For New York City FC its simple: defeat Columbus Crew SC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium in the regular season finale and secure second in the Eastern Conference and a bye into its first postseason appearance.I think what is really important is to put our focus on Columbus because its important for us to finish second, so I dont think about the playoffs yet, NYC coach Patrick Vieira told the teams website.New York City (14-10-9) could finish in a tie with the rival New York Red Bulls at 54 points atop the conference with a win and a Red Bulls loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. But the Red Bulls hold a virtually insurmountable 13-goal margin over NYC in the goal differential tiebreaker and would take the top seed.Its the team behind NYC that is proving more worrisome.A tie or loss to the Crew (8-13-12) would allow Toronto FC to claim second if it defeats Chicago at home on Sunday. If that happens, NYC would fall into a knockout match to advance to the conference semifinals.A season ago it was Columbus that needed points to secure second place in the last game, and it got them before reaching the MLS Cup final, so Crew coach Gregg Berhalter knows what to expect from NYC.Theyre going to be fired up and ready to go and its going to be a very difficult game for us, he said.NYCs David Villa has 22 goals to place second for the Golden Boot, a goal behind the Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips, who scored twice vs. the Crew in a 3-2 win on Oct. 16. Wholesale Lions Jerseys
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. Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. Victor Moses converted a 20th-minute penalty after an Ethiopian handball, and Victor Obinna made certain of Nigerias place in Brazil with his powerful free kick in the 82nd at UJ Esuene Stadium. Jalen Reeves-Maybin Jersey
. Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced Wednesday that the team would assign Swedish forward Elias Lindholm to his nations team for the upcoming tournament. Matt Prater Jersey
. -- Gus Malzahn finally had his day in Fayetteville. One of the quarterbacks in the ACC Championship game has already broken records for touchdown passes and total yards in a season at his school. The other one is Clemsons Heisman Trophy contender, Deshaun Watson.Virginia Techs Jerod Evans is just fine with being the other quarterback this week.Evans said he is not going to get caught up in all the hoopla heading into Saturday nights game in Orlando, Florida. While Watson is making a late-season surge that has enhanced his Heisman hopes, and the Tigers playoff chances, Evans just wants to focus on giving his team its best chance to win.Im not paying attention to all the hype or all the media attention, Evans said. ... Ill get my chance, and when I do, Ive just got to make the most if it. It is what it is. Im not focused on that. Once I get my chance, I think people will see, but right now Im thinking about me and my team and what we can do to win this game.Watson, a Heisman finalist last year when he led the Tigers to the national championship game, is expected to be a finalist again this year. He has thrown for 34 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and run for four more.Evans stacks up pretty well statistically with Watson. The Hokies quarterback has thrown for 26 touchdowns with just five interceptions and run for eight more.That may surprise some, but not Watson or Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware.Hes a very great competitor, outstanding athlete, great leader, and great quarterback, Watson said, noting hes watched the Hokies on television, including their game against Pittsburgh when Evans tweaked his ankle, sat out a few plays and then returned. He can make all the throws. He can make any run. Hes a hard worker, and regardless if hes banged up or not, hes going to go out there and be able to play for his team and do great things.Boulware suspects that going against Watson in practice is good preparation for facing Evans, although Evans is bigger and a more significant part of the Hokies running game thhan Watson is for the Tigers.dddddddddddd Evans leads Virginia Tech with 713 rushing yards and a long of 55 yards.I think hes very similar to Deshaun in their approach to the game. I think he might be a little bit heavier than Deshaun, Boulware said. Hes definitely a bigger body, packing a little more pounds than Deshaun, but I think theyre very similar in their game, how theyre able to throw the ball and also incorporate it into the run game.Evans arrived at Virginia Tech during the transition from Frank Beamer to Justin Fuente last December, and had been recruited by Fuente at Memphis. He also was familiar with the up-tempo offense favored by the Hokies new coach, and came with gaudy statistics from his year at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas: In eight games, Evans threw for 38 touchdowns, was intercepted just three times, and he also ran for more than 400 yards and four TDs.Defensive end Ken Ekanem acknowledges that he, and surely many others, were curious to see how Evans would adapt to a significant step up in competition. Ekanem said that any concerns he had were eliminated in the spring.We saw a lot of promise in him in his time here before he won the job, Ekanem said. You know, hes made a really good transition from JUCO to FBS football. Couldnt be more proud of him and the season hes having.Boulware, like Watson, expects the Tigers will have their hands full on Saturday night.Just a guy that wants to win, that will do anything possible for his team, his program and university and that will put his body and sacrifice his body on the line for the betterment of his team, the linebacker said, so you definitely respect that for him as a player and as a leader. Hell do anything possible to get a win.---More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org---Follow
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