*The MLS playoffs commenced Wednesday night with the Houston Dynamo, the 2011 runner-up, winning at Chicago, 2-1. It wasn’t pretty, and I’m not talking about the match. A nationally televised postseason game was played in front of large patches of empty seats on a frigid night at Toyota Park. This is what happens when an excessive playoff game scheduled on four days’ notice is played on a weeknight in a cold-weather location: Aside from season ticket holders, it’s a tough sell. The announced crowd was 10,923.
Anyway, Will Bruin scored twice and the Dynamo advanced to face top-seeded Sporting Kansas City on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC) and Wednesday at Livestrong Sporting Park (9 p.m. ET, Direct Kick). On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy should put an end to the Vancouver Whitecaps’ sub.-500 season (10:30, NBC Sports Network).
*As you know by now, D.C. United will host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at RFK Stadium and go on the road Wednesday for the second leg — a switch from the original schedule. My full story from the print edition is available for your inspection. The piece appears at the top of the front Sports page (image here).
MF Clint Dempsey 90 (missed PK in 89th) in Spurs’ 2-1 league cup loss at Norwich
MF Michael Bradley 67 in Roma’s 3-2 loss at Parma
D Oguchi Onyewu 90 (goal in 4th) in Malaga’s 4-3 cup victory at Cacereno
F Terrence Boyd 120 (goal in 73rd) in Rapid Vienna’s 4-2 cup victory over Altach
D Steve Cherundolo 90 in Hanover’s 1-1 cup draw (4-3 on PKs) vs. Dynamo Dresden
MF Joe Gyau 90 in St. Pauli’s 3-0 cup loss at Stuttgart
F Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar at SWZ (Dutch Cup)
F Conor O’Brien and Sonderjyske vs. Copenhagen (Danish Cup)
*The University of Maryland men’s team will seek to complete its first unbeaten regular season since 1968 on Thursday night when the top-ranked Terrapins (14-0-2, 6-0-1) visit ACC rival Wake Forest (10-3-4, 3-1-3). ESPN3.com will carry the match at 7 p.m. ET.