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Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Conference.’

Crew dominates Toronto FC, 2-0 to win Trillium Cup; Higuain scores twice again to put team back in playoff hunt

Federico Higuain on fire with two more goals (courtesy MLS)

Matt Lampson second straight shutout (courtesy MLS)

A few weeks ago, the Columbus Crew were 10 points out of playoff contention and the fans wanted the management to fire head coach Robert Warzycha.

Now after a couple of shutout victories over New York and Toronto FC, the fans are happy again and the team is back in the playoff hunt.

The reason for the turnaround is the play of Federico Higuain, who the past two seasons is the new Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

Higuain can score from anywhere on the field if his teammates give him the ball. Teams have to account for his whereabouts at all time. Playing with the Crew’s other scoring threat Dominic Oduro, the field opens up for goals to be scored.

Higuain, the 28-year-old Argentinian as the team’s captain has taken over the last few games by scoring four goals and has given Crew fans a hope for the playoffs.

The Crew with 29 points, trail only New England and Chicago for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

Saturday’s win allowed the Crew to win their fifth Trillium Cup in six years in the rivalry with Toronto FC.

The triumph also allowed Warzycha to tie his former coach, Tom Fitzgerald (1996-2001) at 70 wins as a Crew head coach. The 70th win makes Warzycha one of only 14 MLS coaches to achieve the plateau and four are active: Sigi Schmid (Seattle), Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake), Bruce Arena (LA Galaxy) and Dominic Kinnear (Houston).

COLUMBUS CREW POST-GAME DRESSING ROOM

52,425 Chad Marshall Crew CB Team is starting to jell Crew 2 Toronto FC 0

TORONTO FC GAME NOTES

* TFC is 4-12-8, 20 points and in 9th place in the MLS’ Eastern Conference

* Have allowed 10 of 33 goals past the 76th minute

* Robert Earnshaw leads the team with 6 goals

* Are 2-10-3 when allowing the first goal of the game

* Uses a 4-4-2 alignment on the field

* Former Crew player, broadcaster, Duncan Oughton is an assistant coach. He returned to Columbus for the first time since he took the job in June.

COLUMBUS CREW GAME NOTES

* Are 8-11-5, good for 29 points and 8th in the Eastern Conference

* Uses a 4-4-1-1 alignment on the field

* Leads the series with Toronto FC, 10-2-7

* Defender Josh Williams is an Ironman, having started 49 games the past two years

* Co-leading scorer Dominic Oduro has scored 1 goal in his last 7 games

* Are 1-4-2 after a win in 2013

* The Crew has won back-to-back games for the first time in 2013

* The shutout was the 7th by the Crew as a team and backup goaltender Matt Lampson’s third of the season.

 

Bruins secure Patrice Bergeron with eight-year contract

Patrice Bergeron (courtesy Boston Bruins)

Earlier in the week, the Boston Bruins, champions of the Eastern Conference, secured the services of their goaltender Tuukka Rask with an eight-year contract for $56 million.

Rask was a restricted free agent.

On Friday, the Bruins signed another key piece of their championship team to a long-term deal.

Patrice Bergeron inked an eight-year, $52 million contract extension.

The new contract for the 27-year-old Bergeron, will begin after next season when his current three-year deal worth $15 million expires.

The 6’2, 194 pound Bergeron in 42 regular season games, scored 10 goals with 22 assists and 32 points. In 22 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, scored nine goals, dished out six assists for 15 points.

The eight-year contract is the longest period of time that teams are allowed to sign NHL players.

 

This is the 12,100th article posted to the website

GAME NOTES: Sporting KC 2 Columbus Crew 0

 

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SPORTING KANSAS CITY

* Came into the contest at 10-5-3 with 33 points, tied for first in the Eastern Conference with D.C. United.

* Leaves the game at 11-5-3 with 36 points, alone in first place in the Eastern Conference.

