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Toronto FC 2017 winner of MLS Supporters Shield for top regular season team


MLS supporters shield By Source WP NFCC#4, Fair use, https

Toronto FC captures Supporters’ Shield for top seed in Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs

TFC earns first MLS trophy on track for record-breaking season after missing the playoffs three years ago

NEW YORK(Saturday, September 30, 2017) – Major League Soccer tonight announced that Toronto FC has secured the 2017 MLS Supporters’ Shield, earning the top seed in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs by virtue of achieving a 19-5-8 record and 65 points, which no other team can surpass in the final weeks of the MLS regular season.

After staking claim to the coveted Supporters’ Shield and remaining untouchable atop MLS standings since July 19, Toronto FC is polishing its first piece of MLS hardware during one of the most impressive campaigns in League history. Earning a berth to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs a full six weeks prior to season’s end, the reigning Canadian Championship victors have equaled the fastest postseason qualification by any club since 2006. With Supporters’ Shield firmly cementing TFC as the No.1 seed in the playoffs, Toronto is awarded a first-round postseason bye, and will play its first playoff match in the Conference Semifinals against the winner of the lower-seeded Eastern Conference Knockout Round.

Complete Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs qualification procedures and format can be foundhere.

Setting sights on consecutive MLS Cup appearances, Toronto boasts an 11-game unbeaten streak from July 5-September 16, and is on pace to potentially surpass a number of League records, including most goals per game and the greatest margin of goal differential in a single season. Netting an average of 2.22 finishes per outing, TFC (by season’s end) could eclipse one of the highest goal scoring averages since the 2.12 goals per game standard set by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012. Proving success on both sides of the ball, TFC could also be within reach of the goal differential record, as the club currently holds a margin of +36 with two games remaining to reach the +44 mark set by the LA Galaxy in 1998.

Led by U.S. Men’s National Team players Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, Greg Vanney’s star-studded squad also includes 2015 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, who has finished a single-season record five goals on set pieces in 2017. Off the boots of unsung midfield hero Victor Vazquez, who leads the League with 16 assists, TFC has also found success through consistent play from a strong contingent of Canadian National Team players.

The Supporters’ Shield, introduced by organized fan groups, is awarded annually to the supporters of the team with the best regular season record in MLS. The Supporters’ Shield has been won by a total of 11 different MLS clubs throughout the league’s 21-season history, with both the LA Galaxy and D.C. United hoisting the trophy a record four times. Of the previous 20 winners, six have gone on to win MLS Cup, one has lost in the Cup final, seven have been eliminated in the Conference Championships, while seven have lost in the Conference Semifinals.

Major League Soccer Supporters’ Shield winners

2017: Toronto FC (19-5-8, 65 points)
2016: FC Dallas (17-8-9, 60 points)
2015: New York Red Bulls (18-10-6, 60 points)
2014: Seattle Sounders FC (20-10-4, 64 pts.)
2013: New York Red Bulls (17-9-8, 59 pts.)
2012: San Jose Earthquakes (19-6-9, 66 pts.)
2011: LA Galaxy (19-5-10, 67 pts.)
2010: LA Galaxy (18-7-5, 59 pts.)
2009: Columbus Crew (13-7-10, 49 pts.)
2008: Columbus Crew (17-7-6, 57 pts.)
2007: D.C. United (16-7-7, 55 pts.)
2006: D.C. United (15-7-10, 55 pts.)
2005: San Jose Earthquakes (18-4-10, 64 pts.)
2004: Columbus Crew (12-5-13, 49 pts.)
2003: Chicago Fire (15-7-8, 53 pts.)
2002: LA Galaxy (16-9-3, 51 pts.)
2001: Miami Fusion (16-5-5, 53 pts.)
2000: Kansas City Wizards (16-7-9, 57 pts.)
1999: D.C. United (23-9-0, 57 pts.)
1998: LA Galaxy (24-8-0, 68 pts.)
1997: D.C. United* (21-11-0, 55 pts.)
1996: Tampa Bay Mutiny* (20-12-0, 58 pts.)

*Awarded retroactively


Miguel Almiron of Atlanta United chosen #1 by 24 Under 24 player series; Crew SC’s Kekuta Manneh selected


Miguel Almirón (courtesy Atlanta United)

Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón voted No. 1 in 24 Under 24 series
Almirón highlights star-studded group that features seven Designated Players; Top 10 was unveiled Thursday on ExtraTime Live driven by Continental
NEW YORK (Thursday, September 28, 2017) – announced today that Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almirón has been voted the No. 1 player in the 2017 24 Under 24. The top 10 players were unveiled on a special edition of ExtraTime Live driven by Continental on Facebook Live.

Almirón headlines a star-studded group that features seven Young Designated Players, including fellow Atlanta player and eighth-ranked Héctor Villalba, Real Salt Lake teammatesAlbert Rusnák and Jefferson Savarino, D.C. United newcomer Paul Arriola, Houston Dynamo striker Alberth Elis and FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo. The average age of this Designated Player group is 22.5 years old.

