Before the Kansas City Chiefs released Dunta Robinson, they had around $1 Million to work with going into the off-season. That money would have to be used to resign any free agents the team wants to keep, sign any new free agent they might target from another team and partially for the rookies drafted in this years NFL draft. I say partially, because the rookie salary cap has its own calculation and its own cap within the teams salary cap.
Currently, the teams is sitting on with a cap space of around $4.25 Million. They have some free agents they would like to keep, but those players price tag is too rich for the Chiefs to sign. The biggest names and 2013 salary cap hits are;
- Branden Albert ($9.8 Million)
- Tyson Jackson ($7.2 Million)
- Jon Asamoah ($1.5 Million)
- Dexter McCluster ($1.4 Million)
- Kendrick Lewis ($1.3 Million)
There are several other players whose 2013 cap hit was less than $1 Million. Of the 5 players listed above, 2 of them the Chiefs would like to hang on to, but cannot afford (Albert and McCluster). I think McClusters replacement has already been signed with CFL Star WR - Weston Dressler. He has all the same measurables as McCluster and he plays all the skill positions that he does. Is this an upgrade? Only time will tell. For the other 3, their price tag does not justify their production. Tyson Jackson restructured his contract in 2013 to stay with the team, but realistically, the team is due for an upgrade at the position. Asamoah and Lewis both had diminished production and playing time in 2013 and either the replacement is currently on the roster or one is needed to be signed either from someplace else or the NFL draft.
Of the smaller cap hits, I think most of them are gone already. I think a few will be looked at to sign with the team. Geoff Schwartz replaced Asamoah during the season, and simply outplayed him. I think the Chiefs will likely resign Schwartz to keep their O-Line intact. I think the Chiefs might also look at retaining Abdullah or Demps. Both played Safety for them in 2013, but I think Demps offers more in the special teams and thus will get him a contract. It should also be noted that the Chiefs have a rookie from last year, Sanders Commings, they drafted 2013 coming back from an injury and he will be the overwhelming favorite.
They have 3 key players on the roster that are set to become free agents in 2015 (Rodney Hudson, Justin Houston and Alex Smith) Houston is set to make $1.5 Million in 2014 with Hudson making $1.1 Million. The Chiefs will probably sit on their contracts and have them play out the 2014 season before making any moves there. I believe that Smith will sign a contract extension this year. While it may not save the team any cap space in 2014, they do lock up their starting QB for the foreseeable future. There are several other players who have yet to make a significant impact to require a contract extension. Those players are playing for a break-out year and if they should have it, will earn themselves a much larger check in 2015.
2016 is a different scenario. Many of the teams current key players have contract that expire in 2016. This is where the Chiefs need to start looking at now and extending players now at the same time saving money on this year’s salary cap. There are 4 names and their 2014 cap numbers that stand out are; Berry ($11.6 Million), Hali ($11.5 Million), Charles ($5.25 Million) and D. Johnson ($4.5 Million). Of those players, only Berry's contract has him making more in 2014 than 2015. Thus, if he is extended it will save the Chiefs another $1-2 Million in cap space for 2014.
With the limited space available, even with restructuring deals, I don't see the Chiefs making a big splash in free agency this year signing the big name player to come in. They may actually even look at trading a few key players that had great seasons to help save for the future while trying to bring in younger and cheaper talent. A few names that come to mind with this are Bowe, D. Johnson and Hali and Berry. I think Bowe is safe for 1 more season. If he doesn't have above a marginal season in 2014, I think he will be released in 2015. It should also be noted that Bowe will turn 30 as the season begins and with most skill position players, hitting the big '3-0' means a dip in production.
Hali had a great season, but keep in mind that he will turn 31 midway through the 2014-15 season. Having a large cap hit of $11.5 Million is not fun to look at. The time to trade him would be now, after the 11 sack season he had. I personally think that Houston is the better of the 2 pass rushers and maybe the Chiefs will think that they might be able to find someone to help fill the void. His trade could potentially save the team an additional $5 Million in cap space.
Derrick Johnson is another potential casualty of the small cap in 2014. Johnson will turn 32 midway through the 2014-15 season. While he is a very good talent and a great team leader, his age will eventually catch up to him and his production will slip. He led the team in tackles in 2013 and that is with missing his 1st game in 4 years. If he is traded, he could potentially free up an additional $4.5 Million in cap space.