* All-time vs. Columbus Crew, 19 wins, 2 shootout wins, 64 goals, 5 ties, at Columbus, 9 wins, 1 shootout win, 34 goals and 3 ties.

* Midfielder Graham Zusi was not in the first 11 players.

* Jacob Peterson scored the game’s first goal in his second straight start.

* In the last 5 games, 1-2-2.

* Has allowed 17 goals in 18 matches for a 0.94 goals against average, the lowest in Major League Soccer.

* Have allowed only 17 goals this season, lowest in the MLS.

* Ranks first in the MLS in shots (298), corner kicks (118) and fewest shots against (185) this year.

* Leads the MLS in all-time shots taken with 6,947.

* Captain Jimmy Nielsen leads all MLS goalkeepers with 11 wins in 2012. His eight shutouts are second-most in the MLS.

 

COLUMBUS CREW

* Have allowed only 19 goals, 2nd in the MLS.

* All-time vs. Sporting KC, 43 meetings, 20 wins, 72 goals, at Columbus, 12 wins, 38 goals.

* Sebastian Miranda did not start for the first time since 2011, spanning 40 straight games.

* Danny O’Rourke was injured and unavailable, Eric Gehrig started.

* Had won three straight home matches, FC Dallas, Chicago and Real Salt Lake.

* The Crew is tied for 17th in MLS scoring.

* Forward Olman Vargas appeared in only his 10th match of the season in the 80th minute, subbing for injured Josh Williams.

* Came into the game 7th in the Eastern Conference at 6-6-4, 22 points.

* They leave the game at 6-7-4, 22 points and still in 7th place.

 

Logos courtesy of MLS

Pacers’ Hibbert may be tough to re-sign; 7’2 true center coveted by rival teams

 

Roy Hibbert of Pacers (2009 photo by Brent D. Payne & Lpdrew via wikipedia commons)

Georgetown product Roy Hibbert just wrapped up his fourth NBA season with the Indiana Pacers.

He had a great season. The 7-foot, 2-inch true center, played in 65 games, averaging 29.8 minutes per game, shooting .497 from the floor, .711 from the foul line, grabbed 8.8 rebounds per game, 2.0 blocked shots per game, 12.8 points per game and the Pacers made the playoffs.

The 25-year-old was drafted by the Pacers in 2008, 17th player overall. He is one of the reasons the Pacers have made the playoffs twice in the past four years.

Fans and media of the Pacers felt that head coach Frank Vogel did not use him as much as he should against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Now the Pacers are in another off-season and decision time is on the way.

Hibbert is a restricted free agent, which means that Indiana can match any offer made to him.

Indiana, from what we hear, wants to re-sign him, but will not get into a money war for a team who will overpay for his services.

Rumors have it that Hibbert could command offers ranging from $12-15 million per season.

Hibbert has some leverage in contract negotiations due to his improving play, he is one of the few “true” centers in the NBA and he just played in his first All-Star Game.

The Pacers may not be able to keep rival teams away from taking him away.

 

Info compiled from Indiana Pacers, Radio, TV & Internet news

WBNA’s Chicago Sky driving towards first playoff berth in new season

 

(courtesy of Chicago Sky via wikipedia commons)

The Chicago Sky was founded in 2005 and have played on the court since the 2006 season in the WNBA.

The team has never made the playoffs. Their highest win total was 16 in 2009 and the lowest was five their first season.

The Sky have finished between 5th and 7th in the Eastern Conference.

Their head coach is Pokey Chatman and the team has made some offseason moves to improve their chances for a playoff berth.

6’6 Sylvia Fowles was already in house, but they’ve added four veterans in Le’coe Willingham, Ticha Penicheiro, Ruth Riley and Swin Cash. That quartet have won a total of eight WNBA championships, so they know how to win.

The Sky have also added Shay Murphy, who scored 9.8 points per game last year for the Indiana Fever.

So far, the Sky is off to a good start with a 1-0 record.

Sylvia Fowles (2011 photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons)

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