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This Week in MLS – October 10, 2016

This Week in MLS – October 10, 2016
  • Marquee rivalries and postseason berths take center stage on ESPN in Final Push to the Playoffs
  • Seattle Sounders FC able to clinch berth in 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs during midweek action – Midweek Playoff Scenarios
  • MLS stars shine in international play as Giovani dos Santos scores in triumphant return to Mexican National Team
  • Future stars of MLS lead three MLS club affiliates to semifinals of USL Playoffs  
  • Expansion Priority Draft to take place on MLS Matchday Live – Week 33 Pregame show
  • Check It Out, Quotables, Sweet Tweets
  • Week 33 Game Previews
 
 
Marquee rivalries and postseason berths take center stage on ESPN in Final Push to the Playoffs
The Final Push to the Playoffs hits a fever pitch this Sunday, as Week 33 – the second-to-last week of the regular season – boasts 10 pivotal intra-conference matchups loaded with Supporters’ Shield, Golden Boot and 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoff implications. With all 20 teams in action on the same day, the intensity is heightened with simultaneous start times as all Eastern Conference matches will kick off at 3 p.m. ET, followed by all Western Conference clashes at 5 p.m. ET.  
 
ESPN will feature two of the most paramount Week 33 matchups, first showcasing the fiery 401 Derby between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC, followed by a trip out West to Portland where the reigning MLS Cup champs host Supporters’ Shield contenders Colorado Rapids. In addition to live ESPN look-ins to matches across the league, MLSsoccer.com will host live pregame and postgame shows highlighting the drama and excitement of the playoff race as six of the 12 postseason berths are still up for grabs.
 
Fireworks expected as playoff hopefuls Montreal Impact host fierce rivals Toronto FC
ESPN’s Sunday action kicks off with one of the fiercest rivalries in MLS as Canadian foes Montreal Impact host Toronto FC at Stade Saputo (3 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes/TSN2/RDS). Fireworks are to be expected when the two clubs meet as Montreal (East #4, 44 points, 11-10-11 record) looks to secure a berth in the playoffs with a win, while Toronto (East #3, 49 points, 13-9-10 record) battles for a top-two finish in the Eastern Conference in order to avoid the playoff knockout round and host its first playoff game on home soil.
 
The impending return of reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco will be on everyone’s mind as the prolific Italian striker looks to pick up right where he left off. Despite missing the previous five contests due to injury, Giovinco continues to lead the league in combined goals (16) and assists (13). But memories will have to be short as Montreal loves to play the spoiler as it did last year when it knocked Toronto out of the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. Montreal will once again be buoyed by star striker Didier Drogba and midfield maestro Ignacio Piatti, whose 15 goals rank fifth in the league.
 
Supporters’ Shield race and postseason life on the line when Portland Timbers host Colorado Rapids
The stakes will be as high as ever on Sunday when the reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers host Supporters’ Shield chasers Colorado Rapids at Providence Park (5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). Portland (West #7, 41 points, 11-13-8) enters the matchup clinging to its playoff life as it sits just outside the red line in seventh, two points back from Sporting Kansas City. Despite losing to Colorado 1-0 in its last MLS action before the international break, Portland will be incredibly hard to beat at home where it has posted an impressive 11-3-2 record at Providence Park in 2016.
 
Looking to complete one of the greatest comeback stories of 2016, the Colorado Rapids, who finished dead last in the Western Conference last year, are now poised to capture its first Supporters’ Shield title in club history. With a berth in the postseason already secured, the Rapids (West #2, 54 points, 14-5-12) can potentially enter Sunday’s showdown in first place with two games remaining. If the club can collect all three points at home – where it is undefeated in 2016 – in a midweek matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday, then Colorado will grab the lead from current table toppers FC Dallas (West #1, 56 points, 16-8-8), making Sunday’s match even more significant. 
 
 
Seattle Sounders FC able to clinch berth in 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs during midweek action – Midweek Playoff Scenarios
 
Seattle Sounders FC will clinch a berth in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs IF
  • Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Houston Dynamo on Wednesday
San Jose Earthquakes will be eliminated from playoff contention IF
  • San Jose Earthquakes lose vs. Colorado Rapids on Thursday
Columbus Crew SC will be eliminated from playoff contention IF
  • Columbus Crew lose or tie vs. Chicago Fire on Thursday
QUALIFIED FOR 2016 AUDI MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: FC Dallas, Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC
ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONSIDERATION: Chicago Fire, Orlando City SC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Houston Dynamo
 
MLS stars shine in international play as Giovani dos Santos scores in triumphant return to Mexican National Team
Giovani dos Santos’ tremendous play with the LA Galaxy this season (14 goals, 12 assists) earned him a call back to the Mexican National Team – his first since Gold Cup play in 2015. The 27-year-old rewarded manager Juan Carlos Osorio for his decision with a goal in Mexico’s 2-1 friendly victory over New Zealand on Saturday. Mexico will next face Panama at Toyota Park, home of the Chicago Fire, on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET).
 
