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Archive for May 9th, 2018

NHL Morning Skate for Wednesday, May 9, 2018: Schedules announced for Western and Eastern Conference Finals

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED FOR CONFERENCE FINALS
Dates and times for the Eastern and Western Conference Final were announced Tuesday, with final matchups dependent on the outcome of tomorrow’s Game 7 between the Predators and Jets.

* The Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and Capitals will begin Friday in Tampa, regardless of which team advances in the West (NBCSN, TVA Sports^).

* The Western Conference Final will feature the Golden Knights and either the Predators or Jets, beginning with Game 1 Saturday in either Nashville or Winnipeg (NBC, TVA Sports^).

^ Additional Canadian broadcast information will be announced following Thursday’s Game 7.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT ROUND
With the Capitals ending the Penguins’ chance at a three-peat, a new Stanley Cup champion is guaranteed for the 18th time in the past 19 seasons. In fact, of the five teams still in contention only the Lightning have a Cup to their credit (2004). This will mark the first time in NHL history that the final four will have combined for one or fewer Stanley Cup wins.

* The improbable run of the Golden Knights continues as they aim to become the first team in NHL history to win three playoff series in theirinaugural season. Only two NHL clubs have won three series during their first postseason appearance: the Montreal Maroons (2nd season) and Florida Panthers (3rd season). The Maroons won three series – two total-goals and one best-of-five – to win the Stanley Cup in 1926, while Florida won three best-of-seven matchups to reach the Final in 1996. The Panthers remain the only club making its first postseason appearance to reach the Stanley Cup Final in the four-round era (since 1975). Click here for a season-over-season stats comparison for Golden Knights players.

* The Lightning will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final after finishing first in the conference during the regular season. Tampa Bay has gone to Game 7 in each of its previous four trips to the Conference Finals, winning in 2004 and 2015 (vs. PHI and NYR, respectively) and losing in 2011 and 2016 (vs. BOS and PIT, respectively).

* For the first time since 1998, the Capitals are four wins away from the Stanley Cup Final as they pursue the first championship in franchise history.If Washington advances, it will mark the second time since 2000 that two teams who have never won the Cup go head-to-head in the Final(since all three remaining teams in the West are chasing their first title). The only such instance came in 2007 when the Ducks defeated the Senators in five games.

2018 NHL GAMING WORLD FINALS BEGIN TO TAKE SHAPE
The first two spots for the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship Finals have been secured by Erik Tammenpää (@I_Eki_I) and Arttu Mustila(@ArtuzioFIN), both of Finland, following the European Regional Finals which premiered Tuesday on NHL.com and Twitch.tv/NHL.

* Tammenpää, the winner, and Mustila, the runner up, will compete in the World Finals in Las Vegas on June 19 against gamers from Canada and the U.S. – with those competitors decided via Canadian Regional Finals (May 11) and U.S. Regional Finals (May 20).

* Tournament details, regional brackets, news and player bios can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.

QUICK CLICKS

· Rod Brind’Amour named Hurricanes head coach

· O’Ree Community Hero Award nominations sought

· Golden Knights trail blazed by Bowman, Blues in 1967-68

· Barry Trotz, Capitals living in moment after reaching conference final
· Mark Scheifele in spotlight for Jets entering Game 7 against Predators

LOOKING AHEAD TO GAME 7
After combining for 40 goals through six games, the Predators and Jets will square off in a decisive Game 7 on Thursday in Nashville. This marks the 10th consecutive year that the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a seventh and deciding game.

Click here for more Predators-Jets Game 7 stats.

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MLS announces Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti Alcatel Player of the Week

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

NEW YORK (Tuesday, May 8, 2018) – Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti was voted the Alcatel Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the 10th week of the 2018 MLS season.

Montreal defeated the New England Revolution 4-2 at Stade Saputo on Saturday, with Piatti scoring a goal and adding an MLS career-high three assists to lift the Impact. In eight games played this season, Piatti is tied for the league-lead with six assists, while his five goals scored are tied for fifth in MLS. The Impact sit seventh in the Eastern Conference with nine points (3-6-0 overall record).