The caliber of this year’s ranking encapsulates the increased talent and experience in this series with a balance of 13 returnees and 11 newcomers. Seven Homegrown Players make up the list, with four Homegrowns ranked in the top 10. Fourteen clubs are recognized in the 2017 series, and four teams have three representatives: Atlanta, Dallas, New York City FC and Salt Lake.

With Almirón’s top billing, Atlanta becomes the first MLS expansion franchise to achieve the No. 1 spot since the 24 Under 24 series began in 2010.

Highlighting the top five:
The 23-year-old Miguel Almirón has played a crucial role in his first MLS season as a key contributor to Atlanta’s exciting expansion campaign. The Paraguayan international has doled out 13 assists and tallied nine goals in 29 matches this year. Recently referred to as Atlanta’s “heartbeat” by teammate and MLS veteran Jeff Larentowicz, Almirón recorded a memorable hat trick during Atlanta’s 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on May 20. He has also shined among the league’s best, earning a spot on the 2017 MLS All-Star Team and appearing in 10 games with Paraguay’s national team, including the Copa America Centenario and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

At No. 2, FC Dallas Homegrown Player and budding U.S. National Team midfielder Kellyn Acosta continues to add to his credentials for both club and country. Gaining 24 Under 24 recognition for a third straight year, Acosta has moved up the list from being voted fourth in 2016 and 14th in 2015. The Plano, Texas native has already surpassed 100 career appearances since signing with FC Dallas in 2012. One of four players in this year’s 24 Under 24 who were part of the U.S. National Team’s 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning squad, Acosta is among the likes of  Dallas and U.S. MNT goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris and D.C.’s Paul Arriola.

New York City FC midfielder Jack Harrison becomes the fifth person in the 24 Under 24 series’ history to earn back-to-back top-three rankings. Harrison, who was No. 2 in 2016, comes in at the No. 3 spot this year. The top selection in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft is thriving during his sophomore campaign with NYCFC, establishing himself as an unsung offensive threat alongside 2016 Landon Donovan MVP winner David Villa. Recording a career-high 10 goals to go with six assists in 31 matches, Harrison has played a vital role in leading NYCFC to its second straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs berth.

At No. 4, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 16-year-old phenom Alphonso Davies earns his first appearance in 24 Under 24. Davies signed as a Homegrown Player last year at age 15, and is this season earning regular minutes for one of the top-rated Western Conference sides of 2017. Davies’ breakout moment was with Canada’s national team when he recorded a brace during a 4-2 victory against French Guiana in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. With three tournament goals, Davies was named to the Gold Cup Best XI, earned the Young Player Award and won the Golden Boot, providing a glimpse of what’s to come for Whitecaps FC.

Rounding out the top five is Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin, who earned the No. 1 ranking in 2016 and has been named to the the 24 Under 24 series on three consecutive occasions. The 2015 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year and top selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft is delivering once again with 12 goals in 27 games, and he has produced 43 goals in 86 matches during his three-year MLS tenure.

For full coverage of 2017 MLS 24 Under 24, including interviews, features and more, 24 Under 24 winners:

  • 2010: Fredy Montero, Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2011: Brek Shea, FC Dallas
  • 2012: Darren Mattocks, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • 2013: Darlington Nagbe, Portland Timbers
  • 2014: DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2015: Fabian Castillo, FC Dallas
  • 2016: Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC
  • 2017: Miguel Almirón, Atlanta United

2017 24 Under 24:
1. Miguel Almirón, Atlanta United^
2. Kellyn Acosta, FC Dallas*
3. Jack Harrison, New York City FC
4. Alphonso Davies, Vancouver Whitecaps FC*^
5. Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC
6. Yangel Herrera, New York City FC^
7. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders FC*
8. Héctor Villalba, Atlanta United^
9. Paul Arriola, D.C. United^
10. Tyler Adams, New York Red Bulls*^
11. Yamil Asad, Atlanta United^
12. Alberth Elis, Houston Dynamo^
13. Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders FC
14. Carlos Gruezo, FC Dallas
15. Albert Rusnák, Real Salt Lake
16. Ronald Matarrita, New York City FC
17. Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting Kansas City*
18. Justen Glad, Real Salt Lake*
19. Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, Montreal Impact*^
20. Jesse Gonzalez, FC Dallas*
21. Luciano Acosta, D.C. United^
22. Jefferson Savarino, Real Salt Lake^
23. Kekuta Manneh, Columbus Crew SC
24. Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution*

*Homegrown Player
^Player making his first appearance on the list

By Position:
Goalkeepers (1): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)
Defenders (3): Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake)
Midfielders (14): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Luciano Acosta (D.C. United), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Yamil Asad (Atlanta United), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution), Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas), Jack Harrison (New York City FC), Yangel Herrera (New York City FC), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Albert Rusnák (Real Salt Lake), Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla (Montreal Impact)
Forwards (6): Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC), Kekuta Manneh (Columbus Crew SC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake), Héctor Villalba (Atlanta United)

Team Totals:
Atlanta United (3)
FC Dallas (3)
New York City FC (3)
Real Salt Lake (3)
D.C. United (2)
Seattle Sounders FC (2)
Columbus Crew SC (1)
Houston Dynamo (1)
Montreal Impact (1)
Orlando City SC (1)
New England Revolution (1)
New York Red Bulls (1)
Sporting Kansas City (1)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1)


