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This Week in MLS – July 19, 2011

This Week in MLS – July 19, 2011

  • Backe discusses All-Star roster on ExtraTime Radio podcast
  • Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales voted MLS Player of the Week
  • Quotables and Sweet Tweets
  • According to Elias: Risk and reward for another point
  • Week 19 match previews
  • Week 18 rewind
 
Week 19 match schedule
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Wednesday, July 20
           D.C. United vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
            Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas, 8 p.m. (TSN)
            Colorado Rapids vs. New York Red Bulls, 9:30 p.m.
            San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m.
            LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 23
            New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas, 6 p.m. (Galavision)
            Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
            Columbus Crew vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m.
            Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution, 9 p.m.
            Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m.
            Chivas USA vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m.
 
Backe discusses MLS All-Star roster on ExtraTime Radio podcast
 
Late yesterday afternoon, MLSsoccer.com posted its weekly podcast, ExtraTime Radio, featuring a 10-minute interview with MLS All-Star Coach Hans Backe. The show can be downloaded here and on iTunes, and Backe’s comments begin at the 5:30 mark.
 
Backe’s analysis includes the following:
 
“I think when you play a team like [Manchester United], you need to try to find players who can make a difference technically so we don’t end up just with athletes, because then [you have] no chance. The passing game that ManU has, they will never give away anything, and they are, possession-wise, very, very strong. So this side I’ve picked – along with the fans, of course – are a technically skillful side. ”
 
“A key when you play teams like ManU, you have to have a strategy of how to come out from the back four, so you don’t end up with just kick and rush. … I know how I want to play against ManU. I’ve done [the starting lineup], almost, for myself.”
 
“I stayed with most of the fan picks because I think it was the right way to do it. … It should be said that we couldn’t pick players from Seattle, Dallas and Toronto because they’re involved in the Champions League.”
 
Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales voted MLS Player of the Week
 
Seattle Sounders FC’s midfielder Mauro Rosales was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 18. Rosales scored once and added an assist to beat the reigning MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids 4-3, in front of a home crowd of 36,424 at CenturyLink Field. 
 
The Player of the Week award is Rosales’ first of the 2011 season, and first of his young MLS career. He is the third Sounders FC player to be named Player of the Week this season, after Fredy Montero took home the award last week and defender Jeff Parke won in week 10.
 
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.
 
Quotables
 
"Who says soccer's not exciting? If you came to today's game and you didn't enjoy it, then you don't enjoy sports."
-- Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid after his team’s 4-3 win vs. Colorado
 
"It's nice to hear the music going on in the background in the locker room. We haven't heard that in a long time. The guys have been down in the dumps."
-- Portland Timbers coach John Spencer after the club’s first road win, 1-0 at Chicago, snapping a seven-game winless streak
 
“We owe everything to them. They’ve been with us day in, day out, every day since the start of the season, and we’ve not been delivering for them. We owe everything to them, and they have the right to boo us or whatever it is.”
-- Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko, regarding the club’s fans, after the loss to Portland
 
“I made a bad decision, and we got punished for it. I owe the team two points. They did extremely well to stand up and be men and defend and not give up. I take my hat off to those guys that played and fought today.”
-- Houston Dynamo striker Brian Ching after being sent off in the 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City
 
"We don't put too much into what happens. It's a team that's worth hundreds of millions of dollars versus a team that's worth maybe 10 or 15 (million) at the most. In the world of soccer, that's a massive difference and you expect them to win. We try to take what we can out of it and use it as an experience to learn and grow. It's not a game we're going to see the rest of the year. We're not playing against Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka in our league. We take it for what it is."
-- LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan after his team’s 4-1 loss to Real Madrid
 
Sweet Tweets
 
 
@rioferdy5 (Rio Ferdinand) – July 15
The vastness of the USA never fails to amaze me every time I come here... #spacious ! En route to training listening to I'm on one by Drake
 
@JeremiahOshan – July 17
hate cristiano ronaldo all you want, but this goal against the Galaxy is something to behold. http://sbn.to/qXVVPV
 
@BarackObama – July 17
To the women of our national soccer team: Sorry I can't be there to see you play, but I'll be cheering you on from here. Let's go. –BO
 
@MLS_Insider – July 18
.@SoundersFC rookie Servando Carrasco has a famous girlfriend. You might have seen her name in the news recently. bit.ly/pNZvsB #MLS
 
@ShalrieJoseph21 – July 18 
Wow! Just found out that I made the MLS All-Star team...Preciate all the shout out and congratulation...
 
