Hope y’all had a great weekend. Let’s kick off Monday with some Breakfast Links.
The Houston Dash hosted their first ever playoff match at PNC Stadium with a record crowd of more than 20,000 people in attendance. Unfortunately, the ladies suffered a heart-breaking loss when KC Current scored a late goal in the last second of added time. It was a great atmosphere. Thank you Dash for letting us dream along with you. DTFO!
Make sure you check out the latest episodes of the Dynamo Theory Podcast, available everywhere you get you podcasts.
Major League Soccer
Real Salt Lake were the latest team to learn how thin the line from happiness to heartbreak can be in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Just moments away from advancing to the Western Conference semifinals against Austin FC at Q2 Stadium, RSL conceded a stoppage-time penalty that allowed Sebastián Driussi to cancel out Sergio Córdova’s two goals with a brace of his own, leveling the score at 2-2 and forcing the game into extra periods. Things were eventually decided in a spot-kick shootout, which the hosts easily won, 3-1, to move on and end their opponent’s season.
It might seem a long time ago now, but there was a time this season when Inter Miami CF forward Gonzalo Higuaín had been relegated to a super-sub role. Heading into the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, that’s no longer the case for the legendary Argentine, who has embarked on a torrid run of form down the stretch run of the season, which Higuaín has announced will be his last playing professional soccer. The resurgence has the Herons dreaming of a deep run as they start their postseason venture, which kicks off Sunday against reigning MLS Cup champions NYCFC at Citi Field (7 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes).
Buckle up, it’s El Trafico time. One of the league’s most intense rivalries will be played out in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for only the second time, when Supporters’ Shield-winning LAFC host the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals Thursday evening at Banc of California Stadium (10 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes).
Around the World
Liverpool have condemned “vile chants relating to football stadium tragedies” during Sunday’s 1-0 Anfield win against Manchester City, issuing a statement that says the chants came from the section housing the away team’s supporters. Chants of “murderers” and “always the victims, it’s never your fault,” were heard being sung during the first half of the game. Ninety-seven Liverpool supporters died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989; 39 Juventus supporters were killed during rioting in the stadium prior to the 1985 European Cup final against Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe denied on Sunday that he wanted to leave the Parisian club in January, saying he was surprised by the news. “I never asked for my departure in January,” Mbappe told reporters after PSG’s 1-0 win over Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti said Real Madrid deserved their 3-1 Clasico win over Barcelona on Sunday and the performance and atmosphere at the Bernabeu stadium felt like “a Champions League afternoon.” Karim Benzema and Federico Valverde put Madrid ahead in the first half, before Ferran Torres pulled a goal back for Barca. But substitute Rodrygo added a late penalty to secure the three points in added time.
Sunday’s Premier League match between Leeds United and table toppers Arsenal was temporarily suspended shortly after kickoff due to a power cut at Elland Road. Sources told ESPN that the hawkeye van had a power outage, meaning there was no communication between VAR and officials.