NCAA Tournament: Top seeds advance to Round of 16 | Soccer By Ives

By JOHN BOSCHINI

The second round of the NCAA tournament saw plenty of late-game drama as half of the 16 games were decided in overtime or via penalty kicks and several more were decided with goals in the final minutes.

No. 13 Butlers first loss of the season came at the worst possible time as Michigan State upset the Bulldogs 1-0. Butler dominated play for most of the game, outshooting the Spartans 15-6 and forcing several class saves Avery Steinlage. But in the 85th minute, Butler failed to clear and Jeff Ricondo took advantage of Bulldog goalkeeper Fabian Knopflers poor positioning, blasting a 30-yard shot into the bottom corner.

No. 3 Akron faced a tougher-than-expected challenge from West Virginia but the Zips held on for a 3-2 victory. Freshman Darren Mattocks netted a first-half double to give Akron the early lead. The Zips appeared to have sealed the victory when Scott Caldwell scored in the 70th minute but the Mountaineers mounted a furious comeback, scoring twice in the final 10 minutes but couldnt the equalizer.

In other NCAA Tournament action:

No. 4 North Carolina rode its luck against a tough Georgetown team, winning 5-4 on penalty kicks after a scoreless 110 minutes. The game was far more offensive than the scoreline would suggest, with both teams combining for 12 shots on goal. In the shootout, Seth CDebaca was stoned by Scott Goodwin on Georgetowns third spot kick and the Tar Heels took advantage, going a perfect five for five.

No. 14 Indiana justified its first-round bye with a 5-1 demolition of Tulsa thanks to senior Will Bruins two goals and two assists. Andy Adlard broke the opening deadlock in the 41st minute with a strike from 12 yards out. Nikita Kotlov and Harrison Petts scored to put the Hoosiers up 3-0. Tulsa briefly brought a goal back with an Ashley McInnes chip before Bruin finished the former No. 2 Tulsa off with two goals just six minutes apart.

UC Santa Barbaras hopes of playing the College Cup on its home field were dashed when No. 6 California came back to defeat the Gauchos 2-1 in overtime. Michael Tetteh scored in the 82nd minute to break a 0-0 tie and it looked the UCSB would score an away upset. But Servando Carrasco scored with 1:40 left in regulation and Paul Davis got a golden goal with a single second left on the clock in the first overtime period.

A couple of late goals got No. 1 Lousivilles title charge off to a good start with a 3-1 defeat of College of Charleston. Nick DeLeon opened the scoring for the Cardinals by putting home a rebound after Paolo Delpiccolos shot came off the post. Five minutes later, the score was level when Sean Flaterys header went in off the post. The Cardinals finally secured victory when Colin Rolfe and Charlie Campbell scored in the final seven minutes. With Butlers loss, Louisville is now the final undefeated team left in Division 1 soccer.

No. 11 Connecticut were overcome 7-6 in penalty kicks by Brown. Taylor Gorman put the visiting Bears ahead in the eigth minute with a low shot. The Huskies couldnt find an equalizer until the 87th minute with a goal from Mamadou Diouf. After a scoreless overtime, both teams made four of their initial five spot kicks but Max Wasserman missed UCONNs eight penalty and Jay Hayward provided the game winner.

No. 5 Southern Methodist survived a first-round scare from Creighton, winning 5-3 on penalty kicks. Arthur Ivo scored with just 12 seconds left in regulation to force overtime for the Mustangs. Jose Gomezs penalty kick was stopped by Craig Hill to down the Blue Jays.

Maryland had no trouble advancing to the final 16 as the Terrapins dispatched Pennsylvania 4-0. John Stertzer scored from six yards out in the ninth minute before Matt Kassel converted a penalty kick and Greg Young scored from close range to give Maryland a 3-0 halftime lead. After the break, Maryland protected that lead but freshman Patrick Mullins completed the rout in the 88th minute.

