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This Week in MLS – March 14, 2016

This Week in MLS – March 14, 2016
  • Stars will be on display as Viernes de Fútbol and MLS Soccer Sunday drama continues in Week 3
  • Check It Out, Quotables, Sweet Tweets
  • Week 3 Game Previews

Stars will be on display as Viernes de Fútbol and MLS Soccer Sunday drama continues in Week 3


The Stars will be out on Friday night at Yankee Stadium as the 2015 expansion clubs New York City FC and Orlando City SC, face off in Viernes de Fútbol action (7 p.m. ET, UniMás). Following a David Villa brace last week against Toronto FC, NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira’s explosive offense has produced six goals in just two games. On the other side of the ball, 2015 Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin has showed no sign of slowing after notching his second goal of the season for Orlando City on Saturday against the Chicago Fire.


MLS Soccer Sunday action will be in full swing when a re-tooled Colorado Rapids side travels to face D.C. United at RFK Stadium (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes). The Rapids are coming off an impressive 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in the team’s home opener thanks to newly-acquired midfielder Marco Pappa’s dramatic game-winning volley in the fifth minute of stoppage time (watch goal). Kevin Doyle and offseason signing Shkëlzen Gashi anchor a revamped attack hoping early season results continue the team’s quest for a return to the postseason. 


Week 3 of MLS action concludes when a pair of undefeated squads face off as Toronto FC continues its road trip at Sporting Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Park on MLS Soccer Sunday (7 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes). Toronto managed a furious comeback from a two-goal deficit last week against New York City FC as defending Landon Donovan MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco assisted on the opening goal before notching the equalizer, his second goal of the season. U.S. Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore hopes to rejoin The Reds as they take on a Sporting KC squad off to a hot start with back-to-back victories over Cascadia Cup sides Seattle Sounders FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Expectant father Dom Dwyer seems to be firing on all cylinders, recording a brace in SKC’s 2-1 victory over Vancouver last week (including this rocket). 

