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Blue Links: SKC Playoffs, Marc Dos Santos, Swope Park Rangers

A quick roundup of the stories you may have missed.

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

All the stories you need from Sporting Kansas City and around the soccer world.

Kansas City

  • Maybe the most important thing to know for this weekend, what scores cause Sporting KC to advance? It’s pretty simple, win and they go on. 0-0 draw and they go on. 1-1 draw pushes to extra time. Higher scoring ties push on Real Salt Lake and of course a loss does too. Here is a visual aid. (MLS Twitter)
  • Don’t get overconfident, but SKC are behind only Atlanta United for highest probability to advance. Another visual aid for you. (MLS Twitter)
  • Former Swope Park Rangers head coach (and their first coach) Marc Dos Santos has finally gotten a job running an MLS team. He’ll be the new coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps. But first, a quick MDS story. I met Dos Santos when he was SPR’s coach in the preseason before their first year. He was a very nice and pleasant fellow. A season and a half later, he was coaching the NASL’s San Francisco Deltas (who would go on to win the league title as an expansion team). He coached SF in a game in Phoenix against Phoenix Rising FC in the US Open Cup. I got super cheap sideline seats because it was a mid-week game that was sparsely attended. We were right behind the Deltas bench. Throughout the game two fans a couple rows up where yelling things as him, the bench players and even the players on the field (again, no one was there, you could hear everything). The game went on and SF eventually won 1-0. As soon as the final whistle blew, Dos Santos turned around and lost his mind on our section of fans. It struck me as odd. All road teams get heckled. But they had just won. Weird. Anyways, I’d say I wish him luck, but the Whitecaps are in the Western Conference so I just can’t. But I hope he does better than other garbage Western Conference teams that no one likes (we’re looking at you Seattle). (MLS)
  • Bobby Warshaw did a breakdown of each 1st leg playoff match-up. For Sporting KC he seems to think they got sucked into RSL’s style. I tend to think it was by design. (MLS)
  • If you haven’t already, go Vote for Jimmy Medranda (Goal of the Year) and Tim Melia (Save of the Year). (SKC Twitter)
  • Matt Besler stopped by the Border Patrol to talk about Real Salt Lake. (810 WHB)
  • Seth Sinovic hopped on the Cooligans podcast before the first leg of the RSL series, but there are good comments in there on his red, his clothing line and other information. (Cooligans)
  • In the tiny history of MLS using the Away goal rule in the players (since 2014) when a team ties in the first leg, the better seed has advanced 66% of the time. That’s good for Sporting KC but RSL aren’t out of it. (MLS)
  • Swope Park Rangers leading goal scorer Hadji Barry was named to the USL All League Second Team. (SKC)
  • In other news for Barry, after 12 years in the country, he became a US Citizen. I’m not sure if he had a green card and wouldn’t have taken up an international roster spot, but now he won’t for sure. It definitely can’t hurt his ability to get a first team contract. (SKC)
  • Wan Kuzain is named as a finalist for the USL Young Player of the Year. (SKC)

Around the World

  • MLS released their official matchball for 2019. Thoughts? (MLS Twitter)
  • Chad Marshall of the Seattle Sounders underwent knee surgery after the first leg (no pun intended) injury against the Portland Timbers. He’ll miss at least the 2nd leg. (MLS)
  • The United States Men’s National Team released their roster for the upcoming friendlies. (MLS)
  • It’s the offseason already for a huge chunk of MLS. Here are the roster moves for the New England Revolution. Nothing really of note. Let’s hope SKC can put these off until after MLS Cup. (MLS)
  • The #InstantReplay crew covers the playoff games and not a single Sporting KC action made it in. I do feel NYCFC were hard done on the goal that was taken away. Atlanta always getting the calls. (MLS YouTube)
  • The Athletic does quite a sad but fascinating look at Toronto FC II, though they seem like the exception and not the rule in the USL. (The Athletic)
  • FC Barcelona aren’t coming to the NWSL any time soon. (Equalizer)