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This Week in MLS – July 10, 2012

 
 2012 MLS AT&T All-Star Game Day Roster to be announced Sunday on ESPN
The 18-man game day roster for the 2012 AT&T All-Star game, as well as MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s two selections, will be announced during Sunday’s ESPN broadcast of the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC match that begins at 4 p.m. ET.
 
MLS All-Star coach Ben Olsen will select the roster based on player availability and tactical considerations.
 
The First XI, as determined by fan voting, and the two selections by Commissioner Garber are all considered All-Stars but will not necessarily be named to the game day roster.
 
Under the CBA, a total of 32 players will be named All-Stars. After the game day roster, the remaining players receiving the All-Star honor will come from voting among MLS players and will be announced July 25. 
 
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals Set for Wednesday
The tournament’s semifinal stage kicks off this week with both matches taking place on Wednesday, July 11.
 
The Sounders are looking to become the first team in the 99-year history of the tournament to win in four consecutive years.  They are the first team since 1969 to win three straight years and were the first MLS team to win in consecutive years.
Both matches will be streamed live online
 
Schedule for Wednesday, July 11
  • Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting KC: PPL Park; 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas USA: Starfire Sports Complex; 10:00 p.m. ET (watch live on www.soundersfc.com)
2012 Generation adidas Cup Schedule Announced
The 2012 Generation adidas Cup will take place August 2-9 in the greater Seattle, WA area at Valley Ridge and Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA. Each team will compete in at least five competitive matches throughout the week. 
 
New this year, each Major League Soccer club will be encouraged to bring both a U17 and U15 team to compete during the week. 
 
CLICK HEREto view the participating teams and groups as well as a schedule of matches.
 
MLS Week 19 - National Broadcasts
Wednesday, July 11: Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:00 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
Saturday, July 14: New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN2)
Saturday, July 14: Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy 11:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network/TSN2)
Sunday, July 15:New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC , 4:00 p.m. ET (ESPN/Deportes/RDS2)
Sunday, July 15: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 9:00 p.m. ET (Galavision)
 
 AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 18) – CLICK HEREto vote
  • Jack McInerney (PHI)
  • Danny Mwanga (POR)
  • Danny Koevermans (TOR)
  • Michael Farfan (PHI)
  • Lee Nguyen (NE)
 
Check it Out:
New York Red Bulls: Keel Cam: Dinner with Friends
Colorado Rapids: Brian Mullan, the dad
Sporting Kansas City: MLS Pop Quiz at LSP
 
MLS Week 19 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
 
Wednesday, July 11
Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • First Time for Everything: The Canadian rivals are meeting for the first time in MLS play but they’ve already met twice this year in the final of the Canadian Championship. Toronto FC took the title for a third consecutive year, 2-1 on aggregate, winning the second leg 1-0 at BMO Field on May 23.
  • Setting the (Ash)Tone:Toronto FC signed 21-year-old player Ashtone Morgan to a new deal on July 6, making Morgan the club’s first academy graduate to ink a second professional deal with the team.
  • Defensive Juggernaut: Whitecaps FC recorded their ninth shutout of the season in Saturday’s scoreless draw with Chivas USA, most in MLS.
  • Making Progress: Vancouver has already surpassed its points total from last season, when it racked up 28 via a 6-18-10 record. The Whitecaps now have 30 points in only 18 games, having gone 8-4-6.
 
Saturday, July 14
Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m.
  • Chance Taken: After being held scoreless while playing only 93 minutes all season as of June 15, Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney has scored three goals in his last four games in 302 minutes of play.
  • Offensive Outburst: Since John Hackworth took over as coach, the Union have scored 10 goals in five MLS games. Philadelphia scored just eight goals in their first 11 games this season.
 
Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m.
  • Even Stevens: The teams have split their two meetings each of the last two seasons. Sporting won, 2-1, in the first meeting at Livestrong Sporting Park last Sept. 28 – ending a three-year Columbus winning streak in K.C.
  • Individual Acclaim: While Sporting KC recorded their first defensive shutout since June 16 in the scoreless draw with Houston, goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen lowered his goals against average to 0.94, best among goalkeepers with 10 league starts or more.
  • Meram Making Moves: After failing to score in 17 games during his rookie season, Columbus’ Justin Meram has scored three goals in only eight games this year, second-most on the team.
 