Check It Out
“We’ve had guys in this league that can do those things, but not guys who beat people on a regular basis or take on a couple of guys and still set themselves up for an opportunity. He’s doing it consistently. There’s been so many (big goals). I’m pretty sure he’s not done. There will be more to come. When you think he’s not going to pull something off he does.” Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney on Sebastian Giovinco’s success in ability to score in MLS
"What we're more concerned about is getting back to having Rio Tinto being an absolute fortress and winning our home games, because if you do that, if we get back to the days of old where nobody wants to come here and play, nobody can come here and play, that's how you get into the postseason,"
Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran on the importance of winning home matches
"I see the ball going to come to me and the light came right in my face and I just (thought), 'Hit it.' Only soccer can give you this kind of feeling, the excitement and the happiness for the team. I'm glad I was part of the result."
Colorado Rapids midfielder Marco Pappa on his game winning goal in stoppage time against the LA Galaxy
“Last year in the Champions League we saw an imbalance with Ignacio and I in terms of timing. The last year allowed us to get our confidence and our timing. I think we’ve all taken some of the momentum from last year and passed it on to this year. And sometimes Ignacio has dinner with me. I think that helps the chemistry.”
Montreal Impact forward Dominic Oduro on the improved chemistry between he and teammate Ignacio Piatti
“Super goal, wasn’t it? It was a fantastic strike by him. Goals change games. Unfortunately for us, we were on the wrong end today. It’s a great finish by him, but it’s a mistake by us.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson on Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer’s fifth minute goal
Sweet Tweets
David Villa (@drewmoor): Happy to be back in our home. Great atmosphere in the crowd and great effort of the team. See you on Friday. @NYCFC
David Bingham (@BinghamDb): That moment when you see @QuincyAmarikwa on @SportsCenter as the #1 on the top ten list   #
Chris Wondolowski (@ChrisWondo): Loved gettin 3 pts today but without a doubt the highlight of my week and life was welcoming Brynlee to the world
Matt Besler (@MattBesler): As players, we're thankful we have such a special place to call home. Already looking forward to the next one. See you Sunday!!
Kaka (@KAKA): #AboutLastNight Keep shining bright diamond @rihanna #RiKa
Week 3 Game Previews
Friday, March 18
New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC, 7 p.m. ET (UniMás)
  • David Villa recorded his fifth multiple-goal game – in 32 MLS league appearances – in NYCFC’s 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Of the 20 goals Villa has scored since coming to MLS, six have been against Toronto FC.
  • Cyle Larin netted for a second consecutive game as Orlando City SC recorded a second consecutive draw, a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire on Friday evening at the Citrus Bowl. Larin has scored in both games; dating back to last season, Larin has eight goals in his last six MLS games.
  • The teams met three times in the inaugural season for both. In the first meeting between a pair of expansion clubs to open their MLS histories, the teams reached a 1-1 draw March 8 at the Citrus Bowl.
  • Each team then won on its home ground, New York City FC taking a 5-3 win July 26 at Yankee Stadium, and Orlando City returning the favor with a 2-1 win Oct. 16 at the Citrus Bowl.
Saturday, March 19
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC, 5 p.m. ET
  • David Accam scored for a second consecutive match, but the Fire could only come away from Orlando City SC with their first point of the season, following a 1-1 draw Friday at the Citrus Bowl. The Fire saw their overall winless streak extended to 26 games, dating back July 2014, now the second-longest in MLS history and one game away from the all-time league record.
  • Crew SC suffered a second consecutive defeat to open the 2016 season in their home opener, falling 2-1 to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. Kei Kamara hit the back of the net for the first time this season for Crew SC.
  • The teams met three times in 2016. They reached a 2-2 draw May 22 in Columbus, then Crew SC defeated the Fire twice in a span of five days – a 1-0 win July 15 at Toyota Park, then a 3-1 win July 19 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • Crew SC haven’t lost to the Fire in the last six meetings in the series. The last Fire victory was a 2-1 win in Columbus, June 22, 2013.
  • Crew SC have come away with points in the last four home encounters with the Fire, winning three. The Crew SC victory last year at Toyota Park was their first in Bridgeview since the 2006 season. The Fire had gone 8-0-5 in the 13 meetings in between.
New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m. ET
  • The Red Bulls were shut out for a second consecutive match to open the new season, following a 3-0 defeat by the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium.
  • The Dynamo matched their club record with five goals in their 5-0 Texas Derby win against FC Dallas on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was the largest margin of victory ever in the Dynamo’s 11-year history.
  • Andrew Wenger netted a goal and added two assists in the win vs. FC Dallas; he has played a part in four of the Dynamo’s nine goals this season after coming over from Philadelphia Union in the offseason.
  • The Dynamo won the only meeting between the clubs last season, a 4-2 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium, that snapped a seven-game Red Bulls undefeated streak in league play in the series. The Red Bulls had come away with points on their three previous trips to Houston before last year’s result.
  • The Red Bulls are 8-0-3 all-time at home in league play vs. Houston, with wins in the last five regular season matches in Harrison (dating back to 2012). But the Dynamo did win the Eastern Conference Semifinal Series between the clubs in 2013, winning 2-1 at Red Bull Arena in the second leg, after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Houston.
FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact, 9 p.m. ET
  • FC Dallas went down to a 5-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the Texas Derby on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium, the most goals the club has allowed in a single game since the 2008 season. The five-goal loss matched the heaviest loss by shutout in FCD’s 21-year history.
  • Ignacio Piatti netted his third goal in the first two games of the season – leading all of MLS – as the Impact recorded a second consecutive win to open the 2016 season, defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Impact have won five consecutive league matches dating back to the end of last season.
  • The Impact won for the first time in four meetings all-time between the clubs in the only meeting last season, a 2-1 win May 23 at Stade Saputo.
