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This Week in MLS – March 27, 2012

  •  Thierry Henry voted MLS Player of the Week
  • Goal of the Week
  • Check it out
  • CONCACAF Champions League semifinals
  • Week 4 National Broadcasts & Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
New York’s Thierry Henry voted MLS Player of the Week
With his second multi-goal performance of his MLS career, New York Red Bulls  forward Thierry Henry was voted the MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters for Week Three of the season. Henry contributed two goals and an assist in New York’s 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. For more, CLICK HERE.
 
Nominees:
  • Saer Sene (NE)
  • Olman Vargas (CLB)
  • Dominic Oduro (CHI)
  • Ricardo Villar (FCD)
  • Thierry Henry (NY)
 
Check it out
MLSsoccer.com: Heroes of Week Three
 
 
CONCACAF Champions League semifinals
Wednesday, March 28 - CONCACAF Champions League
Toronto FC vs. Santos Laguna (8 p.m. ET)
 
Toronto FC hosts Mexican club Santos Laguna for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals at BMO Field. The second leg is set for April 4 in Torreon.
Last season, Real Salt Lake advanced past Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica to earn a spot in the CCL finals, where they lost to Monterrey of Mexico.
 
Week 4 National Broadcasts
 
Friday, March 30
D.C. United vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
 
Saturday, March 31
Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew, 2 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 4 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution, 11 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
 
Sunday, April 1
Colorado Rapids vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
 
MLS Week 4 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Friday, March 30
D.C. United vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. (NBC SN)
  • FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made the first save on a penalty kick this season, denying Sporting KC’s Kei Kamara on Sunday. For his career, Hartman has saved 14 of 53 penalties against him; it’s one shy of the league record held by Nick Rimando (15 of 53).
  • A year ago, the teams battled through 180 minutes against each other without scoring a goal, playing to 0-0 draws both in Frisco and in Washington, D.C.
  • D.C. United return home trying to snap a four-game home winless streak that was extended in their 1-0 First Kick loss to Sporting KC. It’s tied for second-longest in club history, behind a seven-game drought last year.
 
Saturday, March 31
Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew, 2 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • Costa Rican newcomer Olman Vargas scored his first MLS goal last week against Montreal while paired up top with Emilio Rentaria.  
  • Another Crew newcomer, Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic, scored the Crew’s first goal of 2012.
  • Since qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with a win vs. the LA Galaxy on March 14, Toronto FC has dropped both of their league matches.
 
  • It took 13 tries, but Toronto FC finally defeated Columbus in their final meeting last year: a 4-2 win on Sept. 10 at Columbus Crew Stadium. The Crew had won five of the first 12 meetings all-time, with seven draws.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 4 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • Thierry Henry scored twice and set up a third in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 win against Colorado. It was Henry’s second two-goal game of his MLS career – he also netted a pair and set up a third April 21, 2011, vs. D.C. United.
  • Kenny Cooper also scored two goals. It was his first two-goal game in MLS since since April 19, 2009 (for FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC). His first goal on Sunday was his 50th career league goal.
  • The Red Bulls suffered a potentially big blow when Juan Agudelo suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee while with the U.S. U-23 national team in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
  • Winless in their first two away games, the Impact continue a three-game road swing with the visit to New York, followed by a trip to face Real Salt Lake next Wednesday.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4 p.m.
  • Vancouver has opened the season with three consecutive shutouts – the team did not record back-to-back shutouts in their entire inaugural MLS season. The MLS record of minutes to start a season without allowing a goal is 421, set in 2007 by the New York Red Bulls. To beat that record, The Whitecaps would have to hold tight on defense against Philadelphia and 62 minutes of their match against San Jose.
  • Whitecaps FC concluded their scoreless draw with D.C. United with at least one player born in eight different countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, England, France, Japan, South Korea, and the United States). Vancouver has players born in 17 different countries on their roster this season – most in MLS.
  • Union, who had never before lost the first two games to start a season, are the only team with a 0-3-0 mark at this point. Philadelphia is riding a club-record six-game losing streak over all competitions.
  • Each team won 1-0 decisions at home in Vancouver’s first season in MLS last year.
 
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m.
  • RSL head coach Jason Kreis has started the season with a rarity – keeping the exact same starting team for all three matches. Javier Morales and Álvaro Saborío were both halftime substitutes in Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Chivas USA.
  • The Timbers return to imposing Jeld-Wen Field after coming off a draw and a loss on their two-game road swing. Portland went 2-9-6 away from home in their inaugural MLS season.
  • Portland has allowed the opening goal in each of their three games this season – a win, a draw and a loss.
  • Portland went undefeated vs. Real Salt Lake in two meetings in their inaugural MLS season, winning 1-0 at Jeld-Wen Field and reaching a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium.
 
Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m.
  • San Jose’s 3-0 win at Toronto FC was the club’s biggest win on the road since a 3-0 victory in Dallas on Aug. 13, 2003.
  • Sounders FC have won their first two games in a season for the first time since beginning their MLS career with a pair of victories in their inaugural season of 2009.
  • David Estrada regained the MLS lead with his fourth goal of the season in Sounders FC’s 2-0 win Friday vs. Houston. Estrada has five goals in all competitions already this season.
  • San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski scored twice vs. Toronto FC, and is now one off the league lead with three goals. He has recorded seven multiple-goal games since the start of 2010.
 
LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution, 11 p.m. (NBC SN)
  • Matt Reis became the sixth goalkeeper in MLS history to reach the 1,000-save plateau in the 1-0 shutout of Portland on Saturday.
  • It took just 28 seconds of their home opener, but Saer Sené finally scored the Revolution’s first goal of 2012. The goal equaled the eighth-fastest to start a game in MLS history – yet was the fourth-quickest in New England club history.
  • The Galaxy return to action after a week off, following their first win of 2012, a 3-1 defeat of D.C. United at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy had lost back-to-back games at home for the first time since August 2010.
  • When the Revolution lost 1-0 at the San Jose Earthquakes to kick off the 2012 season, it extended their winless streak on the West Coast to 11 games (0-9-2). New England has not won in either the Mountain or Pacific time zones since an August 2009 win at Seattle (17 games).
 
Sunday, April 1
Colorado Rapids vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • A year ago, the Fire won just one of their first 11 home games – a figure they’ve already matched this season after their 1-0 home opener vs. Philadelphia on Saturday.
  • Dominic Oduro, who led the Fire with 12 goals last season, scored for the second time in as many weeks.
  • Suspended on Saturday after a red card vs. Philadelphia, Jeff Larentowicz saw his streak of 73 consecutive MLS games in league and postseason play come to an end in the 4-1 loss at New York.
  • The road team has won just once in the last 14 meetings all-time in the series, covering the last seven seasons. That came in 2009; last year, the Fire won at Toyota Park, while the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
 
Chivas USA vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m.
  • Sporting Kansas City became the 15th team in MLS history to start a season 3-0-0. Only one of those teams has failed to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs: the Kansas City Wizards in 2006.
  • Graham Zusi had a pair of assists in the 2-1 win vs. FC Dallas. He now leads MLS with four assists this season, with at least one assist in each game this season. It was Zusi’s second career two-assist game, his first coming last Sept. 10 vs. Houston.
  • Rookie Casey Townsend scored Chivas USA’s first goal of 2012 after 252 minutes of play, netting the game’s only goal for the win at Real Salt Lake.
  • Sporting Kansas City has won on each of their last two visits to The Home Depot Center to face Chivas USA, including a 3-2 last year.
 
Quotable
 
QUOTABLES
 
"It's always great to play in Toronto even though they are usually yelling at us. It's always fun to see such passionate fans ... It kind of inspires you."
-- San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, to the San Jose Mercury News, after scoring twice at BMO Field in a 3-0 win against Toronto FC.
 
“The eighth? I thought it could have been the first two.”
-- New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph, to The Boston Globe, after his team’s goal after 28 seconds – tied for eighth-quickest in MLS history – gives it a 1-0 win against Portland.
 
"Everything I hit is going in."
-- Seattle Sounders FC striker David Estrada, who leads MLS with four goals after scoring in Friday’s 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo.
 
"It's good we're disappointed. We have to improve a lot to be a really good team."
-- Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Davide Chiumiento, to The Province, after his team remains unbeaten on the season following a scoreless draw with D.C. United at BC Place.
 
Sweet Tweets
@b_feilhaber22– March 24
So proud of my team and congrats to jay for his first win as a coach. #3points
 
@JeremiahOshan– March 25
Note from yesterday: Revs led Timbers longer than all other EC teams have led WC teams this year combined.
 
@801PUNX(Branden Steineckert, drummer for Rancid) – March 24
Since I can't be there I'll sing it anyway backstage at my concert: IF YOU BELIEVE THEN JUST STAND UP ON YOUR FEET AND SHOUT IT LOUD REAL...
 
@herculezg– March 21
I'm no Arsenal fun, but my hat is off to Thierry Henry. Going to visit his ex teammate Muamba for one hr then flying back stateside. #CLASS
 
@shanevans– March 24
I love how the collars on the @ChicagoFire's jerseys match what the Quakers would actually consider fashionable. #Union #MLS