I think the Chiefs have some very difficult decisions to make this coming off-season. They are starting in a hole with a limited budget. They have several aging key players that are either on the back end of their careers or are very close to it. Nothing personal against any of the current players, I would love to see this team remain intact for another season, but this is reality and time is the one thing in life than cannot be outrun or evaded. It catches us all. The average length of a NFL player career with 80+ starts is around 10-11 years. Johnson is entering season 10 with Hali at 9. They have been great players throughout their careers, but if this team is serious about winning and winning now and they may have to cut ties with some fan favorites and get younger and faster in a hurry.
-Joseph Yslas ---- Follow me on Twitter @J_Salsy
Sorry for the delayed post, but I was experiencing some technical difficulties with my internet browser even allowing me access to the site. Now that the issue is resolved, here is a quick update as to the moves from around the league.
There are tons of players from all around the league that are Free Agents and have yet to make a move, but far to many to track. Here are the players who have either been released or resigned.
The Falcons made 2 early moves with the release of CB - Asante Samuel and OLB - Stephen Nichols. Neither move comes as a big surprise. Samuel was set to make $5.25 Million in 2014 and after being upstaged by a rookie, this move make all the sense in the world. Samuel just turned 33 and his best days are well behind him. I think that a team looking for veteran leadership might take a chance on Samuel with a 1-year deal, but it wouldn't be a complete shock if he hung up his cleats and called it a career.
Stephen Nichols' will be 31 before the 2014 season kicks off in August and for a team looking to get younger, and avoid paying his $3 Million hit in 2014, this move makes sense. It didn't help that he also was no longer considered a starter for the team. Once again, veteran leadership is the biggest upside for any team willing to sign him.
The Vikings released MLB - Erin Henderson, and I believe this move had more to do with character issues and not the salary cap. The Vikings only save $2 Million with the release, but the new origination didn't hesitate to make this move following Henderson's 2nd Drunk Driving arrest in 3 months.
The Lions resigned their Center, Dominic Raiola. This move makes sense because the Lions offensive line has been solid this past season ranking 3rd by Pro Football Focus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has made a slew of moves. They have signed journeyman QB Mike Kafka. This move makes sense because the new organization wants to provide some much needed depth and challanges to the position behind starter Mike Glennon and backup Dan Orlovsky. With the signing of Kafka, that means someone must go and that someone was the little brother to Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Rodgers.
Tampa Bay also released G - Gabe Carimi and DT - Derek Landri. Both are considered backups and neither player was considered to factor into the long term plans and direction of new head coach Lovie Smith. Considering that Smith Drafted Carimi in 2011, he had all the information he needed on him so I'm surprised this move took as long as it did.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs released veteran CB - Dunta Robinson and by doing so, avoid paying him his 2014 salary of $3.2 Million. He started the season as the #3 CB on the roster, but was quickly edged out by rookie Marcus Cooper. With the chiefs projected to have little to no room to even resign many of it's own Free Agents, this move makes sense because of financial reasons as well as production. It didn't help matters that Robinson was considered by many as one of the main reasons why T.Y. Hilton was able to burn the Chiefs' secondary in their Wild-Card loss this January.
Check back later for a look at more changes as they happen and predictions as to what the Chiefs should do about their own roster and Free Agents in the upcoming weeks.
-Joseph Yslas ---- Follow me on Twitter @J_Salsy
Let's keep this one short and simple. Seattle showed up to play and Denver didn't. That's it....end of discussion.
You can look at every aspect of the game, every unit and there is no scenario where Denver comes out on top. Whether it is defense, offense, special teams or coaching. You can look at the defensive
s econdary "Legion of Boom", linebackers, defensive line, offensive line, wide receivers, running backs and even quarterbacks...it all ends up with the same result.
I believe the tone was set after the first 12 seconds in the 1st quarter when Manning had trouble communicating with his offensive line, and the ball was snapped into the end zone for a safety. Seattle 2-Denver 0. The blame for this one falls on Manning and the center, Ramirez.
Then Seattle drove 55 yards to the Denver 9 yard line and ultimately ended up kicking a field goal. Seattle 5-Denver 0
Denver went 3 and out and gained only 8 yards. Seattle got the ball back and drove another 58 yards and kicked another field goal. Seattle 8-Denver 0. At this point I thought that Denver had weathered an early storm and would turn things around. Their defense had kept Seattle to only field goals and a single touchdown would put Denver right back into the game.