MLS announces Disciplinary Committee Decisions for Week 30


MLS Disciplinary Committee Decision: Week 30
NEW YORK (September 29, 2017) – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has found Colorado Rapids midfielder Bismark Adjei-Boateng and FC Dallas midfielder Javier Morales guilty of instigating and escalating an incident in the 70th minute of Colorado’s match against FC Dallas on September 27 (VIDEO ). Both Adjei-Boateng and Morales have been issued undisclosed fines for their actions.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Felipe and D.C. United midfielder Lloyd Sam have been issued undisclosed fines for instigating and escalating an incident during the 60th minute of the match between D.C. United and the Red Bulls on September 27 (VIDEO).

In addition, both the Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy have been found in violation of the Mass Confrontation Policy in the 61st minute of the teams’ match on September 27 (VIDEO). The MLS Disciplinary Committee has issued an undisclosed fine to the Houston Dynamo, as well as to head coach Wilmer Cabrera, for the club’s second violation of the League’s policy this season. The LA Galaxy have been issued a warning for the club’s first violation this season.

Wilmer Cabrera fined for public criticism of officials
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has issued an undisclosed fine to Houston Dynamo head coach Wilmer Cabrera for his public criticisms of the officials.
Independent Panel rescinds Kouassi red card
The Independent Panel, consisting of one representative from the United States Soccer Federation, one representative from the Canadian Soccer Association, and one representative from the Professional Referee Organization, has unanimously rescinded the fine and one-game suspension for the red card issued to New England Revolution midfielder Xavier Kouassi for serious foul play in the 11th minute of New England’s match against Orlando City SC on September 27 (VIDEO).

As a result of New England’s appeal, Kouassi will be eligible to play in the Revolution’s next regular season match against the Atlanta United on September 30.

Each Club is entitled to two unsuccessful appeals per season, including playoffs. Since New England’s appeal was successful, the team maintains two unsuccessful appeals for any future dismissals in the 2017 season.


Major League Soccer announces December 9 for 2017 MLS Cup and playoffs schedule

2017 MLS Cup set for December 9, live on ESPN, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports

Broadcast schedule announced for Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK(August 17, 2017) – Major League Soccer today announced that 2017 MLS Cup will be played on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. ET, hosted once again by the finalist with the best regular season record. The league’s 22nd annual championship game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on ESPN and UniMás, in Canada on TSN and TVA Sports, and across more than 170 countries worldwide.

In addition, Major League Soccer announced dates for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, with postseason action kicking off October 25-26 following the close of regular season play on Sunday, Oct. 22. All games in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs will be broadcast nationally across the league’s domestic partners FS1, ESPN and UniMás, with TSN and TVA Sports networks transmitting the games in Canada. Complete Canadian and international broadcast information for the playoffs will be announced at a later date.

Following the same playoff competition format implemented in 2015, the top six teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences will qualify for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The postseason begins with four Knockout Round games, to be played Oct. 25-26, during which the third and sixth seeds, and fourth and fifth seeds from each conference, will face off in single-game elimination matches hosted by the higher seeded teams. All four games will be broadcast on UniMás with ESPN2 and FS1 carrying one match each on Oct. 26.

Knockout Round winners advance to the Conference Semifinals – a two-game, aggregate-goal format, home-and-home series held between Oct. 29-Nov. 5. Each conference’s top seed will face their respective conference’s lowest-seeded Knockout Round winner. Each conference’s No. 2 seed will face their respective conference’s highest-seeded Knockout Round winner. The higher-seeded team will host the second leg of the two-game series. The four winning teams of each semifinal series, two from each conference, will advance to the Conference Championships.

After a break in play to observe the international FIFA window from Nov. 6-14, playoff action will resume with the two-game, aggregate-goal format, Conference Championship series to be played on Tuesday, Nov. 21 (Leg 1) and the following week between Nov. 28-30 (Leg 2).

All the passion and excitement of the postseason comes to a crescendo as the two conference champions clash at 2017 MLS Cup. The one-game, winner-take-all event will be played at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular-season record, as it has been since the 2012 season.

For more information about the postseason format, please see the MLS Competition Rules and Regulations.

To download the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs logo, please CLICK HERE.
To download the 2017 MLS Cup logo, please CLICK HERE.

Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule
*Subject to change. Canadian and international broadcast information to be announced at a later date.

Knockout Round
(Conference third seed vs. sixth, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)

Eastern and Western Conference Knockout Round (4 games)

  • October 25        Two Games      Times TBD        (UniMás)
  • October 26        Two Games      Times TBD        (UniMás, one game each on FS1 & ESPN2)

Conference Semifinals
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format between conference top seed vs. lowest advancing seed from Knockout Round and conference second seed vs. highest seed from Knockout Round)

Eastern Conference Semifinal Series

Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (2 games)

  • Monday, Oct. 30            Time TBD          (FS1)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 31           Time TBD          (ESPN)

Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (2 games)

  • Sunday, Nov. 5             Times TBD         (ESPN, FS1)

*both games will be played on the same day.

