Yesterday, it was Showcase Sunday for MLS with two nationally televised games on at the same time as the NFL.
During the late afternoon NFL match-ups, the LA Galaxy traveled to Portland to take on the Timbers in a playoff positioning Western Conference battle. It was broadcast nationally on NBC and the Timbers held on for a 1-0 win.
Portland solidified third place and gained ground for playoff qualifying on 4th and 5th place teams, the Galaxy and Colorado Rapids (MLS takes the top 5 of each conference to the playoffs).
MLS Showcase Sunday chose the two best ambiance home venues in the League, Portland and Seattle. Fans are completely engaged and enraptured the full 90 minutes and it displays well on television. The two visitors, the Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, are two of the most menacing and captivating opponents MLS can offer up.
I watched parts of the nightcap match between the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls on ESPN. Unfortunately, Thierry Henry did not make the trip out to Seattle (he typically does not play on artificial turf) and Clint Dempsey did not play (inactive-status unknown). But, there was Eddie Johnson for the Sounders and Tim Cahill for the Red Bulls, two rising stars for the League.
The Sounders and Red Bulls have two of the best records in MLS, so the match was being played with a potential Supporters' Shield title on the line. The Supporters' Shield gives the team with the overall best record at the end of the year an entry into CONCACAF Champions League the following year.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football on NBC were playing a helluva game. Give it up to Tom Brady for leading another great Patriot team. Atlanta might have to end up being a Wildcard team because of New Orleans, but I still think they can become an elite team again this season.
It was tied at 10-10 at halftime (1.5 to 1.5 in soccer scoring) and stayed a suspenseful game until the end.
The International football game (soccer) got going when the American football game was in the second quarter and the International football game ended while the American game was in the fourth quarter. The International football was a semi-entertaining 1-1 draw. I watched it during the commercials of the American football match, which ended with the Patriots dominating and then hanging on for a dramatic win.
The two football leagues gave U.S. sports fans options Sunday night. It's always fun to be flipping channels, but it took a an American soccer fan to be able to do so.
Click to See other 'Flipping Channels': Soccer and the NBA Finals, Soccer and the World Series