Denver got the ball and had a net gain of 3 yards on 3 plays. On the 3rd play, Manning threw one of many "ducks" of the evening and it ended up being intercepted. Seattle ran 2 plays and this ended the 1st quarter with a 8-0 score. Seattle started the 2nd quarter by finishing the 37 yard drive and scoring on a Marshawn Lynch TD. Seattle 15-Denver 0.
Denver got the ball on the next possession and actually made significant positive yardage gains. They drove 49 yards to the Seattle 35 yard line before Manning threw his 2nd interception of the game. This time the interception, by Malcom Smith, was returned for a TD. Seattle 22-Denver 0. This interception can be shared with Manning, Franklin and most importantly Moreno. I blame Moreno most for this because after the ball was tipped, he stood in place and waited for the ball to come to him. He made little to no attempt to attack the ball. Smith on the other hand did. He ran around the stationary Moreno, attacked the ball and ran 69 yards for the score.
On Denver's next possession, they moved the ball 48 yards to the Seattle 19 before failing to convert on a 4th and 2. Seattle got the ball ran 2 quick plays to end the half Seattle 22-Denver 0.
The half-time show, in my opinion, was more entertaining than the game. Bruno Mars had one heck of a performance as did The Red Hot Chili Peppers. But I'm not here to tell you about the half-time show...back to the game. I figured that Denver was in a hole, but a hole that they could climb out of. I figured they would come out a completely different team in the 2nd half, boy was I wrong.
Seattle chose to defer to Denver after winning the coin toss and ended up getting to start the 3rd quarter with the ball. Denver choose to kick it short, and 12 seconds and 87 yards later the game was officially over. Seattle 29-Denver 0.
The teams traded punts on the next 2 drives. Denver gained 38 yards and Seattle gained 11 yards. On Denver's next possession, they moved the ball 34 yards to the Seattle 21 before D. Thomas fumbled the ball because he was being careless with ball security. 6 plays, 58 yards and about 100 missed tackles later, Wilson hit Kearse for a TD. Seattle 36-Denver 0.
Denver got the ball again and went 80 yards for their only score of the game. A nice throw and catch by Manning and D. Thomas. Denver attempted the 2 point conversion and it was successful. Seattle 36-Denver8. This ended the 3rd quarter and any hope that Denver would win its 3rd Lombardi Trophy.
The 4th quarter ended with Denver gaining 43 yards on 3 possessions and another turnover. This last turnover game on the only sack of the evening for either team. Seattle had 3 drives and gained an additional 76 yards and 1 more score on a pass to D. Baldwin. The final score on this evening was Seattle 43-Denver 8. The 35 point differential is tied for the 3rd largest of all time.
Like I said on Sunday, to say that this game was one-sided would be a complete understatement. Denver was completely overmatched and stood no chance. I listened to several analysts talk about the game that evening and the following day. Here are a few of the talking points;
- Denver's offense was never really tested in the regular season. Kansas City did for a bit, so did Indianapolis and New England but none of those teams are even on the same playing field as far as physicality as Seattle.
- All season long, the biggest complaint about the Denver offense is that they are a finesse team. They do not match up well with physical defenses.
- Denver can keep it's head up. They beat 15 other AFC teams to win the AFC Conference Championship.
- The season wasn't a total wash. The records that were set in the regular season and in the Super Bowl cannot be completely dismissed because of 1 loss. (Even though analysts ripped New England in 2008 when they set all their records and lost the Super Bowl)...somehow this is different.
- And lastly my favorite point...The ref's cheated Denver and were not calling pass interference on the Seahawks...as to all the penalties they called on Denver for their ILLEGAL pick plays.
Let me know what you thought of the Super Bowl. Who is to blame for the complete collapse? What changes do you see Seattle or Denver making in the offseason to repeat as champions or make it back to the Super Bowl? How do you think your team will fare next season?
The season has come to a close and I am once again drawn into that ever so depressed feeling. No football games to speak of...only highlights of seasons past and all the coulda-woulda-shouldas. I reach for anything that can draw the new NFL season one day closer.
