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April 2017
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‘MLS’ Articles

Pro Soccer

Independent Panel rescinds Red Card on Atlanta FC’s Leandro González Pírez

NEW YORK (April 19, 2017) – 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the Canadian Soccer Association, and one representative from the Professional Referees Organization, has unanimously rescinded the fine and one-game suspension for the red card issued to Atlanta United defender Leandro González Pirez for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity in the 45+ minute of Atlanta’s match against the Montreal Impact on April 15 (VIDEO).

As a result of Atlanta United’s appeal, González Pirez will be eligible to play in Atlanta’s next match against Real Salt Lake on April 22.

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



MLS moves into Week 8: Columbus Crew SC visits the Big Apple to play NY Red Bulls

This Week in MLS – April 17, 2017
  • New York City FC and FC Dallas celebrate titles in elite academy tournaments
  • USMNT teammates and MLS foes Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris to square off this Sunday
  • MLS WORKS Greener Goals hosts 2nd annual Week of Service leading up to Earth Day
  • Week 8 Game Previews

New York City FC and FC Dallas celebrate titles in elite academy tournaments
With a pair of world renowned youth tournaments occurring last week in Texas, MLS teams saw their academies go head-to-head with some of the top clubs in the world, with two academies, New York City FC and FC Dallas, capturing tournament titles.

In the 2016-2017 Generation adidas Cup, New York City FC captured its first title of any type in club history when its U-16 team defeated Liga MX side Tigres UANL 1-0 in the U-17 Premier Division final at Toyota Stadium on Saturday. Even more impressive, NYCFC did not allow a single goal in the entire tournament, racking up shutout victories over Mexican club Pumas UNAM, Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa and fellow MLS clubs San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders FC in the process. Fourteen-year-old Giovani Reyna, son of NYCFC Sporting Director and former U.S. Men’s National Team player Claudio Reyna, scored the game-winning goal in the championship and was awarded the golden ball for the Premier Division’s top player. Between the Championship and Premier Divisions at Generation adidas Cup, four of the eight semifinalists consisted of MLS academies.

Meanwhile, in the Dallas Cup, FC Dallas became the first MLS club to win the highly competitive tournament as its U-18 team defeated Liga MX side CF Monterrey 2-1 in the championship game of the U-19 Super Group at Toyota Stadium on Sunday. Three FC Dallas Homegrown Players powered the club to victory, as 16-year-old forward Jesus Ferreira scored four goals in the tournament and 17-year-old midfielder Paxton Pomykal scored three, including one in the championship match. Eighteen-year-old defender Reggie Cannon helped anchor a stout Dallas defense that saw it outscore opponents 11-3 in the tournament, including a 5-0 victory over English Premier League side Everton and a 2-1 victory over Brazilian club Coritiba in the semifinals.

USMNT teammates and MLS foes Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris to square off this Sunday
Teammates when they step on the field for international duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team, but foes when they suit up in MLS, two of the most notable MLS Homegrown stars Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris are set to clash on Sunday when reigning 2016 MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC heads south to take on five-time MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes).

A lot has happened since the two forwards last stepped on the same field together: an MLS meeting between the Galaxy and Sounders FC in Seattle on July 9, 2016. After Zardes suffered a broken foot last August, the 2014 MLS Cup champion had to sit on the sidelines for the rest of 2016 campaign as Morris went on to break the scoring record for an American-born rookie with 11 regular season goals and claim an MLS Cup championship of his own, while also featuring in World Cup Qualifiers for the USMNT.

But Zardes is back, featuring in the last three matches for LA after making his 2017 debut on April 1, and is looking to regain the form that saw him set a Homegrown Player record for most goals scored in a single season in 2014 (16 goals), and tie for most international caps recorded for the U.S. in 2015 (19 appearances).

Both Homegrown standouts will be looking to help their respective teams climb in the Western Conference standings, and make a case for inclusion on the national team for the final round of World Cup Qualifying and this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

MLS WORKS Greener Goals hosts 2nd annual Week of Service leading up to Earth Day
With Earth Day coming up this weekend, MLS WORKS, the League’s community outreach initiative, will deploy its Greener Goals campaign to help identify ways to reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness about environmental issues throughout the soccer community.

