*It won’t be easy for MLS to match the stranger-than-fiction finish to Major League Baseball’s regular season, but here goes:
Sporting Kansas City defeated the Columbus Crew, 2-1 ... on a late own goal off a throw-in. SKC is now atop the nutty Eastern Conference, while the Crew is in a Red Sox/Braves-esque freefall (five losses and a draw in its past six outings). Meantime, the Chicago Fire continued its September surge (Tampa Bay Rays, anyone? But without the need for a massive late-game comeback) with its fifth victory in six matches to enter the playoff race — a 3-0 shocker at Real Salt Lake in which Kyle Beckerman earned a possible multi-game suspension and Marco Pappa recorded a hat trick. RSL looked to be rounding into postseason form just a week ago, but now has conceded seven goals (two hat tricks) in five days.
The madness is sure to continue tonight when the Philadelphia Union hosts D.C. United (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in what could be Freddy Adu’s first game against his original team since leaving Washington after the 2006 season. The playoff standings are here.
*MLS’s work in the CONCACAF Champions League will also go down to the wire. With a dramatic 2-1 victory over Morelia, the Los Angeles Galaxy is stuck in a three-way tie for two quarterfinal berths in Group A. The Colorado Rapids used a reserve unit to win at Metapan (El Salvador), 3-1, and move into position for a Group B berth. And Dallas’s 5-3 loss at Tauro (Panama) means its future will be determined in the last match in Group C — against another MLS side, Toronto FC. Full standings are here.
For Americans abroad in the Europa League and TV/online listings.....
GK Brad Friedel and Spurs vs. Shamrock
D Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting Lisbon vs. Lazio
D Steve Cherundolo and Hanover at Vorskla Poltava
MF Clint Dempsey and Fulham at Odense
MF Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht at Lokomotiv Moscow
MF Jonathan Spector and Birmingham at Maribor
F Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar at Metalist Kharkov
*Soccer on TV/online:
Europa League, Atletico Madrid-Rennes 1 p.m. GolTV
Europa League, Sporting Lisbon-Lazio 3 p.m. GolTV
Copa Sudamericana, Olimpia-Arsenal 6 p.m. Fox Deportes
MLS, Philadelphia-D.C. United 8 p.m. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com
NCAA women, Duke-Virginia 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet/DC
Copa Sudamericana, Godoy Cruz-Universitario 8:30 p.m. Fox Deportes
CONCACAF Champions League, Alajuela-Motagua 10 p.m. Galavision