I follow the NFL recruiting and read player scouting reports. I read and make hundreds of mock drafts, analyzing and critiquing each one. I follow the scouting combine and marvel at the feats of strength, speed and athleticism that I could only dream of. I watch the NFL draft and analyze what the result was and how it could have been better....because I know what NFL teams should have done instead. I think I'll just sit by the phone and wait for their call.
I track the offseason transactions of teams from players being released, retiring players and new free agent signings. I painstakingly analyze the offseason practices and workout and make my annual predictions. I count down the days (213 to be exact) until the start of a new season and the start of all the cheering and high's and low's that come with being a NFL football fan.
What are your offseason traditions? What are you looking forward to most about the offseason and/or regular season?
-Joseph Yslas ---- Follow me on Twitter @J_Salsy
To say that I am excited to be back writing about football again on The Oz Blog is an understatement. I have taken some time off for professional career changes and the relocation of my wife and kids to Denver. Now that things are settling down, and I have more spare time, I wanted to give you a brief synopsis of what you can expect in 2014.
You won't see any regular posts until the NFL post-season has completed. During the off-season I will update you of all moves made by the Kansas City Chiefs, plus any other major moves by the other teams in the league. I will give my personal projections for the Chiefs draft and share other predictions from other sports analysts. I will follow the Chiefs through training camp and the preseason.
Once the season has started I will give an overall prediction for the entire AFC West. Each week I will try to get a pre- and post-game review from each weekly opponent. I will also make my predictions for all match-ups for the week. I will pick against the spread and straight up. Feel free to use that information for your gambling purposes, but understand that any money you wager, know that The Oz Blog nor any of it's members are responsible for any money you may lose or win.
If you couldn't already tell, I am a Chiefs fan but I will also try to include some College Football updates during the season. I don't follow enough of it in the off-season to offer any information, but since majority of readers are probable Big 12 fans and I am a Missouri fan, I will only cover the Big 12 and the SEC, with a possibility of the weekly Top 25. It should be interesting next year without the BCS that's for sure.
Lastly, I will also chronicle my personal experiences with Minor-League football. I recently was asked to join the Colorado Cobras from the Colorado Football Conference http://www.cfcfootball.com. It should be interesting to say the least. I don't have any idea on what to expect, but I will share with you my experiences good and bad.
Now that you know what I plan on doing, please feel free to offer up ideas of what you would like to see. I am always open to suggestions.
Also, I am going to try and be more active on Twitter so please follow me. https://twitter.com/J_Salsy
See you in February.
Comets looked primed to take down the St. Louis Ambush after easily handling the Wave last week in what looked like a very easy game for the Comets, but sometimes you have to worry about those trap games more than the difficult games as the Ambush being five games into the season have lost three of their games with two of them coming against the Comets. So again the Comets looked favored to win the match before it even started but then what would be the fun in all that?
St. Louis immediately started the game with a lot of pressure but the Comets wasted no time on getting on the board scoring within 90 seconds off a rebound to put them up 2-0 very early in the game. After the first goal it seemed as St. Louis, the team not the player for the Comets, were not happy and seemed to get a bit aggressive. Something that the Comets appeared that they were not going to put up with. The Comets continued their strong play that we saw in their last match against the Wave and finished the quarter on top 8-0. ideally they shouldn't get relaxed but with them already being up they easily could. Onto the second quarter.
The Ambush most likely worried about another blow out finally found some play and were able to put about as many points on the board that the Comets did the first quarter but were unable to keep the Comets from putting another six points on the bard to maintain a 14-7 lead going into the third quarter. The Ambush was showing flashes of being able to compete but if the Comets can play like they did in the previous match and the way they started this match then the Ambush wouldn't have a chance.
Bit of an off quarter as both teams traded goals in this quarter as it came to an end 16-9. The Comets seemed to be trying to force three point goals, none of which they got, and the Ambush got very aggressive and ended up sending two of their players to the penalty box, one of them being sent their twice.
The Ambush really did try to come back in this game but just seemed to exhaust themselves as they were only able to net two hard fought goals while allowing four goals with two of them coming from Comets captain Vahid Assadpour. With the third and fourth goals giving the Comets their biggest lead of the game which would come to an end at 24-13 and putting the Comets up 3-0 on the season series.
Well its just been over a week now and I think I'm finally thawed out. Now obviously I thawed out a while ago but as I almost say every blog post I am a busy guy. I must say though what a game and what better way to cap off a season for Sporting as they took down Real Salt Lake in the 10th round of penalty kicks. I had been saying how evenly matched up these two teams were and they didn't disappoint for one minute to even include the final PK taken that smashed off the cross bar to clinch Sporting's first MLS Cup since 2000.