  • FCD has won both meetings all-time at Toyota Stadium. The Impact are unbeaten vs. FC Dallas on their home ground, with a draw and a win including last year’s result.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. ET
  • Sounders FC have opened a season with back-to-back losses for the first time since 2011, following their 2-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon. Osvaldo Alonso scored the first goal of the season for Sounders FC in the loss.
  • Whitecaps FC opened their campaign with a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening. Pedro Morales scored his first goal of the season in the match.
  • The teams met three times in league play a year ago – and the visiting team won all three, all by shutout. Sounders FC won twice at BC Place, a 2-0 win May 16, and a 3-0 win Sept. 19. Whitecaps FC took a 3-0 win Aug. 1 at CenturyLink Field.
  • The Sounders FC win in the first meeting last year snapped a five-game undefeated streak for Whitecaps FC in the series. It was also the first win ever for Sounders FC at BC Place in six trips. Whitecaps FC have won three consecutive league games against their Cascadia rivals at CenturyLink Field.
  • The teams also met in the CONCACAF Champions League a year ago, Sounders FC taking a 3-0 at home, while the teams reached a 1-1 draw in Vancouver, as Sounders FC finished atop Group F.
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Galaxy return home coming off their first defeat of the season, conceding the game’s only goal five minutes deep in second-half stoppage time in a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Chris Wondolowski scored for a second consecutive game as the Earthquakes won a second game in a row to open the season for the first time in the club’s history dating back to 1996, in their 2-1 win vs. the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at Avaya Stadium.
  • The teams met three times a year ago in the California Clasico – each match won by the home team. The Quakes won 3-1 on June 27 at Stanford Stadium, then 1-0 on Aug. 28 at Avaya Stadium in the first match played there between the clubs. The Galaxy claimed a 5-2 win June 17 at StubHub Center – the most goals scored in a league game in the 20 seasons of the rivalry.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup fifth-round match last year, a 1-0 Galaxy victory. The teams have met five times in the Open Cup – and the Galaxy have won on each occasion.
  • The Galaxy have won just once in the last 12 regular season meetings in northern California, across four stadiums – a 1-0 victory June 28, 2014 at Stanford Stadium. The Quakes finished undefeated against the Galaxy in league play at their former Buck Shaw Stadium home, with two wins and three draws in five matches there.
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Timbers suffered their first defeat in defense of their MLS Cup title from a year ago, falling 2-1 at the San Jose Earthquakes, as Jack McInerney scored his first goal in his first match with the club.
  • Joao Plata set up both goals as Real Salt Lake won for the first time in 2016, opening their home campaign with a 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium. Plata has played a part in all four RSL goals this season, after scoring both goals in the season-opening 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC.
  • The teams met three times a season ago – and just two goals were scored, both by the Timbers. Portland took a pair of 1-0 wins at Rio Tinto Stadium, on Aug. 15 and Oct. 14; the clubs reached a scoreless draw in the season opener at Providence Park.
  • The Timbers have won the last three meetings at Rio Tinto Stadium, their only wins ever in Utah. The only Portland home win vs. Real Salt Lake came in the first meeting ever, in 2011; the last four league meetings in Portland have all been draws, with the last three all finishing goalless.
Sunday, March 20
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 2:30 p.m. ET
  • Chris Pontius scored multiple goals in a game for the sixth time in his MLS career – the first since the 2012 season – netting his first goals as a member of Philadelphia Union in his new club’s first victory of the season, a 2-1 defeat of Columbus Crew SC on Saturday evening.
  • The Revolution reached a draw for a second consecutive match in opening their home campaign at Gillette Stadium with a goalless draw with D.C. United. The Revs are undefeated in their last 10 home openers, dating back to 2007.
  • The teams reached a 1-1 draw in their third meeting a year ago, Sept. 26 at Gillette Stadium – the first time in four encounters the road team did not win. The Revolution won both matches at PPL Park a year ago, a 2-1 win April 19 and a 1-0 win Aug. 29.
  • The Revs have won the last three meetings in Chester, dating back to a 5-3 win May 17, 2014. The last home win in the series was a 1-0 Union win March 15, 2014 at PPL Park.
D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Goalkeeper Travis Worra recorded a shutout in his first MLS start, as United reached a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Worra had made one league appearance before the match, coming on for the final 32 minutes of a 2-1 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last April 25.
  • The Rapids netted their first goal of the season in dramatic style, Marco Pappa hitting a screaming volley five minutes deep into stoppage time to give his new team a 1-0 win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. A year ago, the Rapids went 361 minutes before scoring their first goal of the year.
  • United are undefeated in the last five meetings in the series, with two victories and three draws, dating back to May 14, 2011, after the teams reached a 1-1 draw in their only meeting last year, Sept. 12 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • United have won the last two meetings between the teams at RFK Stadium. Both teams had gone more than a decade between wins at the other’s home, before winning there in 2010. Colorado’s win in Washington was their first in the nation’s capital since 1999. United’s win in Colorado was their first in the Centennial State since 2000.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Dom Dwyer scored a pair of goals in a game for the sixth time in his MLS career – the first since 2014 – including a searing long-range effort from all of 25 yards, as Sporting won for the first time this season in a 2-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Toronto FC remained undefeated on their long road swing to open the 2016 season, coming back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw at New York City FC on Sunday. Sebastian Giovinco scored a goal and added an assist for a second consecutive game, having played a pair in all four TFC goals this season.
  • Sporting have a six-game undefeated streak alive vs. Toronto FC, dating back to the 2013 season, having won the last three meetings between the teams, including a 3-1 win last year on Aug. 8 at BMO Field in the only meeting between the teams. Sporting have won on their last three trips to BMO Field.
  • TFC have never won at Sporting Park. Sporting are undefeated in their last seven home meetings vs. TFC, with six wins and one draw in that time; Toronto FC’s lone win in Kansas City came in 2009 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.