This Week in MLS – August 1, 2016
This Week in MLS – August 1, 2016
· Seattle’s new No. 10, Uruguayan international Nicolas Lodeiro, electrifies ahead of MLS Soccer Sunday
· Best of MLS take shot at history with opening of CONCACAF Champions League play
· MLS clubs continue to bolster rosters as Secondary Transfer Window closes Wednesday
· Winner of MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo named in San Jose
· Week 21 AT&T Goal of the Week voting now open
· Check It Out, Quotables, Sweet Tweets
· Week 22 Game Previews
Seattle’s new No. 10, Uruguayan international Nicolas Lodeiro, electrifies ahead of MLS Soccer Sunday
“Nicolas is going to be a tremendous presence for us going forward. Even five years ago, the thought that the playmaking midfielder for Boca Juniors, one of the biggest clubs in all of the Americas, would come and play in MLS in the prime of his career at age 27 was unbelievable. This a game changer for us.”
Seattle Sounders FC President and General Manager Garth Lagerwey
Just days after being introduced as Seattle Sounders FC’s newest Designated Player signing, midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro dazzled in front of over 48,000 fans at CenturyLink Field in the Uruguayan international’s MLS debut on Sunday. Lodeiro immediately made his presence felt with a team-high 95 passes and 124 total touches, the fourth-highest total in MLS play this entire season. The former Boca Juniors playmaker already has fans clamoring for a glimpse at what else he can add to Seattle’s attack in a nationally televised match this Sunday against Orlando City SC at Camping World Stadium (7 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).
The 27-year-old Lodeiro brings plenty of experience to the table in Seattle, claiming 42 caps for his native Uruguay, including appearances in the 2014 World Cup, 2016 Copa America Centenario and a 2011 Copa America title. The creative playmaker arrives from Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors where he helped lead the team to a semifinals appearance in the 2016 Copa Libertadores, while scoring the game-winning goal in the 2015 Copa Argentina final.
Viewers should look out for Lodeiro’s continued transition to MLS under Seattle’s interim head coach Brian Schmetzer, who will be leading the team at the helm for just the second time after last week’s debut 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy. Orlando City SC, meanwhile, counters with Jason Kreis, also coaching in his second MLS match with Orlando following an impressive 3-1 debut victory over New England Revolution last week. The Lions are led by forward Cyle Larin, who ranks fifth in MLS with 11 goals, and midfielder Kevin Molino, whose 17 combined goals and assists are tied for second league wide (nine goals and eight assists).
After testy affair, Portland looks for revenge vs. Sporting Kansas City in back-to-back games
Following a feisty contest last week which saw Sporting Kansas City prevail over the Portland Timbers 1-0 at home, the two teams are back at it again, this time at Providence Park, in an action-packed MLS Soccer Sunday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). SKC forward Jacob Peterson’s game-winning goal provided his squad with a tremendous lift as the two teams are currently battling for postseason positioning, with Portland (29 points, 7-8-8 record) currently sitting below the red line in seventh behind Sporting Kansas City’s fourth-place spot in the Western Conference (34 points, 10-10-4 record). Last Sunday’s match continued a recent trend of dramatic outcomes between the two teams, most notably last year’s exhilarating penalty kick shootout at Providence Park that saw an MLS-record 22 players take spot kicks. Portland came out victorious following an infamous miss by SKC defender Saad Abdul-Salaam that saw his potential game-winner hit off the post twice. With the teams returning to the scene of the crime on Sunday, more of the same fireworks are to be expected.
MLS heavy hitters square off in interconference clash with playoff positioning on the line
MLS Soccer Sunday action wraps up with a tantalizing East vs. West matchup when the New York Red Bulls (9-9-5, 32 points) travel to face the LA Galaxy (9-3-9, 36 points) at StubHub Center (9:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes). The Galaxy completed an undefeated month of July (4-0-1) and carry a seven-game undefeated streak into the matchup following a 1-1 draw against Seattle last week. Galaxy head man Bruce Arena approaches Sunday just one win away from his 200th MLS victory, a feat accomplished by only one other coach, former Seattle boss Sigi Schmid. Speaking of milestones, Bradley Wright Phillips scored his 63rd Red Bulls goal in a 2-2 draw against Chicago Fire, becoming the club’s all-time leader in goals with 58 regular season and six postseason tallies, surpassing Juan Pablo Angel’s 62 goal mark.
Best of MLS take shot at history with opening of CONCACAF Champions League play
Who will be crowned the preeminent soccer club in the region? Four of the five MLS teams that qualified for 2016-2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play begin their quest to make history as group stage play kicks off this week. Last year’s most successful clubs will look to replicate Montreal Impact’s Cinderella run of 2015 which saw an MLS club make it to the final for just the second time in league history.
Reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers return to CCL play for the second time, while 2015 U.S. Open Cup winners Sporting Kansas City make a third appearance in tournament play. The New York Red Bulls also return for a third time coming off a 2015 Supporters’ Shield-winning performance, and are joined by FC Dallas, who qualify as 2015 Western Conference regular season champions. After winning the 2015 Amway Canadian Championship, Vancouver Whitecaps FC makes its second consecutive CCL appearance. With 24 teams composing eight, three-team pods, each club will play a home-and-away round-robin format with four total group stage matches and the highest point totaled team advancing to the quarterfinals.
Tuesday, August 2
8 p.m. ET – Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Central FC (Trinidad and Tobago)
Wednesday, August 3
7 p.m. ET – New York Red Bulls vs. Antigua GFC (Guatemala)
10 p.m. ET – Portland Timbers vs. C.D. Dragón (El Salvador)
Thursday, August 4
8 p.m. ET – FC Dallas vs. Real Estelí (Nicaragua)
MLS clubs continue to bolster rosters as Secondary Transfer Window closes Wednesday
The MLS Secondary Transfer Window comes to a close on Wednesday evening (midnight CT), giving MLS clubs a final opportunity to make significant additions to their rosters as they head into their final playoff pushes. As of today, 24 new players have been added to rosters during the Secondary Transfer Window with an average age of 25.7. The new injection of talent has created immediate impacts for clubs, highlighted by Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard who has started all five appearances and recorded two shutouts and 18 saves since heading stateside from Everton, and Seattle Sounders FC Designated Player and Uruguayan international Nicolas Lodeiro, who provided a much-needed spark for Seattle in his MLS debut this past weekend.
The close of the Secondary Transfer Window also marks the end of player trades in MLS, which must occur during the Primary and Secondary Transfer windows. For a full list of MLS transactions, please click HERE.
New players added to MLS rosters by country
*As of Aug. 1, 2016
Argentina (1); Brazil (1); Canada (4); Colombia (1); England (1); France (1); Guyana (1); Honduras (1); Italy (1); Lithuania (1); Netherlands (1); Norway (1); Paraguay (1); Senegal (1); Uruguay (3); USA (4)
New players added to MLS rosters by club
*As of Aug. 1, 2016
Chicago Fire (2)
Michael De Leeuw (Signed May 17, 2016), Netherlands, 29 years old
Khaly Thiam (Signed on loan on May 4, 2016), Senegal, 22 years old
Colorado Rapids (1)
Tim Howard (Signed March 20, 2016), USA, 37 years old
Columbus Crew SC (2)
Zach Steffen (Signed July 22, 2016), USA, 21 years old
Nicolai Naess (Signed July 21, 2016), Norway, 23 years old
FC Dallas (2)
Getterson (Signed on loan on July 9, 2016), Brazil, 25 years old
Aubrey David (Signed on loan on July 4, 2016), Guyana, 25 years old
Houston Dynamo (1)
Yair Arboleda (Signed on loan on July 29, 2016), Colombia, 20 years old
Montreal Impact (2)
Matteo Mancosu (Signed on loan on July 7, 2016), Italy, 31 years old
Hernan Bernardello (Signed on July 24, 2016), Argentina, 29 years old
New York City FC (1)
Maxim Chanot (Signed on July 16, 2016), France, 26 years old
Orlando City SC (1)
Jose Aja (Signed on July 21, 2016), Uruguay, 23 years old
Philadelphia Union (1)
Derrick Jones (Signed on July 27, 2016), HG, USA, 19 years old
Portland Timbers (3)
Vytautas Andriuskevicius (Signed on July 14, 2016), Lithuania, 25 years old
Chris Konopka (signed on July 28, 2016), USA, 31 years old
Steven Taylor (Signed on August 1, 2016), England, 30 years old
Real Salt Lake (1)
Pedro Baez (Signed on loan on July 22, 2016), Paraguay, 19 years old
Seattle Sounders FC (2)
Alvaro Fernandez (Signed on July 28, 2016), Uruguay, 30 years old
Nicolas Lodeiro (Signed on July 27, 2016), Uruguay, 27 years old
Sporting Kansas City (1)
Ever Alvarado (Signed on June 24, 2016), Honduras, 24 years old
Toronto FC (1)
Tosaint Ricketts (Signed on July 20, 2016), Canada, 28 years old
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3)
Alphonso Davies (Signed on July 15, 2016), HG, Canada/Liberia, 15 years old
David Edgar (Signed on July 11, 2016), Canada, 29 years old
Marcel de Jong (Signed on July 11, 2016), Canada, 29 years old
Winner of MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo Named in San Jose
More than one MVP was recognized during the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in San Jose, as Stephen Schirra was recognized at halftime at Avaya Stadium as this year’s MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo grand prize winner. Each year, Major League Soccer and Wells Fargo recognize individuals who use soccer as a tool to make a difference in their community. In June, MLS fans nominated individuals making such an impact in their local communities, and twenty finalists were selected – one from each MLS Club community – to travel to San Jose to represent their local team and community. Following another fan vote, Stephen, representing New England Revolution, was named the winner and recipient of a $10,000 donation to his selected charity. The remaining finalists also received a $1,000 donation each from Wells Fargo to their respective selected charities.
