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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

MLS enters Week 20 with key games set to go

This Week in MLS – July 17, 2017
  • Six MLS stars receive the call as reinforcements for United States at CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • MLS standouts lead Canada-Jamaica, Costa Rica-Panama to quarterfinal matchups at Gold Cup
  • David Villa set to face Sebastian Giovinco, Bastian Schweinsteiger in star-studded, Eastern Conference leader clash
  • Regional showdowns in the Southeast and Northwest highlight action packed slate of MLS matches
  • Dynamo’s Manotas Finds a Home, Thanks to Stadium Security Guard and Family
  • Finalists Announced for 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest Presented by Wells Fargo
  • Week 20 Game Previews

Six MLS stars receive the call as reinforcements for United States at CONCACAF Gold Cup
Head coach Bruce Arena elected to call in six MLS players as reinforcements for his U.S. Men’s National Team squad at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Highlighted by four of the most accomplished U.S. players in history along with two of its brightest young stars, the U.S. is set to face El Salvador and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Ceren in a quarterfinal match at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, FS1/UniMas).

Four of the most celebrated players in U.S. history offer plenty of firepower to a U.S. squad that finished in first place in group play. With a goal, Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will tie Landon Donovan’s national team record of 57 goals scored, while Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), the eighth most capped player in national team history, also gets the call. A pair of Toronto FC teammates in Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore round out the quartet of players that have all registered over 100 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

Joining the team are also two of the USMNT’s most exciting young stars in Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe and FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. Nagbe has blossomed into one of the U.S.’s most brilliant offensive creators, starring in four 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches since Arena’s takeover as head coach while featuring for a Timbers side that is tied for the most goals scored (34) in the Western Conference. Gonzalez will participate in his first U.S. camp after previously suiting up for Mexico at various youth national team levels. The 22-year-old has starred with five shutouts in 15 matches played for a Dallas squad that ranks as the second best defensive team in MLS with 18 goals allowed.

These six players join a U.S. team that has been heavily reliant on domestic players, with an MLS player scoring or providing the assist on six of the seven U.S. goals, the most of any nation in the tournament.

MLS standouts lead Canada-Jamaica, Costa Rica-Panama to quarterfinal matchups at Gold Cup
With the quarterfinal matchups set, it’s clear MLS players have played large roles in pushing advancing teams through to this part of the tournament. When looking at the four teams with the heaviest MLS presence aside from the United States, MLS players scored 13 of 19 goals overall and are set to shine once again in the quarterfinals with Costa Rica facing Panama on Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field (6 p.m. ET, FS/UniMas) and Canada opposing Jamaica on Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1/Univision).

Canada’s 16-year-old midfielder Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) is tied for the Golden Boot lead with three goals scored in Gold Cup play, becoming the youngest player in tournament and Canadian National Team history to score. Davies will be joined by Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin, who was added as a replacement player following group play thanks to his scoring pedigree. Larin has scored 39 goals in three seasons of MLS play including eight goals in 2017. Jamaica, meanwhile, has seen all three of its goals scored by MLS players with Portland Timbers forward Darren Mattocks leading the effort with two goals.

Costa Rica finished atop its group thanks to crucial goals from San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Marcos Urena and Minnesota United FC defender Francisco Calvo. They will face off against Panama, which has seen MLS players provide the goal or assist in four of its six goals, the second most scored during Gold Cup group play. New York City FC midfielder Miguel Camargo helped the team advance with one goal and two assists, tied for second best in the tournament.

The complete 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters and schedule of games can be foundhere.

David Villa set to face Sebastian Giovinco, Bastian Schweinsteiger in star-studded, Eastern Conference leader clash
When MLS returns to play from its two-week Gold Cup break on Wednesday, fans will be treated to some of the most high-profile stars the league has to offer. New York City FC, sitting third in the Eastern Conference, will play the two teams directly above in the standings, first against Toronto FC on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2/MLS LIVE), followed by a Saturday matchup at home against the Chicago Fire (2 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE).

Reigning MLS MVP winner David Villa will face 2015 winner Sebastian Giovinco for the first time since Toronto easily dispatched NYCFC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Villa has 12 goals scored this season, second in MLS, while Giovinco ranks in the top 10 with nine goals scored. Additionally, both players were voted into the Fan XI for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.

Villa then shifts his sights to his first MLS matchup against another star in Bastian Schweinsteiger, as New York City FC will look to end the Chicago Fire’s MLS best 11-game unbeaten streak. Two of the biggest stars in MLS will meet at Yankee Stadium, 11 days before taking the field against Real Madrid as All-Star teammates.

