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November 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Halftime in conference semis (Monday links)

mls cup playoffs 2012.jpgThe first legs of all the conference semifinals have been played, here’s how things stand (full bracket at

Western Conference

No. 1 San Jose vs. No. 4 LA Galaxy — Earthquakes lead the series 1-0 after earning another dramatic late win Sunday at The Home Depot Center. The second leg will be Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

No. 2 Real Salt Lake vs. No. 3 Sounders FC — This was is deadlocked with no score, as you surely well know. The series finale is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Sporting KC vs. No. 5 Houston — The Dynamo currently boast the largest series lead in the playoffs after an impressive 2-0 home win Sunday. KC faces a tall task in the second leg at 6 p.m. Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

No. 2 D.C. United vs. No. 3 NY Red Bulls — A pair of own goals in the first leg has this one level at 1-1 going into the series finale at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Red Bull Arena. Remember the home dates were switched due to Hurricane Sandy damage.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— In some Sounders happenings, you’ll find goals by Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero in the latest batch of MLS Goal of the Year candidates. Also, Michael Gspurning‘s latest journal entry for an Austrian publication has posted.

— Here are some recent stories on the Real Salt Lake side of things from The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.

— In more postseason links, here’s a look at five key points from, a look at the tight first legs by, here’s a look at all 10 goals San Jose has scored in stoppage time, and ProSoccerTalk examines attendance.

— Commissioner Don Garber, whose family was also affected by Hurricane Sandy, has confirmed the MLS Cup final won’t be at Buck Shaw Stadium if San Jose makes it.

— Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was featured recently by The Kansas City Star and here’s a profile of San Jose coach Frank Yallop on And one more on Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski.

— Looks like Timbers beat writers, fans and such aren’t expecting Mike Fucito back in Portland next year. Speaking of Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian, it sounds like his Sounders-Timbers book is set to come out in February.

— In some goalkeeper links, caught up with Tim Howard (also, Philadelphia’s Zac MacMath will be training with Everton in the offseason). And has this piece of Americans raising kids abroad (Kasey Keller and Marcus Hahnemann are featured in the piece).

Here’s a recap of the Freddy Adu saga following the latest interesting chapter.

— Sounds like all the local PDL teams will be back next season.

Messi‘s girlfriend gave birth to their first child Friday. Cap him. Quickly.

— Also Messi related, here’s a short clip of Cristiano Ronaldo chatting about the Barcelona superstar.

— Another prodigy, Neymar, has opposing fans cheering for him these days.

— Lastly, here’s video of the best goal of the playoffs so far, in my opinion, courtesy of Houston’s Adam Moffat, who’s scored many like this before


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