AT&T Goal of the Week voting now open (Week 21) – CLICK HERE to vote
· Joao Plata (RSL) Sends a beautiful curling kick from outside the box upper 90 off the crossbar and into goal
· David Accam (CHI) Shoots long distance ball through traffic and past goalkeeper Luis Robles
· Javier Morales (RSL) Hits game-winning goal with floating strike far post from just inside the box
· Frank Lampard (NYC) Scores second goal of match with powerful right-footed shot past goalkeeper Tim Howard
· Hernan Bernardello (MTL) Curls in equalizing goal from just outside the box in his first game back with Montreal
· Cyle Larin (ORL) Slots home a left-footed shot past diving goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth
· Sebastian Giovinco (TFC) Sends right footed shot in the middle of traffic past goalkeeper Steve Clark
· Patrick Mullins (DC) Heads home a spiking ball for his first career D.C. United goal
Check It Out
Colorado Rapids: Bobby Burling and Zac MacMath hit the links
New England Revolution: Daigo and Femi visit the Boston Higashi School
Seattle Sounders FC: Nicolas Lodeiro joins Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Defender Christian Dean visits second grade class
San Jose Earthquakes: Chris Wondolowski talks after his fourth MLS All-Star appearance
“Seeing a really tough year for Charlie and seeing how positive he is in his response, and being engaging with his teammates, it's close to a miracle. And you have to stop and say, 'This is amazing.' The fact he's on the field right now is a miracle."
New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps on Charlie Davies’ return from cancer and positivity this season
New England's Charlie Davies faces Orlando City after winning cancer battle (Orlando Sentinel)
"Very, very happy. The week of work the players put in and the staff put in was excellent. It was one of the best weeks I've ever been involved with in training sessions. To see that work culminate in a really strong performance makes me happy."
Orlando City SC coach Jason Kreis on his team’s training this week and subsequent victory
Orlando City wins Jason Kreis' MLS debut match, rolling past New England (Orlando Sentinel)
“There’s a feel there that is unique. Seba has missed Jozy as much as anyone over the course of the last few months. I think they’re flourishing now more than we saw last year. Last year, they didn’t connect as much as they have in the last couple of games.”
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney on the improved play of Sebastian Giovinco following Jozy Altidore’s return from injury
Giovinco-Altidore combination has many believing (Toronto Sun)
"I was aware of it, and yes, surprised, because he does seem to pop up with goals against everybody. We talked to him and teased him a little bit about it this week and I'm glad he got his first one against these guys.”
San Jose Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear on Chris Wondolowski’s first career goal against Houston, the final team in MLS he had yet to score against
Chris Wondolowski scores as Earthquakes settle for 1-1 tie with Dynamo (San Jose Mercury News)
“We take a lot of pride in playing at home. It hurt when we weren’t doing great. But we’re starting to find our feet a bit. We’re grinding out results.”
Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer on his team’s recent improved run of form at home
Sporting KC stays hot at home with 1-0 victory over Portland Timbers (Kansas City Star)
Charlie Davies (@CharlieDavies9): Cancer was something I never expected. But having beaten it, I'm that much stronger for it. Pumped to be back with the squad!
Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba): Celebration time with @OficialGio and @KAKA @mls #MLSAllStar #arsenal #16games16goals
Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11): Also, massive congrats to @TheRealBWP for breaking the all comps goal scoring record. Most humble star you'll ever meet. Proud of u #RBNY
Matt Lampson (@lampstrong): Had the privilege of having two families out at last night's game! Two warriors that show that cancer affects everyone. #suckitcancer #surviveandthrive #lampstrong #cancersurvivor @mlsworks @chicagofire #cf97
Patrice Bernier (@pbernier10): Congrats to @Freakyfast8 for 300th @mls appearance. #MLS300club #imfc
Week 22 Game Previews
Wednesday, August 3
Toronto FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. ET
· For a second consecutive match. Sebastian Giovinco played a part in three goals, netted one and adding a pair of assists in Toronto FC’s 3-0 win against Columbus Crew SC on Sunday evening at BMO Field. Giovinco has four goals and two assists in the last two matches, now in second place in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 12 goals, and in third place on the assist leaderboard with nine.