Duke became the third ACC team to exit the NCAA tournament in the opening week with a 1-0 overtime defeat to No. 7 South Carolina. Regulation saw both teams miss chance after chance as goalkeepers James Belshaw and Jimmy Maurer bailed their teams out on several occasions. The dealock was finally broken 59 seconds from the end of the first overtime when Bradlee Baladez slotted a close range effort past Belshaw.

No. 12 William Mary survived a penalty kick scare of its own, dispatching UMBC 5-3 after a scoreless 110 minutes. WM goalkeeper George McAdams came up with a stop in the shootout to advance the Tribe.

Just a few days after destroying Monmouth 4-0, Dartmouth continued its surprise run with a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 9 Notre Dame. Senior Andrew Olson opened the scoring for Dartmouth in the 65th minute with a rebound off of Phillip Tuttle. Dillon Powers brought the Irish level 17 minutes from time but Olson completed his brace in the ninth minute of the first overtime to seal the victory.

No. 8 UCLA had little trouble against Sacramento State, dispatching the Mountain Pacific champions 4-1. The Bruins rattled off the first four goals of the game, Chandler Hoffman scored a brace while Reed Williams and Victor Chavez added goals of their own. Freshman Kelyn Rowe showed his worth to UCLA, providing two assists. Ernesto Carranza saved face for Sacramento with a goal in the 87th minute.

No. 16 Ohio State stifled a Providence offense that posted six on St. Peters in midweek, downing the Friars 2-1. Konrad Warzycha and Omar Vallejo scored less than 15 minutes apart after a scoreless first half at Ohio State. Greg Davis pulled one back for Providence with five minutes left in regulation but the Friars couldnt find an equalizer.

Old Dominion looked like it was about to pull of another shocking upset by going ahead early at No. 15 Penn State. But Corey Hertzog put on an offensive clinic with a hat trick as the Nittany Lions rattled off four unanswered goals to advance to the third round.

No. 10 Michigan extended its winning streak to seven games with 2-1 overtime victory over Central Florida. UCF drew first blood with a goal from Nik Keown-Robson in the ninth minute. The Wolverines equalized in the 50th minute with a goal from Justin Meram before Latif Alashes golden goal in the 95th minute.

Missed chances, misfortune doom FC Dallas in Cup final | Soccer By Ives

By JOSE M. ROMERO

TORONTO George John could only sit at his locker and stare into space, trying to forget every defenders nightmare that hed just experienced moments earlier.

In a sullen and quiet, almost puzzled FC Dallas locker room, where all players and staff could do was sit or stand and not move, John tried to find the words to explain what happened in the 107th minute of Sunday nights MLS Cup.

Dallas lost 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids after regulation time and two overtime periods at BMO Field, the Rapids getting the game-winning goal on an own goal by John, who deflected Macoumba Kandjis shot past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman as Hartman got in position for a save.

Just kind of one of those plays, John said. I dont really know what to say about it. Cost us the season. Cost us the Cup.

Of course, John was just doing his job, trying to clear the ball from the goal area, and Kandji had gotten by two other FCD defenders, Jair Benitez and Ugo Ihemelu. Kandji still had a tough angle shot with the imposing John in his way, but fired away. The ball caromed off Johns leg and far out of Hartmans reach.

Immediately after the goal, John buried his face in his hands. On the big screen at the stadium, he had a look of stunned bewilderment, yet the game wasnt yet over. There remained some 12 minutes in the second overtime, plus subsequent injury time.

I was in shock when it happened. It just seemed unreal to me, John said. I tried to compose myself as well as I could and get up the field and help my team out.

John, pushed forward to help get an equalizer, took a quality shot on goal that Rapids keeper Matt Pickens saved. He also misfired on a header, two chances in the closing moments to atone for the own goal.

It wasnt to be, nor was it for FC Dallas, who took a 1-0 lead in the first half but couldnt make it stand.

