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The Daily Dirt, August 29: Manic Monday

Portland & Orlando get big wins

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Three games yesterday for MLS’ Soccer Sunday, what did we learn?

  • The Red Bulls are not quite ready to give up on the top spot in the East. Their win over New England puts them three points behind conference leaders Toronto. They will likely have to pull out some points on the road, where they have been poor all season, to close the gap.
  • The Revolution look like a broken team right now. When points are at a premium and you are chasing a playoff spot, you just cannot put out a performance like New England did yesterday. They are within five points of the last playoff spot, but unless something changes quickly, they have no chance.
  • Portland was emphatic in the first half yesterday against Seattle, running the Sounders off the field. Their win puts them three points clear of a bland San Jose, and four points clear of Seattle and Vancouver.
  • Seattle came back down to Earth a bit yesterday in the loss. We will truly see what Brian Schmetzer is made of as he tries to rally the team for the playoff push. I still think that they made a miscalculation in not chasing the Houston game harder in midweek as that was the more likely game to get three points. Now, the Sounders ended up with one point in two games and that hurts at this time of year.
  • Orlando’s win yesterday signals that they are not going away just yet. If they had blown the lead late, like they have been known to do this season, it likely would have been the end of their hopes. Now, they are just one point behind DC United in the race for the final playoff spot. If Jason Kreis can figure out a way to tighten up their defense, the Lions could be a challenging first round opponent.
  • New York City FC remains two points behind Toronto in the East. Four teams are within three points at the top of the conference and the race will likely go down to the last week.

Domestic

Red Bulls defeat listless Revolution (Once a Metro)

Portland avenges Seattle in a strong opening 45 minutes (Stumptown Footy)

Kaka scores twice to help Orlando keep their playoff hopes alive (The Mane Land)

Kirk Urso’s memory still inspires the Crew (Columbus Dispatch)

New York Cosmos move into first place in the NASL (This Is Cosmos Country)

Accusations made by Chris Nurse of Puerto Rico FC that a FC Edmonton player used a racial slur against him (the11)

Three thoughts on the U.S. National Team roster announced yesterday (Stars and Stripes FC)


International

Luka Modric named captain of Croatia (ESPN)

Mario Balotelli to Palermo? (90min)

Pep Guardiola wants more reinforcements (Manchester Evening News)


Local