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Matchday 35: What to know, how to watch on MLS Season Pass



Matchday 35: What to know, how to watch on MLS Season Pass

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

With only four matchdays left in the 2023 season (and a few makeup games sprinkled in), the logjam between 2nd and 13th in the Western Conference standings is as tight as ever. Meanwhile, two distinct Eastern Conference races – one for a top-four spot, the other for Wild Card places – remain wide open.

Amid the standings tug-of-war, a few teams have made substantial gains in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs race.

Western Conference: The Portland Timbers were languishing around 12th place in the West at the end of August. A 5W-0L-1D record since then has seen them climb above both the playoff line and the Wild Card spots.

Eastern Conference: A top-four finish looked like a distant hope for Atlanta United, but a 2W-0L-2D run in September has reignited home-field advantage aspirations. Given their current form, no team will want to see a road fixture at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on their playoff schedule.

Atlanta United are the lone team on a bye in Matchday 35.

Inter Miami CF vs. New York City FC

Yup, Inter Miami make the “Big Three” again. It’s not just big-name bias, though – at least, not entirely.

Since integrating their bevy of summer signings – led by Lionel Messi and his ex-FC Barcelona teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba – the Herons have posted a stellar 9W-2L-4D record in regulation time across all competitions. That’s a blistering 2.07 points-per-game pace, which is on par with FC Cincinnati’s league-leading total (and Cincy still can set the all-time MLS points record by season’s end).

Add in a dramatic chase to climb above the playoff line and Tata Martino’s squad is essentially must-watch TV until they become mathematically eliminated. Speaking of those big names, Martino said Messi is “game to game” and he expects him to play before the regular season ends.

NYCFC are among the teams in direct competition with Miami for a final Wild Card spot, making this as close to a must-win as you can get before Decision Day.

Toronto FC vs. FC Cincinnati

When a trophy is on the line, that pretty much automatically puts a match in the “Big Three,” even when it’s one of the few with almost no chance of affecting the playoff picture.

Toronto FC are already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and FC Cincinnati have all but locked up the East’s No. 1 overall seed. But the intrigue stems from the Supporters’ Shield, which is given to the best regular-season team each year.

Cincinnati can lock up the Shield with a win over the East’s last-place team (full scenarios), and doing so would mean securing the club’s first title of their MLS tenure and creating an ultra-cathartic moment for fans who endured three-straight Wooden Spoon (last place in the league) seasons from 2019-21.

History can be made in Toronto.

St. Louis CITY SC vs. Sporting Kansas City

More history! St. Louis CITY SC can become the first expansion team to earn their conference’s No. 1 seed on Saturday. The West leaders need to beat Sporting Kansas City and have LAFC lose or draw against Real Salt Lake and have Seattle Sounders FC lose or draw against Nashville SC.

That’s a lot of “and” statements, but the good news for St. Louis is they’ve got two games after this to wrap up the West.

Still, it doesn’t get much sweeter than making history in front of a raucous home crowd at the expense of bitter rivals. Even more, dealing SKC a loss would put them in a serious hole beneath the playoff line.

Let’s see if St. Louis’ fairytale season continues.

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union

If the race for the top four (and guaranteed home-field advantage through Round 1) in the Eastern Conference is important, then it stands to reason the race for the top two (and guaranteed home-field advantage through the Conference Semifinals) is doubly important.

The Union are in third place at 50 points, one point out of second. The Crew are in fourth place at 49 points, tied on points with the two teams below them. Either club could break into the top two; either club could tumble out of the top four entirely.

New England Revolution vs. Charlotte FC

Fun fact: If the New England Revolution win their game in hand on every team above them in the table, they’d vault back to second place in the Eastern Conference, despite their own internal coaching carousel, key injuries and departures.

Charlotte have a game (or two) in hand on their competition, too. They’re closer to the playoff line than their 13th place in the table would imply.

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire FC

One of the most underrated center backs in MLS just inked an extension through 2026 with the Red Bulls. That’s especially good news off the back of a 5-3 win that showed RBNY actually can score goals and, maybe, give Andrés Reyes a lead or two to defend.

Orlando City SC vs. CF Montréal

Orlando City have had one of the subtlest glow-ups of the season, already tying their previous MLS points record of 51. Head coach Oscar Pareja deserves his flowers, as does 2023 MLS SuperDraft pick Duncan McGuire, who’s nearly at double-digit goals for the year despite starting the season behind DP striker Ercan Kara (since departed to the Turkish Süper Lig) on the depth chart.