Regional showdowns in the Southeast and Northwest highlight action packed slate of MLS matches
MLS returns from a two-week Gold Cup break with a pair of highly anticipated regional showdowns highlighting the action, first on Saturday in a southeastern showdown between Orlando and Atlanta, followed by a Pacific Northwest clash between Portland and Vancouver on Sunday.

The long-awaited I-75 Rivalry will finally see the light of day starting this week, with back-to-back games between Orlando City SC and expansion Atlanta United FC in a nine-day stretch. The first meeting occurs this Friday at Orlando City Stadium (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). Atlanta (9-7-3, 30 points) and Orlando (8-7-5, 29 points) are side-by-side in the upper half of the Eastern Conference standings, so this inaugural matchup certainly carries plenty of weight. Atlanta is in the midst of a club-record three-game winning streak while Orlando has one victory in its past six games (1-2-3 record during this current stretch). Following Friday’s game, they meet again on July 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will attempt to add to its strong home track record against the Portland Timbers when the two sides meet this Sunday at BC Place (6:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes). Whitecaps FC has won the past three home matches against the Timbers and will be looking to reverse the season series’ opening result. Portland’s Darren Mattocks scored what proved to be the winner against his former Whitecaps FC side to lead the Timbers to a 2-1 victory on April 22 at Providence Park. Both clubs will be coming off midweek clashes, with Whitecaps FC traveling to face the LA Galaxy and the Timbers hosting Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. This Sunday is the second of three regular-season meetings; they cap off the regular season at Portland’s Providence Park on MLS Decision Day (Oct. 22).

Dynamo’s Manotas Finds a Home, Thanks to Stadium Security Guard and Family
Since arriving in Houston just over two years ago, Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas has always felt at home, even though he lived the first 19 years of his life in Columbia. His transition to the U.S. has been made more comfortable because Manotas has found a second family in the household of Ed Chavez, a longtime security guard at Dynamo games at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Ed Chavez and his wife, Ingrid, volunteered to Dynamo management that they would take Manotas into their home. It was a good fit for everyone involved because they have a son, Chad, who is close to Manotas’s age and a daughter, Haley, who is just a few years younger. After Mauro stayed with the Chavez family for a few months, his own family visited from Columbia and everyone hit it off and agreed that Mauro was in an ideal home as he began his MLS career.

Now in his third season with the Dynamo – he is third on the team in goals – Manotas continues to live with the Chavez family.

“I feel like I am at home,” said Manotas. “When I first arrived in Houston, I was alone for two weeks and that was rough. I didn’t eat well and was very uncomfortable. Having the structure really helped me. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without their support.”

Finalists Announced for 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest Presented by Wells Fargo
Major League Soccer last week announced finalists for the 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo. The Grand Prize winner, as voted by fans, will be recognized on-field during halftime of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 2 and will receive a $25,000 donation for their selected charity.

MLS WORKS and Wells Fargo are recognizing individuals who use soccer as a tool to make a difference in their community. Throughout June, MLS fans nominated individuals who are helping to build better communities. Twenty-two finalists have been selected, one representing each MLS club.

Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the Community MVP Contest site (www.MLSsoccer.com/CommunityMVP) and using the vote or Tweet buttons for each finalist.

Week 20 Game Previews

Wednesday, July 19
Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. (TVA)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Impact overcame a three-goal deficit with Anthony Jackson-Hamel scoring the second of his two goals three minutes from full time to leave the teams in a 3-3 draw April 22 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • The Impact suffered a second loss in their last three games in their last match, a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 4.
  • Philadelphia Union had their two-game winning streak put to an end but still extended their undefeated run to three games, reaching a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on July 6.

San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

  • The Red Bulls won a second consecutive away match on the heels of a six-game losing streak on the road, coming back for a 3-2 win against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 5. The three goals scored by the Red Bulls were their season-high in a game this year.
  • The Quakes had their two-game winning run put to an end, conceding a season-high in goals in a 4-2 loss to Atlanta United at Bobby Dodd Stadium on July 4. It was a second consecutive defeat on the road for the Quakes, coming off a three-game undefeated homestand.
  • The Quakes have not won at New York since 2005. Since San Jose’s return to MLS, the Red Bulls have won five home encounters with the Quakes, with two draws.

Toronto FC at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN2)

  • New York City FC are undefeated vs. Toronto FC in league play in their two MLS campaigns, winning two of five meetings all-time, with three draws. The teams also met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals – and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
  • David Villa has scored six goals in three appearances vs. Toronto FC, including both goals in the draw in The Bronx last year. Sebastian Giovinco has four goals and two assists in league play, including a hat trick in a nine-minute span in a wild 4-4 draw between the teams July 12, 2015 at Yankee Stadium; he also scored a hat trick and added an assist in the second leg of the MLS Cup Playoffs series.
  • New York City FC had their winning streak put to an end after four games last time out, falling 3-2 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on July 5. The four-game winning streak equaled the club record, originally set last June 18-July 6.
  • Toronto FC won their third game out of their last four, defeating Orlando City SC 3-1 at Orlando City Stadium on July 5. The win in Orlando snapped a two-game road losing streak for TFC, having conceded three goals in each defeat.

Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United FC, 8 p.m.

  • The teams are meeting for the second time. Goals from MNUFC’s Christian Ramirez and Johan Venegas canceled out goals from the Dynamo’s Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw April 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Minnesota United suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 1-0 to Columbus Crew SC at TCF Bank Stadium on July 4. MNUFC had their three-game undefeated streak in Minneapolis put to an end, after two wins and a draw.
  • The Dynamo put an end to a four-game winless run, defeating the Montréal Impact 3-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 5. The win extended the Dynamo’s home undefeated streak to 10 games, their longest since the MLS-record 30-game home unbeaten run July 9, 2011-April 28, 2013.

D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m.

  • Sounders FC put an end to a three-game winless run, defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 4. Sounders FC put an end to their road winless streak after five games, their first road win since April 23.
  • D.C. United suffered their third consecutive defeat, falling 4-2 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on July 4. United scored on the road for the first time since a 1-0 win May 27 at Vancouver, putting an end to their away shutout streak after 419 minutes, after four consecutive road shutouts.
  • Sounders FC have won the last four meetings between the teams, and are undefeated in the last six league encounters in the series (4-0-1). United’s last win against Seattle in league play came May 4, 2011

Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m.

  • The Timbers saw their winless streak extended to five matches with a third consecutive draw, reaching a 2-2 result with the Chicago Fire at Providence Park on July 5. The draw extended the Timbers home undefeated streak to six matches at Providence Park (3-0-3).
  • Real Salt Lake put an end to a two-game losing streak overall, rolling to a 6-2 win against the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center on July 4, matching their club record with the six-goal outburst.
  • RSL became the second team in MLS history to score six goals and allow six goals in the same season (losing 2-6 to FC Dallas on June 3). The Dallas Burn did it in 2001 (2-6 vs MIA on 6/2/2001; 6-3 at COL on 6/16/2001).
  • The Timbers have an eight-game undefeated streak alive in the all-time league series, Real last winning April 19, 2014. Portland has won four of those eight games, with four draws.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (TSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Romain Alessandrini scored twice for the Galaxy, but Matias Laba scored the final two goals for Whitecaps FC, snapping a 2-2 tie for a 4-2 victory April 1 at BC Place. The opening Vancouver goal in the first meeting snapped a 347-minute scoreless streak for the ‘Caps in the series.
  • The LA Galaxy suffered a third consecutive defeat, suffering a 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at StubHub Center on July 4.
  • The six goals conceded by the Galaxy matched their club record, set once previously in their 680 MLS league matches (3-6 vs Dallas, Sept. 12, 2009). Both of those games have been at StubHub Center. The loss also extended the Galaxy’s home undefeated streak to six games.
  • Whitecaps FC put an end to a three-game winless run, hitting for a late winner for a 3-2 win against New York City FC at BC Place on July 5.

Friday, July 21
Atlanta United at Orlando City SC, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

  • Atlanta United extended their winning streak to three games, their longest since coming into MLS, in a 4-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Bobby Dodd Stadium on July 4. Atlanta United have won five consecutive home games, dating back to May 20.
  • Josef Martínez scored a pair of goals in Atlanta United’s win, now with nine goals in his first MLS season (in nine appearances), already with three multiple-goal games for the season (including one hat trick).
  • Orlando City lost at home for the first time since May 21 last time out, suffering a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC at Orlando City Stadium on July 5.

Saturday, July 22
Chicago Fire at New York City FC, 2 p.m.

  • The Fire had their four-game winning streak put to an end, but still extended their two-month long undefeated streak, reaching a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on July 5. The Fire extended their undefeated streak in league play to 11 games, dating back to May 6, their longest since the club-record 12-game unbeaten run Oct. 23, 2008-May 28, 2009.
  • David Villa scored his 12th goal of the season in the loss at Vancouver, now tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings (with Erick Torres of HOU; Nemanja Nikolic of CHI has 16). Villa scored a goal for a second consecutive game, now with four goals in his last four games.
  • NYCFC are undefeated in the last four meetings between the teams, since the Fire won 1-0 on April 24, 2015 in their first match ever. NYCFC have won two of those four matches, with two draws.

New York Red Bulls at Minnesota United FC, 4 p.m. (ESPN)

  • During the Gold Cup break, the Red Bulls reached the semifinals in the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2003, following a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on July 13 in Cambridge, Mass. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the game’s lone goal three minutes from full time.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time ever. The Red Bulls opened the season facing a member of the expansion class of 2017, winning 2-1 at Atlanta United.

Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC, 7 p.m. (TSN)

  • The Rapids suffered their third loss in their last four matches in their last action, falling 3-1 to Seattle Sounders FC on July 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Sebastian Giovinco netted a pair of goals in TFC’s win at Orlando City, his third two-goal game this season, his second vs. OCSC. Since the start of 2015, when Giovinco came into MLS, he has 12 multiple-goal games, tied for second-most in the league (David Villa, NYC, 13).
  • The Rapids have won three of last four meetings between the teams, over the last four seasons – all by 1-0 scorelines. The Rapids won 1-0 on April 12, 2014 in Toronto, their only victory ever against TFC at BMO Field.

Houston Dynamo at D.C. United, 7 p.m.

  • The Dynamo come into the week still winless away from home this season, with trips ahead to Minnesota and D.C. United, now 0-7-2 on their travels, one of four teams without an away win this season. The seven away defeats are tied for the league-high (with Colorado, New England and Minnesota).
  • Ian Harkes scored his first career MLS goal in the July 4 defeat at FC Dallas, after recording his career MLS assist when the club scored its last previous goal June 21. Harkes became part of the fourth father-and-son combination to score goals in MLS, along with father John, joining Alex and Teal Bunbury, José and José Adolfo Valencia, and David and Jesus Ferreira.

FC Dallas at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. (TVA)

  • FC Dallas won their third consecutive game at home, extending their overall undefeated streak to four games, defeating D.C. United 4-2 at Toyota Stadium on July 4.
  • Ronald Lamah scored a pair of goals for a second consecutive game for FCD, now with eight goals on the season – all of them coming in the last eight matches (since May 25). Michael Barrios collected a pair of assists, now with 10 for the season, tied for the MLS league lead (with Victor Vazquez of Toronto FC).
  • The Impact start the week with two games at Stade Saputo vs. Philadelphia and Dallas riding a three-game home winning streak, the club’s longest in league play since a seven-game winning run Sept. 5, 2015-April 9, 2016.

Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m.

  • Crew SC won for a second time in three games in their last match, defeating Minnesota United FC 1-0 at TCF Bank Stadium on July 4. Kekuta Manneh scored his second goal of the season, both coming in the last three games.
  • Union won all three meetings between the teams a season ago. Union won both matches at Mapfre Stadium – both by 2-1 scorelines, on March 12 and Aug. 24 – their first two wins ever in Columbus. Crew SC had won six of seven meetings there prior, with one draw.

LA Galaxy at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

  • The Revolution suffered their fourth consecutive loss overall in league play, their second in a row at Gillette Stadium, in a 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls on July 5. The Red Bulls then eliminated the Revolution from the U.S. Open Cup at the quarterfinal stage in a 1-0 result July 13.
  • The Galaxy were also eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup at the quarterfinal stage since their last league match, falling 3-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on July 11.
  • The Galaxy won 4-2 last May 8 at StubHub Center, their second consecutive win at home in the league series – the third time in the last four matchups the winning team has hit for four goals or more. The teams reached a 2-2 draw in their last meeting at Gillette Stadium, May 31, 2015 – after each team hit for five goals in consecutive regular season matches the two years previous (NE 5-0 win in 2013; LA 5-1 win in 2014).

Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m.

  • Sporting extended their undefeated streak to six games with a fourth draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with Philadelphia Union on July 6. The draw extended Sporting’s club-record home undefeated streak at Children’s Mercy Park to 18 games.
  • Sporting also reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the third time in the last six seasons, defeating FC Dallas 3-0 in extra time on July 12, Latif Blessing scoring a pair of goals.
  • In RSL’s 6-2 vs. LA, Jefferson Savarino scored his first two goals in his MLS career, while Albert Rusnák scored his fourth MLS goal and also collected a pair of assists, now with seven for the season –his second two-assist game in MLS.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer and Gerso Fernandes all hit the back of the net, giving Sporting a 3-0 win April 29 at Children’s Mercy Park. The SKC win in the first meeting snapped a seven-game winless streak in league play in the all-time series (0-4-3), their first victory since 2013.

Sunday, July 23
Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Darlington Nagbe and Darren Mattocks each found the back of the net as the Timbers took a 2-1 win April 22 at Providence Park.
  • Whitecaps FC have won the last three league meetings at BC Place, over the last two seasons, their only league wins at home vs. the Timbers.
  • Fanendo Adi scored his 10th goal of the season in Portland’s 2-2 draw with Chicago, reaching double-figures in goals for a third consecutive season. Adi is in a four-way tie for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. Adi has four goals over the last six matches.
  • The teams first met on May 16, 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, the Timbers winning 2-0 at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The teams have met 88 times in all, across a number of competitions – the Whitecaps hold a 37-33-18 advantage in the all-time record between the clubs. The teams met twice in the NASL playoffs, in 1978 and 1980, each team advancing on one occasion.