We didnt sit back by any means, Hartman said. You saw throughout the game we had eight to nine guys going forward trying to get things for us. They (the Rapids) were able to kind of battle and block some shots and clear some shots off the line We just werent able to get the bounces.

Hartman said John was doing his best to prevent a cross from Kandji when the decisive goal happened.

I feel so bad for him, because I really think hes one of the best center backs in the league and its unlucky that the bounce occurred the way that it did, Hartman said. Certainly he has nothing to be ashamed of.

FC Dallas played aggressively, marking the Rapids big target Conor Casey with all four defenders at different times. Casey, a burly forward who exerts his will often, heard it from Benitez and holding midfielder Daniel Hernandez, as if they were telling him they werent afraid to be physical. That didnt stop Casey from scoring the tying goal in the 57th minute.

Still, FC Dallas was in control of possession of the ball and attacked Colorados goal with regularity late in the second half. But Pickens and the right-place, right-time defenders didnt allow another goal after David Ferreiras in the 35th minute.

I thought we fought and we limited their chances, Ihemelu said. We gave away a couple of unfortunate opportunities that they capitalized on.

Barcelona, Real Madrid win big in La Liga | Soccer By Ives

By JOHN BOSCHINI

It was a big day for Spains top two teams as Barcelona and Real Madrid put on offensive clinics ahead of next weeks El Clasico.

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick as Barcelona routed Almeria 8-0. Messi opened the scoring in the 17th minute, kicking off a torrid 19 minutes in which Barcelona scored five times. Goals from Andres Iniesta, Alemria captain Santiago Acsiete and Pedro preceded Messis second goal in the 37th minute.

Barcelonas three second-half goals came between the 62nd and 73rd minutes with Messis third goal and a brace from substitute Bojan KrKic. Messi now has 101 goals in 154 Barcelona appearances.

The hefty defeat was the last straw for Almeria manager Juan Manuel Lillo, who was fired mere hours after the final whistle.

Not to be outdone, La Liga leaders Real Madrid had a lopsided victory of their own, downing Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu with the help of a Christiano Ronaldo hat trick.

Gonzalo Higuain broke through for Madrid in the 19th minute by fighting off two defenders and beating Gorka Iraizoz. Ronaldo added his first on the half hour mark with with a driven shot from 20 yards out. Bilbao narrowed the lead just before halftime with a goal from Fernando Llorente.

In the second half, it was all Real Madrid. Sergio Ramos converted a penalty in the 57th minute, Iraizoz horribly misplayed Ronaldos free kick five minutes later to make it 4-1 before the Portugese international converted a penalty kick to complete the hat trick.

Madrid now sits one point above Barcelona after 12 games and is already eight clear of third-place Villareal.

Here are highlights of both matches.

Barcelona 8, Almeria 0

Real Madrid 5, Athletic Bilbao 1

What do you think of both teams performances? Can Real Madrid hold off Barcelona down the stretch? How awful is Ronaldos mohawk? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

European Weekend Rewind: Barca, Real Madrid roll, Spurs top Arsenal & more | Soccer By Ives

By IAN HOLLIDAY

In a weekend of impressive performances and intriguing storylines across Europe, La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid produced two of Saturdays signature wins. Barca handed Almeria a worst-in-club-history 8-0 defeat, while Real Madrid clobbered Athletic Bilbao 5-1. Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had hat-tricks, reinforcing their status as the top two players in the world. The two clubs meet a week from Monday at Camp Nou, with the winner taking over the league lead.

Two of the weekends more surprising results came in England, where Arsenal fell at home to Spurs for the first time since 1993, squandering a 2-0 first-half lead and losing 3-2. Elsewhere in England, Chelsea lost a second straight match, this time 1-0 at Birmingham City. The loss allowed Manchester United to draw level with the Blues on 28 points.

