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This Week in MLS – August 6, 2012

  • Rematch: Red Bulls vs. Dynamo, Friday on NBC Sports Network
  • Sounders FC look to make history against Sporting KC in Open Cup Final on Wednesday
  • MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month
  • AT&T Goal of the Week
  • Week 23 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
Red Bulls battle Dynamo for first in the East, Friday on NBC Sports Network
The New York Red Bulls look to maintain home-field dominance at Red Bull Arena this week as they host the Houston Dynamo in a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference, Friday on the NBC Sports Network (8:00 p.m. ET). The Red Bulls are undefeated through their first 10 home games this season and the team will look to improve on that 7-0-3 home record as recent signing Tim Cahill gets set to play in his first League match in his new home. .
The Dynamo are riding an eight-game unbeaten streak which includes a 2-0 win over the Red Bulls just last week when the two teams met at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The matchup features three of the league’s top five goal scorers, as New York’s Kenny Cooper (13 goals) and Henry (11 goals), and Houston’s Will Bruin (10 goals), will all look to overtake League leader Chris Wondolowski (17 goals).
Sounders FC look to make history against Sporting KC in Open Cup Final
A chance to make history is at stake for the Seattle Sounders FC as the club travels to face Sporting Kansas City this Wednesday night in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. Kickoff is set for 9:00 p.m. ET (GolTV).
Seattle is looking to become the first team in the 99-year history of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to win four consecutive championships. The team will be bolstered by recently signed Designated Player Christian Tiffert who made his MLS debut last week, going 25 minutes and nearly scoring against the LA Galaxy. 
After an inspired performance at the Olympics, Roger Espinoza returned to Kansas City on Sunday and has turned his attention to lifting the Dewar Challenge Trophy on Wednesday at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis voted MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month
Brad Davis has been named the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for August for his work honoring the families of military members.  Since 2006, Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis has honored the families of military members by inviting them out to Dynamo home matches and the past four years, Dynamo fans have joined him in this annual tradition through their participation in the Brad's Brigade campaign.
Read more by CLICKING HERE
Herbalife World Football Challenge
Schedule for Wednesday, August 8
Real Madrid vs. AC Milan: Yankee Stadium; New York, NY; 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes/TSN2)
Schedule for Saturday, August 11
Real Madrid vs. Celtic: Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, PA; 1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)
MLS Week 23 - National Broadcasts
Friday, August 10: New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Sunday, August 12: Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 11:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)
AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 22) – CLICK HEREto vote
  • Felipe Martins (MTL)
  • Joseph Nane (COL)
  • Eddie Johnson (SEA)
  • Jack Jewsbury (POR)
  • Fredy Montero (SEA)
Check it Out:
New England Revolution: Danny O'Connor and Friends
New York Red Bulls: Thierry Henry 1:1 Trailer
Sporting Kansas City: If Stranded on a Desert Island...
MLS Week 23 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Friday, August 10
New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
  • So Fresh and So Clean: Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with his third consecutive clean sheet and his sixth in the last seven games. Hall now has 10 shutouts, tying him for the league lead with KC’s Jimmy Nielsen.
  • Speedy Strike: Jermaine Taylor’s opening goal in Houston’s 2-0 defeat of the New York Red Bulls on August 3 came 74 seconds into the match, the third-fastest strike in team history.
  • On a Roll: Houston’s Calen Carr scored his fourth goal in the last four games, all since returning to the starting lineup, in the win vs. New York. He has a goal or an assist in each of the games
  • Back at it: The Houston victory last week snapped a 10-game winless streak vs. New York in league and MLS Cup matches. The Dynamo had last defeated New York 1-0, May 31, 2008.
Saturday, August 11
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m.
  • GK Vets: Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper, Joe Cannon, and Real Salt Lake backstopper, Nick Rimando, sit third and fourth on the all-time games started list with 328 and 310, respectively.
  • Rocky Mountain Low: RSL saw their two-game winning streak put to an end last weekend in a 1-0 loss at Colorado, their first loss to their Rocky Mountain rivals this season.
  • Feeling at Home: Local product Justin Braun made his RSL debut in the loss to Colorado. Braun, who had played for Chivas USA and Montréal previously, was first discovered playing for an adult league team in Utah.