Western Conference Semifinal Series

Western Conference Semifinal Leg 1 (2 games)

  • Sunday, Oct. 29            5 p.m. ET           (ESPN)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 31           Time TBD          (FS1)

Western Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (2 games)
*both games will be played on the same day

  • Sunday, Nov. 5             Times TBD         (ESPN, FS1)

Conference Championships
(Two-game series, aggregate-goal format)

Eastern Conference Championship

Eastern Conference Championship Leg 1 (1 game)

  • Tuesday, Nov. 21          8 p.m. ET          (ESPN)

Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 2 (1 game)

  • Nov. 28 or 29                Time TBD          (FS1)

Western Conference Championship

Western Conference Championship Leg 1 (1 game)

  • Tuesday, Nov. 21          Time TBD          (FS1)

Western Conference Championship Leg 2 (1 game)

  • Thursday, Nov. 30         Time TBD          (ESPN)

2017 MLS Cup
(Hosted at the home venue of the finalist with the best regular season record)

  • Saturday, Dec. 9           4 p.m. ET           (ESPN, UniMás, TSN, TVA Sports)



MLS moves into Week 25; Crew SC has two key home games in 4 days

This Week in MLS – August 21, 2017
  • Heineken Rivalry Week II features bitter foes battling for playoff position
  • NYCFC looks to paint New York blue with potential Derby sweep
  • ‘El Capitan’ on the line in Wednesday’s Texas Derby between FC Dallas, Dynamo
  • Cali Clasico between Galaxy, Quakes holds do-or-die implications
  • Streaking Seattle faces pair of Cascadia Cup foes looking to climb crowded Western Conference
  • Rising Impact to test strength of League’s best Toronto FC
  • Rocky Mountain Rivalry could be Rapids’ last hope for turnaround
  • Week 25 Game Previews

Heineken Rivalry Week II features bitter foes battling for playoff position
Bitter foes will face off in hopes of improving their postseason positions as Heineken Rivalry Week II features the most intense rivalries in the Major League Soccer with plenty of playoff implications on the line. In total, six regional matchups highlight an action-packed week of contests, unfolding on national television in front of some of the most raucous stadium environments in MLS. Where do you stand in your support during Heineken Rivalry Week II?

NYCFC looks to paint New York blue with potential Derby sweep
After dropping five of six of the first New York Derby contests, including all three matches in the inaugural season, New York City FC has rebounded with a vengeance, capturing the first two regular-season matchups of the 2017 season. NYCFC will look to claim New York as blue with a season sweep over the rival Red Bulls on Friday when the two teams face off in a nationally televised contest at Red Bull Arena (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes).

NYCFC forward David Villa scored his first MLS hat trick in a 3-2 victory over the Red Bulls on August 6 and has been on fire recently with five goals in his last three matches. Villa, the reigning MLS MVP, leads the league with 19 goals this season, while his 60 tallies since his arrival to NYCFC in 2015 are the most of any player in MLS. The club currently holds a three-game winning streak thanks to the heroics of Villa and rookie Jonathan Lewis. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft has scored in two straight matches, including thestoppage time winner in Sunday’s 2-1 comeback victory over the New England Revolution to remain in second place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The fourth-place Red Bulls counter with reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is tied for third in MLS with 14 goals scored this season, while his 82 goals since 2014 lead all players in the league. Teammate Sacha Kljestan, meanwhile, paces MLS with 12 assists this season, a year after registering 20 in 2016 for the second-highest, single-season assist total in league history.

‘El Capitan’ on the line in Wednesday’s Texas Derby between FC Dallas, Dynamo
Heineken Rivalry Week II kicks off with a heavily anticipated Texas Derby clash as FC Dallas host the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Stadium (8 p.m. ET | UniMás, Facebook Live). The stakes are certainly high in the tightly contested Western Conference as Houston (10-8-7, 37 points) and Dallas (9-6-8, 35 points) sit third and fifth, respectively, in the upper half of the standings.

The season series is even following a pair of draws, so a winner Wednesday could lay claim to El Capitán, a replica of an 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon. The Dynamo hold the slight advantage overall with six season series wins to Dallas’ five. Houston currently holds El Capitán and would potentially retain the title with a draw, unless the two sides square off later this year in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

The matchup features two of the league’s top assist men in FCD’s Michael Barrios and the Dynamo’s Alex, who are currently tied for third in MLS with 10 assists each.

The defending 2016 regular-season Western Conference champions, Dallas needs a strong result to put an end to its current four-game winless streak (0-3-1), having scored just once during this stretch. FC Dallas will look to build on its 6-2-4 record at home against a Houston side that has had its difficulties away from BBVA Compass Stadium (1-8-4 on the road).

On the flip side, Houston saw its six-game unbeaten streak come to a close following Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. After briefly holding a first-place lead in the West, the Dynamo will be eager to lay claim to the top spot again if they can change their tune on the road.