· Nick Rimando is now tied for the most goalkeeper wins in MLS history, recording the 180th of his 17-year MLS career as Real Salt Lake came back for a 2-1 win at Philadelphia Union on Sunday evening, putting an end to a six-game winless run. Rimando is tied for the all-time league lead with Kevin Hartman.
· Real have won four consecutive meetings vs. Toronto FC, over the last four seasons, including a 2-1 victory last March 29 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
· Real won on their last trip to Toronto, a 1-0 win June 29, 2013 – their only win in Ontario. TFC won three of the first five meetings between the teams at home, with two draws.
· RSL has won every meeting between the teams at Rio Tinto Stadium, and have lost at home to TFC just once in eight meetings – a 2-1 Toronto FC victory July 4, 2007 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the first meeting ever between the clubs.
Friday, August 5
San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York City FC, 11 p.m. ET (UNI)
· Chris Wondolowski scored for a second consecutive match, now with nine goals for the season, as the Earthquakes claimed a second consecutive draw on their two-game road swing with a 1-1 result at the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. Wondolowski has scored in double figures each of the last six MLS seasons.
· Frank Lampard scored the first hat trick in New York City FC history, hitting for a triple in his club’s 5-1 win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Lampard has scored all of his goals since June 18, with eight goals and an assist in the last eight games.
· The five goals scored by NYCFC were a club record in their second MLS campaign, and they now lead the Eastern Conference by four points.
· The teams met once during New York City FC’s inaugural season. The expansion club claimed a 3-2 win Sept. 29 at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday, August 6
D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m. ET
· Patrick Mullins scored his first goal for D.C. United since his arrival from New York City FC, but still saw his new club’s winless run extended to five matches with a 1-1 draw at the Montréal Impact on Sunday evening.
· Roland Alberg netted his seventh goal of the season – all over the last eight games – but Union suffered a second consecutive defeat in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening at Talen Energy Stadium.
· The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Union have won both. Richie Marquez scored the game’s lone goal in second-half stoppage time for a Union victory May 20 at Talen Energy Stadium; Ilsinho scored a pair of goals, the second a second penalty kick conversion in the match, as Union took a 3-0 victory July 9 in Chester.
· United won the final two league meetings between the teams last season, both wins coming at RFK Stadium, a 2-1 win on May 30 and a 3-2 victory July 26. United have won the last three regular season meetings between the teams in Washington; Union’s last victory on East Capitol Street came April 21, 2013.
· Union have won the last three meetings in Chester, without conceding a goal. The teams had met four of the last five years in the U.S. Open Cup before this season, each winning twice.
Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET
· Hernán Bernardello scored his first MLS goal in his first game back with the Montréal Impact, hitting for a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Sunday evening at Stade Saputo. Bernardello did not score a goal in two seasons with the Impact in 2013-14.
· Alex scored his second goal of the season, snapping a three-game shutout streak for the Dynamo, but they still had their winless run stretched to four games with a third draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium.
· The Dynamo have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 3-0 victory last April 11 at BBVA Compass Stadium in the only contest between the clubs.
· The visiting team has never won in the three-year history of the series between the clubs. The road team has come away with points just once – after a 1-1 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in 2011.
· The Impact have won all four meetings in the series at Stade Saputo, including a 3-0 win June 29, 2014, the last encounter in Montréal. The Dynamo have won the last five meetings between the teams in Houston in all competitions, including in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2013. The Impact have won all four meetings all-time in Montréal.
Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET
· The Revolution saw their undefeated run snapped at three games, Kei Kamara scoring his fourth goal since his arrival at the club (his ninth overall this season) in a 3-1 defeat at Orlando City SC on Sunday evening.
· Jozy Altidore scored his first goal of the season, making his 10th league appearance of the year, in TFC’s 3-0 win against Columbus on Sunday evening at BMO Field, their second consecutive win.
· The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kelyn Rowe gave the Revolution an early lead, but Sebastian Giovinco netted in the second half, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw April 9 at Gillette Stadium.
· The Revolution have an eight-game undefeated streak alive vs. Toronto FC, dating back to the 2013 season, with five wins and three draws in that time.
