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This Week in MLS – July 17, 2012

I-95 Rivalry resumes as New York takes on Philadelphia Saturday on ESPN

Former Union striker Sebastien Le Toux joins New York’s 2012 MLS All-Stars Heath Pearce and Thierry Henry for what promises to be an intense atmosphere as the Red Bulls host Philadelphia Union on Saturday, live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET. Le Toux will be out to make a statement after being dealt  by the Union to Vancouver at the beginning of the season despite 25 goals in two years with Philadelphia. Last week, he scored in his first game with the Red Bulls but will he be able to score against his former club?


New York is four points behind Sporting Kansas City in the race for first place in the Eastern Conference, and boasts two of the league’s top scorers in Kenny Cooper (11) and Henry (9).  After a slow start to the season, Philadelphia is experiencing a recent uptick in form thanks to MLS All-Star Carlos Valdésand a core group of youngsters. Nineteen-year-old Jack McInerney and 21-year-old Antoine Hoppenot have packed a scoring punch in recent weeks, leading the Union to a4-2 record in MLS play under interim coach John Hackworth.


The teams have split the season series the last two years, and Philadelphia will attempt to keep that streak going after falling 3-2 at home to New York on May 13.


MLS Week 20 - National Broadcasts

Wednesday, July 18: Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 8:00 p.m. ET (TSN2/RDS)

Wednesday, July 18: Seattle Sounders vs. Chelsea FC, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)

Wednesday, July 18: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy 10:00 p.m. ET (TSN2/RDS)

Wednesday, July 18:San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas, 11:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)

Saturday, July 21: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 2:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/Deportes)

Saturday, July 21: Toronto FCvs. Liverpool, 4:00 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer/Rogers Sportsnet)

Saturday, July 21: Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS2)

Saturday, July 21: LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 10:00 p.m. ET (Telefutura)

Sunday, July 22: Chelsea FC vs. PSG, 7:00 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer / Univision Deportes)


AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 19) – CLICK HEREto vote

  • Darren Mattocks (VAN)

  • Luis Silva (TOR)

  • Pavel Pardo (CHI)

  • David Beckham (LA)

  • Alvaro Fernandez (SEA)


Check It Out:

Colorado Rapids: This or That: Conor Casey

New York Red Bulls: Showdown in Chinatown

Philadelphia Union: On the Road: Houston and LA

San Jose Earthquakes: Rootbeer Float Chug-off      


MLS Week 20 Previews

(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)


Wednesday, July 18

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire, 1 p.m.

  • Bringing the Heat: The Fire have only lost once against New York since the start of the 2008 season, suffering their lone defeat on March 27, 2010. Their record against the Red Bulls during that stretch is 6-1-3, scoring 19 goals to the Red Bulls’ eight.

  • Playing with Fire: New York has the best record in one-goal games at 6-1-0. They are the only team with less than two losses.

  • Making it Count: Sebastien Le Toux opened his account in his first game with the Red Bulls following his trade from Vancouver, scoring in the 2-2 draw Sunday with Seattle Sounders FC.

  • NyarKO’d: The Fire defeated the Red Bulls 3-1 on June 17, Patrick Nyarko lead the way for the Fire by scoring the first goal of the game and assisting on the last goal of the game.


Chivas USA vs. Portland Timbers, 4 p.m.

  • Off Target:Chivas’ leading scorer Juan Pablo Angel has three goals on 28 shots this year, converting slightly more than 10 percent of his opportunities. Jose Correa is tied for second with two goals, but has only taken seven shots, at nearly a 30 percent success rate.

  • Season Struggles:Chivas is tied with Toronto FC for the fewest home victories in MLS with only two, while Portland is tied with FC Dallas as the only two teams not to win on the road this season.

  • Scoring Rally:Chivas USA had yet to score their first goal of the season prior to their last matchup,then Chivas went on to score two goals in a come-from-behind victory.

  • New Era:The Timbers dropped the first game with Gavin Wilkinson as interim head coach, a 5-3 loss to the LA Galaxy over the weekend. Wilkinson took over for John Spencer, the third coach dismissed from his duties in MLS this season.


Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 7 p.m.

