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Archive for August 21st, 2017

American Athletic Conference begins this week as South Florida is in action

American Pow6r Points:

·         The preseason favorite in the American Athletic Conference, No. 19/21 USF gets a head start on the 2017 season as the Bulls visit San Jose State Saturday.

 

·         Saturday’s game will take place on the earliest date to start a season in The American’s brief history. The date came about due to a new NCAA rule which allows teams that play 13 games to begin their seasons a week earlier than the conventional start date. San Jose State is permitted to play 13 games since the Trojans play at Hawaii this season. The USF-San Jose State game had originally been scheduled for Sept. 8.

 

·         Saturday’s game will be the first for Charlie Strong as USF’s head coach. Strong will be the first person to serve as head coach in the American Athletic Conference at two schools in a full-time capacity (Strong was head coach at Louisville in 2013, when the Cardinals were members of The American). T.J. Weist served as interim head coach at two American schools as he coached UConn’s last eight games in 2013 and USF’s Birmingham Bowl win against South Carolina in 2016.

 

·         USF was the overwhelming favorite in the American Athletic Conference’s preseason media poll. The Bulls were the unanimous choice to take the East Division crown as USF was first on all 30 ballots. USF had 26 of 30 votes to win the overall conference title. The Bulls return 18 starters, including six all-conference players, from a team that went 11-2 and was ranked No. 19 in the final polls of 2016.

 

·         USF will be led by QB Quinton Flowers, the 2016 American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year who set a school record with 4,342 yards of total offense and accounted for 42 touchdowns last season. Flowers was one of two players nationally (along with Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville) to throw for at least 2,000 yards (2,812) and rush for at least 1,500 (1,530) in 2016.

 

·         The American Athletic Conference enjoyed another banner year in 2016 as the league produced three 10-win teams (USF won 11 games; Temple and Tulsa had 10 wins each), had two teams in the final College Football Playoff rankings (Temple and Navy) and had a league-record 15 players chosen in the 2017 NFL Draft (fifth among all college football conferences).

 

THIS WEEK

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26

USF at San Jose State           7:30 p.m.

Television: CBS Sports Network

Series: First meeting

 

NEXT WEEK

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31

Florida International at UCF  6 p.m.

Austin Peay at Cincinnati      7 p.m.

Holy Cross at UConn  7:30 p.m.

Tulsa at Oklahoma State       7:30 p.m.

Louisiana-Monroe at Memphis          9 p.m.

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Navy at Florida Atlantic         8 p.m.

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

Temple at Notre Dame           2 p.m.

Stony Brook at USF    4 p.m.

James Madison at ECU          6 p.m.

Houston at UTSA        7 p.m.

Stephen F. Austin at SMU      7 p.m.

Grambling State at Tulane     8 p.m.

 

 

All times Eastern

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Chuck Sullivan; COURTESY AAC COMMUNICATIONS

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.

 

 

GAME PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

Hampton Women’s Soccer gives up four 2nd half goals in loss to VMI

HAMPTON, Va. – Four second-half goals from the visiting VMI Keydets gave the visitors a 4-1 win on Monday over the Hampton Lady Pirates in the home opener at the HU Soccer Complex.

 

Hampton scored first just over nine minutes into the game as Michelle Zilberman got a breakaway and beat the goalie to the far post for a 1-0 Hampton lead at the 9:11 mark.  The Lady Pirates held the lead throughout the first half and into the 58th minute and was the first goal scored on VMI in program history after losing twice by a combined 23-0.

 

VMI used two goals in a five-minute span of the second half to overtake Hampton.  Julianne Knoblett scored on a deflected ball off a Hampton defender at the 58:27 mark, while Taylor Callahan added an unassisted goal at 63:41 of the game.  Nearly 20 minutes later, Emma Quirk tallied a breakaway goal, while Knoblett took a feed from Keniya Lee for her second goal of the game for the 4-1 margin.

 

The Lady Pirates return to the home pitch on Sunday for a 2pm kick against Mt. St. Mary’s.

 

For more information on Hampton University women’s soccer, please contact the Office of Sports Information at 757-727-5757 or visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jim Heath; COURTESY HAMPTON SPORTS INFORMATION
“We build LEADERS & CHAMPIONS”

 

Ohio State Football will have nine captains for 2017

August 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

J.T. Barrett is first three-time captain in school history; five on defense, four from offense

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State will be led by a record number of captains in 2017 with nine players selected to lead the Scarlet and Gray on and off the gridiron. The corps of leaders, all voted on by their teammates, features five on defense, including four defensive linemen, and four on offense, led by the first three-time captain in program history.