In Italy, the talk of the season continues to be Inter Milans struggles. The former champions lost again this weekend, falling 2-1 at Chievo on Sunday. Inter are now nine points behind derby rivals AC Milan and in danger of missing out on Champions League competition for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

The French title race continues to be as close as it has been in years, with Lille currently topping a group of eight clubs within 2 points of the top. Its a different story in Germany, however, as Borussia Dortmund continue to rack up the points, amassing an 11-1-1 record, good for 34 points, seven better than their nearest Bundesliga competition.

Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europes top leagues:

ENGLAND

Chelseas consecutive losses have tightened up the top of the Premier League table. The Blues are now level on points with Man Utd., which have quietly gone undefeated through the seasons first 14 matches, not a good sign for rest of the league, as United typically start slowly and finish strong. Behind the Red Devils is Arsenal, stuck on 26 points after its derby loss to Tottenham. Spurs have 22 points, good for sixth in the league behind Manchester City and surprising Bolton. Both Wanderers and Spurs will feel good about their chances of earning a place in next seasons Champions League, as neither Arsenal nor City have been consistent so far this year.

Arsenal 2, Tottenham 3

Manchester United 2, Wigan Athletic 0

Bolton 5, Newcastle United 1

West Bromwich Albion 0, Stoke City 3

Birmingham City 1, Chelsea 0

Blackpool 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Liverpool 3, West Ham United 0

Blackburn 2, Aston Villa 0

Fulham 1, Manchester City 4

Monday: Sunderland v. Everton

SPAIN

Beyond the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the rest of La Liga is shaping up to feature some competitive races. The entire bottom half of the table, beginning with 10-placed Osasuna, is within five points of the relegation zone, and last-placed Real Zaragoza could catapult itself to safety with a victory over Getafe on Monday, putting even more pressure on the rest of La Ligas also-rans. Meanwhile, the race for European qualification should feature some interesting battles as well. Villarreal and Espanyol currently hold third and fourth place, respectively, but traditionally solid clubs Valencia, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla are all within striking distance.

Villarreal 1, Valencia 1

Almeria 0, Barcelona 8

Real Madrid 5, Athletic Bilbao 1

Espanyol 3, Hercules 0

Deportivo La Coruna 3, Malaga 0

Osasuna 1, Sporting Gijon 0

Levante 3, Racing Santander 1

Sevilla 1, Mallorca 2

Real Sociedad 2, Atletico Madrid 3

Monday: Getafe v. Real Zaragoza

ITALY

Former leaders Lazio seem to have cooled off after their hot start to the season. With just one win in its last four matches, the Roman club has fallen off the pace in Serie A. Setting the pace is AC Milan, which extended its lead with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina. Meanwhile, former champs Inter are nine points behind their derby rivals and in serious danger of missing out on European qualification just one season removed from winning the whole thing. Sundays 2-1 loss to Chievo certainly didnt help the cause.

AS Roma 2, Udinese 0

AC Milan 1, Fiorentina 0

Genoa 0, Juventus 2

Brescia 1, Cagliari 2

Lecce 2, Sampdoria 3

Parma 1, Lazio 1

Chievo Verona 2, Inter Milan 1

Catania 1, Bari 0

Cesena 1, Palermo 2

Napoli 4, Bologna 1

GERMANY

If the Premier League title race has gone from boring to interesting in the last few weeks, the Bundesliga race has made the opposite switch. Borussia Dortmund remains seven points ahead of second-placed Mainz 05 after a 2-1 win over SC Freiburg. Mainz were able to keep pace with a come-from-behind win over last-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, which are looking more and more destined for relegation as the season wears on.