San Jose Earthquakes at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m.

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Nicolas Lodeiro gave Sounders FC the lead in the 84th minute, but Chris Wondolowski scored in the final minute of the regulation 90, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw April 8 at Avaya Stadium.
  • Chris Wondolowski scored his eighth goal of the season in the Quakes’ 4-2 loss at Atlanta United, his second consecutive game with a goal. It was Wondolowski’s first goal scored away from Avaya Stadium this season – the 63rd career goal scored on the road in his career, tied for the most in MLS history (with Landon Donovan).

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

MLS Player of the Week honors go to Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey

 

Clint Dempsey in 2016 By Victor Araiza from Houston, TX, United States of America, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

NEW YORK(Friday, July 7, 2017) – Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 19th week of the 2017 MLS season. 

Dempsey scored two goals and added an assist in Seattle’s 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids on July 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, extending the club’s unbeaten mark to three straight games. The second leading goalscorer in United States Men’s National Team history, Dempsey now has seven goals and two assists for Sounders FC this season. With the victory, Seattle now sits in seventh place in the Western Conference standings with 24 points (7-7-3 overall record).

A three-time World Cup participant with the United States, Dempsey gave Seattle an early 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, receiving a pass from teammate Joevin Jones in the middle of the box and firing a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard (Watch Goal). Dempsey would add an assist to his day in the 30th minute, fully extending his right foot to redirect a cross towards Will Bruin, who finished with a right-footed shot to give Seattle the 2-0 advantage (Watch Assist).

With Sounders FC up late in the match, Dempsey iced the game with a tremendous goal to give Seattle a 3-1 lead in the 85th minute. Bruin headed goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s long goal kick down the field, setting up Dempsey’s dazzling left-footed shot from well outside the box to complete the brace (Watch Goal).

Seattle Sounders FC returns to action on Wednesday, July 19 when hosting D.C. United at CenturyLink Field (10:30 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.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

MLS Disciplinary Committee issues suspensions from Week 18 infractions

NEW YORK (July 4, 2017) – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Silva for one game and issued an undisclosed fine for violent conduct in the 61st minute of Salt Lake’s match against Orlando City SC on June 30 (VIDEO ). Silva will serve the suspension during Real Salt Lake’s match on Tuesday, July 4 against the LA Galaxy.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

Major League Soccer enters into Week 18

This Week in MLS – June 26, 2017
  • More than 50,000 expected for California Clásico in Heineken Rivalry Week Edición Especial
  • Voting for 2017 All-Star Fan XI presented by Target enters final week
  • Young stars set to breakout as 16 MLS players make U.S. Gold Cup roster
  • Chicago heads to hostile territory while Sapong and BWP clash yet again in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 play
  • Toronto FC hosts rival Montreal in winner-take-all Canadian Championship final
  • The Cowboys Connections of FC Dallas rookie defender Walker Hume
  • Jerseys for 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target unveiled
  • Week 18 Game Previews

More than 50,000 expected for California Clásico in Heineken Rivalry Week Edición Especial
With a Heineken Rivalry Edicion Especial featuring the LA Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, July 1 (10:30 p.m. ET, Univision/facebook.com), a heartstopping California Clásico at Stanford Stadium will showcase two clubs who have been duking it out since the inaugural MLS season.

For the last five years drawing sellout crowds of more than 50,000 to Stanford Stadium, Saturday’s annual soccer showdown will mark the 70th all-time meeting between two clubs that can each claim some bragging rights. At Stanford Stadium, the Quakes are an undefeated 3-0-1. However, in all regular season meetings, the Galaxy have dominated League play by a margin of 30-20 in the win column, with 14 ties.

With rivalry regulars and a few new faces, the Galaxy (6-6-4) and the Quakes (6-6-5) have nearly identical records and will be leaning on big performances heading into Saturday. For San Jose, forward Chris Wondolowski is battle-tested with a tally of eight goals, most of any Quakes player in their history against LA, including the opening goal in the May 27 meeting. The Galaxy came back to steal a 4-2 win in that game, and will be looking to midfielder Romain Alessandrini, who has played his part in the majority of the club’s goals this season, with eight goals and seven assists on the season.

Voting for 2017 All-Star Fan XI presented by Target enters final week
There is only one week left for fans to vote their favorite MLS players to the All-Star Fan XI and on their way to Chicago. Fans can continue to vote via the online ballot, in the MLS app, and/or the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge through June 30 at 3 a.m. ET. The MLS All-Stars will face Real Madrid on August 2 at Soldier Field in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.

