Outside Raleigh

Soccer Round Up December 5-11

UEFA Champions League

 
The last round of the Champions League took place on Tuesday and Wednesday with a couple shocks. Ludogorets travelled to PSG and looked to upset the Parisians until Angel Di Maria scored in extra time and celebrated like he won the World Cup. Oh wait. Dynamo Kiev also put six goals past Besiktas and the goalkeeper was happy about it:
The draw for the Knockout Round happens next Monday. Here are the teams that will be drawn:
Group winners: Arsenal, Napoli, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Borussia Dortmund, Leicester City, Juventus
Runners-up: PSG, Benfica, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid, Porto, Sevilla.
If you recall, no teams can play another team from their group or country in this round so here are my predictions:
Manchester City v Monaco; Benfica v Juventus; Bayern v Arsenal (you know it’s going to happen); Leverkusen v Atletico; Sevilla v Leicester; Real Madrid v Napoli; Porto v Barcelona; PSG v Dortmund.
Even if the draw doesn’t end up exactly like that there are sure to be some great matchups, and Arsenal will of course find a way to crash out.
MLS CUP FINAL
 
Seattle travels to Toronto on Saturday to face off in MLS’s 21st championship. Toronto is 2-7-2 against Seattle all time, but both teams will be doing all they can to bring home the first MLS Cup for their clubs. The weather is supposed to be wonderful.

All eyes are going to be on Jozy Altitdore and Michael Bradley to prove to some critics (me) that their moves to Toronto/MLS from Europe were justified. Seattle’s Jordan Morris will try to follow last year’s NCAA Men’s Soccer trophy with the MLS Cup.
I hope for Toronto’s sake they enjoy the magnitude of the Final, since they will never get there again once NCFC begins their MLS championship dynasty.
NCAA Men’s Soccer Final Four
 
On Friday, the last four colleges kick off in Houston to determine who will play in the College Cup Final. Wake Forest (who were dispatched by Morris and Stanford last year) play Denver in the first kickoff. Fun fact: Wake Forest’s coach Bobby Muuss coached Denver for eight seasons, while Denver coach Jamie Franks used to play for Wake Forest under Muuss. Talk about Freaky Friday, right? Right??
UNC plays Stanford afterwards, and I don’t have a fun fact so I’m just going to move on. The final will be played on Sunday at 2:00pm.