@OusmaneDabo – July 18
Revs fans are awesome it s a shame i couldn't play more games and show my true ability because of my injuries. I thank every revs fan #Revs
 
 
 
According to the Elias Sports Bureau: Risk and reward for another point
 
The math is straightforward: As the game clock approaches the 90-minute mark with the score tied, a team has twice as much to gain from securing a win as it has to lose by conceding a decisive goal. That’s the beauty of awarding three points for a win, at least for those who dislike draws. And with the rate of draws at an all-time high in MLS (40 percent this season), who doesn’t? So if the risk/reward ratio favors those who take an aggressive approach to those final minutes, why do so few teams approach the endgame with that in mind?
 
For each of the first four seasons after MLS abolished the shootout tiebreaker, more than half of the games that were tied after 75 minutes ended in a victory for one of the teams. The leaguewide average was 63 percent from 2000 to 2003. But that average slipped to 26 percent in 2004, it remained below 50 percent in every season since then (39 percent from 2005–2010), and has dropped back to 26 percent again this season. With two points to be gained and only one to lose, the question is, simply, why?
 
Week 19 match previews: July 20-23, 2011 (all times ET)
Wednesday, July 20
D.C. United vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Revolution saw their winless streak reach nine games in the 3-0 loss to Philadelphia, matching the club record set in 1998.
  • D.C. United recorded a second consecutive shutout in the scoreless draw at FC Dallas over the weekend, their first back-to-back shutouts since Aug. 22-29, 2009.
  • Goals from Zach Schilawski and Shalrie Joseph in the opening 17 minutes sent the Revolution on their way to a 2-1 victory in the first meeting between the teams, March 26 at Gillette Stadium.
  • The Revolution are carrying a four-game winning streak against United, including victories in both meetings a year ago.
 
Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas, 8 p.m. (TSN)
  • Toronto FC will have almost a completely new team available. Since their last match, they have acquired Terry Dunfield (from Vancouver), Leandre Griffit and Andy Iro (both Columbus) and Ryan Johnson (San Jose), while dealing Tony Tchani, Alan Gordon, Jacob Peterson and Nana Attakora. TFC will also have new signings Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans in uniform.
  • Kevin Hartman recorded his 10th shutout of the season in the 0-0 tie with D.C. United. The total is one short of both his career-high, set in 1999 with the Galaxy, and also the FCD club record (Matt Jordan, 1999).
  • A Daniel Hernandez penalty just before halftime gave FC Dallas a 1-0 victory against Toronto FC on May 11 at Pizza Hut Park in the first meeting between the clubs this season.
  • Since a 4-0 victory June 17, 2007 in the first meeting ever between the clubs, Toronto FC haven’t defeated FC Dallas. FCD has won five of the eight encounters since, with three draws.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. New York Red Bulls, 9:30 p.m.
  • The Rapids scored their most goals in a game since April 3, but still went down to a 4-3 defeat at Seattle last weekend.
  • The league’s top attack with 34 goals, the Red Bulls were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time this season in the scoreless draw at Chivas USA.
  • Designated Player Frank Rost made his MLS debut in goal for the Red Bulls against Chivas USA, but was not called upon to make a single save.
  • The teams played to a 2-2 draw in their first meeting this season, May 25 at Red Bull Arena, goals from New York’s Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers twice answering goals from Colorado’s Jeff Larentowicz.
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m.
  • Whitecaps FC were scheduled to play three games in five days with Monday’s friendly against Manchester City FC, but the weekend league game with Real Salt Lake was postponed because of an unplayable field.
  • The Earthquakes have gone 292 minutes without scoring a goal after back-to-back scoreless ties, the fifth-longest streak in MLS this season. Vancouver has the longest, 332 minutes (June 25-July 9).
  • Jon Busch has recorded back-to-back shutouts in goal for the first time this season for San Jose.
  • The teams played to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting, May 11 at Empire Field. Davide Chiumiento scored in the final minute to give Whitecaps FC the draw, after Chris Wondolowski staked San Jose to a first-half lead.
 
LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew, 10:30 p.m.
  • The Galaxy return to league action after a 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the World Football Challenge at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Adam Cristman scored LA’s lone goal.
  • In league play, the Galaxy are riding an 12-game unbeaten streak, dating back to May 7, after knocking off the Chicago Fire 2-1 in their last game.
  • David Beckham is one behind Houston’s Brad Davis for the league lead in assists, setting up Landon Donovan’s league-leading ninth goal against Chicago – his first assist since May 28.
  • The Crew saw a six-game unbeaten streak vs. the Galaxy in Carson come to an end in a 3-1 loss last year at The Home Depot Center. They had two wins, with four draws, in their previous six visits.
 