Ten players – one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and two forwards – with the highest combined votes will be named to the All-Star Fan XI. The 11th player – a forward – will be determined by the EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge.

Below are the players that currently lead in All-Star Fan XI voting:

All-Star Fan XI Leaders
as of June 26, 2017

GOALKEEPERS
Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
Alec Kann (Atlanta United)
Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
Joe Bendik (Orlando City SC)
Alex Bono (Toronto FC)

DEFENDERS
Greg Garza (Atlanta United)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Leandro González Pírez (Atlanta United)

MIDFIELDERS
Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire)
Kaká (Orlando City SC)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)

FORWARDS
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
David Villa (New York City FC)
Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)

EA Sports More Than a Vote Leaders
Top 5 in alphabetical order as of June 26, 2017

Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
David Villa (New York City FC)

Young stars set to breakout as 16 MLS players make U.S. Gold Cup roster
U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena named 16 MLS players to his 23-player roster for the 2017 Gold Cup, with young stars getting their first chance to break through for the national team when taking on Ghana in a friendly at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Saturday, July 1 (4:45 p.m. ET, ESPN/UniMás/UDN).

One of the breakout stars of the U.S. in the recent round of World Cup Qualifying earlier this month, FC Dallas Homegrown midfielder Kellyn Acosta shined in a 1-1 draw against Mexico at Azteca Stadium and could be a leader for the United States in the tournament. Reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris joins Acosta as one of six players on the roster to come through an MLS academy system.

Three MLS players earned their first call-ups to represent the United States for the first time in their careers. Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer looks to make his USMNT debut fresh off receiving his United States citizenship, with the forward scoring 57 goals since his league debut in 2012, the fourth-most of any player in MLS over that span. New England midfielder Kelyn Rowe receives his first chance for the U.S. after notching five-plus goals and assists in each of the past four seasons for the Revolution.

Rounding out the newcomer list is Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan, who has emerged as a feisty two-way player for the reigning MLS Cup champions. The 22-year-old has a mere two appearances in the U.S. youth national team system but has blossomed as a main distributor in Seattle, as he currently ranks in the top five in the league in touches, tackles, and duels won, and ranks in the top 10 in successful passes.

USMNT Gold Cup Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union;), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Kenny Saief (Gent/BEL), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)

Chicago heads to hostile territory while Sapong and BWP clash yet again in U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 play
Thirteen MLS clubs will continue their quests to capture the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title this week with five contests in Round of 16 play pitting MLS clubs against each other.

In one of the three matchups with an MLS team facing off against a lower-division club, the Chicago Fire travel to USL side and MLS expansion hopeful FC Cincinnati on Wednesday, June 28 in a nationally televised match at Nippert Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The Fire are in red-hot form entering the match, carrying a nine-game undefeated streak with wins in seven of its past eight contests. Chicago will play in front of what is expected to be a hostile Nippert Stadium crowd, as FC Cincinnati drew more than 30,000 fans in its last U.S. Open Cup contest two weeks ago.

In other Open Cup play, the New York Red Bulls host I-95 rival Philadelphia Union on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena for the teams’ third matchup this season (8 p.m. ET). The clubs split the first two matches of the season, both at Talen Energy Stadium, behind the offensive firepower of their star strikers. Union forward CJ Sapong scored a hat trick in the Union’s 3-0 victory on May 6, while Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a brace on June 18 for a 2-0 New York victory.

Toronto FC hosts rival Montreal in winner-take-all Canadian Championship final
More than bragging rights will be on the line on Tuesday when Toronto FC hosts rival Montreal Impact in the second and decisive leg of the Canadian Championship final at BMO Field (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN/RDS). As winners of the 2016 Canadian Championship, Toronto could lock up a spot in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League by capturing a second consecutive domestic title, while a win by Montreal would force a playoff between the two clubs for the CCL spot.

In the first leg at Stade Saputo on June 21, Montreal and Toronto played to a 1-1 draw with Matteo Mancosu and Jozy Altidore each scoring first-half goals for their respective clubs. The draw was the first meeting between the two bitter rivals since an epic showdown in the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Montreal currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but has come away with points in four of its previous five MLS regular season matches. Toronto, meanwhile, sits atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with a 9-1-1 record in its previous 11 matches.

Toronto will look for its second consecutive Canadian Championship title, with the club winning a record five times in the tournament’s history.

Canadian Championship Winner by Year
2016: Toronto FC
2015: Vancouver Whitecaps FC
2014: Montreal Impact
2013: Montreal Impact
2012: Toronto FC
2011: Toronto FC
2010: Toronto FC
2009: Toronto FC
2008: Montreal Impact

The Cowboys Connections of FC Dallas rookie defender Walker Hume
Walker Hume, the 6-foot-5 rookie defender for FC Dallas, has played soccer his entire life, but his bloodlines are in football. Born in Dallas and raised in San Angelo, Hume has many family connections to the Dallas Cowboys.

