MLS Western Conference Semifinal Previews — Galaxy-RSL, Seattle-Portland

Now that the Eastern Conference semifinals few MLS fans could actually see because of a dearth of TV coverage are over — Houston downed New York, while Sporting Kansas City outlasted the New England Revolution Wednesday in a pair of games that went to overtime — it’s on to a televised doubleheader tonight of the corresponding games in the Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake-Galaxy are up first at 6 p.m. on ESPN2, while the Timbers-Sounders game follows at 8 p.m. on NBCSN.

For more, check out Tuesday’s column.

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Wednesday Kicks: Galaxy, MLS Playoffs and more

A few links for today:
*With neither of tonight’s playoff games on free TV (yup, including Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls), we may as well look forward to the Real Salt Lake-Galaxy game where the home team is looking for penetrating passes and a goal or two to overcome their 1-0 first leg deficit.
*Guess which former Galaxy defender is the new Columbus Crew coach?
*Here’s your weekend EPL preview. The slate of games includes an 8 a.m. Sunday Manchester United-Arsenal encounter on NBCSN.

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Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes latest subject of LA Galaxy’s “Be A Pro” Webisode Series

Here’s more from the press release on the eight-episode series:

The short-form, documentary-style series, directed by independent filmmaker Brandon Vedder (“Pearl Jam: Live at The Garden,” “La Source”), features eight episodes that holistically explore what it takes to be a professional soccer player through the eyes of LA Galaxy peak performers. Featuring Galaxy players including Omar Gonzalez, Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo, “Be A Pro” dives into the mental and physical commitments and sacrifices that are made in order to perform at the highest level.

Here’s episode three in the series called “The Finishing Touch:”

If you missed episode two, featuring Marcelo Sarvas, you can watch it here:

The first episode, with defender Omar Gonzalez, is below:

The next episode, featuring Pablo Mastroeni, is set for release Nov. 19

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MLS Playoff Sunday: Real Salt Lake at Galaxy

#RSL coach Kreis says #laGalaxy 2 wins in 3 games in 2013 makes them #MLS playoff favs, but "(Players) quickly forget what records were."

— Nick Green (@LAsoccerblog) October 31, 2013

The experience of the Seattle Sounders at home Saturday provides a cautionary tale today for the Galaxy as they open their playoff series in Carson against Real Salt Lake (live at 6 p.m. on ESPN)..

It could have been much worse for former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid, but there is already blood in the water as predators circle and fans pile on the pressure.

By comparison Galaxy coach Bruce Arena’s two-time defending MLS Cup champions  must merely struggle with being anointed favorites by the opposing coach, a statement that wasn’t so much mind game as stating a fact given the Galaxy’s advantage over RSL so far this season.

Bottom line: Playoffs are a different beast, but the Galaxy’s home form this season must surely be enough for a slim one goal advantage come halftime of the 180-minute contest tonight barring a late defensive collapse..

Your prediction?

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Friday Kicks: Weekend Games on TV and more

*Torrance’s Anika Rodriguez scored a goal along with six other Americans in the 8-0 U.S. rout of Trinidad & Tobago Thursday at the U-17 championships.

*The compliments and the mind games have begun ahead of Sunday’s Galaxy-RSL playoff game in Carson (live at 6 p.m. on ESPN).

*Here’s your comprehensive EPL weekend preview.

My picks for the weekend’s EPL and MLS playoff games not to miss:

10:30 a.m. Saturday NBC Arsenal-Liverpool

7 p.m. Saturday NBCSN Seattle-Portland


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