Houston Dynamo FC vs. FC Dallas

Yes, this is a Texas derby. And yes, FC Dallas are in a brutal fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Houston Dynamo FC, despite sitting in fourth and winning the US Open Cup midweek, could also feasibly miss out on the postseason if they take a sudden dip.

But forget about all that for a moment and appreciate how far the Dynamo, after a half-decade of underperformance, have progressed in 2023.

Minnesota United FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Have Minnesota been brutally unlucky, which their expected goals numbers would imply, or are they just fatally flawed in some way that keeps wins out of their pocket?

A home match against a San Jose team they’ll likely need to surpass to make the playoffs may be one of their last chances to prove it’s the former.

Nashville SC vs. Seattle Sounders FC

The Sounders may have unveiled a new crest this week (launching for 2024), but their tradition of getting hot before the season’s end remains unchanged. Unbeaten in five, a difficult road match against Nashville SC gives them a chance to prove a vintage late-season surge is fully underway.

Colorado Rapids vs. Austin FC

Admittedly, the term “last chance” has been thrown about fairly liberally over the last few matchday “How to Watch” articles. But, for real: If Austin FC can’t get a result over last-place Colorado Rapids, their season may be cooked.

It won’t be literally cooked, thanks to the oft-mentioned Western Conference logjam. But, psychologically speaking, an L in this one would be brutal to take.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Much like Austin FC, the Galaxy have been navigating a high-wire act for weeks now, wherein a loss could spell the end of the road. Unlike Austin, LA have only lost twice in their last 15, which gives more reason to believe they could actually pull off this great escape.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United

The Whitecaps did it. They finished a taxing seven-match road stretch (that featured games in four different time zones) with a playoff spot still in hand. Time to recoup against a D.C. United side that’s slipped out of the Eastern Conference’s playoff spots after winning only once in their last nine.

LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake

For the second time in 2023, LAFC just watched a trophy go to a Liga MX side at BMO Stadium. First came the Concacaf Champions League (against Club León in early June), then it was Campeones Cup (against Tigres on Wednesday night).

The Black & Gold have also won just three of their last 13 games in league play. It’s gut-check time in downtown LA.

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.

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How can a tax calculator simplify your tax filing process?



Tax filing season can be a stressful time for many people. There’s a lot of paperwork to gather, and the tax code can be complex and confusing. However, a tax calculator app can help to simplify the tax filing process and make it less stressful.

Here are some of the ways that a tax calculator app can simplify your tax filing process:

  • Accurate calculations: A tax calculator app assist you to to appropriately calculate your taxes, deliberating all of your applicable income, deductions, and credit. This will let you to keep away from overpaying your taxes or making steeply-priced errors in your tax go back.
  • Easy to apply interface: Tax calculator apps are generally clean to apply and navigate, even for people without a tax revel in. This makes it easy to calculate your taxes and prepare your tax go back while not having to lease a professional tax preparer.
  • Convenience: Tax calculator apps are available from everywhere with a web connection. This approach that you could calculate your taxes at your convenience, from anywhere in the international.
  • Speed: Tax calculator apps can calculate your taxes in seconds, saving you time and trouble.
  • Tax making plans: Tax calculator apps also can assist you to plot your taxes and make informed choices approximately your finances. For example, you could use a tax calculator app to look how one of a kind tax deductions and credits will affect your tax liability.

In addition to these standard blessings, some tax calculator apps also provide capabilities which can make the tax filing manner even less complicated, together with:

  • Tax audit practice: Some tax calculator apps can help you to prepare for a tax audit by using reviewing your tax go back for capacity errors and omissions.
  • Tax coaching assistance: Some tax calculator apps can offer step-by way of-step commands and assistance with finishing complex tax forms.
  • Electronic tax submitting: Some tax calculator apps will let you to electronically file your tax return, saving you time and trouble.

Overall, a tax calculator app can be a precious device for taxpayers of all ranges of enjoy. By simplifying the tax filing procedure and making it extra efficient, tax calculator apps can assist taxpayers to save money and time.

Here are a few suggestions for selecting a tax calculator app:

  • Look for a comprehensive tax calculator app that can calculate all sorts of taxes, including profits tax, income tax, and property tax.
  • Choose an app with an smooth-to-use interface and accurate tax calculations.
    Make certain the app is up to date regularly with the cutting-edge tax laws and regulations.
  • Consider the usage of an app that offers additional capabilities which include tax audit preparation, tax education help, and digital tax submitting.

By following those guidelines, you could pick a tax calculator app that will help you to simplify your tax submitting procedure and make it less annoying.