Saturday, July 23
New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas, 6 p.m. (Galavision)
  • The Red Bulls return home after another road trip in the midweek visit to Colorado. Coming into the FC Dallas match, six of New York’s previous eight games will have been on the road; they had four draws and a loss in the first five.
  • The trip to Red Bull Arena is the second road game in the week for FC Dallas, the trip starting in Toronto. FCD leads the league with seven home wins coming into Week 19.
  • The Red Bulls have won the last four meetings with FC Dallas at home, including a 2-1 win last year in their first encounter at Red Bull Arena.
 
Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • For the second time in as many games, Sporting scored a goal in the 90th minute or later to grab a point, Aurelien Collin’s goal giving KC a 1-1 draw at Houston last weekend. Omar Bravo scored in stoppage time for a 1-1 home draw with Colorado the week before.
  • The game against TFC kicks off a string of eight consecutive home games in league play for Sporting KC. Their next MLS game on the road will be Sept. 17, at Real Salt Lake.
  • Sporting have a friendly before the league match with TFC, taking on Newcastle United of the English Premier League on Wednesday at Livestrong Sporting Park.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after playing to a scoreless draw June 4 at BMO Field.
 
Columbus Crew vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m.
  • Jack Jewsbury set a career-high with his fifth goal of the season, converting a penalty kick for the 1-0 win at Chicago. Jewsbury’s previous single-season best was four goals for Kansas City in 2005.
  • The Timbers meet West Bromwich Albion of the English Premier League on Wednesday at Jeld-Wen Field. WBA began their tour with a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • After being dealt to Toronto FC the day before the match, Andy Iro and Leandre Griffit watched the Columbus-San Jose game from the Nordecke supporters section, wearing Crew jerseys. Tony Tchani, who came from TFC in the deal, was out with an ankle injury.
  • Eric Brunner scored against his former club to lead the Timbers to a 1-0 win against Columbus on May 21 at Jeld-Wen Field in the first meeting between the clubs.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution, 9 p.m.
  • The Rapids had Conor Casey and Omar Cummings in the starting lineup together for just the fourth time this season in Seattle, but Casey had to leave before halftime with an Achilles tendon injury.
  • The trip to Colorado is the second of a three-game road swing for the Revolution that started with a midweek trip to D.C. and ends with a July 30 visit to Sporting Kansas City.
  • The teams played to a scoreless draw on May 7 at Gillette Stadium in their first meeting this season.
 
Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m.
  • After last weekend’s postponement at Vancouver, Real Salt Lake still have a six-game undefeated streak alive.
  • Fabian Espindola still has a two-game goal scoring streak intact, leading RSL to a win in their last game, 2-0 vs. FC Dallas on July 9.
  • Of the three players obtained from Toronto FC for striker Ryan Johnson, only midfielder Jacob Peterson made his Earthquakes debut vs. Columbus, starting and playing 62 minutes. Striker Alan Gordon and defender Nana Attakora did not feature.
  • Kyle Beckerman’s goal in the 64th minute gave Real Salt Lake a 1-0 win at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 19 in the season opener for both clubs.
 
Chivas USA vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m.
  • Chivas USA are unbeaten in four games after their scoreless draw with New York over the weekend.
  • The Dynamo have a midweek friendly ahead, taking on Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League at Robertson Stadium, the club of former Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden.
  • A Geoff Cameron strike and an own goal answered an early Marcos Mondaini goal as Houston continued their home dominance against Chivas USA in a 2-1 win at Robertson Stadium on June 11.
  • The Dynamo have won five games in a row against Chivas, who scored their first goal in Houston in league play since 2006 in the first meeting.
 
 
Week 18 Rewind
 
Saturday, July 16
Seattle Sounders FC 4, Colorado Rapids 3
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake
 
Columbus Crew 0, San Jose Earthquakes 0
 
Chicago Fire 0, Portland Timbers 1
 
Houston Dynamo 1, Sporting Kansas City 1
 
FC Dallas 0, D.C. United 0
 
Chivas USA 0, New York Red Bulls 0
 
Sunday, July 17
New England Revolution 0, Philadelphia Union 3