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August 2018
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MLS welcomes in Week 24: Crew SC hosting Houston Dynamo on Saturday

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

  • Two-time Open Cup winner Curtin leads charge for Union
  • Maturing Manotas has Dynamo on brink of historic Open Cup final
  • Fire’s Nikolic exudes consistent goalscoring prowess in Open Cup
  • Healthy Altidore has TFC in hunt for Canadian Championship repeat
  • Playoff-hungry clubs look for boost as Secondary Transfer Window closes Wednesday
  • MLS Week 24: Match Notes

 

USA Today Sports Images - Union head coach Jim Curtin

Two-time Open Cup winner Curtin leads charge for Union
Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin, a two-time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner as a defender for the Chicago Fire, is now looking to advance past his former side and reach this year’s final in a managerial capacity. The Union host Chicago on Wednesday in the Open Cup semifinals at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. (7 p.m. ET / U.S. Open Cup Match Center ). Curtin guided Philadelphia to runner-up performances in 2014 and 2015 as he hopes to get the Union over the hump in the 2018 edition.

The Union have outscored their opponents 8-1 in Open Cup play this year. In the quarterfinals, Philadelphia topped Orlando City SC 1-0, with Alejandro Bedoya tallying a fourth-minute goal, which proved to be the game-winner. Bedoya has enjoyed a strong Open Cup overall after assisting both goals in a 2-1 win against the New York Red Bulls in the Round of 16.

The Union are two victories away from becoming the seventh Pennsylvania-based team to win the Open Cup as the state has enjoyed some storied franchises in the tournament, including five-time winners Bethlehem Steel and four-time champions the Philadelphia Ukrainians.

 

 

 

USA Today Sports Images - Houston's Mauro Manotas

Maturing Manotas has Dynamo
on brink of historic Open Cup final

Mauro Manotas is having a breakout season for the Houston Dynamo with a career-high 11 goals scored for the club in MLS regular season action and has the team on the verge of its first finals appearance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The 23-year-old forward moved from Colombia to Houston at the age of 19 and was taken under the wing of Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan , who placed Manotas with a host family and would often drive him to trainings. Now, living on his own and thriving as a starter, Manotas will look to further repay the organization for its work in accommodating the young star when facing the Los Angeles Football Club in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium (8:30 p.m. ET / U.S. Open Cup Match Center).

Manotas scored the game-winner in a 1-0 Round of 16 victory over Minnesota United FC before powering the Dynamo with a brace in a 4-2 victory over reigning Open Cup champions Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals. With three goals in Open Cup play, Manotas is the second-highest remaining scorer in the tournament and on the verge of setting several Dynamo franchise scoring marks. With 11 MLS regular season goals, Manotas is on the heels of breaking Erick Torres’ mark of 14 goals set last season, while his 14 goals across all competitions approaches Will Bruin’s franchise record of 16 scores in 2012.

Houston holds an overall record of 5-2-5 in matches where Manotas has scored a goal this season, including U.S. Open Cup play. Should the Dynamo win on Wednesday, they would host the final if playing Philadelphia, but would travel if facing the Chicago Fire.

USA Today Sports Images - Fire forward Nemanja Nikolic

Fire’s Nikolic exudes consistent
goalscoring prowess in Open Cup

Chicago Fire striker Nemanja Nikoliccemented his place as one of the league’s top current goalscoring threats after winning the Golden Boot during the 2017 MLS season with 24 tallies. Nikolic now finds himself on the verge of potentially earning the same honor during the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.

Nikolic has scored four goals in this year’s tournament – tied for second among the field – and he looks to add to that total when Chicago travels to face the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET / U.S. Open Cup Match Center ) in the semifinals. Nikolic scored the game-winners in both the quarterfinals (4-0 win against defending United Soccer League champions Louisville City FC) and the Round of 16 (1-0 victory against Atlanta United). He also netted a brace during a 2-2 draw against Columbus Crew SC on June 6, with the Fire advancing 10-9 in the fourth-round penalty kick shootout.

Chicago is the winningest MLS team remaining in the tournament, having won the Open Cup four times (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006), and Nikolic serves as one of the brightest spots on a Fire roster itching to add to this trophy case. The 2018 ESPY Award winner for Best MLS Player has been consistent both in the Open Cup and in MLS action, having scored four goals in his past five regular-season starts.

Based on the Open Cup draw, if the Fire advance they would host the U.S. Open Cup Final on Oct. 3 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Healthy Altidore has TFC in hunt for Canadian Championship repeat
Reigning title-holders and six-time Canadian champions Toronto FC will take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Wednesday’s first leg of the Canadian Championship Final Round at BC Place in Vancouver (10 p.m. ET, TSN 1/4), led by their star-studded cast which captured last season’s triple crown – the Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup and Canadian Championship.

