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This Week in MLS – June 5, 2012

 
  • 50 Days until 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game
  • A look at UEFA Champs Chelsea FC
  • CONCACAF Champions League Draw Results
  • World Cup Qualifying and UEFA Euro 2012
  • Week 14 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
50 Days until 2012 AT&T All-Star Game at PPL Park in Chester, PA
Just 50 days remain until the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park near Philadelphia on July 25 when the best of MLS will kick off against Europe’s best club, Chelsea FC. MLS and Philadelphia Union will host four days of festivities culminating in the All-Star Game which will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3, Telefutura, TSN and RDS at 8:30 p.m. ET.
 
A preliminary schedule of media events and the link to apply for All-Star credentials will be sent Monday, June 11.
 
A Look at UEFA Champs Chelsea FC
New Faces:After winning the UEFA Champions League and finishing sixth in the English Premier League, Chelsea wasted no time preparing for next season.  The club agreed to terms with Belgian international Eden Hazard who cost a reported £32million, a price that would make him the second most expensive player in Chelsea's history behind Fernando Torres. The 21-year-old made the switch from French club Lille after scoring 36 league goals in 147 games. Brazilian striker Hulk has also been rumored to be making a move to Chelsea from Porto for a reported £38m, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.
 
Euro 2012:Nine Chelsea players were initially called to their respective countries for UEFA Euro 2012, but the number dropped to seven when Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard suffered recent injuries. The Chelsea players expected to compete in Poland and the Ukraine are: Peter Cech (Czech Republic), Ashley Cole (England), John Terry (England), Florent Malouda (France), Raul Meireles (Portugal), Juan Mata (Spain) and Fernando Torres (Spain).
 
Stick to Soccer:To promote their U.S. tour in the summer of 2012, Chelsea FC players attempted to play traditional American sports with THESE RESULTS.
 
CONCACAF Champions League Draw Results
CONCACAF today conducted the draw to divide the 24 qualified sides among eight, three-team groups for the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League.
 
Five teams from MLS entered the drawing: Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC.
 
For more information about CONCACAF Champions League, visit www.CONCACAF.com.
 
2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying and UEFA Euro 2012 Set to Begin
With 35 MLS players participating in international competition, 17 of 19 MLS clubs will enjoy a bye this this week.
 
The CONCACAF, Oceana Football Confederation, and the Confederation of African Football all lineup for World Cup Qualifiers as national teams set their sights on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
 
The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off their qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., against Antigua and Barbuda (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/Galavision), the first-ever match between the two nations.
 
Earlier in the day, Dwayne De Rosario and the rest of the Canadian National Team will face Cuba in Havana (2 p.m. ET, Rogers Sportsnet).
 
UEFA Euro 2012 also kicks off Friday at noon, and the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane will captain his Ireland squad against Croatia on Sunday (12 noon ET, ESPN).
 
A list of international matches in which MLS players will participate is available by CLICKING HERE.
 
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round Schedule
The fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup takes place tonight around the country and many MLS fans can follow their club and their rivals online. Below are the Open Cup matches and viewing information for MLS clubs still in the hunt for the title:
 
New York Red Bulls at Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO):Skyline Sports Complex, Harrisburg, Pa., 7 p.m. ET (streaming live on www.newyorkredbulls.com)
 
Chivas USA at Carolina RailHawks (NASL):WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C., 7:07 p.m. ET (streaming live on www.CarolinaRailhawks.com)
 
Philadelphia Union at D.C. United (MLS):Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Md., 7:30 p.m. ET
 
Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City (MLS):LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan., 7:30 p.m. ET (streaming live on www.youtube.com/sportingkansascity)
 
Cal FC (USASA) at Seattle Sounders FC:Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Wash., 10 p.m. ET (broadcast live on Fox Soccer)
 
Minnesota Stars FC (NASL) at San Jose Earthquakes:Cagan Stadium, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., 11 p.m. ET (streaming live on www.sjearthquakes.com)
 
Check it Out – Videos
New England Revolution: Danny O’Connor Visit
New York Red Bulls: Keel Cam Part 8
Philadelphia Union: The Artist
Portland Timbers: Timbers at the Oregon Zoo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Road Roommates – John and Jordan
 
MLS Week 14 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
 
Sunday, June 10
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m.
  • No luck in the north: Since the first Canadian club joined the league in 2007, Houston has never won a match north of the border. The Dynamo are 0-3-3 overall against Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (and have not yet played the Montreal Impact).
  • On the BBVA wave:The Dynamo come into the game riding a four-game unbeaten streak, all since the opening of their new BBVA Compass Stadium. The club is 2-0-2 in that period; two of the wins and one draw have come at home, their last game a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy in a rematch of MLS Cup 2011.
  • They’re jammin’:Before they were regular starters and teammates for the Dynamo, defender Jermaine Taylor and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson were rivals in Jamaica’s National Premier League from 2005-2011. Both joined Houston in the off-season and have both started nine of the Dynamo’s 11 matches.
  • International flavor:Vancouver has one of the most global rosters in all of MLS, with 17 total countries represented among the 30 slots on the team. Comparably, almost 70% of the Houston roster is made up of players hailing from the United States,
 
Quotables
 
“It’s not a Sunday morning pub team. It’s not a bunch of guys who roll out of the bar and walk out onto the field to play. These are all guys who still see soccer in their future. Who – even through the team maybe doesn’t train all that much – are training on their own, are staying fit on their own. So from that standpoint, it’s not your typical amateur team.”
-- Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid, to the Tacoma News Tribune, on the club’s fourth-round opponent in the U.S. Open Cup, amateur side Cal FC
 
“Visit an MLS stadium and you see how pivotal the phenomenon is to bringing energy to the event. This transfers to the players on the field… At soccer, you go along to participate. You go along to jump and sing. You don't need anyone to remind you why you are there.”
-- San Francisco Chroniclewriter Alan Black on the phenomenon of supporter groups in MLS
 
"I'm just trapped in a goalkeeper's body.”
-- Former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tony Meola, joking about his secret desire to be a center forward, during his U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame induction speech
 
“The craziest thing I’ve ever done for the love of fashion? Probably the sarong. I got a little bit of stick for it over the years, but I still look back at it and think it was a great idea and looked good.”
-- David Beckham, to E! News Live, on his most outrageous fashion choice ever
 
“I've said this once before in my coaching career and I'll say it now: I would not want to be a player under me right now.”
-- Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis after his club’s 3-1 loss to the NASL’s Minnesota Stars FC in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
 
Sweet Tweets
 
10 years ago today - U.S. beat Portugal 3-2 in the 2002 World Cup group stage. Enjoy! --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6orSJ8JUE
 
 
‏@Gaetjens– June 3
Congrats to ex-MLSer Alex Bunbury (yes, Teal's dad, on left) named to Canadian Best XI last 50 years. http://pic.twitter.com/lfYsrNgg
 
@AlexiLalas– June 1
I suppose going forward it's "Mr. Klinsmann" if you're nasty. #USMNT
 
@Wynalda11– June 1
Timbers fans sending us off with the "beat Sea-at-tle" chant. Very cool gesture http://yfrog.com/kgxaztsj
 
@GrantWahl – May 28
This is great: Landon Donovan meets the ball that he kicked to beat Algeria in World Cup 2010 http://youtu.be/mczQutEjZkI(via @mls_analyst)