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MLS readies for Week 6: Crew SC travels to Chicago Fire on Saturday

This Week in MLS – April 3, 2017
  • FC Dallas sets sights on CONCACAF Champions League final while Vancouver aims for historic comeback
  • Future stars of MLS kick off 2016-17 Generation adidas Cup on Friday
  • What offseason? Martinez, Valeri highlight top performers in first month of the season
  • Week 6 Game Previews

FC Dallas sets sights on CONCACAF Champions League final while Vancouver aims for historic comeback
FC Dallas is on the brink of history with an opportunity to become the first MLS team to win multiple matches on Mexican soil.

With a 2-1 advantage coming out of leg one, Dallas will face Pachuca on the road at Estadio Hidalgo this Tuesday (10 p.m. ET, UDN/Facebook), attempting to become the second MLS team in three seasons, and third overall, to advance to the final of CONCACAF Champions League.

One of two MLS teams that has defeated a Liga MX side on the road, Dallas have been in Mexico for nearly a week in preparation to take on Pachuca. With a victory, Dallas would be the third MLS team to win a CCL match in Mexico since the change to a new tournament format, becoming the first team to accomplish the feat in 2011.

Midfielder Kellyn Acosta pushed Dallas to a 2-1 home victory over Pachuca in leg one of the semifinals with a beautiful game-winning free kick goal , the 21-year-old’s franchise record setting third goal in CCL action. On the heels of four goals in six matches this season, including CCL and MLS regular season action, Acosta earned a call up to a pair of U.S. Men’s National Team 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, with the Homegrown Player featuring in a 1-1 draw against Panama. Joining Acosta on the U.S. squad was 23-year-old FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman, as the duo once again look for a positive result in a road match in Latin American territory.

Pachuca, meanwhile, features former LA Galaxy defender and current U.S. Men’s National Team player Omar Gonzalez, as the Dallas native looks to extend Pachuca’s 14-month undefeated streak at Estadio Hidalgo.

FC Dallas – Pachuca Scenarios

  • FC Dallas advances with win or draw
  • FC Dallas advances with one-goal loss when 2+ goals
  • Game goes to extra time if Pachuca holds a 2-1 lead
  • Pachuca advances with a 1-0 win
  • Pachuca advances with any 2+ goal win

In other CCL semifinal action, Vancouver looks to bounce back from a 2-0 loss in Mexico against Tigres UANL in the friendly confines of BC Place on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, Galavision/Facebook.com ). On the heels of a 4-2 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Whitecaps FC will need another strong offensive performance to improve on Canadian MLS teams’ 1-2-3 overall record when hosting Mexican clubs in CCL play.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Tigres UANL Scenarios

  • Vancouver advances with win by 3+ goal differential
  • Game goes to extra time if Vancouver holds a 2-0 lead
  • Tigres advances with win, draw or 2+ loss in which they score a goal

Future stars of MLS kick off 2016-17 Generation adidas Cup on Friday
The future of MLS Homegrown talent will take center stage on Friday when the 2016-17 Generation adidas Cup kicks off at the Toyota Soccer Center at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The top young talent from 19 MLS academies and 13 premier international clubs will compete for the top prize, with an MLS Academy team looking to win the U-17 tournament for the first time since the Philadelphia Union took home the title in 2012.

MLS Academies will get the chance to prove themselves against some of the most decorated youth academies in the world, as the 13 international clubs – the most ever since their inclusion in 2013 – include the likes of Spanish giants Real Madrid C.F. and Malaga CF, and Mexican powers Tigres UANL, C.F. Monterrey, C.D. Guadalajara, Pumas UNAM and Club Tijuana.

The Generation adidas Cup has showcased some of the league’s most accomplished Homegrown Players, including current U.S Men’s National Team and FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta, New England Revolution teammates Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez, U.S. Under-20 and Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad, and USMNT and D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

Generation adidas group play begins on Friday, April 7 with the division tournament final set for Saturday, April 15. A full Generation adidas Cup competition and live stream schedule, and further information on the tournament can be found HERE.

Martinez and Valeri highlight top performers in first month of the season
Some players have started off the 2017 season with a bang, showing little sign of the offseason in the first month of play. Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez needed no time to adapt to a new league with the Venezuelan newcomer scoring five goals in three games, while Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri continued to display his MVP status, recording four goals and two assists across four games in the month of March.

With April officially underway, who will continue their fiery start into the second month of the season?

Top performers for the month of March

Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers)

  • 4 goals in 4 games played
  • 2 goals 3/3 vs Minnesota United
  • Leads league in shots and shots on goal

Ola Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)

  • 3 goals in 4 games played
  • Goals in 3 consecutive games 3/11-25

Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC)

  • 3 goals in 2 games played
  • 2 goals 3/18 vs Philadelphia Union
  • All 3 of goals scored by Orlando City in 2017

Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)

  • 5 goals in 3 games played
  • Hat trick 3/12 vs Minnesota United
  • 2 goals 3/18 vs Chicago Fire
  • Tied all-time league record for most goals in first 3 MLS games

Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)

  • 2 shutouts in 3 games played
  • 11 saves on 12 shots, 1 goal allowed (0.33 GAA)
  • 269-minute shutout streak to start season
  • 1 win, 2 draws

Romell Quioto (Houston Dynamo)

  • 3 goals in 3 games played
  • Goals in each of Houston Dynamo games in 2017

Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)

  • 2 shutouts in 4 games played
  • 10 saves on 14 shots, 4 goals allowed (1.00 GAA)
  • 2 wins, 1 draw

Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

  • 3 goals in 3 games played
  • Goals in each of Houston Dynamo games in 2017

Maximiliano Urruti (FC Dallas)

  • 3 goals in 2 games played
  • 2 goals 3/18 vs New England Revolution

Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

  • 4 goals, 2 assists in 4 games played
  • 2 goals 3/3 vs Minnesota United
  • 2 goals 3/18 vs Houston Dynamo

Week 6 Game Previews
Friday, April 7
Montreal Impact at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.

  • Romain Alessandrini netted his first two MLS goals, but the Galaxy suffered their third loss in four outings this season, conceding a season-high four goals in a 4-2 loss at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Alessandrini has been involved in each of the Galaxy’s last four goals over the last two games.
  • The Impact reached a third consecutive draw, ending in a 2-2 result with the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park, as Homegrown Player Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla scored a late goal.

Saturday, April 8
Columbus Crew SC at Chicago Fire, 2 p.m.

  • Bastian Schweinsteiger made his MLS debut a noteworthy one, scoring just 17 minutes into his Chicago Fire opener in their 2-2 draw with the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park.
  • Crew SC won their third game on the trot, their second in a row at Mapfre Stadium, defeating Orlando City SC 2-0 on Saturday evening. Justin Meram scored both Crew SC goals; he has three goals over the last two games.

Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution, 2 p.m.

  • The Revolution gained their first road point after a pair of losses away, coming back for a late 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday evening at Providence Park through a late Lee Nguyen equalizer.
  • Erick Torres scored his first career hat trick in MLS play, now leading the MLS Golden Boot race with six goals for the season, as the Dynamo won their third game in four starts in a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at BBVA Compass Stadium.

New York City FC at D.C. United, 4 p.m.

  • Jose Guillermo Ortiz and Luciano Acosta netted United’s first goals of the season, as D.C. won for the first time this year in a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium.
  • NYCFC concluded an unbeaten three-game homestand with a second victory, getting a late goal from Tommy McNamara for a 2-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Portland Timbers at Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.

  • C.J. Sapong scored for a third consecutive match, but Union are still looking for their first win of the season following a second successive defeat in a 2-1 loss at D.C. United on Saturday evening.
  • Diego Valeri has five goals in five games, hitting for the lone Timbers tally as they reached a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on Sunday evening at Providence Park.

Atlanta United at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

  • Toronto FC are still undefeated on the new season, reaching a third draw in four matches in their scoreless result with Sporting Kansas City in the home opener at BMO Field on Friday evening.
  • Atlanta United were held goalless for the first time in their MLS history, but still extended their undefeated run to three games, following their 0-0 result with Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.

Minnesota United FC at FC Dallas, 8 p.m.

  • FC Dallas return to action after a weekend off, still undefeated to start the 2017 MLS season after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against the New England Revolution in their last match, March 18 at Toyota Stadium. Maximiliano Urruti scored both goals for FCD, now with three in league play this year.
  • Minnesota United FC won for the first time in their MLS history, rolling to a 4-2 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at TCF Bank Stadium. Christian Ramirez netted two goals for MNUFC, now with four goals in his first five MLS games.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

  • Real Salt Lake weren’t able to start off the Mike Petke era with a victory, Minnesota United FC hitting for a four-goal blitz in a 4-2 win Saturday evening at TCF Bank Stadium.
  • Whitecaps FC won their first league match of 2017, Matias Laba scoring a pair of goals over the final quarter of the contest for a 4-2 come-from-behind win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at BC Place.

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

  • Sounders FC extended their undefeated streak to three games with a second draw in that time, reaching a goalless result with Atlanta United on Friday evening at CenturyLink Field.
  • The Earthquakes suffered a second consecutive loss in a second consecutive away match, falling 2-1 to New York City FC on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Sunday, April 9
New York Red Bulls at Orlando City SC, 4 p.m.

  • Orlando City SC had their two-game winning streak to start the season put to an end on Saturday evening, falling 2-0 to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium.
  • The Red Bulls suffered their second defeat in three matches – their first losses after an 18-game league undefeated streak – following a 4-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m.

  • Sporting are still undefeated on the season, reaching a third draw in four games in a scoreless result with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field.
  • The Rapids return to action after a weekend off, their last match a 2-2 draw with Minnesota United FC on March 18 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

 

PRESS RELEASE AND GAME PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS