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March 2017
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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

Upcoming Generation Adidas Cup will feature future MLS and International players

19 MLS Academy teams and 13 international clubs kick off tournament on April 7 in Frisco, TX

Select matches to include VAR in-game testing and to stream live on

NEW YORK, NY (March 24, 2017) – Major League Soccer today announced the details for the 2016-17 Generation adidas Cup hosted by FC Dallas, which kicks off its 10th iteration on Friday, April 7 at the Toyota Soccer Center at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The nine-day, elite youth competition will feature 34 total games streaming live , with semifinals, finals, and select group stage matches for the first time incorporating video assistance for referees.

The future of MLS Homegrown talent will be on display as 19 MLS Academy teams participate in the U-17 competition, and 13 premier international clubs – the most ever since their inclusion in 2013 –  partake in the Generation adidas Cup.

The 2016-17 tournament features top international clubs, including the likes of Spanish giants Real Madrid C.F. and Malaga CF, and Mexican powers Tigres UANL, C.F. Monterrey, C.D. Guadalajara, Pumas UNAM and Club Tijuana. Also competing are Argentine forces C.A. River Plate and Estudiantes de la Plata, Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt, and rounding out the international contingent are Ecuadorian side Independiente d. Valle, Brazilian club Flamengo and Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa.

“The growth and success of the Generation adidas Cup continues in 2017 with what will surely be the most competitive edition. The powerful partnership between adidas and Major League Soccer continues to drive the success of the event.  With renowned international clubs such as Real Madrid, River Plate, and Flamengo, along with all MLS Academy teams, the Generation adidas Cup provides a world class platform for our Homegrown players to test and prove themselves,” said Jason Davis of adidas America, Senior Manager Grassroots and Players.

Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, D.C. United has won the title a record three times (2007, 2009, 2010), while Real Salt Lake (2008), LA Galaxy (2011) and Philadelphia Union (2012) have each won once. International clubs have taken home the top prize three times, with the English Premier League’s Stoke City winning in 2014 and Argentina’s River Plate claiming the title in 2015 and 2016.

“The Generation adidas Cup is a world-class competition that offers MLS Academy teams the opportunity to compete against some of the most talented youth players and gain valuable insight into current coaching trends from these talented international clubs. The level and quality of the competition continues to rise year after year and provides a platform in which to display and evaluate the growth of MLS’ youth development system across North America,” said MLS Technical Director of Competition Alfonso Mondelo.

Tournament play began with three regional tournaments (East, Central and West) featuring U-17 academy teams from 19 MLS clubs. Each team competed in two regional qualifying events from October 2016 to February 2017, with the top two finishers in each region and the two highest third-place teams advancing to the Champions Division of the GA Cup finals and sorted into the following four groups:

Champions Division

FC Dallas LA Galaxy Atlanta United New York Red Bulls
Real Salt Lake Sporting Kansas City Colorado Rapids Toronto FC
Independiente d. Valle Eintracht Frankfurt C.A. River Plate Club Tijuana
Real Madrid C.F. Flamengo Malaga CF Estudiantes de la Plata

The remaining MLS Academy teams will compete in the Premier Division, consisting of the following four groups:

Premier Division

New York City FC Chicago Fire Columbus Crew SC D.C. United
Seattle Sounders FC New England Revolution Orlando City SC Houston Dynamo
Deportivo Saprissa Philadelphia Union San Jose Earthquakes Portland Timbers
Pumas UNAM C.F. Monterrey C.D. Guadalajara Tigres UANL

The 2016-2017 Generation adidas Cup will also feature the third annual U-12 tournament, featuring current MLS Academies in addition to future expansion club Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). Both LAFC and current expansion club Atlanta United received their first academy action in last year’s tournament. The small-sided 7-v-7 competition will be held at the Toyota Soccer Center from April 13-15 and will feature 18 MLS Academy teams (Atlanta United, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LAFC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC). Spanish clubs Villarreal C.F. and Malaga C.F. round out the U-12 group.

Generation adidas group play begins on Friday, April 7 with the two division tournament finals set for Saturday, April 15. A full Generation adidas Cup competition and live stream schedule, and further information on the tournament can be found HERE.

An educational coaching symposium, featuring presentations and lectures from participating international clubs including Real Madrid C.F., Villarreal C.F., Malaga C.F., Estudiantes de la Plata, River Plate, Flamengo and Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as representatives from Major League Soccer and its clubs, will be held on non-playing days in the afternoons of April 10, 12 and 14.

For the first time, the Generation adidas Cup will include live, in-game Video Assistant Referee (VAR) testing, as Major League Soccer and the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) remain at the forefront of this global initiative. Under the protocol required by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the universal decision-making body for the Laws of the Game, MLS and PRO will incorporate the initiative into select matches with VARs utilizing video technology to help referees identify clear errors or serious missed incidents in four game-changing situations — goals, penalty decisions, direct red cards, and cases of mistaken identity. The philosophy of the testing will be to create minimum interference with maximum benefit. MLS has the goal of implementing in-game VAR testing into the regular season, following the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. Further information about the VAR project is available HERE.




MLS Alcatel Player of the Week honors goes to FC Dallas’ Maxi Urruti

NEW YORK(Tuesday, March 21, 2017) – FC Dallas forward Maxi Urruti was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the third week of the 2017 MLS season.

After helping FC Dallas to a critical 2-1 win over Liga MX side Pachuca in CONCACAF Champions League semifinal action midweek, the 26-year-old Urruti continued his fine run of form in MLS, scoring a late brace to rally FCD to a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution at Toyota Stadium. With the victory, Dallas sits in second place in the Western Conference (2-0-1, seven points) and improves to 9-0-2 all-time when Urruti scores a goal. The brace was the second multi-goal performance of the striker’s MLS career, and he now claims three goals this season, tied for third best league-wide.