Moments before the break in a scoreless match, Piatti unleashed teammate Anthony Jackson-Hamel into open space with a perfectly placed pass, with the forward calmly finishing to give Montreal a 1-0 lead in stoppage time of the first half (Watch Assist). Piatti would set up the second goal of the match in the 52nd minute, as he collected the ball in traffic and dribbled into the penalty area, sending a pass to the right side of the box for an easy Jackson-Hamel finish (Watch Assist).

The Argentine showed his playmaking skills once again in the 65th minute with his third assist of the match to give Montreal a 3-0 lead. Piatti dribbled down the field and laid the ball off to Raheem Edwards just inside the box, with Edwards placing a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Matt Turner (Watch Assist). Minutes later, Piatti wrapped up his historic day with a goal in the 68th minute to give Montreal a 4-0 advantage. Samuel Piette sent a pass downfield, with Piatti outrunning a pair of New England defenders to collect the ball and send a right-footed shot far post at the six-yard box ( Watch Goal).

The Montreal Impact return to action on Wednesday, May 9 to face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park (8:30 p.m. ET, TVAS / ESPN+), before hosting the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, May 12 at Stade Saputo (3 p.m. ET, CTV / TVAS / ESPN+).

The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters.

MLS starts Week 11 with rare Wednesday games

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

 

This Week in MLS – May 7, 2018

 

​USA Today Sports Images

  • Sounders, Timbers square off for 100th all-time meeting
  • Seattle’s Svensson is clutch for club and country
  • Timbers open Cascadia Cup defense
  • Golden Boot leaders, hottest teams in MLS square off as Orlando hosts Atlanta
  • FIFA World Cup 35-player provisional rosters to be named next Monday
  • Newcomers accounting for quarter of MLS goals, assists this season
  • MLS Week 11: Match Notes

Sounders, Timbers square off for 100th all-time meeting
For more than four decades the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC have represented North America’s historic rivalry out of the Pacific Northwest. On Sunday, the two sides square off for the 100th occasion when Portland plays host at Providence Park (4 p.m. ET / ESPN, ESPN Deportes, DAZN). Seattle maintains a strong series lead over Portland with the advantage all-time (50-35-14), during MLS regular season action (9-5-6) and in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play (4-2-1), while the Timbers have posted a 2-0-0 record against the Sounders in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

TIMBERS VS. SOUNDERS OVER THE YEARS (1975-PRESENT)

LEAGUE/COMPETITION POR WINS SEA WINS DRAWS NOTES
MLS regular season (2011-present) 5 9 6
MLS postseason (2011-present) 2 0 0
U.S. Open Cup (2005-present) 2 4 1 2010: SEA penalty kick win
USL regular season (2005-08) 4 6 4
USL postseason (2005) 0 2 0
A-League regular season (2001-04) 7 10 1
A-League postseason (2004) 1 1 0
NASL regular season (1975-82) 7 13 0 POR: 1 shootout win; SEA: 2 shootout wins
NASL postseason (1975) 1 0 0
Other league competition (1985-90) 6 5 2
TOTAL: 99 GAMES 35 50 14

The rivalry has had plenty of drama-filled affairs over the years, including unique settings such as the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Seattle, in the midst of its second MLS season, visited a Portland team competing in its final USL season before making the move to MLS the next year. The Sounders played the entire second half and overtime of the Round of 16 match down a man, and after a 1-1 draw, Seattle prevailed 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout. The Sounders went on to repeat as U.S. Open Cup champions, with this Cascadia match serving as the most difficult road block.

Seattle’s Svensson is clutch for club and country
With starts in every MLS game this season, Sounders FC’s Gustav Svensson is the defensive stronghold, who has proven his reliability for both club and country over the last year. In the second round of World Cup qualification, Svensson was Sweden’s game-saving substitution, helping to not only preserve a 1-0 scoreline in the last 15 minutes of Leg 1 over Italy, but he also replaced a severely injured teammate in the 19th minute of Leg 2 to secure a 0-0 result and Sweden’s spot in Russia this summer.

For his club, Svensson’s defensive efforts for Sounders FC last year contributed to 13 wins, 12 Seattle clean sheets, and a 13-game unbeaten streak from June 21-September 16. He scored a game winner in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship series, and was an influential part of the Sounders FC 3-1-1 postseason record, playing the full 90 minutes in the final three games, including MLS Cup.

