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This Week in MLS – July 31, 2012

  • LA Galaxy’s three DP’s “brace” themselves and deliver
  • AT&T Goal of the Week
  • Week 22 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
LA Galaxy’s three DPs “brace” themselves and deliver
The LA Galaxy are soaring, and are looking to fly ahead of Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference standings when they take on the Pacific Northwest club this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
Finding themselves at the bottom of the West after the first 13 games of the season—only accumulating 11 points during that period—the Galaxy are back in the playoff picture, much thanks to recent run of form of Designated Players David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
In the last five League matches, LA has gone 4-0-1, with Beckham, Donovan and Keane tallying 11 of the club’s last 13 goals and assisting a total of 10 times. This same time frame has also seen two-goal games from each of the Galaxy DPs, with Robbie Keane netting back-to-back braces on July 8 and July 14.
Perhaps even more encouraging is that the only duos that have garnered more multi-goal games this season than Donovan and Keane represent the two clubs at the top of the Eastern and Western conferences. The San Jose Earthquakes’ strike force, Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart, and the New York Red Bulls’ twosome, Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry, can both boast six combined multi-goal matches in the 2012 campaign, just one more than the aforementioned LA partnership.
CONCACAF Champions League
Schedule for Wednesday, August 1
Toronto FC vs. Aguila: BMO Field; Toronto, ON; 8:00 p.m. ET (Fox Soccer)
Schedule for Thursday, August 2
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Caledonia: CenturyLink Field; Seattle, WA; 10:00 p.m. ET (Fox Soccer)
Herbalife World Football Challenge
Schedule for Thursday, August 2
LA Galaxy vs. Real Madrid: The Home Depot Center; Los Angeles, CA; 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/TSN2)
Schedule for Sunday, August 5
Real Madrid vs. Santos Laguna: Sam Boyd Stadium; Las Vegas, NV; 11:00 p.m. ET (Fox Soccer/TSN2)
MLS Week 22 - National Broadcasts
Friday, August 3: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Sunday, August 5: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 7:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Sunday, August 5: Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN2/Deportes)
 AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 21) – CLICK HEREto vote
  • Osvaldo Alonso (SEA)
  • Chris Rolfe (CHI)
  • Jairo Arrieta (CLB)
  • Steven Lenhart (SJ)
  • Saer Sene (NE)
Check it Out:
Portland Timbers: Tom Hanks at Jeld-Wen Field
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Supporters Groups
MLS Week 22 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Friday, August 3
Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
  • Comfortable Surroundings: Houston and New York are the only teams that remain undefeated at home this season, with identical records of 7-0-3. Houston’s last home loss came on June 18, 2011 against Columbus, while New York’s was on September 21, 2011 against Real Salt Lake.
  • On a Roll: Since making his return to the Dynamo starting lineup three games, Calen Carr has scored three goals. Brad Davis has five assists in his last three games, including two-assist games the last two weeks.
  • Back at it: After going nearly three months without a league goal, Thierry Henry has scored twice in the last three games, netting his 11th of the season in the Red Bulls’ 3-1 loss at Montréal last weekend.
  • Unbalanced: Their 1-0 victory in the first meeting extended the Red Bulls’ unbeaten streak to 10 games in league and MLS Cup matches vs. Houston. The Dynamo haven’t defeated New York since a 1-0 win May 31, 2008.
Saturday, August 4
Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
  • Late Magic: Philadelphia won for the third time with a goal in the 90th minute or later since John Hackworth took over as team manager, when Jack McInerney’s header gave it a 2-1 win Sunday against New England.
  • Playmaker: Felipe set up all three Impact goals in the New York victory, his first three-assist game in MLS, giving him eight for the season, now ranked sixth in MLS.
  • Rough Play: Montreal’s Davy Arnoud and Felipe Martins are number one and three respectively for fouls suffered in MLS, with 62 and 48.
  • Lacking a Spark: With 61, the Union are tied with Chivas USA for the fewest shots on target in the league. San Jose has
D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sharing the Wealth: D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario is tied with Brad Davis for the MLS lead with 10 assists in 20 games. He is on pace to best his personal record of 13, set with the Earthquakes in 2005.