Eintracht Frankfurt 0, Hoffenheim 4

SC Freiburg 1, Borussia Dortmund 2

Schalke 04 4, Werder Bremen 0

Borussia Moenchengladbach 2, Mainz 05 3

Hannover 96 3, Hamburg 2

Nurnberg 1, Kaiserslautern 3

Bayer Leverkusen 1, Bayern Munich 1

VfB Stuttgart 0, FC Cologne 1

St. Pauli 1, VfL Wolfsburg 1

FRANCE

After this weekends matches, the top eight teams in Ligue 1 are separated by just two points. Not included in that group is St. Etienne, which has been on an awful run of form in the past few weeks after leading for much of the first quarter of the season. Tops this week are Lille, which lead Montpellier on goal differential. Both clubs are on 24 points. The six other competitors, all of which could be the leagues leaders by this time next week, are Paris St. Germain and Stade Rennes, both on 23 points, and Marseille, Brest, Bordeaux and Lyon, all of which have 22 points.

Paris St. Germain 2, Caen 1

Sochaux 2, Lorient 0

Stade Rennes 2, Brest 1

St. Etienne 1, AJ Auxerre 1

Toulouse 0, Marseille 1

AS Nancy Lorraine 2, Valenciennes 0

Nice 0, Montpellier 1

Lille 2, AS Monaco 1

Arles 2, Bordeaux 4

Lens 1, Lyon 3

What did you think of this weeks results? Excited for next weeks Classico between Barca and Real Madrid? Surprised by Chelseas recent form? Share your thoughts below:

Traveling fans bring spirit, flavor to MLS Cup | Soccer By Ives

By TRAVIS CLARK

TORONTO Traveling a few thousands miles on short notice can be a bit of a drag. But when its to support your respective home team in the MLS Cup final in a city youve never been to, it can sometimes be a whole new experience.

Both FC Dallas and Colorado supporters, coming from two of the smaller markets of Major League Soccer, were both well-represented Sunday evening. A few hundred from both sides hunkered down to brave the cold and cheer own their home side. The sea of Burgundy and Blue meshed with the sea of red and white, though any exchanges were good natured before the match.

Rapids fans appeared to be more receptive to the cold than their Dallas counterparts, having sat through last weekends Eastern Conference Final in Commerce City. With kickoff temperatures hovering around the low 40s, and the wind whipping off the coast from Lake Ontario, it wasnt for the faint of heart. Crowds of supporters huddled under outdoor heaters to try and stay warm.

Fans of both sides arrived on Thursday, Friday and into the weekend, getting a chance to savor the sights and sounds of the Canadian host city. Both fans gushed with praise for their hosts, enjoying the feel of a new city.

Torontos been great, said Matt from Dallas, wearing an outfit complete with a small cowboy hat.

Different groups arrived in different ways FC Dallas charted a flight for fans, providing match tickets, accommodation and covering every base. However, a number of fans coming from both Colorado and Texas set things up on their own.

Planes emerged from Dallas with 40 to 60 fans at a time heading north of the border. And it paid off to an extent FC Dallas appeared to fill most of their section, clamoring in with banners, flags and drums to decorate the alloted sections.

On the Rapids side of things, a semblance of organization was more visible song sheets distributed, and designated supporters leading the chants.

It wasnt all positive however. During Sunday mornings Supporters Summit, fans of both sides lodged complaints of the match ticket price, having to lay out between $80-$200 for a ticket for the MLS Cup final.

For both Colorado and Dallas supporters, a long plane ride home awaits. For one set, its a satisfying end to an exciting trip. For another, only a time to reflect and wait for a new season to being next year.

Report: Adu to play in Randers reserve match with hope of landing contract (UPDATED) | Soccer By Ives

Freddy Adu could soon land at a new club, but not for its first team.

According to Danish outlet Sporten, Adu will play for Randers in a reserve tournament game tonight and could end up with a contract with the club should he impress. He is expected to play in the last three games of the tournament for Randers, who he has been training with in order to stay in shape.

Should Adu join the club, he would play for the reserves as he has been deemed not fit enough to play at the Superliga (Denmarks top flight) level, according to Randers chief scout Peter Cristiansen.