Also, for the second year in a row, MLS WORKS week of service beginning today will see club, National Sales Center, and League office staff partnering with charitable organizations within their local communities to volunteer their time and give back througheco-friendly initiatives.

MLS fans are also encouraged to take part in the collective effort to promote a more sustainable environment by participating in the MLS WORKS Pass on Plastic challenge. By posting videos or photos on social media of eco-friendly actions and including #GreenerGoals, fans will be entered for a chance to win eco-friendly MLS apparel and merchandise.

Later this week, additional efforts will be announced by MLS and its partners to raise awareness in creating a more sustainable environment.


Week 8 Game Previews
Wednesday, April 19
San Jose Earthquakes at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

  • The Quakes gained a second consecutive draw in dramatic circumstances, Jahmir Hyka scoring deep in stoppage time in a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Avaya Stadium. The Quakes head to New England with a five-game road losing streak.
  • The Revolution saw their three-game undefeated run come to an end in a 3-0 loss at the Chicago Fire on Saturday. The Revs have not lost to the Quakes since the 2012 season.

Friday, April 21
Chicago Fire at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN)

  • Nemanja Nikolic scored a pair of goals and Bastian Schweinsteiger made his two goals and an assist from three games as the Fire DPs led their club to back-to-back wins for the first time since March 29-April 24, 2014 in a 3-0 win against New England at Toyota Park.
  • Toronto FC saw their undefeated opening to the season come to an end in a 2-1 loss at Columbus Crew SC on Saturday evening; Jozy Altidore scored a third goal this season, involved in five of TFC’s seven goals this year (three goals, two assists).

Saturday, April 22
Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union, 1 p.m.

  • Union lost for a fourth consecutive match in their 2-0 defeat by New York City FC at Talen Energy Stadium, equaling the club record set four times previously, last in 2015.
  • The Impact won their first match of the season, their first in league play since a 1-0 win last Oct. 2 at Orlando City, as Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored the stoppage-time winner in a 2-1 victory against Atlanta United at Stade Saputo.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Portland Timbers, 4 p.m. (CTV/TSN)

  • The Timbers had their home undefeated streak put to an end after eight matches, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Providence Park. The Timbers were shut out on their home ground for the first time since Oct. 3, 2015.
  • Fredy Montero scored both Whitecaps FC goals in their 2-1 win against Seattle at BC Place, his first multiple-goal game in his return to MLS coming against his former club.

San Jose Earthquakes at Houston Dynamo, 4 p.m. (UniMás)

  • The Dynamo had their three-game winning streak at BBVA Compass Stadium to open the season put to an end, Minnesota United FC coming back for a 2-2 draw Saturday evening.
  • The Quakes have won once at BBVA Compass Stadium in four meetings, a 1-0 win May 5, 2015. The teams reached a 1-1 draw there last July 31 in their only encounter in Houston.

D.C. United at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

  • United had their two-game winning run put to an end, after their 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening. It was a second away match for United this season, both shutout defeats.
  • The Revolution have a five-game undefeated streak alive at home in the series in league play (2-0-3). United’s last win in Foxborough came in 2012; the teams have reached draws each of the last two seasons in the lone matchups at Gillette Stadium.

Columbus Crew SC at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

  • Crew SC won their third home game in a row and remained undefeated at Mapfre Stadium for the season, coming back for a 2-1 win against Toronto FC. Justin Meram scored his fourth goal of the season, all four goals coming over the last four matches, and Federico Higuaín recorded a pair of assists, sitting in a tie for the MLS league lead, now with an assist in three consecutive games.
  • The Red Bulls put an end to a four-game winless run, defeating D.C. United 2-0 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. Bradley Wright-Phillips netted his third goal of the season, all coming over the last five matches.

Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas, 8 p.m.