His grandfather was Tom Franckhauser, a member of the first Cowboys team when they joined the NFL in 1960. Franckhauser is credited as the first person to touch a football in a game for the Cowboys. Selected by the Cowboys in the Expansion Draft from the Los Angeles Rams, Franckhauser returned the opening kickoff in the team’s first regular season game. The cornerback played two seasons for Dallas. Hume’s grandmother, Beverly Franckhauser, attends Walker’s games for FC Dallas.

The Cowboys connections do not end there for Hume. His grand-uncle was Frank Glieber, an announcer on Cowboys radio broadcasts in their first two seasons and a longtime sportscaster for CBS. Walker’s uncle, Craig Glieber, is currently the Cowboys’ assistant director of operations.

Walker Hume was selected by FC Dallas in the second round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft after a standout collegiate career at North Carolina. He has started two games so far for FC Dallas this season.

Jerseys for 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target unveiled
MLS and adidas have today unveiled the jerseys for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. The jerseys will be worn by the biggest stars in MLS as they take the field against Real Madrid on August 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The design for the jersey is inspired by the famous 1994 U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup “denim” jerseys, with faded star and maple leaf graphics across the front of the blue shirt.

The limited edition authentic adidas 2017 MLS All-Star jersey will be available at select retailers and to fans in attendance at the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target. For replica jerseys and other MLS All-Star merchandise, visit MLSstore.com.

 

Week 18 Game Previews
Thursday, June 29
Minnesota United FC at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m.

  • NYCFC have now won three games in a row, following the club’s first win ever at Red Bull Arena in a 2-0 defeat of the Red Bulls. The club record is four wins in a row. Jack Harrison scored his seventh goal of the season, his third goal over the last five matches.
  • Both Minnesota United goals vs. Vancouver came from defenders as Francisco Calvo and Jêrome Theisson scored their first career MLS goals, MNUFC now undefeated in their last three games at home following a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at TCF Bank Stadium.

Friday, June 30
Orlando City SC at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

  • Real Salt Lake saw their road losing streak extended, falling 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. It was a sixth consecutive loss on their travels for RSL, dating back to April 29; Real have won their last three at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Orlando City saw their road winless streak extended to six games, matching their season-high with four goals conceded in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Fire.

Saturday, July 1
D.C. United at Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. (TSN; TVAS)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Ballou Tabla scored the game’s lone goal after 13 minutes to give the Impact the victory, May 6 at RFK Stadium.
  • Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored his fifth goal of the season – all as a substitute – but the Impact conceded a season-high four goals in a 4-1 defeat by Columbus Crew SC.
  • D.C. United suffered a third consecutive away defeat, all by shutout, now 299 minutes since their last goal scored on their travels, following a 1-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union.

Portland Timbers at Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Dom Dwyer scored the game’s lone goal in the 53rd minute to give Sporting the victory, April 15 at Providence Park. The road team has won five of the 11 meetings all-time in the series.
  • Sporting Kansas City extended their undefeated streak to four games, defeating the LA Galaxy 2-1 at StubHub Center on Saturday evening, ending their road winless streak at six matches.
  • Fanendo Adi scored the 50th goal of his MLS career, but the Timbers saw their winless run extended to three games, hauled back into a late 2-2 draw with arch-rivals Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. (TSN)

  • The Fire won their third game in a row, their seventh victory in their last eight matches, and extended their home winning streak to seven games, one game shy of the club record, with a 4-0 win against Orlando City SC at Toyota Park.
  • David Accam scored a hat trick, the Fire’s first since 2014, and Nemanja Nikolic scored his league-leading 14th goal of the season for the Fire.
  • Cristian Techera scored for a second consecutive game, now with five goals on the season, as Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated run to three games with a second consecutive draw, reaching a 2-2 result with Minnesota United FC.

Toronto FC at FC Dallas, 7 p.m. (TSN)

  • Maximiliano Urruti scored for a second consecutive game, now with nine goals on the season, as FC Dallas reached a second consecutive draw with their winless run extended to three games, playing to a 1-1 result with the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Sebastian Giovinco scored his seventh goal of the season and Victor Vazquez collected his league-leading ninth assist of the season as Toronto FC won their second consecutive game, defeating the New England Revolution 2-0 at BMO Field. It was a club-record seventh straight home win for TFC, recording a third consecutive home shutout.

Atlanta United at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m.