New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Bright Start: The Revolution’s newest signing, Designated Player Jerry Bengtson, celebrated his MLS debut with a goal in New England’s 2-0 win Sunday against the New York Red Bulls.
  • Long Time No See: The teams are meeting for the second time in three weeks. A last-gasp goal from the Revolution’s Diego Fagundez left the teams in a 2-2 draw at BMO Field on June 23.
  • Revved Up:With eight goals halfway through New England’s 2012 season, Revs striker Saer Sene has already matched the club’s single-season scoring highs from the last four years.
 
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:30 p.m.
  • Climbing the Leaderboard: Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon has now played the third-most minutes in league history, surpassing 29,000 against Colorado on July 4. He is second in career saves and third in shutouts, as well as fourth in wins. 
  • Home Sweet Home: The visit to Toyota Park completed a five-game road swing for the Whitecaps, who last played at BC Place on June 20. Vancouver went 1-1-1 on their first three games after last weekend’s scoreless draw at Chivas USA, ahead of the midweek visit to Toronto FC.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m.
  • Long Layoff: David Ferreira returned to the FCD starting lineup for the first time in 15 months in the draw with San Jose. It was his first league appearance since April 23, 2011, when he suffered a broken ankle against Vancouver.
  • Shot Stopper: Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens leads the league with 69 saves in only 18 games, having recorded 77 in 34 games last year.
  • Heart Still in it: Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman recently became the first player in league history to appear in 400 games. The 38-year-old started his career with the LA Galaxy in 1997.
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m.
  • Rivalry Brewing: Saturday’s game will be the third meeting of the clubs this season. The Earthquakes have won the first two, a dramatic 3-1 win on April 21 in Santa Clara with the tie-breaking goals coming in stoppage time, and a 2-1 win June 23 at Salt Lake, thanks to another late goal.
  • Moving On Up: Real Salt Lake’s Álvaro Saborío recorded his first MLS hat trick on July 7 against Portland, and is now third on the goal-scoring charts.
  • Spreading the Wealth: San Jose’s Marvin Chavez has eight assists in 16 games this season for what is the highest-scoring team in MLS. In his previous three seasons combined, he had provided six assists in 54 matches.
  • Claret Correlations:Real Salt Lake are 25-4-5 when Álvaro Saborío scores, with Saborío netting 44 out of the total 81 strikes during that period.
 
Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy, 11 p.m. (NBCSN)
  • Birthday Brace: Robbie Keane celebrated his birthday with both goals in the Galaxy’s 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire on Sunday. It was his second two-goal game this season, also scoring twice in LA’s March 18 win vs. D.C. United.
  • Sharing is Caring: Landon Donovan set up Keane’s first goal vs. Chicago, his 99th career assist in MLS. His next will make the sixth player to join the century club for assists; Steve Ralston is the all-time leader with 135.
  • Road Woes: The Timbers have now gone 517 minutes without scoring a goal on the road after their 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake. Their last away goal came in the April 14 loss at LA.
 
 
Sunday, July 15
New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 4 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes)
  • All Square: The teams split their meetings over the last two seasons, both winning on the road in 2010, then each holding serve with home victories last year.
  • Welcome Return: Steve Zakuani made his first appearance since last April 22, coming on as a late substitute Saturday against Colorado – the club against which he suffered a broken leg. He was greeted by the CenturyLink Field faithful chanting his name and raising signs with “11” (his number) and “Z”.
  • Home Field Advantage: The Red Bulls are one of only two teams in MLS to be undefeated at home this season, having won five games and drawn two. Their last home loss came against Real Salt Lake on September 21, 2011.
  • Defense Wins Championships:Although the Red Bulls’ roster includes the No. 2 and No. 4 (tied) Budweiser Golden Boot leaders in Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry, respectively, their defenders have scored four of the club’s last five goals.
 
Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 9 p.m. (Galavision)
  • Rubber Match: The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Maicon Santos scored twice as United won 3-2, April 28 at RFK Stadium, while a Brad Davis was the winner as the Dynamo won 1-0 in the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12.
  • Coming Together: The Dynamo have recorded back-to-back shutouts after their scoreless draw on Saturday at Sporting KC, their first consecutive clean sheets since the opening two games of the season.
  • Freshman Feats:D.C. United are the only team in MLS that can boast a current head coach (Ben Olsen) and a current player (Andy Najar) as past MLS Rookie of the Year winners. 
  • New Beginnings:Dynamo forward Brian Ching’s penalty kick goal, in the club’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on June 30, was the league vet’s first career MLS PK goal, as well as his first strike at BBVA Compass Stadium.
 
