montreal dismantle D.C. at RFK Stadium (Mount Royal Soccer)

Coming into the game playing well, the performance was a shock for D.C. United fans (Black and Red United)

Nelson Valdez scores very late for Seattle to edge past Kansas City in a wild, controversial game in the Emerald City (Sounder at Heart)

Three years in a row of heartbreak for Sporting (The Blue Testament)

Interesting approach from Mr. Feilhaber:

Minnesota United scouting top SuperDraft prospect Jeremy Ebobisse (Twin Cities)

Revolution confirm Jay Heaps will return as manager (Boston Globe)

Conor Casey announces his retirement (ESPN)

San Jose decline option on striker Chad Barrett (Mercury News)

New USWNT roster out for November friendlies (Stars and Stripes FC)


Uber denies bidding for naming rights to new Tottenham stadium (Cartilage Free Captain)

Could David Villa get recalled to Spain’s national team? (SB Nation)

Manchester United leaves Bastian Schweinsteiger out of the official team photo (Telegraph)