As Mexico and the U.S. prepare for World Cup qualifying, both dos Santos and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) find themselves in similar situations. Dos Santos and Kljestan, who leads the leagues in assists with 17, have used their strong play in MLS to make their way back into the national team picture. Making his return to the USMNT for the first time in two years, Kljestan showed he belonged by notching two goals and two assists in two World Cup qualifiers this September. If dos Santos and Kljestan can continue their current form with their respective national teams and in MLS, the two could be on a collision course when the U.S. and Mexico square off in Hexagonal action in Columbus on November 11.
 
With a shakeup to the U.S. roster after its 2-0 win over Cuba, New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo will now have an opportunity to impress coach Jurgen Klinsmann in the team’s final friendly of the international break vs. New Zealand at RFK Stadium on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, UniMás). Agudelo earns his first call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team in 16 months thanks in large part to a three-goal, three-assist performance in his previous five MLS matches, which has kept the Revs’ playoff hopes alive (East #7, 39 points). Joining Agudelo as new additions are four other MLS standouts: FC Dallas midfielder and Homegrown Player Kellyn Acosta, Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Tim Parker, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid and Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler.
 
MLS players continued to shine elsewhere across the globe, highlighted by Orlando City SC midfielder Kevin Molino’s hat trick in Trinidad and Tobago’s 4-0 victory over the Dominican Republic in 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifiers last week. Seattle Sounders FC midfielder and sparkplug Nicolas Lodeiro scored in Uruguay’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Venezuela, while Toronto FC forward Tosaint Ricketts notched a brace in Canada’s 4-0 win against Mauritania. Canada next faces Morocco in Marrakesh on Tuesday in another international friendly (3 p.m. ET, canadasoccer.com).
 
Future stars of MLS lead three MLS club affiliates to semifinals of USL Playoffs
While the current stars of MLS prep for the end of the regular season, the future stars of the league are already in playoff mode as the USL postseason enters the semifinals with three MLS club affiliates still battling for the league championship. Vancouver Whitecaps 2 visit Swope Park Rangers, Sporting Kansas City’s USL affiliate, in the Western Conference finals on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, YouTube), while in the Eastern Conference finals, New York Red Bulls II hosts the lone non-MLS affiliated club remaining in Louisville City FC on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, YouTube).
 
Several Homegrown Players will star in the two semifinal matchups including a New York Red Bulls II trio who have received playing time with the Red Bulls senior squad this season in Tyler Adams, Brandon Allen and Derrick Etienne Jr. The 17-year-old Adams, the third youngest player in MLS this season, starred for the United States in the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, while Etienne Jr. received his first call up to Haiti’s senior squad in this current international break. Allen, the younger brother of New York City FC defender R.J. Allen, leads Red Bulls II with 15 goals this season and scored a brace in the team’s 3-3 (5-4 PKs) victory over the Rochester Rhinos in the USL quarterfinals. Whitecaps 2 Homegrown Player Kianz Froese, meanwhile, scored a goal in the team’s 3-2 quarterfinal victory over OKC Energy FC. The 20-year-old has received two caps for the Canadian Men’s National Team.
 
Expansion Priority Draft to take place on MLS Matchday Live – Week 33 Pregame show
Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC, the two expansion clubs set to enter MLS in 2017, take a major step in preparation of their first competitive matches next season with the Expansion Priority Draft on Sunday. Set to play out live on MLS Matchday Live – Week 33 pregame show (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3/TSN2/Facebook/YouTube), representatives from each club will be present to decide which team has priority in six different player acquisition methods. A coin flip will decide which club has first selection among the six categories with alternating choices for each subsequent method below:
  •          2016 MLS Expansion Draft (Picks 1 & 2)
  •          2017 MLS SuperDraft (Picks 1 & 2)
  •          Allocation Ranking Order (Ranks 1 & 2)
  •          2016 Waiver Draft and Re-Entry Draft Ranking (Ranks 21 & 22)
  •          Discovery Player Ranking (Ranks 21 & 22)
  •          USL/NASL Player Priority Ranking (Ranks 1 & 2)
                                                                                                           