Maxi Urruti

With FC Dallas trailing in the second half, Urruti recovered a deflected ball at the top of the box, dribbling around goalkeeper Cody Cropper and firing a right-footed shot just inside the near post to equalize the match at 1-1 in the 71st minute (Watch Goal).

Moments later, Urruti dazzled again, collecting a long pass on the right side of the box and outmaneuvering a defender for possession. The Argentine then rocketed home a strike to the top corner from a difficult angle to give FC Dallas a 2-1 advantage in the 77th minute in what would be the eventual game-winning goal (Watch Goal).

FC Dallas next travels to face Pachuca in the second leg of the CCL semifinals on April 4 (10 p.m. ET) before returning to MLS action on April 8 against Minnesota United FC at Toyota Stadium (8 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.



MLS disciplines 3 players from last week’s action

NEW YORK (March 15, 2017) – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended Seattle Sounders FC defender Román Torres for one game and issued an undisclosed fine for violent conduct in the 37th minute of Seattle’s match against the Montreal Impact on March 11 (VIDEO ). Torres will serve the suspension during Seattle’s match on Sunday, March 19 against the New York Red Bulls.

Houston Dynamo midfielder Alex was found guilty of simulation/embellishment during the 37th minute of the Dynamo’s match against Columbus Crew SC on March 11 (VIDEO). The MLS Disciplinary Committee has issued Alex an undisclosed fine.

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara was also found guilty of simulation/embellishment in 31st minute of the Timbers match against the LA Galaxy on March 12 (VIDEO). The MLS Disciplinary Committee has issued an undisclosed fine to Chara.  In addition, the MLS Disciplinary Committee did not take any action against Portland Timbers midfielder David Guzman in connection with a play in the 34th minute involving LA Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme. The Disciplinary Committee could not unanimously determine whether Guzman engaged in an obvious act of simulation/embellishment or if he went to ground in an effort to avoid contact with Van Damme.



Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martínez named MLS Player of the Week


NEW YORK(Tuesday, March 14, 2017) – Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the second week of the 2017 MLS season. 

In Atlanta United’s first win in club history, Martinez recorded a hat trick in a 6-1 victory over fellow expansion club Minnesota United FC, helping to set the record for most goals scored in a single match by an expansion club in its inaugural season. The 23-year-old Designated Player now leads MLS with three tallies, while Atlanta’s combined seven team goals top the league. Martinez, who led the Venezuelan National Team with five goals in 2016, becomes the third Venezuelan to record a hat trick in MLS history.

Josef Martinez (courtesy Atlanta United FC)

Martinez kicked off Atlanta’s high-scoring day with his first MLS goal in the third minute with a perfectly timed run and right-footed finish past MNUFC goalkeeper John Alvbåge for a 1-0 advantage (Watch Goal). Martinez again was able to break through the Minnesota back line and slot home another right-footed shot in the 27th minute, increasing Atlanta’s lead to 3-0 (Watch Goal).

Martinez completed his hat trick in the 75th minute with another well-timed run, collecting the ball in front of goal and faking the goalkeeper to give himself an open net and Atlanta a 5-1 lead (Watch Goal).

Atlanta United returns to action this Saturday, March 18 when it hosts the Chicago Fire at Bobby Dodd Stadium (4 p.m. ET, UniMás /

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.






MLS Season 22 underway! Commissioner Garber thanks fans for support

Dear MLS Supporters,

With Major League Soccer kicking off its 22nd season tonight, I want to thank you for supporting your club and helping make MLS a “League of Choice.”

In 2016, more fans engaged with our games than ever before — in our stadiums, via our great broadcast partners and via digital and social channels. Meanwhile, our clubs are attracting top talent from around the world. During this past offseason, MLS clubs signed more than a dozen new Designated Players at an average of 25 years old, the youngest group of new DPs in our history. We also saw U.S. national team players including Brad Guzan, Greg Garza and Jonathan Spector sign with MLS clubs, and new initiatives with Canada Soccer are resulting in players such as the Montréal Impact’s Generation adidas Canada signee Shamit Shome competing in our league. Our clubs are also developing future MLS stars as more than 22 players from MLS youth academies — including 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy winner and D.C. United Academy product Ian Harkes — signed first-team contracts during the offseason.

In 2017, we’re thrilled to have Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC join our league. Minnesota debuts tonight against the Portland Timbers in our season opener on FS1, while 55,000 fans will attend Atlanta’s first game Sunday night against the New York Red Bulls, also on FS1.

Two state-of-the-art venues open this year with Orlando City SC unveiling its new beautiful soccer-specific stadium on Sunday in front of a capacity crowd against NYCFC on ESPN. Atlanta United will play the first-ever sporting event in the city’s new downtown sports and entertainment venue on July 30. And after 20 years of hard work, D.C. United has broken ground on their new stadium, Audi Field.

In the midst of all of this investment, there are 12 cities vying to secure four expansion teams, which would see the league grow to 28 clubs in the years to come.

In addition to MLS regular season play, we have an exciting summer of soccer ahead. In July, MLS will take a brief break during the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will feature many of our best players competing for the national teams of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and others in 14 stadiums across the United States. And on Aug. 2, the MLS All-Star Game will be played at Soldier Field in downtown Chicago.

Our regular season concludes with Decision Day, on Oct. 22, when every team will play simultaneously at 4 p.m. ET to help determine which teams will qualify for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. For a complete guide to the 2017 MLS season, click here.

On behalf of MLS, thank you for your support and best of luck for the 2017 season!

Commissioner Don Garber




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