  • Comfortable Surroundings: Toronto FC has five wins in five all-time meetings with Colorado at BMO Field, including a 2-1 win in the second meeting a season ago.

  • Keep on Rollin’: Toronto FC have won back-to-back games for the first time this season, after their 1-0 win at New England on Saturday.

  • Rough Waves:The Rapids have had serious trouble on the road this year, posting a 2-7-0 record away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

  • Pick Your Poison:The Rapids goaltender Matt Pickens has a league leading 72 saves this season.

  • Silva Scoring:Toronto FC’s Luis Silva scored his first professional soccer goal last week against the Vancouver Whitecaps, he dedicated the score to his father who passed earlier this year. He then netted the game-winner against New England in the following game.


Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m. (TSN2/RDS)

  • Spot Kick Stars: Montreal has scored twice as many penalty kicks as any other team in MLS, with Bernardo Corradi and Patrice Bernier both converting all three of their chances.

  • Chances Wasted:New England is second in MLS with 111 shots on target, but is eleventh in goals with 24.

  • Streak Snapped: The weekend loss for the Revolution ended a seven-game unbeaten streak at Gillette Stadium, their longest since the 2006 season..


Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC, 8:30 p.m.

  • Fitness Clinic:The Dynamo have only allowed one goal after the 75th minute this season, best in MLS.

  • Defense First:Despite being scoring only 11 goals at home, tied for fourth-worst in MLS, Sporting KC is tied for the second-most home wins with six.

  • Catching Up: Dynamo striker Will Bruin moved into a tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his 10th goal of the season Sunday, in the 4-0 win vs. D.C. United.

  • Texas Toast: .After winning the first meeting ever between the clubs, April 8, 2006 at Robertson Stadium, Kansas City has not won in Houston. The Dynamo have won three of the six MLS league and cup meetings since at home.


Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m. (TSN2/RDS)

  • Rebound Season: The Whitecaps have nine clean sheets after recording only five during the 2011 season.

  • Mr. Generous: Landon Donovan became the sixth player in MLS history to reach the 100-assist plateau in the 5-3 win vs. Portland. Donovan has the most assists among active players; he became just the second MLS player to score 100 goals and record 100 assists for his league career (joining Jaime Moreno).

  • LA Landslide: In three all-time meetings against the Galaxy, Whitecaps FC have yet to score a goal. LA has won all three meetings by a combined score of 10-0.

  • First Half Hammering:LA scored three goals in the first half of a 3-0 shutout last time these teams played.


San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

  • Double the Trouble:The Earthquakes have scored 28 goals in the final 45 minutes this season, more than twice as much as their first-half total.

  • Fresh Start: FC Dallas put an end to their 13-game winless streak in the 2-1 win at Colorado on Saturday, their first victory since April 14. It was tied for the fourth-longest winless run in MLS history.

  • Hats Off: Chris Wondolowski scored his third career hat trick in the 5-0 win against Real Salt Lake. He now has 17 goals this season – one more than he scored last year, when he tied for the league goalscoring lead.

  • Chris the Clutch:Wondolowski has been credited with eight game-winning goals this season, one shy of the MLS record for a single season, which he set in 2010, along with former LA Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz (2002).



Saturday, July 21

New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes/TSN2/RDS2)

  • Hit the Ground Running: Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, acquired from the LA Galaxy the day before the match, started in the 2-2 draw with Seattle on Sunday. Rookie Ryan Meara had played every minute in goal in the first 18 games for New York.

  • Lacking a Comeback:The Union have failed to win when allowing the first goal this year, going 0-8-1. They are the only team yet to record a comeback victory.

  • Earning Your Stripes:Carlos Valdés celebrated his selection to the 2012 MLS All-Star team with his first goal of the season to give Union a dramatic 2-1 win against the Montréal Impact on Saturday.

  • Remember Me?:Sebastien Le Toux will face his former club for the first time since his trade from Vancouver to New York. Le Toux led Union in scoring in 2010 and 2011 before his trade to Whitecaps FC in the offseason.


Columbus Crew vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

  • Arrieta Impact: Costa Rican international Jairo Arrieta made his MLS debut for the Crew in their 2-0 home loss to Sporting KC, starting and playing 62 minutes.