Check It Out
 
Quotables
"I'm a much more mature player, I've grown. The responsibility of putting on the captain's armband gave me a lot of pride."
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos on his return to the Mexican National Team
 
“I love the game too much sometimes, and that can be bad because sometimes you need to sit out some games in able for you to get back to full health. I’ve never wanted to miss a game. Whether it’s against the best team or the worst team, I always want to play and I always want to show what I’m capable of.”
Columbus Crew SC midfielder Mohammed Saeid on playing through injury this season
 
"For me, it's important to finish the season with honor. You play for club, you play for country, you play for the people who were affected by the hurricane. It's very, very important. The hope is to finish the season with two wins. I understand [people say], 'Why [didn't you] win before?' I understand. But it's important now to finish with honor."
Orlando City SC midfielder Antonio Nocerino on finishing the season strong and dealing with Hurricane Matthew
                           
“Guys have stepped up when the other guys haven’t been here. What that does, is it builds an incredible amount of camaraderie in the locker room. Because everyone is rooting for each other, cause everyone knows once someone is out, they’ll step in. If we relied on two or three players, we’d be dead in the water.”
Colorado Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni on his team’s 3-2 victory over Houston amid a bounce back season
 
"Oh, it's possible. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't be out there trying to play so hard and getting maximum points, yes, other things have to go our way, but we have to take care of what we can control."
New England Revolution forward Kei Kamara on his team’s chances to make the postseason
 
Sweet Tweets
Juan Agudelo (‏@JuanAgudelo): It feels too good to be back with the #usmnt 
 
AJ DeLaGarza  (@AJD_20): Hosted #MealOfLove @LARMH and gave them a check of $7,950. Made possible by everyone who supported our #LucaKnowsHeart campaign recently.
 
David Bingham (@binghamdavid): Pretty cool tour today of the west wing. Got to check out the Oval Office, Press Room, and even meet some of the guardian angels of the president. They answered all of our questions and even let us take some pictures after their long day #whitehouse #touroftheyear
 
Kellyn Acosta (@KellynAcosta): Happy to get called back up with the #USMNT 
 
Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba): Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian People   Words won't be enough to describe how grateful im to you 
#CanadaThanksgiving  
 
Week 33 Game Previews
Wednesday, October 12
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Sounders FC won their fourth consecutive game – their longest winning streak since the 2014 season, and one game shy of the club’s record in its MLS history – with a 2-1 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 2.
  • Mauro Manotas scored a pair of goals, but the Dynamo were officially eliminated from playoff contention following their second consecutive defeat in a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Manotas has six goals this season, all coming in the last five matches – he has scored the last five goals the Dynamo have scored.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, having drawn the first two with 1-1 scorelines, both at BBVA Compass Stadium. Sounders FC scored the equalizing goal deep in stoppage time in each contest, Chad Marshall’s goal canceling out a Giles Barnes strike on April 10, and Nicolas Lodeiro netting in the 94th minute to answer a late Andrew Wenger goal on Aug. 24.
  • Sounders FC have never lost to the Dynamo in Seattle. In six league meetings all-time, Sounders FC have won five, with one draw, outscoring Houston 10-2, following their 1-0 win last April 4 at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC also won a U.S. Open Cup match at home vs. Houston; the teams played a scoreless draw in Seattle in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • The Dynamo have never lost to Sounders FC in Houston. In seven meetings all-time there, the Dynamo have won three, with four draws. The Dynamo also won a game in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
 