 

2017 Ohio State Captains

§  Graduated quarterback J.T. Barrett;

§  Fourth-year junior H-back Parris Campbell;

§  True senior defensive end Jalyn Holmes;

§  Fourth-year junior defensive end Sam Hubbard;

§  Graduated defensive end Tyquan Lewis;

§  Fourth-year junior receiver Terry McLaurin;

§  Graduated center Billy Price;

§  Graduated defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle; and

§  Fifth-year senior linebacker Chris Worley.

 

The captains features the first three-time captain in this, the 128th season of football at Ohio State: quarterback J.T. Barrett, from Wichita Falls, Texas, who was previously named a captain in 2015 and again last year. Barrett has started 30 games at quarterback and has a record of 26-4 in those games. He is a two-time winner of the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the Big Ten Conference’s best player and earned his degree in Autumn 2016 communications.

 

DE Tyquan Lewis and C Billy Price are the ninth and 10th two-time captains in school history. Lewis, from Tarboro, N.C., is the reigning Big Ten defensive lineman of the year and is a veteran of 41 games played and 26 starts. Lewis, who graduated last August with his degree in sociology, is one of the top players in Ohio State history in terms of quarterback sacks with 16.5, good for 14th-place in school history and just 11 away from No. 2 all-time.

 

Price, who graduated earlier this summer with his degree in business administration, has started 41 consecutive games – every game of his career – and he is just nine away from Luke Fickell’s program record of 50 starts and 50 consecutive starts. Price was a first-team All-American last year and was named a Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar for having a grade point average above 3.70 for the 2016-17 academic year. Price is from Austintown, Ohio.

 

DT Tracy Sprinkle is the fourth captain for the season who has his degree. He graduated last spring with his bachelor’s in family resource management. A fifth-year senior from Elyria, Sprinkle earned a starting position last season only to have his year end in the first game with a knee injury. He’s battling back to be a starter once again and enters the season having played in 17 games.

 

LB Chris Worley is the fifth, fifth-year senior named a captain. The veteran of 39 games and 14 career starts is coming off a season in which he was fourth on the team in tackles with 70 and played his best in the biggest games. Worley had an interception vs. Michigan State; he had a career-high 11 tackles in the win over Michigan and 10 in the College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson. He also had 10 tackles vs. Oklahoma and a career-high seven solo tackles against Wisconsin. Worley is from Cleveland.

 

Two more fourth-year players and defensive ends – Jalyn Holmes, from Norfolk, Va., and Sam Hubbard, from Cincinnati – were named captains, giving the team four players from the defensive line as captains.

 

Holmes is a true senior who has played in 37 games, including 11 as a true freshman in 2014 when Ohio State won the initial College Football Playoff. Holmes is coming off an honorable mention all-Big Ten season in 2016 and enters 2017 with 55 career tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss, four quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.

 

Hubbard was a first-team Academic All-American last season when he started all 13 games and recorded 46 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss and four quarterback hurries. The fourth-year junior was also named honorable mention all-Big Ten. He has 16 career TFLs and 10.0 quarterback sacks.

 

Two fourth-year receivers – Parris Campbell, from Akron, Ohio, and Terry McLaurin, from Indianapolis – round out the captains and give the offensive side of the ball a total of four captains.

 

Campbell is a fourth-year junior who is a veteran of 21 career games with 12 starts to his credit. A big-play threat, Campbell averaged nearly 10 yards per reception last year and also led the Big Ten, while ranking 11th nationally, in kickoff returns (27.8 yards-per return). His 584 return yards rank third in Ohio State history, as do his 149 return yards vs. Indiana. Campbell is majoring in sociology.

 

McLaurin enters the 2017 campaign as one of the most experienced receivers on the Buckeyes’ roster, evidenced by 25 appearances over the last two seasons. He caught 11 passes for 114 yards (10.4 yards/reception) and scored the first two touchdowns of his career last year when he hauled in passes against Rutgers and Nebraska. A fourth-year junior, McLaurin is majoring in communications and spent a portion of this past summer interning at Nike.

 

Ohio State’s Three-Time Captain

§  QB J.T. Barrett – 2017, 2016, 2015

 

Ohio State Two-Time Captains

§  C Billy Price – 2016, 2015

§  DE Tyquan Lewis – 2016, 2015

§  QB/H-B Braxton Miller – 2015, 2014

§  DE John Simon – 2012, 2011

§  LB James Laurinaitis – 2008, 2007

§  LB Joe Cooper – 2001, 2000

§  QB Steve Bellisari – 2001, 2000

§  LB Glenn Cobb – 1982, 1981

§  TB Archie Griffin – 1975, 1974

 

#GoBucks

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig & Mike Basford; COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS