Sports

Soccer Watch

Soccer Watch

Chainsaws and redwood logs were banned from the Columbus Crew soccer stadium on Sunday, but the Portland Timbers won the MLS Cup anyway, beating Columbus 2-1: their first title, and the first title for any of the three "Cascadia Cup" teams from the Pacific Northwest. A well-deserved win for a well-managed team.

Soccer Watch

Manchester United was eliminated from the European Champions League with a loss Tues­day, but Chelsea and Arsenal won on Wednesday to advance to the final 16. In a triumph of Euro-parity, 10 different countries will be represented in the knockout round, beginning in February.

Penn State won its first NCAA Division I women's championship on Sunday, beating Duke, 1-0.

Alohagate: Megan Rapinoe tore an ACL on Friday on a Hawaiian practice field, and a Sunday match against Trinidad & Tobago was canceled due to concerns about the artificial turf conditions at Aloha Stadium. U.S. forward Alex Morgan explained the embarrassing late cancellation: "The training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible. I think it's hard because no one's really going to protect us but ourselves. So we're put in a very hard position because obviously we want to play in front of these fans ... but injuries happen when you don't protect yourself and when you're not protected from those higher up from you."

And speaking of those higher-ups: FIFA executives suffered a new round of pre-dawn arrests Dec. 3, at the same luxury Zurich resort hotel where other officials were arrested a few months back. A reported 16 people were charged, nearly doubling the size of an already huge case; at this point, more than two-thirds of the people who voted to award the next two World Cups to Russia and Qatar have been arrested or indicted on bribery-related charges... Our continent's confederation, CONCACAF, has decided to go without a president until at least May, since its last three presidents have each been indicted for bribery in the past six months.

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