Cali Clásico between Galaxy, Quakes holds do-or-die implications
Entering this week, the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy – two storied franchises in MLS grandeur – find themselves on the outside of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs picture if the campaign ended today. The Cali Clásico carries some added weight when the Galaxy host the Quakes on Sunday at StubHub Center (7 p.m. ET | FS1, FOX Deportes).

In what could be seen as a do-or-die matchup with the regular season hitting its stretch run, the Quakes have the more optimistic shot at the postseason. San Jose travels to Sandy, Utah, on Wednesday to take on Real Salt Lake, before heading to the west coast to cap off the week. All eyes are on the Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski, who continues to etch his name in the MLS record books.

Wondolowski converted a clutch penalty kick in second-half stoppage time to help San Jose earn a 2-2 draw against the Philadelphia Union. With that goal, Wondolowski has reached double-digit goal scoring for an eighth consecutive season. The Bay Area native sits fourth on the league’s all-time goal scoring list with 131 goals, behind only Jaime Moreno (133),Jeff Cunningham (134) and former Galaxy and Quakes legend Landon Donovan (145).

LA will need an impressive final stretch to work its way into the top six of the West standings. The Galaxy enter the week in ninth place with a 6-12-5 record and 23 points, and every game for head coach Sigi Schmid’s side is unquestionably a must-win situation. LA hits the road to face Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday and then prepares for three home matches in a four-game stretch. The Galaxy, though, have uncharacteristically struggled at StubHub to the tune of a 1-7-4 record.

Only five MLS franchises have won multiple MLS Cups, and this meeting features two of them – LA a five-time champion and San Jose a two-time title winner. For the moment, though, Sunday’s rivalry game will be a crucial 90-minute stretch toward simply building each team’s postseason fate.

Streaking Seattle faces pair of Cascadia Cup foes looking to climb crowded Western Conference
Seattle Sounders FC, perhaps the hottest team in MLS with a club-record nine-game unbeaten streak, will look to maintain its spot atop the Western Conference when taking on a pair of Cascadia Cup rivals this week. Sounders FC open the week on Wednesday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place (10 p.m. ET, TSN1/3/4), before returning to CenturyLink Field to host the Portland Timbers on Sunday (9:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).

Clint Dempsey has had no troubles finding the back of the net since capturing the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup title with the U.S. Men’s National Team, scoring in three consecutive matches for Sounders FC. Tied with legend Landon Donovan atop the all-time scoring charts for the United States, Dempsey is only two goals away from tying Seattle’s all-time leading goalscorer mark of 47 in MLS regular season play.

Coincidentally, the man Dempsey is chasing is former Seattle and current Vancouver starFredy Montero, who has 10 goals for Whitecaps FC this season for his fifth double-digit campaign in MLS. Montero has four goals over his previous four matches for a Vancouver squad that sits in sixth place in a crowded Western Conference, where just seven points separates first from seventh place in the standings. Montero scored a brace in a 2-1 victory over Seattle on April 14, his first match against his former club.

Sounders FC then shift their focus to a Timbers team against which it has found good fortune this season. Following a 1-0 victory in May, Seattle salvaged a 2-2 draw at Providence Park on June 25 thanks to a last-minute goal from Dempsey to keep the club undefeated against its bitter rivals in 2017.

The Timbers have relied on midfielder Diego Valeri who has tied his MLS career-high with 14 goals scored to go along with nine assists this season. Valeri’s 51 assists since 2013 lead the league, and just last week, he became the 18th player in MLS history to tally 50-plus goals and assists in league play. The fourth-place Timbers sit a mere three points behind their conference-leading rivals.

Rising Impact to test strength of League’s best Toronto FC
When the surging Montreal Impact host a virtually untouchable Toronto FC this Sunday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVAS), a rivalry that hit its peak during last year’s Eastern Conference Championships returns for the first  regular season meeting between the Canadian foes this season.

Dominating in recent weeks with four straight wins over Orlando City SC, the Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, and last week’s 3-0 drubbing of the Chicago Fire, the Impact’s commendable form has been led by Italian midfielder Ignacio “Nacho” Piatti, whose contributions include 14 goals, four assists, and back-to-back two-goal games. After falling to Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship earlier this year (3-2 on aggregate), the Impact will be leaning on their difference maker to help take down the TFC powerhouse.

Reigning supreme and sitting confidently four points clear of the next closest team in Supporters’ Shield standings, Toronto FC remains a favorite with the best record (14-3-8) and highest goal tally of any club (49) in the league. But even the Goliath of MLS has a weakness, as Toronto has allowed at least one goal in six of the last seven games.

With Piatti’s goal-scoring leading Montreal up the standings, will Toronto FC escape unblemished or could the Impact be the first team in eight games to hand them a loss?

Rocky Mountain Rivalry could be Rapids’ last hope for turnaround
Tied for last place in the Western Conference and one week into interim head coach Steve Cooke’s leadership, the Colorado Rapids have everything to gain from a result against Rocky Mountain rival Real Salt Lake on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium (10 p.m. ET).

The Rapids will be fighting tooth and nail to save their season, as they prepare to face an opponent they had all but conquered for 84 minutes of their last meeting on April 15. With an early one-goal lead heading into the waning minutes of the match, an RSL dagger came in the form of two goals in the span of three minutes leading to Colorado’s defeat. With three draws and two losses in the last five games, a spark from forward Kevin Doyle or some shine from Marlon Hairston help right this Rapids ship?