Timbers open Cascadia Cup defense
This Sunday, the Portland Timbers begin their Cascadia Cup defense when they host Seattle Sounders FC in the first Cascadia matchup of the 2018 campaign. Last year marked Portland’s second MLS-era Cascadia Cup crown (the Timbers also won in 2012) and fourth overall, having won the 2009 and 2010 editions against fellow United Soccer League side Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Timbers rallied for a 2-1 victory against Vancouver on MLS Decision Day 2017 presented by AT&T (Oct. 22) to clinch the Cascadia Cup, with goals from defender Liam Ridgewell and current D.C. United striker Darren Mattocks .

Seattle also has won four Cascadia titles (two in MLS and two in the USL). Vancouver leads the way with six Cascadia Cups – three times in MLS and three times in the USL. In the 2017 edition, the Sounders posted a 1-0-2 record against the Timbers, with Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan scoring a goal in two of those matches.

CASCADIA CUP WINNERS

YEAR WINNER LEAGUE
2004 Vancouver Whitecaps FC United Soccer League
2005 Vancouver Whitecaps FC United Soccer League
2006 Seattle Sounders FC United Soccer League
2007 Seattle Sounders FC United Soccer League
2008 Vancouver Whitecaps FC United Soccer League
2009 Portland Timbers United Soccer League (SEA in MLS: DNP)
2010 Portland Timbers United Soccer League (SEA in MLS: DNP)
2011 Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer
2012 Portland Timbers Major League Soccer
2013 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer
2014 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer
2015 Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer
2016 Vancouver Whitecaps FC Major League Soccer
2017 Portland Timbers Major League Soccer

Portland (3-3-2, 11 points) enters the match on a three-game winning streak, having turned around a slow start to the season the included a five-game winless stretch. The Timbers are coming off a dramatic 1-0 road victory against the San Jose Earthquakes, highlighted byDiego Valeri’s free kick game-winner in the 88th minute . Seattle, the 2017 MLS Cup runner-up and 2016 champion, has a two-game set this week that includes a Wednesday match against defending MLS Cup winners Toronto FC (7:30 p.m. ET / FS1, TSN). Saturday’s Portland-Seattle matchup features a number of potential 2018 FIFA World Cup representatives, including the Timbers’ David Guzman (Costa Rica) and Andy Polo (Peru) and the Sounders’ Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay), Gustav Svensson (Sweden) and Kim Kee-hee (South Korea).

Golden Boot leaders, hottest teams in MLS square off as Orlando hosts Atlanta
The two hottest teams in MLS will face off when Orlando City SC hosts Atlanta United on Sunday in a battle of foes hailing from the Southeast (6 p.m. ET, FS1 / FOX Deportes / FOX Sports Go / TSN). While Atlanta sits atop the standings with the best record in the league and carrying an MLS-best eight-game unbeaten mark, Orlando enters the matchup with a franchise-best six-game winning streak, the longest of any team during the 2018 season. In three tightly contested matchups last season, Orlando fell 1-0 in its lone home match followed by a pair of draws in Atlanta.

Players from both clubs are in the race for the Golden Boot, as Atlanta United forward Josef Martínez leads the league with seven goals, while Atlanta’s Miguel Almirón and Orlando’sDom Dwyer are tied for second with six scores this season. Almirón and Peruvian World Cup hopeful Yoshimar Yotún also tie for third place in MLS with five assists.

Scoring a sensational first MLS goal last week was Atlanta’s 19-year-old Ezequiel Barco to help Atlanta secure a 2-1 victory in Chicago. More goals could be in store between the two regional foes as Atlanta leads the league with 23 goals, while Orlando’s 19 scores are tied for third.

FIFA World Cup 35-player provisional rosters to be named next Monday
The MLS contingent of players and clubs will be eagerly awaiting next Monday, the deadline for countries to name their respective 35-player provisional rosters for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (final 23-man rosters must be finalized by June 4). At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, there were an MLS-record 21 players among an MLS-record six countries at the tournament in Brazil. As is the case for a major tournament, there is a mix of players who have firmly established their spot for a trip to Russia, while others could be on the bubble but are making their case stronger thanks to their league productivity.