I had a handful of notes that I planned on writing into my blog post but with some of the stuff that has happened since the game I felt it more important to just put my thoughts about what has happened into my post. Obviously it was a very long game going into extra time, through overtime, and 10 rounds of PKs (normally you are done in 5 rounds which is the norm). People have been asking me if I enjoyed myself even in that frozen weather of a game and I tell them that it was completely worth it. Yes I was alive the last time Sporting, then the Wizards, won a championship but naturally I didn't pay as close attention nor was soccer quite as big back then. Additionally I was only 3 when the Royals won their World Series and I was no where close to being alive when the Chiefs won their Superbowl. Which brings me to another point. Kansas City Soccer now has two championships while the Royals have just one World Series trophy as does the Chiefs have with only one Superbowl. Peter Vermes said it best during his press conference that they got their job done so now its on the Chiefs. I couldn't agree more.
Now obviously another huge thing that happened since Sporting lifted the MLS Cup is that two year captain, two time MLS All-star, four year veteran in MLS and 19 year veteran Jimmy Nielsen decided to hang up his cleats as well and there probably isn't a better way to go out. Of course the public found this out Monday evening but I'm sure a lot of my other media friends felt it coming as well, but he is such a great guy and I only hope that he sticks around and I think he will. I told my family and nobody seemed to think anything of it nor did I think it would be a big deal, but when putting my children to bed my oldest son who is nine and has really like Jimmy, so much so that we have a picture that we got from another photography buddy of mine hanging up in his room which is painted in Sporting colors, started to break down in tears as it finally seemed to dawn on him just what Jimmy retiring meant. Now my son is a very sensitive child, but there has been similar things happen that he just seems to get bummed about but then moves on. This instance just goes to show how much one person can mean to someone especially a child. Sometimes as parents we forget how impressionable our children can be. That makes Jimmy's time here in KC that much better for me as he really made an impression on my son much like Soony has done to both my kids and Collin has done to my youngest son. I'm so glad that they have role models like this to look up to which I think is very important for children to have and has seemed to be lacking for quite some time. I've heard stories of kids having role models like this but personally I never had one quite like that. I would think that the closest I've come to have an iconic type person to look up to that friends/family also really liked would be somebody like a Wayne Gretzky or a Ken Griffey Jr. Obviously besides my own parents or other family members which are great role models but I feel it important for kids to have other people to look up to as well.
To close out and bring it back to what this post is suppose to be Sporting controlled most of the match with Salt Lake making good use of the ball when they had it and again these teams were very evenly matched and that would be why we saw such an epic match and in record breaking cold weather. Of course I'm so glad that Sporting won but Real Salt Lake I believe is a very good team as well and it will be interesting to see where each team mounts up to next year. Obviously it won't be easy as all teams will be gunning for them as most teams have been anyway because both Sporting and Salt Lake have been towards the top of the table the last few years but I believe next year will be another prove it season for Sporting as most people will want to see them repeat a similar performance from this season.
Its been just over a week now and people are still celebrating Sporting's victory over the Houston Dynamo to finally advance to the MLS Cup, but surprisingly everybody also realizes that there is still one more game to play to put a cherry on top of the season that Sporting has had.
I would like to review the last game which was the second leg of the Conference Finals which even with the aggregate goal rule Sporting and Houston were level at 0-0 so the winner of this game would advance. This is probably the best place Sporting has been in the the three years (in a row) that Sporting has had to go up against the Dynamo. Now this match didn't start off the greatest seeing Houston being up 1-0 within the first three minutes, but there seemed to be a collective calmness about all the Sporting players and fans throughout as several players said that they still knew what they needed to do and I also wasn't nervous.
Sporting did exactly what they needed to with previous Rookie of the Year CJ Sapong (and Live Breathe Futbol supporter) getting a goal late in the first half getting a much needed goal to bring Sporting level with the Dynamo and Sporting immediately put the pressure back on the Dynamo to keep them from trying to get another goal as well before halftime. Dom Dwyer also was able to get on the board for Sporting later in the game put Sporting up 2-1. Obviously the Dynamo realized they needed to do a bit more to try and advance for a third straight year testing Sporting GK and captain Jimmy Nielsen's hand strength in the cold weather but he prevailed combined with Sporting looking to put the game away completely to advance, as they very rarely bunker in to hold a victory, but prevailed with a 2-1 victory and advance to the the MLS Cup for the first time as Sporting KC and first time as a franchise in almost a decade. That may sound bad but its not nearly as bad as some other other professional sports in the Kansas City area but who's paying that close of attention to that?
