Former Germany international Arne Friedrich has denied that he is set to retire when his contract with Chicago Fire expires in December.
The Montreal Impact became the third club in league history to win a third league championship, downing the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps 6-3 on aggregate in the USL First Division Championship series with a 3-1 victory in the second leg.
A quiet first half in the opening leg of the 2009 USL First Division Championship Series gave way to a thriller in the second half as the Montreal Impact saw their 1-0 road lead at the break turn into goal-fest in the second stanza as four strikes followed a surprising Martin Nash sending-off in a game that finished 3-2 in favor of Montreal, who remain a perfect 5-0-0 in the postseason.
For the first time in league history, two Canadian clubs will meet for the USL First Division Championship as the Montreal Impact posted their fourth straight playoff victory Sunday and the Vancouver Whitecaps held on for a draw to advance from their semifinal series.
A year ago, the regular season champion Puerto Rico Islanders found themselves in a 2-0 hole after the road leg of their semifinal series against Rochester and came from behind to tie the aggregate score and advance in series overtime 3-2.
With the playoff field and regular season champions already set, the 2009 USL First Division regular season came to a peaceful end as the teams set for seeds two through seven jockeyed for playoff position over the course of six games in the final four days.
Since the end of their league-record unbeaten streak of 24 games, times have been a bit difficult for the Portland Timbers.
The Portland Timbers took their league record unbeaten streak on the road and added two more victories to the ledger to extend the run to 22 games and a record of 13-1-9 for the season.
The Pali Blues of the W-League and the Ventura County Fusion of the Premier Development League became the first two franchises to capture United Soccer Leagues titles for the 2009 campaign with thrilling victories on the weekend.