Real Salt Lake, however, will not go down easily, boasting an astonishing 14 goals in the last seven games. Battle tested on home turf and without a loss at Rio Tinto since June 30, Real Salt Lake claimed the coveted Rocky Mountain Cup last season, and a repeat could be well within their reach.


Week 25 Game Previews

Wednesday, Aug. 23
LA Galaxy at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Crew SC is coming off a 1-1 draw with Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium. The draw extended Crew SC’s winless streak on the road to four games (0-2-2), all coming over the past five matches; they have won their past two home matches.
  • The Galaxy return to action following a weekend off, suffering a second consecutive defeat in their past match, a 2-0 loss to New York City FC at StubHub Center on Aug. 12. The loss extended the Galaxy’s winless streak to eight games, now equaling the third-longest in club history and the longest since the club-record 12-game stretch without a victory from June 21-Sept. 13, 2008.
  • The Galaxy have won six of the past nine meetings between the teams, with two draws, including a 2-1 win last Sept. 3 at StubHub Center in the only matchup. The lone Crew SC win in that span came in 2014 in Columbus.
  • The Galaxy have not won in Columbus since 2011, though the teams have played to draws in two of the past three meetings there.

Atlanta United at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the third time, and D.C. United have won the first two. Luciano Acosta and Patrick Nyarko each scored goals as D.C. United took a 2-1 win June 21 at RFK Stadium. On April 30 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Acosta scored one goal and set up another as D.C. United won 3-1 in the first meeting ever between the clubs.
  • D.C. United put an end to their eight-game winless streak, defeating the Colorado Rapids by the game’s only goal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The eight-game winless run was the club’s longest since the club-record 15-game stretch from Aug. 10, 2013 to March 29, 2014.
  • Atlanta United return to action after a two-week layoff, their last match a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Aug. 6. The result extended Atlanta United’s undefeated run to six games, dating back to June 24, with two draws following a four-game winning run.

Philadelphia Union at Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Justin Morrow gave TFC a late 2-1 lead, but CJ Sapong answered just two minutes later as the teams ended up in a 2-2 deadlock on March 11 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • Toronto FC have a six-game undefeated streak alive in the league series, having won four regular-season meetings in a row before the teams reached a draw in each of their past encounters. Sebastian Giovinco has scored in five of the past seven meetings between the teams (league and MLS Cup), with five goals and two assists in that span.
  • Toronto FC won their second consecutive match, defeating the Chicago Fire 3-1 at Toyota Park. The win extended TFC’s undefeated streak to eight matches (4-0-4), dating back to July 5, the second-longest for the club this season (8 games, April 21-May 26).
  • Giovinco scored his 12th goal of the season, his first since netting a pair of goals July 30. Giovinco has three goals and two assists over the past four games; the 12 goals are tied for seventh place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The Union started a two-game road swing with a 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. The draw extended Union’s road winless streak to seven games, the fifth-longest in club history.

Houston Dynamo at FC Dallas, 8 p.m. ET (UniMás)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, having reached draws in the first two. Erick Torres gave the Dynamo a first-half lead, but FCD’s Maximiliano Urruti answered after the break, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw June 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The teams played to a goalless draw on May 28 at Toyota Stadium.
  • The Dynamo have defeated FC Dallas just once over the past five seasons. Since the start of 2013, FC Dallas are 6-1-3 in league play against Houston. The Dynamo haven’t won in Frisco since 2011, but the past two meetings there have ended in draws.
  • FC Dallas had their winless streak extended to four games with a third loss in that time, falling 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. The four-game winless run matches the longest of the season for FCD.
  • The Dynamo opened a two-game road swing with a loss, falling 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. It was a second game without a victory on the road for the Dynamo after winning their first away match of the season on July 22; they are now 1-8-4 on their travels this season.

San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Danny Hoesen scored the opening goal then set up a tally from Marco Ureña as the Quakes took a 2-1 win on June 24 at Avaya Stadium. The teams have reached draws in their past two matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Real Salt Lake completed their two-game Eastern road swing with a loss, falling 3-1 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. Real saw their three-game road winning streak put to an end with the loss, matching the club record set three times previously; the loss also put an end to a six-game undefeated streak for Real (3-0-3), their first loss in league play since June 30.
  • The Quakes saw their home winning run put to an end but still came back for a dramatic result, gaining a 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union at Avaya Stadium. The Quakes had their home winning streak put to an end after four games, the club’s longest since the 2013 season and the longest ever at Avaya Stadium.
  • Chris Wondolowski scored his 10th goal of the season, his second goal in the past three matches. Wondolowski became the first player in MLS history to score in double figures in goals in eight consecutive seasons.

Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Fredy Montero scored a pair of goals against his former club, giving Whitecaps FC a 2-1 win April 14 at BC Place. The away team has won six of the past eight league meetings between the clubs, but the home team has won the last match in the series at each ground.
  • Whitecaps FC put an end to a brief two-game winless run, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-1 at BC Place on Saturday evening.
  • Montero scored his 10th goal of the season, his fourth goal in the past four matches. Montero has now scored in double figures in goals in each of his five MLS seasons, after doing so with Seattle Sounders FC from 2009-12.
  • Sounders FC won their third game on the trot, defeating Minnesota United FC 2-1 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday evening. It was a fourth consecutive win at home for Sounders FC, matching the third-longest home winning streak in the club’s time in MLS.
  • The victory extended Sounders FC’s undefeated streak to nine games, matching the club’s record in MLS play, set May 28-July 16, 2011. Sounders FC are also now undefeated in their past eight home games, equaling the club’s third-longest home undefeated run in its MLS history.

Colorado Rapids at Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Dominique Badji equalized terms in the second half, then Alan Gordon hit for the 89th-minute game-winner, giving the Rapids a 2-1 victory on June 17 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Rapids have won twice in the past eight meetings between the teams, dating back to the 2015 season, both coming in the past three encounters. The Timbers have won four games over that stretch, with two draws. The Timbers have a six-game home winning streak alive vs. Colorado.
  • The Timbers won a second consecutive match at Providence Park on their return home, defeating the New York Red Bulls 2-0.
  • Diego Valeri scored his 14th goal of the season in the win vs. the Red Bulls, his fourth consecutive game with a goal, now sitting in a three-way tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. The four-game goal-scoring streak matches Valeri’s longest in his five MLS seasons (also netting in four in a row from July 18-Aug. 9, 2014). The 14 goals equal his MLS single-season career-high, also achieved last year.
  • The Rapids saw their winless streak extended to six games with a third loss in that time, falling 1-0 to D.C. United at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids had their home winless run stretched to three matches, since their last victory overall, July 1 vs. Houston in Commerce City. The Rapids were shut out for a second consecutive match and the ninth time this season.

Friday, Aug. 25
New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN/TSN2)

  • The Red Bulls suffered their second loss in their past three outings, falling 2-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, their second consecutive away defeat.
  • New York City FC came back for their third consecutive victory in dramatic fashion, netting two goals in the final 13 minutes and the game-winner in stoppage time for a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening.
  • David Villa scored the game-tying goal, his 19th of the season, now leading the MLS Golden Boot standings by three (ahead of the Chicago Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic). Villa has scored in three consecutive games, with five goals over that span. He has 11 goals and two assists over the past 10 games.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and NYCFC have won both. Jack Harrison and Ben Sweat scored as NYCFC won the first time ever at Red Bull Arena in a 2-0 victory June 24. Then on Aug. 6 at Yankee Stadium, Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a brace against NYCFC, but Villa hit for his first career MLS hat trick, giving the hosts a 3-2 victory.
  • The Red Bulls have still won five of the eight meetings all-time in league play, with a 20-10 goal differential, also winning a fourth-round matchup 1-0 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup earlier this season. Red Bulls striker Wright-Phillips has scored 10 goals against NYCFC, scoring in six of the games, with two goals in a game on four occasions. Wright-Phillips’ 10 goals in eight meetings is the third-best by one player against a single opponent in MLS history.

Saturday, Aug. 26
Atlanta United at Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the first time ever and marks the Union’s first encounter with a member of the expansion class of 2017.
  • The Union match concludes a three-game road swing for Atlanta United; they return home to begin a six-game homestand Sept. 9 vs. FC Dallas in the first game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, with eight of their final 10 games this season at home.
  • The Union return home for the first time since a 3-0 loss to the Montréal Impact on Aug. 12 at Talen Energy Stadium, seeing their four-game home winning streak put to an end, one game shy of the club record set Sept. 20, 2015-April 23, 2016.

New England Revolution at D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, reaching a 2-2 draw April 22 at Gillette Stadium. United have won the past four league meetings at RFK Stadium between the MLS Original clubs, including both matchups a season ago, a 3-0 win on April 23 and a 2-0 win on June 25.
  • The Revolution suffered a second loss in their past three games, falling 2-1 to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
  • Teal Bunbury scored his fifth goal of the season, his second in as many games; all five goals have come over his past six appearances.

FC Dallas at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Crew SC have won two home matches in a row entering the week. They play both games this week at home, kicking off a three-game homestand, and a run of five of their next six matches in Columbus.
  • The teams reached a 2-2 draw in the lone match between the teams a year ago, April 2 at Toyota Stadium. Crew SC had won the previous meeting at Toyota Stadium, a 4-2 victory on Sept. 29, 2013, their first win in Frisco since 2008.
  • FC Dallas won the past meeting between the teams at Mapfre Stadium, a 3-0 victory last Sept. 6. It was FCD’s first win in Columbus since 2007, ending a six-game home undefeated streak in the series for Crew SC (4-0-2).

Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN2)

  • Orlando City SC had their winless streak extended to six games with a second draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with Columbus Crew SC at Orlando City Stadium.
  • Whitecaps FC are back on the road for the first time since a 1-0 loss at New England on Aug. 12, which put an end to a three-game away undefeated run.
  • The teams have met twice in their histories, and Whitecaps FC have yet to lose. Vancouver took a 1-0 win in Orlando in 2015 in the first meeting ever between the clubs; the teams reached a 2-2 draw in their lone encounter a year ago, July 16 at BC Place.

Minnesota United FC at Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the first time in their history. This is the Fire’s third encounter with a member of the expansion class of 2017 (winning once and losing once vs. Atlanta United).
  • The Fire suffered their third consecutive loss and their fifth defeat in their past six matches, falling 3-1 to Toronto FC at Toyota Park.
  • The Fire saw their home winning streak put to an end after nine games, matching the second-longest in MLS history. It also ended their home undefeated streak after 14 games, one shy of the club record.
  • Minnesota United FC suffered a second consecutive defeat, on the back end of a home-and-home series with Seattle Sounders FC, falling 2-1 at CenturyLink Field.
  • At Seattle, Ethan Finlay netted for Minnesota United on his club debut, after his arrival via trade from Columbus Crew SC.

Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo, 9 p.m. ET

  • Sporting put an end to a brief two-game winless streak, defeating FC Dallas 2-0 at Children’s Mercy Park. Graham Zusi set up both SKC goals.
  • The Dynamo have won the past two meetings in Houston, including a 2-0 victory last May 7 at BBVA Compass Stadium in the only encounter in Houston between the clubs, the only victories for the home team in the series in the last 11 matches.
  • Sporting’s last win at home in the series came in 2011, winless in their past six meetings at Children’s Mercy Park (0-1-5), including a 3-3 draw last Sept. 9 in the only encounter in Kansas City between the clubs.
  • The teams also met in the U.S. Open Cup this year, with Ike Opara and Gerso Fernandes each scoring as Sporting took a 2-0 win in a fifth-round match on June 28 at BBVA Compass Stadium

Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Yura Movsisyan and Brooks Lennon scored three minutes apart in the final moments of the match, overcoming a Kevin Doyle goal in the first half, as Real took a 2-1 win on April 15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Real have a 14-game home undefeated streak alive vs. Colorado. Since the Rapids’ last win in Utah, a 2-0 victory on April 30, 2007 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Real have won 10 games with four draws. Colorado has never won at Rio Tinto Stadium (0-8-4 all-time in league play).
  • The rivals play for the Rocky Mountain Cup, a trophy awarded by the supporters groups of both teams.

Sunday, Aug. 27
Toronto FC at Montreal Impact, 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/TSN)

  • TFC have won three of the four regular-season meetings all-time at Stade Saputo; the Impact did take a 3-0 win there in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2015, in TFC’s first-ever postseason match, and have won the two league meetings at Olympic Stadium. The Impact won last year in the regular season in Toronto, their first-ever in their MLS history, with six losses and four draws in the first 10 meetings in all competitions at BMO Field.
  • The teams met in a remarkable Eastern Conference Championship last year, when Toronto FC won the second leg 5-2 in extra time to advance to their first MLS Cup with a 7-5 victory on aggregate. It marked the most goals ever scored in a two-leg series since the format started in 2003.
  • The teams have also met in every season they’ve been together in MLS in the Canadian Championship, with each team defeating the other once for the national title – TFC doing it earlier this year thanks to a brace from Sebastian Giovinco in the second leg, winning 2-1 on aggregate, while the Impact won the title in 2014.

San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy, 7 p.m. ET (FS1)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Jonathan dos Santos netted a pair of goals as the Galaxy rolled to a 4-2 win on May 27 at Avaya Stadium; then on July 1 at Stanford Stadium, Danny Hoesen scored a late equalizer and Shea Salinas provided the capper with a stoppage-time game-winner, giving the Quakes the 2-1 win.
  • The teams also met in the U.S. Open Cup this season, with Chris Wondolowski netting a pair of goals and Danny Hoesen scoring the late winner for a 3-2 quarterfinal victory in San Jose.
  • Known as the California Clásico, the Galaxy and Earthquakes have met 73 times in all competitions. In regular-season play, the Galaxy have won 31 times and the Quakes 22, with 14 draws, since their first meeting on April 28, 1996.
  • The Galaxy have won just twice in the past 16 regular-season games in northern California, across four stadiums. The Quakes haven’t won at StubHub Center in Carson since the 2012 season.

Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders, 9:30 p.m. ET (FS1/TSN)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Cristian Roldan scored the game’s only goal as Sounders FC held out for the victory on May 27 at CenturyLink Field. Then on June 25 at Providence Park, Clint Dempsey scored the equalizing goal in second-half stoppage time, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw.
  • This meeting will be the 99th all-time between the clubs. Since their first meeting in 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, Seattle has won 50 times and Portland has won 35, with 13 draws. In Major League Soccer league play, Sounders FC have won nine matches, the Timbers have won five, and five have been draws. The Timbers won both meetings in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Sounders FC are now 7-0-2 all-time at home in regular season games vs. Portland, after the win in May (though the Timbers did win there in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs).
  • Sounders FC conceded a goal for the first time in 421 minutes with Minnesota United FC’s goal, following four consecutive shutouts; it marked a record shutout streak for the club in its nine MLS seasons and is the longest in the league this season.






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