  • Halftime Speech: The Crew have allowed only one goal between the 46th and 60th minutes, the fewest in MLS.
  • Off the Schneid: Making his third consecutive start and a week after recording his first assist, Jairo Arrieta scored his first two MLS goals, giving the Crew a 2-1 win at Sporting KC.
  • Looking to Score: The Crew announced the signing of new Designated Player Federico Higuain over the weekend. They still have the third-fewest goals in MLS this season, with 20 through 19 games.
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m.
  • Long Time No See: It’s the third meeting of the season between the clubs, the second in the past two weeks. They played to a scoreless draw July 21 in Kansas City; Sporting won 3-0 at home on March 17.
  • Making Moves: Saer Sene scored his ninth goal for the Revolution in their 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. It’s the most in a season for a Revolution player since Taylor Twellman scored 16 in 2007.
  • Trouble in the Air: New England leads the League in most header goals conceded (11).
  • National Pride: While he’s an ocean away, Revolution striker Jerry Bengtson is impressing, leading the Olympic Football Tournament with three goals after his strike eliminated pre-tournament favorite Spain in a 1-0 Honduras win Sunday.
Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC, 8:30 p.m.
  • Starting Slow: Toronto FC has allowed the opening goal 16 times, the most in MLS. Its record is 2-12-2 when failing to score first.
  • Luck’s Run Out: TFC saw their three-game league winning streak – which matched the club record set in 2008 – come to an end in their 2-0 loss to Houston over the weekend.
  • Efficient: The Fire have scored just two goals total in their last five games – but have still come away with five points (1-2-2), after their 1-1 draw at San Jose last weekend.
  • Unblemished: Chicago has the second-best winning percentage when scoring the first goal, at .929 via a 6-0-1 record.
Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m.
  • Ups and Downs: Colorado’s Matt Pickens has 79 saves, nine more than anyone else in MLS, but also has 13 losses, two more than any other goalkeeper.
  • Re-energized: Real Salt Lake has scored ten goals between the 46th and 60th minutes, the most in MLS. No other team has scored more than eight.
  • Making an Impact: Over the last four games, since July 7, Alvaro Sabório has scored six goals – of the seven Real have scored in that time. Sabório has moved into a tie for second in the MLS Golden Boot with 13 goals, along with New York’s Kenny Cooper, four behind San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski.
  • Mountain West Battles: RSL has an eight-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Colorado. Since a 2-0 Rapids win May 2, 2009, Real have won four times, with four draws.
Sunday, August 5
Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
  • Losing Their Focus: The Timbers have allowed 10 goals between the 16th and 30th minutes, the most in MLS. No other team has allowed more than six.
  • Not Keeping the Lead: With a 3-3-5 record, FC Dallas has a .500 winning percentage when scoring first, the worst in MLS.
  • Score to Win: The Timbers have been shut out in three consecutive games, outscored 7-0. Their current 292-minute scoreless streak is the fifth-longest in MLS this season; they already hold the longest this year, going 339 minutes without scoring from April 21-May 20.
  • Offensive Outburst: The teams are meeting for the second time in three weeks. FC Dallas took a 5-0 win in Frisco on July 21, FCD’s biggest offensive output since a 6-3 win at the LA Galaxy on Sept. 12, 2009.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, 9 p.m. (ESPN2/Deportes)
  • Rejuvenated: After his MLS All-Star Game appearance at midweek, Osvaldo Alonso scored his first goal of the season, the game-winner for Sounders FC’s 2-1 win in Colorado last weekend.
  • Steady Eddie: Eddie Johnson continued his good form recently for Sounders FC, netting his fifth league goal in the last six games. Johnson also scored the game-winner in the MLS All-Star Game at midweek, in the 3-2 victory vs. European champions Chelsea FC.
  • No Stars, No Problem: Missing both David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the Galaxy extended their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) in the 1-0 win at FC Dallas. Robbie Keane contributed his fourth assist in the last six games; he also has five goals in that time.
  • Rematch: The teams are meeting for the second time this year. Sounders FC took a 2-0 win May 2 at CenturyLink Field behind goals from Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero, the club’s first win ever vs. the Galaxy at home in MLS competition.