· The Revolution are undefeated in the last four meetings in Foxborough, with two wins and two draws in that time. TFC have not defeated the Revolution at home since 2010, now winless in six straight games at BMO Field since a 1-0 win May 22. New England has won on its last three trips to Ontario.
Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 p.m. ET
· The Rapids saw their 15-game undefeated streak – tied for fifth-longest in MLS history – put to an end in their 5-1 loss at New York City FC on Saturday afternoon. It was the most goals allowed in a game by Colorado since a 5-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on Sept. 19, 2014; coming into the match, the Rapids had allowed 14 goals for the entire 2016 season, over their first 20 games.
· Whitecaps FC saw their four-game undefeated run put to an end, finishing a two-game Texas road swing without scoring a goal, following their 2-0 loss at FC Dallas on Sunday evening.
· The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Rapids center back Axel Sjoberg scored deep in second-half stoppage time, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw July 9 at BC Place.
· The teams met three times a season ago, and the home team won each. The Rapids won twice at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, a 1-0 win on May 23, and a a 2-1 win July 4. Whitecaps FC took a 2-0 win Sept. 9 in the lone matchup at BC Place.
· The Rapids have won the last five meetings between the teams at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Whitecaps FC won there in 2012 for their lone triumph on the Rapids’ home ground. The Rapids win April 5, 2014 in Vancouver was their second victory ever at BC Place, now in eight visits all-time.
Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire, 10 p.m. ET
· The Fire extended their home undefeated streak to six matches, snapping a two-game losing slide overall, but were still pegged back for a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Sunday evening at Toyota Park.
· Joao Plata scored his sixth goal of the season and Javier Morales added his second in Real Salt Lake’s 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union on Sunday evening, ending a two-game road losing skid.
· Real have won the last two meetings between the clubs, both at Toyota Park, after their 2-1 win against the Fire last May 9. They are RSL’s only wins in the series since 2010; the Fire had won one meeting in between, with three draws.
· The Fire have not won vs. RSL at Toyota Park since Aug. 1, 2009, a 1-0 victory. Real have three of the last five meetings in Bridgeview since, with two draws. RSL’s last home win vs. the Fire came Sept. 19, 2010, a 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sunday, August 7
Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)
· The teams are meeting on the back end of their home-and-home series, both league meetings between the teams this season. Jacob Peterson scored the game’s lone goal to give Sporting the win on Sunday afternoon at Children’s Mercy Park.
· It was a second consecutive defeat for the Timbers, their first consecutive losses since dropping three in a row May 7-15.
· Sporting have won two games in a row, both by shutout; they have now won their last five consecutive matches at Children’s Mercy Park.
· The win was No. 100 for Sporting manager Peter Vermes, becoming the eighth head coach in MLS history to reach the 100-win mark. Vermes is the fifth to reach 100 wins with a single team.
· The road team has won four of the eight meetings all-time in the series. Sporting have come away with points on four of their five visits to Providence Park, including three victories. The Timbers have come away with points on each of their last two visits to Sporting Park.
Orlando City SC vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
· Kevin Molino scored two goals in a game for the first time in his MLS career, also adding an assist in Orlando City’s 3-1 win against the New England Revolution on Sunday evening at Camping World Stadium. The victory snapped a five-game winless run; Molino has three goals and three assists in his last three games.
· The win was also the first in charge for new Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis, the 101st of his MLS career as a head coach.
· In the first match with Brian Schmetzer in charge as head coach, Sounders FC reached a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. Cristian Roldan scored the lone Seattle goal, his second goal of the season, both coming over the last four games.
· The teams met once during Orlando City’s inaugural MLS campaign. Sounders FC took a 4-0 victory Aug. 16 at CenturyLink Field.
LA Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls, 9:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
· The Galaxy saw their four-game winning streak put to an end, but still extended their overall undefeated run to seven matches as Sebastien Lletget scored a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
· The Red Bulls extended their undefeated streak to five games with a third draw in that time, Bradley Wright-Phillips netting a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday evening at Toyota Park. It was the third goal for Wright-Phillips over the last two matches; he is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 12 goals this season, all coming over the last 16 matches.
· The teams played to a 1-1 draw last April 26 at Red Bull Arena, the only meeting between the clubs. The Red Bulls are undefeated in their last three home meetings with the Galaxy, after the LA defeated New York 1-0 on Aug. 14, 2010, the first meeting ever between the clubs in Harrison.
· The Galaxy took the last meeting between the teams at StubHub Center, a 4-0 victory Sept. 28, 2014, which was their first victory vs. the Red Bulls since 2010. New York had won four of the five meetings in between, with one draw, including 1-0 wins in the only meeting in 2012 and 2013.