Even if Adu impresses, there is a road block to him signing with Randers. Currently he is on loan to Aris Salonika from Benfica, but the former has found no use for him this season. Benfica could let Adu go out on loan, but not until the winter transfer window opens in January. There is also a chance Adu could sign with Randers on a free transfer.

(UPDATE- Adu started, played 90 minutes and hit the post twice in Randers reserves 4-0 loss to Viborg. According to club trainer Michael Winther, Adu looked good for the first 60-70 minutes before losing some steam.)

What do you think of Adu possibly landing a deal with Randers? Surprised hed start off with the reserves? Just happy to see another club willing to take a chance on him? Should Benfica just release him?

Share your thoughts below.

Wheeling and dealing on first day of MLS off-season (UPDATED) | Soccer By Ives

MLS teams wasted no time making deals after the end of the 2010 season, in part because of the looming MLS expansion draft.

The Columbus Crew continued its dismantling of its 2008 championship team by dealing midfielder Brian Carroll to the Phiadelphia Union (NOT D.C. United) for a conditional second round pick and an allocation.

The deal re-unites Nowak and Carroll after the two spent time at D.C. United, where both helped D.C. to the 2004 MLS Cup title.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls sent former 2008 first-round pick Jeremy Hall to the Portland Timbers for a third-round draft pick. The Red Bulls did not plan on keeping Hall on its protected list, but Hall was clearly an expansion draft target for both Portland an Vancouver.

Portland wasnt done dealing. The Timbers also dealt an allocation to Los Angeles for an international player slot for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The slot returns to the Galaxy after 2012.

Colorado celebrated its MLS Cup victory last night, but made a deal on Monday, sending defenders Julian Baudet and Danny Earls to Seattle for Peter Vagenas.

We will update this posts with any other trades that go through.

For now, feel free to share your thoughts on these deals in the comments section below.

List of players available for MLS Expansion Draft announced | Soccer By Ives

Major League Soccer has released the names of the players protected by each of the 16 current MLS teams ahead of Wednesdays MLS Expansion Draft.

Portland and Vancouver will choose from the players left unprotected on Monday, with each MLS team in position to lose as many as two players in the expansion draft.

New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel, Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad, Columbus star Guillermo Barros Schelotto and FC Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty are just some of the more intriguing names on the list of available players for Wednesdays Expansion Draft.

Here is the full list of players who were left UNPROTECTED for Wednesdays Expansion Draft:

Chivas USA

CarlosBorja,JonathanBornstein,ChukwudiChijindu,RodolfoEspinoza,MaykelGalindo,AlanGordon, Dan Kennedy, EduardoLillingston, GiancarloMaldonado, GersonMayen, JesusPadilla, OsaelRomero,MarceloSaragosa,MarianoTrujillo,AlexZotinca.

Chicago Fire

Nery Castillo, Andrew Dykstra, Collins John, Krzysztof Krol, Freddie Ljungberg, Peter Lowry, Dasan Robinson, John Thorrington, Deris Umanzor.

Colorado Rapids

Andre Akpan, Quincy Amarikwa, Stewart Ceus, Ian Joyce, Ross LaBauex, Claudio Lopez, Ciaran OBrien, Scott Palguta, Ross Schunk, Wells Thompson, Peter Vagenas, Anthony Wallace.

Columbus Crew

Eric Brunner, Kevin Burns, Jason Garey, Leandre Griffit, Andy Gruenebaum, Frankie Hejduk, Adam Moffat, Duncan Oughton, Gino Padula, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Joshua Williams.

FC Dallas

Eric Avila, Jeff Cunningham, Kyle Davies, Edson Edward, Bruno Guarda, Atiba Harris, Daniel Hernandez, Dax McCarty, Milton Rodriguez, Dario Sala, Jason Yeisley.

D.C. United

Dan Allsopp, Brandon Barklage, Adam Cristman, Jordan Graye, Pablo Hernandez, Devon McTavish, Kurt Morsink, Juan Pena, Troy Perkins, Barry Rice, Carlos Varela.