Comets started off about aas well as one team could hope for scoring two goals within the first two minutes. Additionally they were able to keep the Wave to scoring just one (3-point) goal, while being able to score another two goals in the dying minutes of the first quarter to finish it out 8-3.
For as well as the first quarter went for the Comets it was the reverse for them in the second quarter as they were unable to net a single goal even with a shootout that had a block and a missed rebound. The saving grace from this quarter is that they only allowed one goal as well and was able to finish the second quarter still ahead 8-5.
Quite the whirlwind of a quarter as the comets added back to their lead to start but then everything seemed to fall apart. But then they were able to regain some composure after some terrible penalties, that the wave mostly equaled, but towards the end things got bad again with some more penalties that then combined with the Wave finally finding a small groove allowed the Wave to come with in two points finishing the quarter 15-13.
Not a great start as the Wave was able to net another Goal in the first minute which tied up the game 15-15. Luckily they were able to pull themselves back together going up 21-15 before allowing the Wave to come back yet again and tie the game back up 21 a piece with about a minute and a half left in the game which ended that way which meant golden goal overtime.
Usually these overtimes in the MISL don't last very long especially with it being golden goal but this is the Wave vs Comets which has a very long history between each other with the Wave usually coming out on top lately and tonight wasn't any different as the Wave was able to net the game winner almost halfway through the overtime period. The Comets had several good chances throughout the entire game but just couldn't seem to finish. Combine that with some terrible retaliation during fouls being called and the Comets still have some work to do, but luckily it is just the first game of the season. Onto the next.
Sporting took on division foe Houston Dynamo for the first leg of this years conference finals marking it the third, straight, year. This time the first leg result was a more favorable result for the boys in blue as the last couple times Sporting has not been able to leave Houston with even a draw.
Sporting not playing the greatest match, being that it was scoreless draw, did what they needed to do and at least not lose the match. It now comes down to the home leg where all Sporting needs to do now is win the game, preferably in regular time, and they will be off to their first MLS Cup match in a very long time. Although not nearly as long as it has been for the Royals or Chiefs but who really pays attention to that kind of stuff?
Well Sporting needed to keep attacking, and scoring to win and be able to advance to the semi-finals and one step closer to the MLS Cup. They started out this game just trying to be relentless at scoring almost like they thought they only had 45 minutes to win the game. They had more than 10 shots on goal in the first half alone and most of those shots came from headers that were serviced into the box. The Revs GK in Matt Reis, who has always seemed liked a great guy, was lights out and stopped just about everything except for one shot. That one goal allowed Sporting to tie up the score on aggregate which would have sent the game into extra time. The second half started and the Revolution realized that they needed to provide even more pressure themselves and were eventually able to get another goal as well to re take the lead on aggregate but Sporting had also been playing their game and were able to get another beautiful goal then immediately turned around and almost got another but the Revs were able to hold on and send the game into extra time despite Sporting putting on a good effort until the dying minutes of the regulation game to win the series out right.
Extra time seemed to almost be a completely different game. The Revs had one good push in extra time that Jimmy was able to get a foot one that the defense was then able to push down the field and capitalize on to take the lead on aggregate score of 4-3. Well it didn't stop there as Sporting was smart to keep pushing and almost notched another late goal to seal it, but the Revs at that point had pretty much had it as their GK Reis had injured himself while coming out of the box to keep the ball from advancing further and made a really good effort to keep the ball from Sporting and drive it down the field but being on the older side of being a GK and not being in the best of shape having taken off like that he pulled a quad muscle, from what I'm told.
Sporting now move onto their playoff nemesis in the Houston Dynamo and one can only hope that third times (in a row) a charm and they will finally be able to knock out the Dynamo as well who just themselves knocked out the top seeded team in the NY Redbulls which would mean that if Sporting can win this series that the MLS Cup would be in Kansas City and against either the Portland Timbers or Real Salt Lake, which would either would be a really good match.