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• The Bundesliga season is only eight games old, but we might as well fast-forward to the end of the year, because Bayern Munich appears certain to clinch a fourth consecutive championship. Bayern's 5-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, a dominating victory over the only other German team that appeared remotely able to challenge the champions, means that Bayern has a seven-point lead after only eight games. At this point, we should probably talk less about whether Bayern can win another title and more about whether it can complete an undefeated season in the German league. Displaying the proper Evil Empire-style attitude, Bayern striker Thomas Muller was quoted this week as saying: "I play at FC Bayern. Our job is to win our games, not to keep the league competitive and please the neutrals. Should we lose on purpose to make them feel happy? Well, we won't." Dortmund, and the rest of the Bundesliga, might already be too far behind to catch up.

• Liverpool, which fired head coach Brendan Rodgers following last week's draw with Everton, hired former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp to replace him. Klopp, who left Dortmund in May to take a break from coaching, is known for his attacking style and goofy interviews, and for elevating Dortmund into Germany's top two — and making it the only team to regularly compete with Bayern. In Liverpool, he takes over a team that's spent plenty to match the multiple Bayern-like giants of England but doesn't have the recent success to show for it.

• It's looking likely that all three Minnesota products in MLS will be in this year's edition of the playoffs. Prior Lake native Teal Bunbury has appeared in all but three games for the New England Revolution, which is one point away from clinching a playoff spot. The Montreal Impact, the club of Woodbury native Eric Miller and Henry Sibley High School standout Calum Mallace, is also on the verge of a playoff appearance — though a loss Saturday night in Colorado would put a big dent in the Impact's chances. Mallace has been a regular feature, with 20 starts in midfield for the Impact this year, while Miller has nine appearances of his own.