Quotables
 
"I guess the rumors of our demise were maybe a little bit premature."
-- Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid  after their 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids
 
“I love that our team works hard at home, plays well at home and makes it hard for teams to play against us here.”
-- New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps to the Boston Globe after they defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0
 
“I’m happy enough for the whole team. I think we played well, we didn’t give them too many chances to score, I think they maybe had one chance and Josh pulled off a good save. Apart from that, I don’t think they had too many chances and I think we deserved to win the game.”
-- Robbie Keane of the LA Galaxy talks about his team’s performance in their win over Chicago, Keane had 2 goals
 
“I am honestly overwhelmed. I tried to visualize what that moment would be like for almost a year. It was something I can't describe. Those fans are something else, and I think that they outdid themselves tonight. I am emotional obviously and it is a great emotional check mark in my mind. I am also happy the team won. It is a great night for the Sounders organization all around.”
-- Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani, after making his first appearance since suffering a broken leg last April 22
 
"He takes my shirt home, I take his shirt home and I think that chapter is closed now.”
-- Zakuani after exchanging jerseys following the game with Colorado’s Brian Mullan, who was involved in the tackle when Zakuani suffered his injury
 
“Little by little, I'm getting better. At the end I felt a lot of fatigue from the game. I was happy because I was able to play the whole game, but I know that I need to keep improving.”
-- FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira, who made his first appearance in a league game since April 23, 2011 when he suffered a broken ankle.
 
“More free haircuts. Great Clips is not going to like Antoine Hoppenot. He comes on the field and creates something and we get another third goal.”
-- Philadelphia Union interim manager John Hackworth, after his team’s 3-0 win vs. Toronto FC. A promotion provides free haircuts for all fans in attendance if Union score three goals.
 
“It’s annoying. We haven’t played two games in a row with a full-strength team, and if you look now with the guys – with [Jan Gunnar] Solli out, [Markus] Holgersson out, [Heath] Pearce out, [Rafa] Marquez out, [Teemu] Tainio out, [Thierry] Henry out – that is six starters.”
-- New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe after his team’s 2-0 loss at New England
 
"We made it very clear to our players that we wanted to get back to the basics and establish a foundation. I think we did that Wednesday night not allowing Seattle to score against us and then put it all together tonight. I feel like we've moved a step in the right direction."
-- RSL head coach Jason Kreis on their 3-0 victory over Portland
 
“Well that is what we were playing for tonight. Someone asked if we were playing for revenge from last year, and there may have been some of that, but the biggest thing for us was the chance at first place. That is where we want to be, but it’s on to the next game.”
-- Sporting KC defender Matt Besler on how important it is to be in first place half way through the season.
 
Sweet Tweets
 
@kylesheldon– July 9
It's worth noting that ‪#DCU's climb to No. 1 came after being ranked No. 15 in the Week 1 power rankings: http://es.pn/N9R0TA 
 
@lancearmstrong– July 7
Good luck to @sportingkc tonight! Anyone @LIVESTRONGParktonight?
 
@SportingKC– July 7
That's the 7th straight sell-out at @LIVESTRONGPark, in spite of ‪#ASG activities & triple digit temps. ‪#SKCNation, thank you.
 
As if 15 months of rehab wasn't enough to know @stevezakuani11's character... then Saturday night. http://sndrs.com/mzq5
 
@dcunited– July 9
“The reason why I’m an all-star is because of those guys in that locker room,” @dwaynederosario - http://bit.ly/PBhsqO #DCU#MLSAllStar
 
@CBarrett19– July 9
Make sure you recognize the people in your life you can depend on and treat them like royalty. #friends4life
 
@NERevolution– July 9
Start your day off right by watching Jerry Bengtson’s first goal as a member of the ‪#Revshttp://tinyurl.com/73ozlcc 
 
@RealSaltLake– July 9
Sabo's hat 36th multi-goal gm in #RSL history, across 275 games in all comps, with 24 of those 36 multi-goal games coming at home …