Houston Dynamo

Samuel Appiah, Corey Ashe, Ryan Cochrane, Richard Mulrooney, Joseph Ngwenya, Anthony Obodai, Dominic Oduro, Pat Onstad, Eddie Robinson.

Sporting Kansas City

Korede Aiyegbusi, Jamar Beasley, Sunil Chhetri, Jimmy Conrad, Birahim Diop, Zoltan, Hercegfalvi, Aaron Hohlbein, Nick Koenenakis, Eric Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Chance Myers, Shavar Thomas, Josh Wolff.

LA Galaxy

Gregg Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, Leonardo Da Silva, Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski, Dema Kovalenko, Mike Magee, Yohance Marshall, Brian Perk, Josh Saunders,

New England Revolution

Zak Boggs, Preston Burpo, Nico Colaluca, Kheli Dube, Cory Gibbs, Jason Griffiths, Roberto Linck, Tim Murray, pat Phelan, Seth Sinovic, Khano Smith, Ilija Stolica.

New York Red Bulls

Juan Pablo Angel, Andrew Boyens, Conor Chinn, Austin da Luz, Irving Garcia, Brian Nielsen, Carl Robinson, Ibrahim Salou, Luke Sassano, Greg Sutton, Carey Talley, Sinisa Ubiparipovic.

Philadelphia Union

Cristian, Arrieta, Eduardo Coudet, Fred, Andrew Jacobson, Brad Knighton, Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno, Joseph Noone, Shea Salinas, Chris Seitz, Nick Zimmerman.

Real Salt Lake

Jean Alexandre, Pablo Campos, Robbie Findley, Nelson Gonzalez, Ned Grabavoy, David Horst, Rauwshan McKenzie, Timothy Melia, Alex Nimo, Kyle Reynish, Robbie Russell, Chris Shuler, Collen Warner, Andy Williams.

San Jose Earthquakes

Arturo Alvarez, Andre Luiz, Steve Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales, Eduardo, Geovanni, Cornell Glen, Chris Leitch, Justin Morrow, Brad Ring, Tim Ward.

Seattle Sounders FC

Julian Baudet, Terry Boss, Danny Earls, David Estrada, Leonardo Gonzalez, Taylor Graham, Patrick Ianni, Roger Levesque, Tyrone Marshall, Miguel Montano, Blaise Nkufo, Pat Noonan, Sanna Nyassi, Zach Scott, Michael Seamon, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl.

Toronto FC

Chad Barrett, Julian deGuzman, Gabe Gala, Nick Garcia, Raivis Hscanovics, Fuad Ibrahim, Milos Kocic, Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez, Joseph Nane, Amadou Sanyang, Martin Saric, Maxim Usanov, OBrian White.

What do you think of these lists? Which players would you take if you were Portland or Vancouver?

Share your thoughts below.

A look back at the 2010 MLS Cup Weekend | Soccer By Ives

The 2010 MLS Cup Final will be remembered for a hard-fought game, disappearing fans and some frigid weather conditions, but the weekend itself should be remembered for being entertaining and Toronto should be remembered for throwing one heck of a weekend for Major League Soccer.

For those of you who werent able to make the trip, here is a rundown of some of the highlights for me, as well as some random thoughts from the weekend in Toronto:

One enduring moment I was lucky enough to see came well after MLS Cup Final, at one of the post-cup parties. It was of Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu and Rapids striker Omar Cummings sharing a long congratulatory hug as Ihemelu welcomed Cummings to the champions club. The two former teammates had battled admirably on Sunday night, and the respect was there to see as Ihemelu congratulated his good friend.

One player who couldnt have been too happy is Heath Pearce, who was adamant in the days leading up to the final that he was healthy enough to play. When Dallas officials chose not to select him to be in uniform for the match, Pearce responded with a Twitter message that revealed some clear frustration, a message he deleted soon after posting.

