The Kick Off

Buddle's goal, Kovalenko frustrates foes, Donovan on MVP

They’re calling Edson Buddle’s game-winning strike against Seattle in Sunday’s playoff series first leg a “turf goal” and the LA forward and his coach explain why.

Seattle Sounders manager Sigi Schmid called it “fortunate,” but Buddle was having none of that.

Sounders winger Steve Zakuani, blamed the loss on the fact that the team veered away from its usual game and resorted to too many long balls.

His teammate, Designated Player Blaise Nkufo, criticized the Galaxy for coming into Seattle only to defend. He says that scoring a lucky goal “is all they did.”

The LA Galaxy’s Dema Kovalenko explains his feud with Sounders manager Sigi Schmid during the match while Landon Donovan tells media they should be ashamed if they didn’t vote for his teammate on the MVP ballot.

Around the League & Abroad

FC Dallas have the 2-1 first-leg advantage in their series against defending champions Real Salt Lake, despite an injury crisis. There are unconfirmed rumors that Heath Pearce may be done for the season.

The major injury news during this postseason is that of Frenchman Thierry Henry who was at Sunday’s Miami Heat vs. New Jersey Nets basketball game. He says that today’s training session will go a long way in determining if he will be available for Thursday’s second leg.

If Henry can’t make it, the Red Bulls will once again look toward winger Dane Richards to be a difference maker. His story is outlined in a Wall Street Journal feature and it turns out he only touched down in the USA because a coach took a chance on the Jamaican.

The first season awards will be handed out this week and Fox Soccer Channel broadcaster Kyle Martino gives his pick for Rookie of the Year.

On the international scene, a rare Manchester United goal has ignited the debate of whether referees have too much power to determine when to invoke the “advantage rule.”

Also in the English Premier League, they are calling Clint Dempsey the best American to ever play in the English top flight.

Lastly, American Giuseppe Rossi scored for Villarreal in La Liga, while Jozy Altidore also saw the field.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Commissioner Garber says the league is seriously considering changes in playoff format

The Seattle Sounders are still optimistic despite going down a goal

FC Dallas expect a dogfight at Rio Tinto Stadium in return leg

The Kick Off is a weekly update from MLSsoccer.com.

With the Galaxy ahead
1-0 on the series, LA host Seattle in the second game of the
two-leg, home-and-home Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, November 7 at 6
p.m. PT on ESPN. BUY
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