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Live match blog – India vs Australia Final 2023/24 – Cricket Insights



Live match blog - India vs Australia Final 2023/24 - Cricket Insights

Australia need 241! That’s the same total England and New Zealand made in the 2019 final.

The key to bowling on a slow pitch is to keep to your discipline and limit the damage. Australia chose to bowl knowing the margin of error was less than zero. They came face to face with that when Rohit Sharma was going bonkers at the start. And they survived it because their fielding has been unreal.

Travis Head pulled off a catch that may well rival the one Kapil Dev took in 1983.

India went 97 balls without a boundary; they managed just four since the end of the 10th over. They thought they were consolidating. But in came Pat Cummins, dismissing Virat Kohli. He is the first fast bowler to complete his full 10 overs in this World Cup and not concede a boundary. Later Mitchell Starc found reverse swing. In the knockouts he’s taken six wickets at an average of 14.

Adam Zampa saw the pitch being slow and he too took pace off, going down to 84 kph once. He gave away just one four in his 10 overs. Australia sized up the conditions and responded to them perfectly.

Head and David Warner and Cummins and Zampa were saving boundaries all over the place. The field placements were excellent too. They had an offside sweeper out for Rohit because they guessed he would try to hit them off their lines and lengths by making room to the leg side. They had deep third man very fine to Suryakumar Yadav because his V is behind the wicket, not in front, and along with that gave him no pace to play his ramps and scoops.

This game, if they win it, and there’s still a long way to go, especially if there’s no dew, was made back in the drawing board.

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Tim Henman suggests Carlos Alcaraz is the greatest of all-time in one key area



Carlos Alcaraz in action

We may be a little too early to suggest Carlos Alcaraz could get into the discussion over who is the greatest male player of all time, but the Spaniad is certainly excelling in one key area.

Having lost his opening match to Alexander Zverev, Alcaraz knew only victory over previously unbeaten Medvedev would be enough to qualify for the semi-finals.

He achieved the feat in style, wrapping up a 6-4 6-4 victory to join the Russian in the last four on his debut in Turin.

Alcaraz’s superior sets record means he tops the group and will face Djokovic in a rematch of their unforgettable Wimbledon final, while Medvedev meets fourth seed Jannik Sinner, the only player yet to lose a match.

It was an impressive performance from Alcaraz after he lost his first match of the event against Alexander Zverev, as he continued an alarming slump in form that started with a defeat against Medvedev at the US Open.

Now the 20-year-old Spaniard is roaring back to his best, with his win against Andrey Rublev backed up by a victory against his great friend Medvedev.

During his commentary stint on the Alcaraz vs Medvedev match, former British No 1 Henman suggested the young Spaniard has separated himself from the greatest players the game has ever seen with his movement on the court.

“Is he the best mover to have ever played the game?” asked Henman.

“There have been some phenomenal movers, but from where I am sitting, I haven’t seen many quicker.

“We have had some great movers in the sport, but Alcaraz is right up there.

“There have been plenty of great movers in tennis, but his flexibility and control at the end of it is exceptional. His movement is just phenomenal.”

Novak Djokovic fans will argue their man has redefined how to move on a tennis court in the modern era, with his ability to slide on hard courts and contort his body into unnatural positions a skill that has helped him dominate the men’s game.

Roger Federer was also a divine mover when he was at his best, with his graceful presence on the court giving the impression that he was moving through the gears with relentless ease.

Rafael Nadal has also been a remarkable mover, with his dominance on clay courts helped by his sliding ability that has taken the sport on that surface to a while new level.

Now Henman may have started the ball rolling on a movement debate that will have no definitive answer, with Alcaraz admitting his movement was a big issue as he tried to find his feet on grass this summer.

The young Spaniard struggled on the surface in his first match at The Queen’s Club tournament in June, but quickly master the art of moving on grass as he lifted the trophy at that event and then went on to win Wimbledon.

“The most difficult part is to move well on grass,” said Alcaraz. “You need to be more careful than other surfaces, so for me to move on grass is the most difficult.

“The most comfortable (thing) is going to the net and playing aggressively all the time. For me it is similar to other surfaces with my style. Playing that style is comfortable and I like it.

“There are a lot of players who slice on grass. I am not one of them, so I have to think about the movement. I have to be focused on every movement and shot. For me it is more tiring when you are moving on grass. It is totally different, so you have to be really specific.”

Alcaraz’s youthful body allows him to be dynamic on court and that helps his movement, with the genius he can display on court helped by his ability to get to the ball quicker than his rivals.

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