DCU, Red Bull playoff series rescheduled

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DCU, Red Bull playoff series rescheduled

Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Major League Soccer requested that D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls switch their home matches in the upcoming two-match Eastern Conference semifinals.  DCU will now open the series at home on Saturday, November 3 at 8 p.m. and their originally scheduled November 7 match in Washington will now be played that night in New York at 8 p.m.

"This was a tough decision but one that is much bigger than the sport of soccer,"  said league commissioner Don Garber.  "Hurricane Sandy is an epic and unprecedented natural disaster, one that continues to affect all of us who live in the New York, New Jersey and tri-state area.  Most of us are still without power and with limited access to communication."

Much of New York City and New Jersey remains without power and with severe flooding in some areas.  The league offices remain closed and have been without power since Monday.  While flood waters reached Red Bull Arena, the stadium did not experience any interior water damage but has relied on backup generators since the storm hit.  

"We thought at the end of the day it was in both parties' best interest to find a suitable alternative," said New York Red Bulls General Manager Jerome de Bontin.

Many attendees rely upon PATH trains to travel to Red Bull Arena.  With the entire New York Subway system, including the PATH, suspended, De Bontin assured that Red Bull is working with the city to find alternative transportation for their Wednesday home match should the PATH still be unavailable.  

"This will have a competitive impact on D.C., we understand that and deeply appreciate their support," said Garber.

Tickets purchased for the November 7 match at RFK will be honored for the newly schedule home game on Saturday or will be refunded.  Both matches will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.  In addition, both clubs have agreed to allow a greater ticket allotment and more flexible seating options for visiting fans.  

"Our fans in the past have responded very quickly when we've had playoff games with quick turnarounds," said D.C. United President and CEO Kevin Payne.  "We think that we still have among the best fan bases in the league and we are entirely confident that our fans will come out and give us the home field advantage that we would have enjoyed Wednesday night."

"I think that there are very few teams in Major League Soccer that could pull something like this off," said Garber.  "Part of our willingness to go down this path was the confidence that we have in Kevin [Payne] and D.C. United and, frankly, the passion of their fans."

The league hopes that Red Bull Arena will be ready to host the second match of the series come Wednesday.  According to De Bontin, the club expects to have full power back by Monday, though league officials will look for a suitable alternative in the area should their power not be restored. 

NWSL Highlights: Spirit catch Thorns atop standings in Week 13

NWSL Highlights: Spirit catch Thorns atop standings in Week 13

Week 13 in the National Women’s Soccer League saw the Washington Spirit finally catch the Portland Thorns atop the table, while the Houston Dash snapped a six-game losing streak.

Orlando and Chicago squared off in a game with huge playoff implications, and Sky Blue FC and Boston met for Northeast bragging rights.

NWSL Week 10 highlights include final games by USWNT members

NWSL Week 10 highlights include final games by USWNT members

Another week of NWSL action is in the books, but Week 10 was far from just another slate of games. We saw the Western New York Flash make league history in Rochester plus late drama in Orlando and Washington.

This was also the final weekend of NWSL play before members of the U.S. Women's National Team report for camp ahead of the Rio Olympics. 

With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in Copa America

With 1-0 loss to Colombia, US finishes 4th in Copa America

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Carlos Bacca beat goalkeeper Tim Howard by sliding to poke in a headed cross in the 31st minute, and the United States finished fourth in the Copa America with a 1-0 defeat against Colombia on Saturday night.

After losing to Argentina 4-0 in the semifinals, the 31st-ranked U.S. was beaten by No. 3 Colombia for the second time in the 16-nation tournament.

Bobby Wood came closest to scoring for the U.S. when he hit a post in the 62nd, one minute after Colombia's Juan Cuadrado hit the underside of the crossbar.

The U.S. matched its previous best finish in the tournament, when it lost to Colombia in the 1995 fourth-place game at Uruguay.

After the Americans lost to Jamaica in the semifinals of last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup and struggled in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was hoping his team would rebound in the Copa, when right back DeAndre Yedlin, central defender John Brooks, midfielder Gyasi Zardes and forward Bobby Wood solidified their positions as regular starters.

Darlington Nagbe and 17-year-old Christian Pulisic again entered as second-half subs, two more players who could break through and replace veterans during the remaining 16 months of World Cup qualifying.

Colombia, which never has won the Copa America, finished third for fourth time but first since 1995. Argentina plays Chile for the title on Sunday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Both teams finished a man short, when American defender Michael Orozco and Colombian defender Santiago Arias were ejected for a confrontation in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Orozco is suspended the U.S.'s World Cup qualifier at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, and Arias for Colombia's qualifier against Venezuela.

Klinsmann inserted the 37-year-old Howard into his lineup in place of Brad Guzan, who had started the previous nine games. Matt Besler was in central defense instead of Brooks, who was bothered by knee inflammation, and Orozco was at left back because Fabian Johnson has a sore groin.

Midfielders Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya returned to the lineup along with Wood after the three served one-game suspensions.

Colombia scored after Juan Cuadrado, from along a flank, cut the ball back to James Rodriguez, just outside the penalty area. Arias made a run to get by Bedoya, and Rodriguez lofted a pass to Arias, who jumped at the edge of the 6-yard box and headed the ball across Howard's goal to Bacca. The forward slid ahead of Yedlin to nudge the ball in for his 13th international goal, his second of the tournament.

Clint Dempsey, who led the U.S. with three goals in the tournament, nearly scored on a free kick in the 51st minute. Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina dived left and lifted his right arm to tip Dempsey's effort wide.