  • FC Dallas remained undefeated on the season in league play, despite being hauled back into a late 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. FCD extended their regular-season undefeated streak to 10 matches dating back to last Sept. 17, matching the second-longest in club history.
  • Sporting also remain undefeated on the season – along with FC Dallas the final two MLS clubs without a loss – following their 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Providence Park. SKC’s Tim Melia recorded his fourth shutout in six matches this season, having allowed two goals for the year – now with an 0.33 goals against average, tied for the MLS-best along with FCD’s Jesse Gonzalez.

Atlanta United at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

  • Real Salt Lake won their second game in row after putting an end to their 12-match winless streak in league play in a dramatic 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids. Homegrown Player Brooks Lennon scored his first career professional goal for the game-winner in Colorado.
  • Atlanta United had their four-game undefeated streak put to an end, the Montréal Impact netting a late winner for a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. Hector Villalba collected the assist on the Atlanta United goal, now with a goal or an assist in back-to-back games.

Sunday, April 23
Orlando City SC at New York City FC, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)

  • New York City FC won away from Yankee Stadium for the first time this season with their 2-0 win against Philadelphia Union on Friday evening as David Villa scored from nearly the halfway line to seal the victory, his fourth goal of the season.
  • Orlando City SC became the first team to open a new stadium in MLS with four consecutive wins, remaining perfect at Orlando City Stadium with a dramatic late 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy. Cyle Larin scored his fourth goal of the season, netting the game-winner in stoppage time.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, as Larin scored the game’s lone goal to give OCSC the win in the season opener March 5 at Orlando City Stadium.

Seattle Sounders FC at LA Galaxy, 4 p.m. (ESPN)

  • Sounders FC had their four-game undefeated run put to an end, dropping a 2-1 decision at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Nicolas Lodeiro collected his second assist of the season, involved in four of Sounders FC’s eight goals this season.
  • Romain Alessandrini scored his fourth goal of the season, with goals in three consecutive games, but the Galaxy lost for a second consecutive away match in their late 2-1 loss at Orlando City SC.

Colorado Rapids at Minnesota United FC, 6 p.m.

  • Kevin Doyle scored for a second consecutive game, but the Rapids had their winless streak extended four matches with a second defeat in a row, falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Christian Ramirez scored his fifth goal of the season as MNUFC came back for a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, having reached a 2-2 draw March 18 in Commerce City.







MLS Week 7 Disciplinary list includes Portland’s Adi

Fanendo Adi Portland Timbers By Ultraslansi - By Ultraslansi - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https

NEW YORK (April 19, 2017) – The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended Portland Timbers forward Fanendo Adi for one game and issued an undisclosed fine for violent conduct in the 26th minute of Portland’s match against Sporting Kansas City on April 15 (VIDEO ). Adi will serve the suspension during the Timbers’ next match on April 22 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.




Chicago Fire’s Nemanja Nikolić named MLS Player of the Week

Nemanja Nikolić 2010 By Pilgab - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https

NEW YORK(Tuesday, April 18, 2017) – Chicago Fire forward Nemanja Nikolić was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the seventh week of the 2017 MLS season.

Nikolić helped extend Chicago’s unbeaten streak to three matches with a brace in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution at Toyota Park. On the season, the Serbian-born Designated Player has four goals, tied for sixth in MLS. With the victory, Chicago now sits in third place in the Eastern Conference standings with 11 points and a 3-0-1 record at home (3-1-2 overall record).

A member of Hungary’s National Team squad at Euro 2016, Nikolić starred for Chicago on Saturday, putting the Fire ahead 2-0 with a goal in the 47th minute. Nikolić pounced on a deflected shot in the box, scrambling to beat goalkeeper Cody Cropper to the ball and sending a right-footed shot into goal (Watch Goal).

Nikolić would then notch the first multi-goal effort of his MLS career in the 73rd minute to give Chicago a 3-0 advantage. Making a run into the penalty area and sandwiched by a pair of defenders, Nikolić found a perfectly placed pass from David Accam and fired a right-footed shot past a charging Cropper into the back of the net (Watch Goal).

The Chicago Fire return to action this Friday, April 22 when it travels to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN 4/5; 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.