The LA Galaxy’s Giovani dos Santos is heating up at the right time to validate his worth for Mexico’s national team. The Galaxy’s 28-year-old Designated Player has posted two goals and an assist over his past two league matches. Before his first two goals of 2018, he hadn’t found the goal since May of 2017. Seattle Sounders FC and South Korea defender Kim Kee-hee, 28, who had missed a stretch with a calf injury, is acclimating himself with Seattle’s back line, coming off a second straight start and his first full 90-minute game this past Saturday to earn a shutout against Columbus Crew SC. Los Angeles Football Club 26-year-old defender Omar Gaber, reunited with former Egypt head coach Bob Bradley, had dealt with a knee injury at the start of the year, but has been much more involved over the past month. He has a start and four games since mid-April, and LAFC has posted a 3-0-1 record in matches in which he has appeared.

Newcomers accounting for quarter of MLS goals, assists this season
Some of the most dangerous and prolific players in MLS this season are newcomers that rank among the league leaders in goals and assists. With last week’s close of the Primary Transfer Window and the season officially at the quarter-mark, the newcomer class is rounding into form, accounting for nearly a quarter of all goals (72 out of 311) and assists (77 out of 314) during the 2018 season.

Three of the top 10 goalscorers in the league are new to MLS, as Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club), Johnny Russell (Sporting Kansas City), and Felipe Gutiérrez have all scored five goals this season. Additionally, five of the top 18 leaders in assists are in their debut MLS seasons, with New York Red Bulls 23-year-old Young Designated PlayerAlejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra leading all players with six assists. Los Angeles Football Club’s 20-year-old forward Diego Rossi and New York City FC’s 21-year-old midfielder Jesús Medina also rank in the top five with five assists this season.

Overall, 111 newcomers, with an average age of 25 years old, and hailing from 38 different countries, signed to MLS during the Primary Transfer Window. Over half of the newcomers (56 out of 111) have at least one cap for their senior national teams, showing their skills for both club and country.

MLS Week 11: Match Notes
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Atlanta United vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • Atlanta United tied their club record in extending their undefeated streak to eight games with a 2-1 win at the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon. Atlanta United went eight games without loss in their inaugural campaign, last year from Aug. 29-Sept. 30.
  • Miguel Almirón recorded an assist and has now gone five consecutive games with a goal and/or an assist, with five goals and three assists over that span.
  • Sporting returned to their winning ways after a seven-game undefeated run was put to an end the week before, recording a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday evening.
  • Tim Melia was credited with two saves in recording his league-leading fourth shutout of the season for SKC, all coming over the past six games.
  • The teams met once in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, playing to a 1-1 draw on Aug. 6 at Children’s Mercy Park.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • Crew SC extended their undefeated streak to three games, reaching a goalless draw with Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Union saw their road winless streak extended to 15 games, falling 3-0 at Toronto FC at BMO Field on Friday evening. The Union still have yet to score a goal away from Talen Energy Stadium this season, the last team without an away goal this year, now 347 minutes since scoring on the road.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after playing to a scoreless draw on March 17 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • Crew SC put an end to a two-game Union winning streak at Mapfre Stadium in the last meeting in Columbus, a 1-0 victory last July 22. The Union had won two home meetings in a row with Crew SC before the draw in the first match this year.

Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN)

  • Toronto FC put an end to a three-game winless run in league play, gaining a second consecutive result with a 3-0 victory against the Philadelphia Union at BMO Field on Friday evening. Victor Vázquez scored a goal for a second consecutive game, making a second consecutive start in league play after missing four consecutive matches.
  • Sounders FC extended their home undefeated run to two games, reaching a goalless draw with Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon. Sounders FC have been shut out at the attacking end in back-to-back games, now without a goal in five of seven league matches this season.
  • It’s a rematch of the past two MLS Cup Finals, with each team having won once. TFC took a 2-0 victory last year, while Sounders FC won on penalty kicks following a goalless draw in 2016 MLS Cup, both games at BMO Field. It marked the third time in MLS history the same teams had met in back-to-back MLS Cups.
  • The teams met once in regular season play last year – a 1-0 TFC win on May 6 at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC were undefeated on their past four visits to Toronto in league and MLS Cup play before last year’s championship match; the MLS Cup win was TFC’s first vs. Seattle at BMO Field since April 25, 2010.

Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 p.m. ET (TVA Sports, ESPN+)

  • The Fire had their brief two-game undefeated run put to an end, falling 2-1 to Atlanta United at Toyota Park on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Impact snapped a four-game losing run, defeating the New England Revolution 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo.
  • Ignacio Piatti scored a goal and added three assists – the three assists his single-game career-high in his five MLS seasons, the three assists also equaling the Impact’s club single-game record in MLS, set twice previously.
  • The visiting team has won three times in the last five meetings between the clubs, over the last two seasons. The Fire have won on two of their last three visits to Stade Saputo, winning once each of the last two seasons, including a 1-0 win their last Sept. 2 in the last meeting in Montréal.
  • The Impact have come away with points on their past two visits to Toyota Park, including a 2-2 draw in the lone Bridgeview meeting last year, on April 1. The Impact’s 2-1 win there April 16, 2016 was their first ever at Toyota Park; the visiting team had never won in the series before that season.

Los Angeles Football Club vs. Minnesota United FC, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • LAFC saw their three-game winning streak put to an end but still extended their undefeated streak to four games, reaching a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
  • Steven Beitashour scored his first goal with LAFC, his first in MLS play since Aug. 24, 2013, when he was with the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • MNUFC won a second consecutive game for the second time this season, getting the game’s only goal from Miguel Ibarra for a victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The two-game winning run matches the club’s record in their MLS history, achieved now on three occasions.
  • This is the first meeting between the clubs. They will play a return match July 22 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Friday, May 11, 2018
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)

  • Whitecaps FC weren’t able to build upon a first victory in four games, falling 1-0 to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was a third consecutive away defeat for the ‘Caps.
  • The Dynamo won for a second time in three games – both coming at BBVA Compass Stadium – getting a late winner for a 3-2 win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening.
  • Romell Quioto scored a goal and added an assist, the second time in the last three games he’s had a goal and an assist in the same game. Quioto has a goal and/or an assist in three consecutive games, with two goals and four assists in that time, playing a part in six of the Dynamo’s last nine goals.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kei Kamara scored the opening goal then set up the game-winner by Brek Shea for a 2-1 Whitecaps FC win April 10 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Vancouver win in the first meeting was the first ever by the road team in the all-time series. The ‘Caps are 6-0-1 vs. the Dynamo in B.C.; Vancouver’s win came after four defeats and a draw in Houston.

Saturday, May 12, 2018
Minnesota United FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • MNUFC have won their past two games at TCF Bank Stadium following their 1-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, matching the club’s longest home winning streak in their MLS history (set twice previously).
  • The Quakes saw their winless run extended to seven games – the longest in MLS this season – following their 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers at Avaya Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Vako Qazaishivili scored one goal and set up two others – both coming from Danny Hoesen, including the game-winner – as the Quakes claimed a 3-2 victory in the season opener March 3 at Avaya Stadium.
  • The teams met twice in Minnesota United’s inaugural campaign, the Earthquakes winning both. The Quakes took a 1-0 win on April 29 at TCF Bank Stadium, then on Decision Day, Marco Ureña scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time to give the Quakes a dramatic 3-2 victory that secured their place in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union, 3 p.m. ET (CTV, TVA Sports, ESPN+)

  • The teams met three times a season ago, and the Impact won the final two, once at each ground – a 2-1 win on July 19 at Stade Saputo, and a 3-0 victory Aug. 12 at Talen Energy Stadium. The teams also reached a 3-3 draw April 22 in Chester.
  • The Impact win in the final meeting last year was just the second for the visiting team in the all-time series, after a 1-0 Union victory in 2015 at Stade Saputo. The Impact have won six of the eight meetings all-time at Stade Saputo. The Union have won two of the eight matchups in Chester, with five draws.
  • Ignacio Piatti’s goal and three assists vs. New England came in the second game following a hat trick vs. Los Angeles FC on April 21 at Stade Saputo – his first hat trick in his MLS career. Piatti played a part in seven of the Impact’s eight goals over a three-game span (four goals, three assists).

FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univision, UDN)

  • FC Dallas concluded their two-game road swing with a draw – the seventh time they’ve taken points in eight games this season – following a 1-1 draw at Los Angeles FC on Saturday afternoon. Maxi Urruti scored the FCD goal, assisted by Santiago Mosquera; the pair combined on the FCD goal in the 3-1 loss at New York City FC the week before (with Mosquera scoring and Urruti assisting).
  • The Galaxy suffered their third consecutive defeat, falling 3-2 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Giovani dos Santos scored for a second consecutive game and added an assist, his first of the season, while Zlatan Ibrahimović collected his third assist in MLS, all over the last two games. Ibrahimović has played a part in four of the Galaxy’s last five goals scored (one goal, three assists), since April 14.
  • The teams met twice a season ago, and FC Dallas won both. FCD claimed a 2-1 win in the season opener on March 4 at StubHub Center, then in the season finale on Decision Day on Oct. 22, FCD rolled to a 5-1 victory at Toyota Stadium as Roland Lamah scored twice and Mauro Diaz netted one and set up two others.
  • The win in the first meeting last year ended a nine-game home undefeated streak in the series for the Galaxy, their first loss to FC Dallas in Carson since Sept. 12, 2009, having gone 7-0-2 over that stretch.

Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Nemanja Nikolic scored the game’s only goal after 27 minutes for a Fire victory April 7 at Toyota Park.
  • The Fire have won two of the past three meetings between the teams, after going 10 games winless against Crew SC, dating back to a 2-1 victory in Columbus on June 22, 2013. Crew SC had won five of the meetings in between, with five draws.
  • Crew SC are undefeated in their past seven home meetings in the series (5-0-2), the last win for the Fire in Columbus coming in 2013. The Fire have won the last two meetings in Bridgeview, following a four-game home winless streak in the series.

New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)

  • Sebastian Giovinco scored his first league goal of the campaign and also added his third assist of the year in MLS (his second game in a row with an assist), in TFC’s 3-0 win vs. Philadelphia. It was the 15th time in Giovinco’s MLS career he’s scored at least one goal and added at least one assist in the same game.
  • The Revolution saw their brief two-game undefeated run come to an end, falling 4-2 to the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday afternoon. Wilfredo Zahibo scored both Revolution goals, his first two-goal game since coming to MLS and the Revs.
  • The teams met three times a season ago, each winning on their home ground. The Revolution won twice, both at Gillette Stadium – a 3-0 win on June 3, and a 2-1 victory Sept. 23. TFC claimed the lone meeting at BMO Field, a 2-0 triumph June 23.
  • The Revolution are undefeated in the past six meetings in Foxborough, with four wins and two draws in that time.
  • TFC has won the past two meetings between the teams at BMO Field. TFC’s win there on Aug. 6, 2016 snapped an eight-game Revolution undefeated streak in the series, dating back to 2013. It was the first home win in the series for TFC since 2010, snapping a six-game winless streak (and three-game losing streak) vs. New England at BMO Field.

Real Salt Lake vs. D.C. United, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • Real suffered a second consecutive loss for the first time this season, falling 3-1 to Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium. Homegrown Player Corey Baird scored his second goal of the season.
  • D.C. United return to action after a week off, suffering a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on April 28. It was a fourth consecutive road defeat for United, their away winless streak now at nine games dating back to last season, tied for the fourth-longest in the club’s 23-year history.
  • Real Salt Lake completed their history at RFK Stadium with their only win there ever – a 1-0 victory last Aug. 12 in the only meeting between the teams. United had won six of the first nine league encounters on East Capitol Street, and also claimed a U.S. Open Cup play-in match there in 2010. Their last meeting in Washington was a wild 6-4 D.C. United win in 2015, the 10 total goals tied for second-most in a game in MLS history.
  • United won on their first ever trip to Utah in 2005 – a 3-1 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium – and haven’t won there again. Real are 7-0-2 at home in the series since, including a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium in the last meeting between the teams there, July 1, 2016.

Colorado Rapids vs. New York Red Bulls, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

  • The Rapids suffered a third consecutive defeat, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday evening.
  • The Red Bulls once again dominated their cross-river rivals, defeating New York City FC 4-0 at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon.
  • Kaku scored for a second consecutive match, now with three goals on the season, and also added a pair of assists, his second straight two-assist game. Kaku played a role in six consecutive Red Bulls goals over the last two games.
  • The Red Bulls won the lone meeting between the teams, a 1-0 victory last March 11 at Red Bull Arena, their first win in the series since 2012. The Rapids had won two of the four matchups in between, with two draws.
  • The Rapids have won five of the last six meetings between the teams in Commerce City; the Red Bulls haven’t won in Colorado since 2007.
  • The Rapids have never won in Harrison; their last away win in the series came in 2009, a 3-2 victory at Giants Stadium. The Red Bulls have won three of the six meetings at home since, with three draws.