  • Shot Stopper: D.C. United’s Bill Hamid has the best save percentage in MLS at 82 percent. He is the only goalkeeper who has saved more than 80 percent of shots faced.

  • Bruise Crew: The two teams split their two meetings last season, each winning at home. The Crew haven’t lost in Columbus to D.C. United since 2007, a span of four matches (3-0-1).


Sporting KC vs. New England Revolution, 8:30 p.m.

  • Missed Opportunities: Despite having taken both the most shots and corner kicks this season, Sporting KC is tied for 9th in goals scored.

  • Triple Threats: Goals from Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong gave Sporting a 3-0 win in the first meeting between the teams this year, March 17 at Livestrong Sporting Park.

  • Aim Small, Miss Small:Kei Mamara of Sporting KC is tied with Chris Wondolowski for most shots on goal in the league with 31.

  • Easy Adjustments: Making his second start of the season in the attacking midfield role, Peterson Joseph – the “Haitian Xavi” – recorded his first career MLS assist in the 2-0 win at Columbus.


Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 p.m. (TSN/RDS2)

  • Home Field Advantage: Along with the Red Bulls, Houston is one of two teams in MLS that is undefeated at home. Their last regular season home loss came against the Columbus Crew on June 18, 2011.

  • Honduran Hero:Making his fourth consecutive start since coming to Houston, Honduran international Boniek Garcia scored his first MLS goal in the win against United.

  • Staying Home:This is the final game of a three game home stand for Houston. It started off with a 4-0 victory over D.C. United on July 15.

  • Dynamo Defensive:The Dynamo recorded their third consecutive shutout in the 4-0 win Sunday vs. D.C. United.


FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m.

  • Solo Performances: FC Dallas is last in MLS in assists with ten after recording 45 last season.

  • Endurance Problems: Along with Seattle, Portland is one of two teams that has only scored one goal in the final fifteen minutes of a game this year.

  • Ferreira Faithful: While he did not record an assist, David Ferreira played an integral part in the winning goal that snapped FCD’s 13-game winless run in their 2-1 win at Colorado. It was his second start after returning from a broken leg that sidelines him for 15 months.

  • Comfortable Setting:The new interim head of the Timbers, Gavin Wilkinson, is not only the general manager but also was USL first division coach of the year in 2007 and 2009 for the USL Timbers.


LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 10 p.m. (Telefutura)

  • Beckham Booting: David Beckham scored two goals in a game for the second time in his MLS career, also netting twice in a 2-2 tie with Real Salt Lake on May 3, 2008. He has five goals this season, tying his MLS career-high, also set in 2008.

  • Galaxy Dominance:The Galaxy’s five goals in their victory against Portland over the weekend were the most they’ve scored in a game since Sept. 20, 2008, a 5-2 win vs. D.C. United.

  • Changing History: A José Erick Correa penalty kick was the difference as Chivas USA defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0 on May 19, snapping a six-game losing streak against their Home Depot Center neighbors. The win snapped an 11-game winless run in SuperClásicos, their first victory against the Galaxy since Aug. 23, 2007.

  • Balanced Rivalry?:Since the beginning of the 2008 season, the Galaxy have only lost once against their crosstown rivals, going 7-1-3 in that span.


Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 10 p.m.

  • Bad Memories: RSL’s 5-0 loss at San Jose last weekend was the second-worst in club history, after a 6-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 26, 2006.

  • Fighting Until the End: The two teams are tied for the second-most goals after the 75th minute. Their nine apiece is only behind San Jose’s 15.

  • Lucky Number 7: RSL has a seven-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Colorado. Since a 2-0 Rapids win May 2, 2009, Real have won three times, with four draws.

  • Deceiving Score:RSL defeated the Rapids 2-0 in their last matchup, but Colorado almost made a comeback, having one shot go off the cross bar and another shot narrowly missing the cage in the final 20 minutes.


Sunday, July 22

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m.

  • No Breathers: Vancouver’s Lee Young-Pyo is tied with San Jose’s Justin Morrow for the league lead with 1,800 minutes played.

