The Seattle Sounders have become one of MLS's most prominent franchises. A commercial success in the Seattle region, the Sounders have an MLS Cup in their history and have made another appearance in the MLS Cup. Once again, they've made another appearance, besting LAFC last Tuesday by a score of 3-1. Their opponent is a familiar one, one they've faced in their two MLS Cup appearances: Toronto FC.
A big part of Seattle's success has been the duo of Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz. Both forwards have combined for 27 goals and 14 assists this season. Nicolas Lodeiro (nine goals, 16 assists) has also helped the Sounders. The team has also received three cards all season. As for goaltending, Stefan Frei has 11 clean sheets and has allowed 53 goals all season (125 saves).
Toronto FC has a scoring duo of their own; Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozeulo combined for 25 goals and 21 assists. If the Sounders are to win their second MLS Cup, it is imperative that they contain these two at all costs. As of right now, it seems like soccer (and football) is alive and well in the Emerald City.
After #5 Oklahoma's upset at the hands of Kansas State on Saturday, the playoff door has suddenly swung wide open for both Utah and Oregon. With teams like Penn State and Florida facing tough games down the road, it'll only broaden the opportunity for these two Pac-12 schools to get into the playoff. Granted, both won't be able to get in at the same time; that would require catastrophic collapses from Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson. But the Pac-12 will get their representative if the following happens.
#1 LSU has a fairly tame schedule aside from the Alabama game. In fact, this is probably one Ed Orgeron's best teams yet, being loaded at practically every position. However, in the case of LSU getting upset by, say, Texas A&M, this would give Oregon or Utah the opportunity to seize the final spot. Either school would have the conference championship advantage over LSU as well, which would make their case more compelling. Still, both Pac-12 schools must win the rest of the way leading up to the Pac-12 Championship. Otherwise, this will mean nothing.
Of course, having Ohio State have one of their embarrassing upsets at the hands of a school like Iowa would help nicely. However, with the way the Buckeyes are playing, that seems unlikely. The Pac-12 is going to have to hope for a classic LSU collapse down the road. Will it happen? Who knows.
Some teams have already reached the halfway point of the season and some teams have already made an impact. Here are some takeaways from the first half of the NFL regular season.
One conference didn't have a good day, while the rest took care of business. Who had nothing but blue skies and who had the pouring rain douse their parade?
Other Losers: Arizona State, Liberty, Notre Dame
College Football Playoff Four:
So I do my best to lead a healthy lifestyle, right? This involves drinking the smoothies, working out every day, and stretching. But I have to have some jams going when I work out. That's because nobody wants to hear Joe Buck speak when working out (not that I mind, but still). Here are some songs that I rock when I hit the gym.
Think about it. The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup a couple seasons ago, upending the Vegas Golden Knights, 4-1. The Washington Mystics won their first WNBA title this year behind Elena Delle Donne's dominant play. Now, the Washington Nationals are two wins away from their first World Series title thanks to a strong rotation and Juan Soto.
Granted, there are outlier teams such as the Redskins (cough, cough, Dan Snyder) and the Wizards. Still, the nation's capital has suddenly become a bastion for competitive sports teams. This is good for a region that has been starved for championship teams since the early 90s. Even with their football team winning Super Bowls, Washington, D.C. has not had much to cheer for.
What makes it even sweeter for Nationals fans is that they made the World Series without Bryce Harper around. The irony of Philadelphia missing the playoffs while the Nationals remain two games away from their first title is delicious.
We're chugging along with the NFL season, with playoff contenders emerging and other teams falling out of favor. This week's bonus pick will be pitting the Oakland Raiders against the Houston Texans. Can the Texans rebound from last week's loss against the Colts?
A young quarterback established himself in the MVP race and a contender has suddenly soured. What went down in week seven of the NFL season?
Another top ten team falls prey to an upset, shaking up the playoff picture. Who stood their ground and who got sent off to "SPACE"?
Other Losers: Georgia in the first half, Jim Harbaugh, Wisconsin
College Football Playoff Four
For the first time in a loooooooooong time, it's a good time to be a Buffalo sports fan. Bad memories bog the minds of numerous Buffalo sports fans, ranging from Scott Norwood's missed field goal to Brett Hull's goal. To make matters worse, the city of Buffalo hasn't had a title in any of the four major sports since 1965. Ouch.
Could the city's fortunes change in the next few years? It's possible, especially since the Bills look awesome defensively (second-fewest yards allowed in the NFL this season with 1,375) and Jack Eichel and company keep taking care of business (6-1-1, good enough for 13 points and first place in the Atlantic Division).
Let's start with the Sabres. The talk is usually centered around Eichel, but it has been more than Eichel himself. Carter Hutton just notched his second straight shutout and strength in all lines has propelled the Sabres to the most points in the NHL right now. Well-timed attacks and good movement have been the Sabre's M.O., with not one forward dominating the scoring.
Now, we go to the Bills. There hasn't much circling of the wagons for Bills fans lately, spare one playoff appearance. But this season has been different. Yes, Josh Allen has not the best quarterback. Yes, there's no chance in hell the Bills are catching the Patriots in the AFC East. However, Buffalo does have the second-best record in the AFC at the moment. Their linebacker group looks outstanding and disruptive and the secondary is a lockdown group. Plus, the Bills get to beat up on the NFC East, the Jets, and the Dolphins.
Buffalo fans have quietly been one of the most miserable fan bases in the nation. However, things are starting to turn around. Hopefully, Buffalo sports fans will get their future title akin to what Cleveland got in 2016.
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