In retrospect, Dallas may have wound up making a major mistake leaving Pearce off the roster and not seriously considering him for the final. Without him, Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was forced to use rookie Zach Loyd at right back and it was Loyd who was beaten by Jamie Smith on Colorados first goal of the night. If Pearce, who was arguably the best fullback in MLS this season, was healthy enough to play on Sunday then Hyndman and the Dallas training staff deserve to face heat over a terrible decision.

Does this mean Heath Pearces days are numbered in Dallas? You have to wonder whether Hyndman will consider offers for Pearce considering the depth the team has at fullback. There would be a line a dozen teams long ready to scoop up the services of a player who can play right back and left back as well or better than anybody in MLS.

A player who I kept seeing all weekend was none other than Jaime Moreno, who was the subject of a rather interesting story I heard. The D.C. United legend is wrapping up his career with D.C. and MLS planned on honoring him at halftime of the MLS Cup Final. At least until Moreno made it clear that he didnt plan on retiring, which apparently surprised some league officials and promptly led to him being removed from a halftime ceremony honoring retiring MLS standouts.

Whats next for Moreno? Its clear he still wants to play and he joins Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Juan Pablo Angel on the list of skilled but aging players being shown the door by the clubs they served so well.

Jimmy Conrad was also in town, though it is unclear where he will go next. Kansas City was ready to deal Conrad for the right offer a year ago, but held on to him in 2010 when the right price never came. This time around, the Wizards have left the veteran centerback exposed in the expansion draft and even if he isnt selected theres no guarantee the sides will reach an agreement on a new contract.

Portland isnt in the league yet but they were well-represented in Toronto. Some Timber fans made the trip East and I also had the chance to meet Timbers owner Merritt Paulson and chat briefly with head coach John Spencer. Portland has the feel of a club ready to make a big splash in year one.

One topic of conversation making the rounds was Steve Zakuanis impending training stint with Everton. There is the belief that Zakuani just might be able to parlay that into a Landon Donovan-like loan to the Toffees, who could certainly use his speed on the flank. This possibility could be increased if Donovan passes on a second loan to Everton this winter.

One former MLS coach who made a cameo in Toronto was Denis Hamlett. The former Chicago Fire head coach is said to be in the mix for some of the MLS head coaching openings, and has apparently already interviewed for one.

Someone else I saw seemingly every day in Toronto was former U.S. national team standout defender Eddie Pope. He doesnt looked like he has aged a day, which has me wondering if hes one of the aliens from the NBC show The Event. For those who dont know, Pope works with the MLS Players Union, and could probably still play for some MLS teams if he hadnt retired already.

The MLS Draft was a popular topic for people I had a chance to talk to this weekend and the feeling is that the 2011 draft is going to be deep, though it may lack the immediate impact factor of 2010. I think its fair to say that you can go as deep as a Top 25 of players who can contribute, the sort of depth you never could have dreamed of for an MLS draft as recently as three years ago.

Along those lines, I will be revealing an MLS Draft Big Board later today.

Toronto threw some of the best parties in recent MLS Cup memory. Kudos to Toronto FC and to Dwayne DeRosario, who has achieved rock star status in a town that doesnt have a ton of truly popular sports celebrities.

Yes, I made my way to a few parties, including the party SBI co-hosted on Friday along with the rest of the Designated Players. The party was a major hit (thanks in large part to the work put in by Ben Hooper of Bumpy Pitch) and its a safe bet well host the same MLS Cup party for a third year in a row come 2011, regardless of where the Final is held.

Lastly, the highlight of the weekend was spending time with the SBI writing staff. Avi Creditor, Adam Serrano, Jose Romero and Travis Clark were all in town and helped us provide some of the most in-depth MLS Cup coverage around.

Those are just some of the tidbits that come to mind as I think back over a fun weekend. Feel free to share your own MLS Cup weekend thoughts in the comments section below.