  • Down But Not Out: At .550, the Earthquakes have the best winning percentage when allowing the first goal in a game.

  • Bringing the Heat:The Quakes have scored five goals on two separate occasions this season, also hitting for five in a 5-3 win May 2 vs. D.C. United. San Jose leads MLS with 41 goals scored through the first 19 weeks this season.

  • Welcome Home: The two home games this week are the first for Whitecaps FC at BC Place since June 20. They went 1-3-1 on their five-game road swing; they have a four-game road trip ahead from Aug. 18-Sept. 15.




“We see a pathway and we also know we’re going to have to use our machete to get there.”

-- New D.C. United co-owner Jason Levien, to The Washington Post, on the organization’s drive to build a soccer-specific stadium for the team


“I'm a huge soccer fan. My 1st word was goal. Number 10 is the number of play makers in soccer. It's as simple as that."

-- Newfound Los Angeles Laker Steve Nash on why he chose #10 as his new jersey number


“At first I was like, ‘What is this?’ and then I was like, ‘I wanted the black one like N.W.A. has!’ But then at school, someone asked me about it, and of course I acted like I knew all about it. And then the Giants won the Super Bowl that year, and suddenly, it was an amazing present.”

-- New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry, to The New York Times, on his father gifting him with a New York Giants jacket at age 13


"I play to win. For me, that's my nature. Is it costing me points? Yes, but that's just what I am. And I will win or I will die with it."

-- Colorado Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja, to The Denver Post, about his attack-minded coaching mentality


“I would never rule this out… I started here. I think it's a good league — stadiums like [LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City] and New York; it's awesome how much it's grown.”

-- U.S. Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra, to the Associated Press, on the possibility of returning to MLS to play club ball


“Oh my gosh, he’s one fire.”

-- Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury, to The Kansas City Star, on teammate Jacob Peterson scoring three goals in six games


“I felt good that once it got to 10 men, we really turned the screws, which is the sign of a good team. We sensed that they were in trouble, obviously a man down, and we took it to them. To be honest, it could have been more.”

-- San Jose Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop after the 5-0 win against Real Salt Lake


“Sometimes they end up in row zed ... Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. Tonight they went in.”

-- David Beckham of the LA Galaxy, to the NBC Sports Network, after his two goals Saturday vs. Portland


“I'll take the blame for this one. We've been trying to get through a lot this week. (The players) get a pass on this one, because it's on me.”

-- Portland Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson after the 5-3 loss to the LA Galaxy in his MLS coaching debut


“We have to stick together. This is a moment where we're really going to see who wants to be here.”

-- Colorado Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja, to the Denver Post, after the club’s third consecutive defeat


Sweet Tweets


@adidasUS – July 12
Congrats to #teamadidassoccer duo Leo Messi & David Beckham for winning "Best International Athlete" & "Best @MLSPlayer" @ESPYs.


@MirrorFootball – July 16
He's still got it! Watch Beckham get over Olympics snub with stunning 35-yard MLS strike -


‏@Lakers – July 11
Nash on why jersey #10. "I'm a huge soccer fan. My 1st word was goal. #10 is the number of play makers in soccer. It's as simple as that."


My young friend @TaylorTwellmanhaving a juice-box before ‪#NYvSEA. I think his Mom cut up some orange slices too.


@QuakesPrez – July 15
@SJEarthquakesSo proud of our club tonight after an epic performance. Huge Congrats to @ChrisWondoon his hat trick. #BestPlayerinMLS


‏@JackBell – July 15
To me, Taylor Twellman has quickly separated himself as the best analyst (w/or w/out Brit accent) on US TV. Hands down.


@DaxMcCarty11 – July 14
I was a good guy this am. Introduced myself to @sebastienletoux, Tried to make small talk. Got awkward when he said, "Dax, its Kenny." ‪#oops


@GrantWahl – July 12
Video: remarkable athleticism on this goal by 21-year-old Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks


‏@CraigStouffer – July 12
Breaking ‪#DCUhair news: Nick DeLeon has shaved his head.


@Pele– July 13
In exactly two years the @FifaWorldCupTrophy will be on the line at the Maracana Stadium for the 2014 World Cup Final!