SHORT TAKES

• It’s a good bet that at least one of the MLS conference semifinals will be decided by the most illogical of tiebreakers: the away-goals rule. If any of the two-legged matches, which conclude Sunday, are tied at the end of regulation, the winner will be the team that scored the most goals away from home. Introduced a half-century ago in Europe, the rule is a relic of a time when travel was arduous and road wins were rare. It’s time to stop using it in all soccer, not just MLS.

• It might be hard to believe, but the U.S. Men’s National Team begins qualifying for the 2018 World Cup this week. The U.S. will play St. Vincent & The Grenadines in St. Louis on Friday night, and is heavily favored to advance out of its four-team group to make the final round of qualifying, which will begin next November.

 

• The Gophers women’s soccer team will find out Monday afternoon if it qualifies for the NCAA tournament. Minnesota led the Big Ten with two weeks to go, but lost three of its last four regular-season games to finish sixth, then lost 4-1 to Rutgers in the Big Ten quarterfinals.