  • The teams are meeting for the second time. Hector Villalba, Miguel Almíron and Josef Martínez all found the back of the net as Atlanta United claimed a 3-1 meeting June 17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the first meeting ever between the clubs.
  • Federico Higuaín scored a pair of goals, now with a career-long four-game goal scoring streak, and Kekuta Manneh set an MLS record by scoring a goal and adding an assist within three minutes of coming on the field as a substitute in Crew SC’s 4-1 win against the Montréal Impact, ending a two-game losing skid.
  • Josef Martínez scored the game’s only goal, his seventh goal of the season, as Atlanta United have won their last four games at Bobby Dodd Stadium following a 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids.

Houston Dynamo at Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m.

  • The Dynamo remained undefeated at BBVA Compass Stadium, but were held without multiple goals for the first time at home this season, playing to a second draw in nine games as hosts following a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas. Erick Torres scored his 11th goal of the season, second in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The Rapids are the only team remaining in MLS without a point on the road this season, their away losing streak now at eight games dating back to last season, following a 1-0 loss at Atlanta United.
  • The Dynamo haven’t won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since 2008, the Rapids now undefeated in their last seven home meetings with Houston (5-0-2).

LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. (Univisión)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Giovani dos Santos scored a pair of goals as the Galaxy claimed a 4-2 win May 27 at Avaya Stadium, just theGalaxy’s second win in the last 14 regular season meetings in northern California.
  • The Quakes put an end to a three-game winless slide, as Danny Hoesen scored a goal and set up the second in a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake at Avaya Stadium. It was the final game in charge for Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear, who was relieved of his duties following the victory.
  • The Galaxy saw their eight-game undefeated run put to an end, suffering a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are now winless in their last five home games, matching the club’s longest streak since 2005.

Sunday, July 2
New England Revolution at Philadelphia Union, 5 p.m. (FS1)

  • Union put an end to a three-game losing slide, defeating D.C. United by the game’s only goal at Talen Energy Stadium, their fourth win in their last five home games. Fafa Picault scored his fourth goal of the season, his second in the last three matches; all four of his MLS goals have come over the last seven matches.
  • The Revolution have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since dropping the opening two games of the season March 4-18, falling 2-0 to Toronto FC at BMO Field.
  • The teams met twice a year ago, and Union won both by heavy margins, a 3-0 win March 20 at Talen Energy Stadium, and a 4-0 win Aug. 13 at Gillette Stadium.

 

 

MLS players getting ready for 2017 Gold Cup; nearly 50 to represent their respective countries

 

NEW YORK(June 30, 2017) – Forty-nine players from Major League Soccer are set to participate in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup after officially receiving a call up to final 23-man rosters, the most of any professional league worldwide. In total, Major League Soccer will see players representing eight of the 12 participating nations in the tournament, with 18 MLS teams seeing at least one of its players called up.

The United States led all nations with 16 MLS players called into action, including five Homegrown Players. Canada ranked second with nine MLS players called onto its national team, six of whom came up through MLS academies. An additional 33 MLS players were named to preliminary 40-man rosters and are eligible to be called as one of six replacement players per team allowed by CONCACAF prior to the quarterfinal round of the tournament.

A trio of reigning MLS award winners will participate in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup including 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC/United States), 2016 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Hedges (FC Dallas/United States) and 2016 Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union/Jamaica).

The tournament will visit seven MLS cities and five U.S. cities that have submitted official applications for the League’s next round of expansion. MLS will add four expansion teams in the coming years, growing to 28 clubs. The Gold Cup begins on Friday, July 7 with a doubleheader at Red Bull Arena featuring French Guiana against Canada (7 p.m. ET, FS2/UDN) and Honduras taking on Costa Rica (9 p.m. ET, FS2/UniMas).

To download the infographic, please click here.

MLS Players on Gold Cup Rosters by Country

Canada (9)
Patrice Bernier (Montreal Impact)
Maxime Crepeau (Montreal Impact)
Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC)
Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal Impact)
Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC)
Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC)
Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

Costa Rica (6)
Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United FC)
David Guzman (Portland Timbers)
Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC)
Marco Ureña (San Jose Earthquakes)
Johan Venegas (Minnesota United FC)
Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)

El Salvador (1)
Darwin Ceren (San Jose Earthquakes)

Honduras (4)
Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo)
Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas)
Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo)
Romell Quioto (Houston Dynamo)

Jamaica (8)
Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Oniel Fisher (Seattle Sounders FC)
Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls)
Darren Mattocks (Portland Timbers)
Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers)
Jermaine Taylor (Minnesota United FC)
Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution)
Romario Williams (Atlanta United) *on loan at Charleston Battery

Martinique (1)
Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders FC)

Panama (4)
Miguel Camargo (New York City FC)
Armando Cooper (Toronto FC)
Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes)
Michael Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls)

United States (16)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution)
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City)
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)
Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)
Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Justin Morrow (Toronto FC)
Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)
Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution)
Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

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