Forward Jozy Altidore has come back into form after missing 16 straight MLS regular season games due to injury. The stalwart forward, who reappeared for Toronto on July 21, has earned significant minutes in the past three MLS regular season matches and has contributed a goal and an assist over this stretch to keep TFC unbeaten since his return.

With a return to glory on the line, will TFC make a strong statement in Leg 1, or will Vancouver Whitecaps FC play spoilers to earn their first trip back to the Concacaf Champions League since the 2016-17 edition? Leg 2 of the two-game, aggregate goal series will take place at BMO Field in Toronto on Aug. 15 (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN 1/4).


Playoff-hungry clubs look for boost as Secondary Transfer Window closes Wednesday
MLS teams approaching the MLS Cup Playoffs picture or strengthening their position in their respective conferences are looking for one final roster boost with the close of the Secondary Transfer Window this Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. CT. Some teams have already enjoyed the fruits of key signings during this July 10-Aug. 8 window, while others’ futures remain to be seen.

Seattle Sounders FC qualifies for the former as Peruvian international forward Raul Ruidiaz, in his short tenure, has contributed a goal and an assist in three starts. Seattle is 3-0-0 in Ruidiaz’s starts, and Sounders FC have compiled an impressive seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) overall to inch closer to a postseason position.

Western Conference-leading FC Dallas bolstered their roster with new young talent to maintain their top spot. In July, Dallas signed 21-year-old Chilean midfielder Pablo Aranguiz, 24-year-old defender Marquinhos Pedroso of Brazil and 26-year-old defender Moises Hernandez, adding depth to a corps that touts the likes of Belgian Roland Lamah and Colombian Michael Barrios.

Will English Designated Player Wayne Rooney catapult D.C. United during the club’s remaining home-heavy schedule, or will 21-year-old Venezuelan Ronaldo Peña – a member of Venezuela’s runner-up squad at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup – provide an offensive spark for the Houston Dynamo? The movers and shakers will be defined in the coming weeks.


Coming next week:
Atlanta’s Josef Martinez on cusp of MLS single-season goalscoring record
Second leg of Canadian Championship: Toronto vs. Vancouver (Aug. 15).
Heineken Rivalry Week is on the horizon from Aug. 22-26.


MLS Regular Season – Week 24
(Times ET)
Saturday, Aug. 11

∙​ Columbus Crew SC vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ Real Salt Lake vs. Montreal Impact, 10 p.m. (TVA Sports, ESPN+)
∙​ LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ Los Angeles Football Club vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
∙​ Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 11 p.m. (TSN, ESPN+)

Sunday, Aug. 12
∙​ Toronto FC vs. New York City FC, 4 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN)
∙​ D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)
∙​ Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m. (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Semifinals
(Times ET)
Wednesday, Aug. 8

∙​ Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m.
∙​ Houston Dynamo vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 8:30 p.m.

Canadian Championship, Final (1st leg)
(Times ET)
Wednesday, Aug. 8

∙​ Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC, 10 p.m.

MLS Week 24: Match Notes
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Columbus Crew SC vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • Crew SC return to action after a weekend off, winning a second game in a row last time out, defeating the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on July 28. Crew SC have won consecutive league games for the first time since winning three in a row from May 9-19.
  • The Dynamo suffered a third consecutive defeat in seeing their winless run reach five matches, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The Dynamo won the lone meeting between the teams a season ago, a 3-1 victory on March 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The road team has not won in the series since 2011, when Crew SC claimed a 2-0 victory at Robertson Stadium in Houston. It is one of just two wins for the away team all-time in 23 meetings between the clubs.
  • Crew SC have not lost to the Dynamo in Columbus since June 10, 2007, a 2-1 Houston victory. Since then, Crew SC have won six of the nine meetings at home, with three draws. The Dynamo have won four of the past six meetings in Houston, with two draws.

New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season.Anthony Fontana and CJ Sapong scored on either side of halftime as the Union took a 2-0 win in the season opener for both clubs on March 3 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • The Union have won four of the past five meetings between the clubs, all by shutout, outscoring New England 12-0 in those matches. The Revolution won the last meeting between the teams at Gillette Stadium, July 29 of last year, a 3-0 victory.
  • The Revolution put an end to a three-game losing streak, but still saw their winless run extended to five games, reaching a 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening. Teal Bunbury scored a goal, his 11th of the season. He is tied for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The Union had their two-game road winning streak snapped, falling 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday evening.

Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • The Fire suffered their sixth consecutive loss – the club’s record streak in 21 seasons – falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the lone Chicago goal, his fourth of the season.
  • The Red Bulls won their seventh match out of their past nine in league play, defeating the Los Angeles Football Club 2-1 at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening. Danny Royerscored both Red Bulls goals, his third career multiple-goal game in his MLS career.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season.Aleksandar Katai and Nemanja Nikolic each scored on either side of halftime as the Fire took a 2-1 win on April 21 at Red Bull Arena.
  • The Fire win in the first meeting ended a six-game undefeated streak for the Red Bulls in the series. It also ended a three-game winning streak in the series for the Red Bulls in Harrison.
  • The Red Bulls have come away with a result on their past three trips to Toyota Park (one win, two draws). When the Red Bulls won Oct. 25, 2015 at Toyota Park, it was their first win ever in Bridgeview. The Red Bulls’ last away win against Chicago had come May 14, 2005, a 3-0 win at Soldier Field; in between, the Fire were unbeaten in 14 home games in the league series (9-0-5).

Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • The Rapids snapped their five-game winless run, coming back for a 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening. Kellyn Acosta scored his second goal in as many games since moving to Colorado from FC Dallas; then Sam Nicholson scored the game-winner in the 90th minute.
  • The Quakes put an end to their 12-game winless streak – the third-longest in club history – in a 3-1 win against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. Vako Qazaishvili scored a pair of goals – his second two-goal game this season, with his first coming in the season opener.
  • The teams split their two meetings a season ago, each winning at home by shutout, the Rapids by a 3-0 scoreline May 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and the Quakes with a 1-0 triumph on July 29 at Avaya Stadium.
  • The Rapids are undefeated in the past six meetings with the Quakes in Commerce City, the last San Jose win there coming in 2013. The Rapids have won twice, with four draws. The Rapids win at home Oct. 13, 2016 ended a 14-game overall winless streak in the series.
  • The Quakes have won the three meetings all-time at Avaya Stadium, all by 1-0 scorelines. San Jose has not conceded a home goal to Colorado since a 1-1 draw on May 18, 2013, a span of 514 scoreless minutes for the Rapids in the Bay Area.

Real Salt Lake vs. Montreal Impact, 10 p.m. (TVA Sports, ESPN+)

  • Real Salt Lake put an end to a three-game winless streak while extending their undefeated streak to three games, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Damir Kreilach netted both RSL goals.
  • The Impact had their winless run stretched to three games with a second draw in that time, playing to a 1-1 result with D.C. United at Stade Saputo on Saturday evening.
  • The Impact won the lone meeting between the teams a season ago, a 3-1 win on Aug. 19 at Stade Saputo. The Impact have won all three meetings at Stade Saputo, scoring 10 goals in the process, including a 3-2 win in Montréal in 2013, and a 4-1 win in 2015.
  • The teams reached a 1-1 draw in their last meeting at Rio Tinto Stadium, July 9, 2016, the only time the home team did not win in the series. RSL won the first two meetings in Sandy, a 1-0 win in 2012, and a 3-1 win in 2014.

LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • The Galaxy had their nine-game undefeated streak put to an end, losing for the first time since May 30, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening.
  • Minnesota United FC suffered a second consecutive defeat on the heels of a three-game winning run, seeing Seattle Sounders FC score two goals in stoppage time for a 2-1 win at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Darwin Quintero netted the lone MNUFC goal, his 10th of the season, his fifth consecutive game with a goal and/or an assist, with four goals and six assists over that span.
  • The teams met twice in Minnesota United’s inaugural season, and the Galaxy won both, once at each ground, a 2-1 win on May 21 at TCF Bank Stadium and a 3-0 win on Oct. 15 at StubHub Center.

Los Angeles Football Club vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

  • LAFC saw their winless streak reach a season-long four games, falling 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening.
  • Sporting KC snapped their five-game winless run, their longest of the season, by defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Gianluca Busio set up the 74th-minute game-winning goal from Diego Rubio, the second-youngest player in MLS history to record an assist (aged 16 years, 68 days).
  • The teams are meeting for the first time ever, the first of two meetings this season. They are also scheduled to meet on Decision Day, Oct. 28, at Children’s Mercy Park.

Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 11 p.m. (TSN, ESPN+)

  • The Timbers equaled their club record with a 15th consecutive match without loss after defeating the Philadelphia Union 3-0 at Providence Park on Saturday evening. The Timbers have not lost in their past 16 home matches, their second-longest undefeated run in Portland in the club’s MLS history (22 games, 2013-14).
  • Whitecaps FC snapped a three-game away losing streak, gaining a 2-2 draw with New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams met three times a year ago, and the Timbers won all three – all by 2-1 scorelines – winning April 22 and Oct. 22 at Providence Park, and July 23 at BC Place.
  • Whitecaps FC have won four times in 22 all-time MLS meetings between the teams, all coming in the past 14 meetings.
  • The Timbers now have a six-game home undefeated streak alive in the series, with four wins and two draws. The last Vancouver win in Portland came on June 1, 2014, a 4-3 victory. The Timbers win in Vancouver last season ended a three-game Whitecaps FC winning streak at BC Place, over the previous two seasons, their only league wins at home vs. the Timbers.
  • The teams first met on May 16, 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, the Timbers winning 2-0 at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The teams have met 90 times in all, across a number of competitions – the Whitecaps hold a 37-35-18 advantage in the all-time record between the clubs. The teams met twice in the NASL playoffs, in 1978 and 1980, each team advancing on one occasion.

Sunday, August 12, 2018
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC, 4 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, TSN)

  • TFC had a two-game winning run snapped but still made it three games without loss, coming back for a late 2-2 draw with Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Sebastian Giovinco scored for a third consecutive game, while Tosaint Ricketts scored the equalizer in added time.
  • NYCFC saw their four-game home winning streak end but have still gone 14 consecutive league matches at Yankee Stadium without defeat, following their 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening. Valentin Castellanos scored the second NYCFC goal on his MLS debut.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jo Inge Berget scored a pair of second-half goals to lead NYCFC to a 2-1 win on June 24 at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC have won two of the five regular-season meetings in the Bronx, with three draws.
  • TFC won the last league meeting between the teams at BMO Field, a 4-0 victory on July 30 of last year, their only win in league play against NYCFC, in eight regular-season meetings. NYCFC had won two of the first six meetings all-time, with four draws.
  • The teams did also meet in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2016 – and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
  • David Villa has scored seven goals with one assist in five league appearances vs. Toronto FC, five of those goals coming in meetings in the Bronx.
  • Sebastian Giovinco has six goals and two assists in league play vs. NYCFC, including a hat trick in a nine-minute span in a 4-4 draw on July 12, 2015, at Yankee Stadium; he also scored a hat trick and added an assist in the second leg of the MLS Cup Playoffs series.

D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)

  • D.C. United had their road winless streak stretched to seven games, despite coming back for a 1-1 draw with the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on Saturday evening.
  • Orlando City snapped a three-game losing streak, Scott Sutter netting the game-tying goal in stoppage time to pull the club back into a 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season.Stefano Pinho scored in second-half stoppage time, canceling out a Yamil Asad first-half goal, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw in the season opener, March 3 at Orlando.
  • Orlando City have a four-game undefeated streak alive in the series, winning three meetings in a row before the draw in the opener this year. The first meeting result also ended a three-game home winning streak for OCSC in the series.
  • Orlando City ended their RFK Stadium history with a 2-1 win last Sept. 9, their only win ever at D.C.
  • The teams also met this year in the U.S. Open Cup fifth round, reaching a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes before Orlando City advanced 4-2 on penalty kicks.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m. (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)

  • Sounders FC won their fourth consecutive match, defeating Minnesota United FC 2-1 in a dramatic comeback at TFC Bank Stadium on Saturday evening. The four-game winning streak is one game shy of the club’s record in its MLS history.
  • The goals by Nicolas Lodeiro (91+) and Will Bruin (97+) both came in stoppage time, the sixth time in MLS history (and second this season) a team scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in second-half stoppage time. The LA Galaxy did it July 14 at New England.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season.Roland Lamah scored two goals and set up a third as FC Dallas claimed a 3-0 win on March 18 at Toyota Stadium.
  • Sounders FC have won the past seven league meetings between the teams in Seattle, and eight of the 10 meetings there all-time, after their 4-0 win in the second meeting between the teams last year on Oct. 15. The only FCD win at CenturyLink Field came in 2011, a 1-0 victory on May 25.
  • Over the past three seasons, Sounders FC have outscored FC Dallas 12-0 in three regular season meetings at CenturyLink Field. FC Dallas has not scored a goal in their last 408 minutes played in all competitions in Seattle, including the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals, which marked a third consecutive year the teams met in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • FC Dallas have a six-game home undefeated streak in league play vs. Sounders FC, with four wins, and a nine-game home undefeated streak in the series in all competitions. Sounders FC last won in Frisco on April 12, 2014.