Sunday, May 13, 2018
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

  • The Timbers won their third game on the trot after a five-game winless stretch to open the season. Diego Valeri scored the game’s lone goal from a free kick for a win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium. Valeri has a goal and/or an assist in each of the past five games (3 goals, 3 assists), involved directly in six of the Timbers’ 11 goals in that span.
  • Stefan Frei was credited with two saves in recording the shutout in the goalless draw with Columbus Crew SC at CenturyLink Field. It was the first clean sheet of the season for Frei; he led MLS with 13 shutouts last season.
  • The teams met three times a year ago in league play, with Sounders FC coming away with the lone victory, a 1-0 victory May 27 in Seattle. The teams played to a pair of draws, once at each ground – a 2-2 result June 25 at Providence Park, and a 1-1 tie Aug. 27 at CenturyLink Field. The teams also met in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round, with Sounders FC taking a 2-1 win.
  • This meeting will be the 100th all-time between the clubs. Since their first meeting in 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, Seattle have won 50 times and Portland have won 35, with 14 draws. In Major League Soccer league play, Sounders FC have won nine matches, the Timbers have won five, and six have been draws. The Timbers won both meetings in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Sounders FC are now 7-0-3 all-time at home in regular season games vs. Portland – though the Timbers did win there in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Orlando City SC vs. Atlanta United, 6 p.m. ET (FS1, TSN)

  • Orlando City SC extended their winning streak to a club-record six games, coming from behind for a 3-1 win against Real Salt Lake at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Dom Dwyer scored his sixth goal of the season – all coming over the six-game winning run – while Sacha Kljestan added his fourth assist of the season; he has two goals and four assists in the six-game span.
  • Ezequiel Barco scored his first goal in MLS, netting the opener in Atlanta United’s 2-1 win vs. Chicago. Barco was making a third consecutive start.
  • The teams met three times a year ago in Atlanta United’s inaugural campaign – and the expansion side did not lose to their neighbors to the south. ATLUTD claimed one victory – a 1-0 win in the first meeting between the teams, July 21 at Orlando City Stadium.
  • The teams played to a pair of draws, both in Atlanta – a 1-1 result July 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, then a 3-3 deadlock Sept. 16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Los Angeles Football Club vs. New York City FC, 8:30 p.m. ET (FS1)

  • New York City FC suffered their second defeat in the last three games, both away from Yankee Stadium, falling 4-0 to the New York Red Bulls in the first Hudson River derby of the season at Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon.
  • Carlos Vela collected his fourth assist of the season in LAFC’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon – the sixth time in eight matches he’s recorded a goal and/or an assist. Vela played a part of half of LAFC’s 18 first goals (five goals, four assists).
  • This is the first meeting between the clubs. A year ago, NYCFC won both first encounters with the expansion class of 2017, both by 3-1 scorelines – May 7 vs. Atlanta United, and June 29 vs. Minnesota United FC.

 

 

Busy week continues for Crew SC as they host Philadelphia tonight at 7:30

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Megan Scribner; COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

Columbus Crew SC plays their second game of the week on Wednesday, hosting the Philadelphia Union at MAPFRE Stadium. The two clubs’ second head-to-head match of the season is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The match kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET and is set to be televised regionally on MyTV Columbus, Spectrum Sports and BCSN2 with Neil Sika, Dwight Burgess and Alex Stec on the call. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Post-match coverage is set to follow exclusively on Spectrum Sports in Ohio. Wednesday’s match also airs locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English, featuring simulcast audio from the television broadcast. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online as well as host the Spanish-language audio broadcast with Juan Valladares behind the microphone.

Crew SC left Talen Energey Stadium with a point after a scoreless stalemate against the Union in Week 3 of the 2018 Major League Soccer regular-season. Federico Higuain set up the Black & Gold offense on three separate occasions, but the final goal was not there. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded his second shutout of the season with three saves against the Union.

A 10-man Crew SC split points with Seattle last Saturday at CenturyLink Field. In the 15th minute, midfielder Pedro Santos was shown a straight red card following a video review on a tackle — causing him to miss Wednesday’s match. The 31st minute saw defender Alex Crognale make his first appearance since returning from being on-loan with Orange County SC. The Black & Gold defense allowed only one shot on goal throughout the game as Steffen recorded his third shutout of the season.

Philadelphia is coming off of a Friday night loss against Toronto FC. The Black & Gold are 11-8-2 against the Union in regular-season matches.

 

 

Dayton Dragons Game Preview Notes for Wednesday, May 9, 2018

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN  BY Tom Nichols; COURTESY DAYTON DRAGONS MEDIA RELATIONS

Dragons GameDay

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 Game # 30

Fifth Third Field l Dayton, Ohio l 7:00 p.m.

Radio: Fox Sports 980 WONE

 

Cedar Rapids Kernels (14-12) at Dayton Dragons (17-12)

RH Bailey Ober (0-1, 19.29) vs. RH Adrian Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00)

Today’s Game: The Dayton Dragons (affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) meet the Cedar Rapids Kernels (affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) in the last game of a three-game series. Series to Date: Dayton 2, Cedar Rapids 0.

Streaks:  The Dragons have won eight of their last nine games after an eight-game losing streak that came on the heels of a nine-game winning streak.

Standings:  The Dragons are in third place, two games behind first place Bowling Green, and one-half game behind second place Lansing.

Last Game:  Tuesday: Dayton 8, Cedar Rapids 6. After trailing 6-0 going to the bottom of the fourth inning, the Dragons battled back with four in the fourth and four in the seventh to win. John Sansone‘s three-run home run in the fourth got the Dragons within striking distance, and Narciso Crook‘s three-run double in the seventh gave them the lead. The bullpen trio of Sarkis OhanianTyler Buffett, and Cory Thompson combined for 3.1 scoreless innings.

Big Comebacks:  Twice in the last eight days, the Dragons have trailed by as many as six runs in a game that they came back to win. From 2014-17, the only other game that featured a comeback of at least six runs was August 22, 2016, when the Dragons trailed Lansing 10-3 and came back to win 11-10.

2018 Team Notes

  • With a win tonight, the Dragons would climb to six games above the .500 mark for the second time this season. They were 9-3 after winning at Fort Wayne on April 20 before losing the next eight games to fall to 9-11. They are now 8-9 since beating Fort Wayne on April 20.
  • The Dragons have scored 61 runs in the last eight games (7.5 runs/game). They have scored at least seven runs in seven of the eight games.
  • The Dragons have hit 12 home runs in the last eight games after hitting 10 homers in their first 21 games of the season.

2018 Individual Notes

  • Michael Beltré is seventh in the MWL in batting average (.353) and first in on-base percentage (.476). Beltré had an 11-game hitting streak snapped Monday night. He is batting .383 over his last 12 games. He also has an on-base streak of 23 straight games dating back to 2017.
  • Hendrik Clementina has a seven-game hitting streak, going 12 for 24 with four home runs, one triple, 12 RBI, and seven walks.   Clementina is hitting .397 on the year with a .794 slugging percentage. He is tied for third in the MWL in home runs with six and tied for fourth in RBI with 23 despite being three plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting lead. He would rank third in the league in batting average and first in slugging percentage (by 155 points).
  • Narciso Crook has two hits in three straight games including a home run and two doubles with 7 RBI.
  • John Ghyzel is tied for the MWL lead in saves with six. He has allowed runs in just one of his 11 appearances.

 

UPCOMING SERIES VS PEORIA CHIEFS

Upcoming Probable Pitchers (Game times are Dayton time) (All games on WONE 980 AM and www.daytondragons.com)

Thursday, May 10 (7:00 p.m.): Peoria RH Zach Prendergast (3-1, 2.65) at Dayton LH Packy Naughton (3-1, 3.93)

Friday, May 11 (7:00 p.m.): Peoria RH Winston Nicacio (0-1, 8.14) at Dayton RH Tyler Mondile(0-2, 9.95)

Saturday, May 12 (7:07 p.m.): Peoria RH Jake Walsh (1-1, 3.60) at Dayton RH Hunter Greene (0-2, 13.97) TV: Dayton’s CW (26)


 

 

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