  • Streak Ends: Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon will miss his first game this season, after he was sent off in the defeat at RSL. Cannon had started every league game for Vancouver; he did come off for a substitute before halftime in the second game of the season.
Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Scoring Woes: The Crew are one of only two clubs—the other being Chivas USA—whose leading scorer has less than five goals on the season.
  • Turning Tables: In 11 League matches against current top-of-the-table teams, the Crew have won or tied seven of them.
  • Unbalanced: In 14 all-time meetings between the teams, Toronto FC have won just once -- a 4-2 win last Sept. 10 at Columbus Crew Stadium, snapping a 12-game winless run vs. Columbus.
  • Mini-Slump: For the first time since taking over as head coach, Paul Mariner has seen his team lose back-to-back games, following Toronto FC’s 2-1 loss to Chicago last weekend.
Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United, 8:30 p.m.
  • Golden Goal: On July 29, D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza combined to set up Honduras’ goal, scored by New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengtson, in the country’s 1-0 upset over Spain in the Olympic men’s soccer tournament.
  • Stoke-d: Kansas native Kyle Miller’s stoppage-time equalizer against Stoke City FC on August 1 was his first goal for Sporting Kansas City and the second-latest goal ever at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
  • Leading Role: D.C. United’s Chris Pontius scored his 10th goal of the season – tied for fifth in the MLS Golden Boot standings – to give his team a 1-0 win against Columbus last weekend. Pontius has scored five goals in the last six games, all but two United have scored since June 16.
  • Trouble in the Midwest: D.C. United haven’t won in Kansas City since a 1-0 victory, July 4, 2007, a span of five visits.
FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m.
  • Ups and Downs:After the Rapids lost six consecutive MLS matches, tying a franchise record set in 1997, the club beat second-best in the West team, Real Salt Lake, 1-0 on August 4.
  • Pairing Up: 2011 MLS All-Star Omar Cummings and 2009 MLS Best XI Selection Conor Casey have only started in five games together this season, but have combined for three goals and one assist for the Rapids during those matches.
  • Quick Impact: In his first game back in the lineup following a two-match absence, FCD’s Brek Shea recorded his first assist of the season, setting up Scott Sealy’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Portland last weekend.
  • Rubber Match: The teams are meeting for the third time this season, having split the first two. Goals from Jaime Castrillón and Martín Rivero gave the Rapids a 2-0 win on May 6; FC Dallas rebounded for a 2-1 win July 14 behind second-half goals by Carlos Rodríguez and Fabian Castillo.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m.
  • One-Man Machine: Chris Wondolowski has scored or assisted in 49% of the Earthquakes’ goals this season, the highest percentage of a club’s total offensive productivity from a player in all of MLS.
  • Air Johnson: Seattle striker Eddie Johnson leads the League for the most header goals (7) this season; right behind Johnson with six apiece are two San Jose forwards: Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon.
  • Playmaker: Sounders FC’s Mauro Rosales has six assists in the last six games after his 2-assist game in the 4-0 win against the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening, extending Seattle’s unbeaten run to six games.
  • Finishing Strong: The Quakes have scored 16 of their 45 total goals after the 76th minute.
Sunday, August 12
Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • PPL Pride: The Philadelphia Union have won their last four MLS home games, tallying eleven goals during that period.
  • Gloves of Steel: Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson set a career saves record on July 28 when he blocked 10 shots in a 0-1 loss against the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Back at it: The clubs are meeting for the second time this season. Dominic Oduro’s 28th-minute goal was all the Fire needed for a 1-0 victory, March 24 at Toyota Park.
  • Never Quit: The Fire came back to record a victory after allowing the opening goal for the fourth time this season, matching the San Jose Earthquakes for most in MLS.
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m.
  • Joseph’s Legacy: Traded to Chivas USA on August 1, Shalrie Joseph left the New England Revolution as the team’s all-time leader in appearances (261), starts (254) and minutes played (22,867).
  • Going Guam: Last week, Revolution forward Ryan Guy committed to playing for Guam on the international level. His father, Jesse Lujan, is a former senator of the country. 
  • Going Streaking: The Impact have won back-to-back games for the second time in the club’s MLS history, after their 2-0 victory against Philadelphia on Saturday. The Impact defeated Portland and Kansas City, April 28 and May 5.
  • Offensive Threat: On the heels of his 3-assist game in the 3-1 win vs. New York the weekend before, Felipe scored his fourth goal of the season to cap the Philadelphia victory.
Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 11 p.m. (ESPN2/Deportes)
  • Dominant DPs: In the last seven League games, Galaxy DPs David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have combined for 11 goals and 11 assists.
  • Second Half Revival: After only accumulating 11 points through the first 13 games of the season and finding themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference, LA is now only four points shy of third place.
  • Setback: The Galaxy are coming off their worst defeat since Bruce Arena took over as head coach in August 2008, a 4-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday evening.
  • On Their Way: When Chivas USA defeated the Galaxy 1-0 on May 19, it snapped an 11-game winless run in SuperClásicos and was their first victory against the Galaxy since Aug. 23, 2007.
"When you're younger as a professional, it's all about individual goals. As you get older, you start to mature and you start to get it," Johnson said. "Some people mature faster than others, it's taken me a while. As a player, you want to leave some type of legacy. I want to win as much as I can with Seattle."
-- Seattle Sounders FC’s Eddie Johnson on coming full circle and returning to MLS after nearly four years in Europe
“It’s a good confidence, but I cannot be sitting now saying I’ve already scored and the goals are going to come now. I need to work even harder now to keep scoring to help the team to win. If I can score goals, great, but if not, as long as the team wins, that’s my goal.”
-- The Columbus Crew’s Jairo Arrieta, through a translator, after his brace against Sporting KC led to him being named MLS Player of the Week
“Goal scorers get all the money and all the glory. I’ll take that every time.”
-- A smiling Jack McInerney of the Philadelphia Union after scoring four goals in eight games since John Hackworth took over the team on June 13
"I'm a big New England Revolution fan, and since the first second I met everyone involved in the Revs organization, staff and players have been amazing and treated me like family. I'm honored and proud to be fighting alongside these great players and their fans. I'm very happy to be part of the Revs' family and to showcase my talents after the Revs' game at Gillette Stadium."
-- Professional boxer Danny O’Connor on fighting at Gillette Stadium after the New England Revolution face the Montreal Impact on August 12
"When you play Real Madrid, it doesn't get old. Even though we've played them a couple times, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We know we'd better be on our best game just to compete."
-- The LA Galaxy’s Mike Magee talking about facing the Spanish giants in the World Football Challenge
“It is a big event for us, finally, in that stadium. Kansas City has been deserving something like that for a long time and I think now with the advent of the new stadium and our fan base and everything else has just increasingly become just a great place to play. I think it’s going to be awesome for that venue.”
-- Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes, ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Final vs. Seattle at Livestrong Sporting Park
“To win four in a row would be unbelievable. We're the first team in a long time to win three in a row, but nobody's ever won four in a row. There are guys who have been in four finals in a row, but they haven't won four in a row. So this is a huge thing for us as a franchise.”
-- Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid, ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Final vs. Sporting KC
 “There are moments before the goal I was thinking we had to have a bit more patience, but then Hassoun [Camara] plays one early to Felipe and he puts it in. It goes to show coaches don’t know everything.”
-- Montréal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch on an acrobatic scissor-kick goal from Felipe that sent his team on its way to a 2-0 win vs. Philadelphia
“They’re a great team. And to feel too good about this win would be a little foolish. We’re going to enjoy it for sure, but at the same time we’ll get ready and prepare.”
-- Houston Dynamo forward Calen Carr after scoring in his team’s 2-0 victory against New York, the first game of a home-and-home series that saw the Dynamo jump over the Red Bulls into first place in the Eastern Conference
“I pride myself on being good in the air and I want to be dangerous on every attacking set piece, and I have to take care of all of my opportunities. There are so few chances for me to score.”
-- Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry, after scoring the winning goal for the 2-1 victory against Toronto FC
Sweet Tweets
4 all my fans and young players I inspire take nothing for granted. Use everything for motivation, make urself better everyday in every way.
Me and Crouchy after the Stoke game 
USA has someone/a team competing to be the best in the world in most sports. Only a generation or 2 before their soccer team does the same?
Got my pic with @Kaka& @junior_ciganoafter the game. I let him hold my belt :P lol
This pic might wake a lot of peeps up this morning#Legend#allstars
I go into team meetings with headphones now just like they do in the United Nations. #translationplease
Gran jugador, mejor persona. El mítico Beckham.
Eng:Great player, better person. The mythical Beckham.