2017 MLS All-Stars to play Real Madrid in All-Star Game at Chicago’s Soldier Field

Soldier Field aerial view 2008 By NASA, Public Domain, https

Star-studded rosters to clash on August 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago and live on FS1, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports

NEW YORK (April 15, 2017) – MLS today announced that reigning UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid will face the best of MLS in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 2, at Soldier Field in Chicago.  The game will air at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports domestically as well as across 170 countries globally.

Established in 1902, Real Madrid is one of the most successful clubs in the world, having claimed a record 32 La Liga championships and 11 UEFA Champions League titles, as well as capturing the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup on multiple occasions. Under the direction of the legendary Zinedine Zidane, Los Blancos currently sit atop the La Liga table and are in the quarterfinals of the 2016-2017 UEFA Champions League tournament. The club is home to internationally renowned stars such as four-time Ballon d’Or recipient Cristiano Ronaldo, 27-year-old star Gareth Bale, and four-time La Liga Best Defender Sergio Ramos.

(courtesy Real Madrid CF)

This will mark the first time a team from Spain’s La Liga will appear in the MLS All-Star Game. The MLS All-Stars have previously faced clubs from the England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, Mexico’s Liga MX and the Scottish Premier League, owning an 8-4-1 record against some of the world’s most decorated clubs.

“It is an honor to represent Major League Soccer and to work with our League’s great players in a match against one of the top clubs in the word,” said Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “I know how special it is to compete against Real Madrid and I think our players and fans will also enjoy the experience.”

The best way to guarantee your ticket to the 2017 MLS All-Star game against Real Madrid is to contact the Chicago Fire at 888-MLS-Fire or for an exclusive presale offering. Tickets will go on-sale to the public on Thursday, May 4th at 10 a.m. ET via For the ultimate fan experience visit VIP ticket package details.

Soldier Field, with a capacity of 61,500, has played host to some of the most exciting sporting and entertainment events in the world including CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, World Cup Qualifiers, 1994 FIFA World Cup matches, and last summer’s Copa America Centenario. Not only has Soldier Field hosted a wealth of international soccer events, the venerable Chicago landmark also has a rich MLS legacy, as it was home to the Chicago Fire for the club’s first four seasons, from 1998-2001, then again from 2003-2005. The Fire owned a 62-23-10 record (.705 winning percentage) in their home games at Soldier Field, a span which also includes the club’s three appearances in MLS Cup.

In addition to the match, MLS will host nearly a week of events surrounding the game, including concerts, community service initiatives, player appearances, as well as an additional showcase match featuring the best young players from across the league.

CLICK HERE for soundbytes from MLS players and coaches including:

  • David Villa discussing the great opportunity to play a top opponent like Real Madrid and its importance for the continued growth of Major League Soccer (ENGLISH)
  • Giovani dos Santos about his experience playing against Real Madrid during his time at Barcelona and the quality of talent at the club (ENGLISH)
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger about the energetic atmosphere and experience in 2014 as an All-Star opponent while with Bayern Munich and the importance for Chicago to hold an event of this magnitude ( ENGLISH)
  • Jozy Altidore on the All-Star Game being a marquee event and facing one of the top clubs in the world in Real Madrid  (ENGLISH)
  • Veljko Paunovic on taking honor when playing against Real Madrid during his playing days (ENGLISH)

1996: East 3, West 2 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando, Fla.)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego, Calif.)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus, Ohio)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose, Calif.)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, CD Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham FC 1 (Columbus, Ohio)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea FC 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic FC 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United FC 2 (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2009: MLS 1, Everton FC 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United FC 5, MLS 2 (Houston, Texas)
2011: Manchester United FC 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea FC 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: A.S. Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City, Kan.)
2014: MLS 2, FC Bayern Munich 1 (Portland, Ore.)
2015: MLS 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Denver, Colo.)
2016: MLS 1, Arsenal FC 2 (San Jose, Calif.)
2017: MLS vs. Real Madrid (Soldier Field, August 2, FS1, UniMás, TSN, TVA Sport)




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