“Playing with guys like [Thierry] Henry, [David] Beckham and Landon (Donovan), it’s a dream come true to be out there on the same field. All I needed to do was try and get open because these guys can put the ball on a dime. You have to keep your head on a swivel because you don’t want to be that guy to mess up a beautiful pass in from a Beckham or Henry. It was a pleasure playing with all of these guys. “
--Chris Wondolowski on his teammates during the 2012 AT&T All-Star Game
"I think when I got the phone call on Saturday afternoon it was pretty surreal to hear New York Red Bulls, one of the most glamorous cities in the world, most iconic brand and Thierry Henry, Marquez. It was one of those moments where I thought, 'Is this real? Or is someone just saying something?' It was easy. I just said, listen, I’m 32 years old. I’ve been at Everton for eight years. I’ve been very loyal my whole career to the football clubs I’ve played for.”
--Tim Cahill on his decision to join the New York Red Bulls
“I’m pleased to see Sabo scoring goals because for a long time he was doing everything and just getting very unfortunate so it’s good that he is in a good run and we will try and ride it as long as possible.”
-- Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis after Álvaro Sabório scored for the sixth time in the last four games, in the club’s 2-1 win Friday vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
“It was good for the guys, most importantly by the way we played. If we can play with PSG, we can play with any team. Saying that, we just have to show up and play with that same confidence.”
--D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario, to The Washington Post, after his club’s 1-1 draw Saturday with French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain
“We have 13, 14 games left, and anything is possible at that point. There’s a lot of points still, and it just depends. We got to take it week by week. We keep going down this road, than yeah, but I don’t think we’re going to [make the playoffs].”
--Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins after his club’s fifth consecutive defeat, 1-0 to Chivas USA on Saturday
“I’m really frustrated to be on the sideline and watch my team and play the game without me being able to help them,” he said. “I’m just excited to get back out on the field with my team. It felt great this week, training. It’s been a little while and just looking forward to what comes and forgetting about my injury.”
--Chivas USA’ Juan Agudelo on his possible return to the field this week
Sweet Tweets
@peoplemag– July 31
Check out DavidBeckham & Prince William cheering on the British Olympic Soccer Team
@GrantWahl– July 29
3 MLS'ers (Najar to Espinoza to Bengtson) combine for Honduras's early goal vs Spain. Not bad.
‏@SoccerInsider– July 29
With 4 #MLSplayers in lineup, Honduras upsets Spain, 1-0, at Olympics. Bengtson (Revolution) goal in 6th minute #catrachos
@thesoccerdon – July 26
Thank you to the @PhilaUnion, the @SonsofBenand the great cities of Philadelphia and Chester. What an incredible #MLSAllStarGame!
@Tim_Cahill – July 27
Very excited to start a new adventure and joining @newyorkredbulls. What an amazing club. Can’t wait for this experience to start! #RBNY
@mbretosESPN – July 25
It's official, he is here. Tim Cahill having a chit chat with our Kasey Keller
@DrewFromTV (Drew Carey) – July 25
Guess where I am! :)[Picture of MLS All-Star cookie]
‏@PCarrESPN – July 25
Chris Pontius' goal is the 100th in MLS All-Star Game history.
@dwaynederosario – July 26
Shout to my boy "Pretty P" aka @ChrisPontius13on All-Star MVP. #DCUrepresentin...
@TheOffsideRules– July 30
Suspicion confirmed: @ampc2(Aurelien Collin) best-dressed player at any & all #MLSAllStarevents. Dude is killing the #MLSfashion game.
@frankstranzl– July 24
My job at #MLSAllStar: Tagging along with NBC Sports production crew & Wondo for 36 hours
@adidasUS – July 24
This is the revolution, this is Smart Soccer.
@kylesheldon – July 29
PHOTO: Ibrahimovic & @dwaynederosarioexchanged jerseys before last night's match:
@SJEarthquakes – July 29
Patented Lenny Belly Flop #fearthefro#gooniesneversaydie@ Buck Shaw Stadium
@TheRealAC3 (Ashley Cole)– July 28
Back to england, thank all the fans that has supported us while we have been over here. #cfctour
Well done SKC!!! “@SportingKC: Attendance tonight: 18,938. It's the 9th straight MLS sell-out this year at@LIVESTRONGPark.”