Thursday, October 13
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, the second time in less than two weeks. On Oct. 1 at Mapfre Stadium, Harrison Afful, Justin Meram and Dilly Duka all scored as Crew SC took a 3-0 win. The teams reached a scoreless draw March 19 at Toyota Park.
  • Crew SC haven’t lost to the Fire in the last eight meetings in the series. The last Fire victory was a 2-1 win in Columbus, June 22, 2013; Crew SC have won five of the meetings, with three draws.
  • The Crew SC victory last year at Toyota Park was their first in Bridgeview since the 2006 season. The Fire had gone 6-0-5 in the 11 meetings at home in between. Crew SC have come away with points in the last five home encounters with the Fire, winning four.
  • The Fire have lost three games in a row, their overall winless run now at five games, following the loss at Crew SC on Oct. 1. The Fire’s goalless streak is now at 235 minutes.
  • Crew SC have won three of their last four games with the win against Chicago, now having won their last two games at Mapfre Stadium, their first back-to-back wins in home games this year since April 16-23.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m. ET
  • The Rapids won their second consecutive match and extended their overall undefeated streak to five games, following their 3-2 win against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Dominique Badji scored a pair of goals and Shkelzen Gashi added the third – they each have three goals over the last three games.
  • The Quakes put an end to a seven-game winless run – their first victory since Aug. 12 – in the 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1. The victory also put an end to a five-game winless streak at home, their longest since the 2014 season.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Chris Wondolowski scored the game’s lone goal as the Earthquakes took the victory in the season opener for both clubs, March 6 at Avaya Stadium; the teams reached a goalless draw Sept. 17 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Quakes have a 14-game undefeated streak alive vs. the Rapids. The Rapids last defeated San Jose in the first meeting in the 2011 season; the Quakes have won seven of the 14 meetings since, with seven draws.
  • Each of the last four meetings at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park have ended in draws. The Quakes have won the last two meetings at Avaya Stadium, both by 1-0 scorelines. San Jose has not conceded a home goal to Colorado since a 1-1 draw on May 18, 2013, a span of 424 scoreless minutes for the Rapids in the Bay Area.
 
Sunday, October 16
Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution, 3 p.m. ET
  • The Revolution won for a fourth time in the last five games – scoring three goals in a game for the third time in the last four – in their 3-1 win against Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 1 at Gillette Stadium. Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara each scored a goal and added an assist; Agudelo has three goals and three assists over the five-game stretch.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and the Revolution have won the first two, both at Gillette Stadium. Lee Nguyen scored early and Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored late as the Revolution took a 2-0 win May 14; Je-Vaughn Watson scored the game’s lone goal in the 85th minute in the New England victory.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal, Kei Kamara, Je-Vaughn Watson and Teal Bunbury all netting goals in a 3-1 Revolution victory Aug. 9 in Foxborough.
  • The Fire have a four-game undefeated streak alive at Toyota Park, with a 2-2 draw there last July 25, then a 3-1 victory on Oct. 3. The Revolution have won just twice all-time at Toyota Park – a 2-1 win in 2006, then a 1-0 victory March 9, 2013.
  • The Revolution have won the last four meetings between the teams in Foxborough. When the Fire won there July 12, 2014, it was their first victory at New England since 2010.
 
D.C. United vs. New York City FC, 3 p.m. ET
  • United won their third consecutive game – the first time they’ve won that many games in a row since a four-game winning run in July 2014 – with their 2-1 victory at Toronto FC on Oct. 1. Lamar Neagle scored a pair of goals, his nine goals for the season matching his MLS single-season career-high; Neagle has six goals and two assists over his last seven games.
  • David Villa scored both goals as NYCFC won their second game on the trot, a 2-0 victory at Houston Dynamo on Sept. 30. Villa now has 21 goals for the season, tied atop the MLS Golden Boot standings with the Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips. Villa has scored two goals in back-to-back games; his 39 goals over the last two seasons is the most in Major League Soccer.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and NYCFC have won the first two, once at each ground. David Villa and Khiry Shelton scored goals four minutes apart early in the second half as NYCFC claimed a 2-0 victory May 8 at RFK Stadium; Villa then netted a late equalizer and Frank Lampard followed with two more goals as NYCFC claimed a 3-2 win Sept. 1 at Yankee Stadium.
  • The teams met twice in New York City FC’s inaugural MLS season, each winning on their home ground. NYCFC won 3-1 on Aug. 13 at Yankee Stadium, and United won 2-1 on Oct. 2 at RFK Stadium.
 
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • The Impact have won back-to-back games in league play for the first time since April 9-16, following their 1-0 win at Orlando City SC. Dominic Oduro netted the game’s lone tally, his second consecutive game with a goal.
  • Toronto FC saw their winless streak extended to four games, matching their longest of the season, following three successive draws with the 2-1 loss to D.C. United at BMO Field on Oct. 1. Jozy Altidore netted the TFC goal, his fourth goal over the last five matches and his ninth goal of the league campaign, all having come since July 31.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season in league play, each having won on the other’s home ground. Sebastian Giovinco scored goals in each half, leading Toronto FC to a 2-0 win April 23 at Stade Saputo; Ignacio Piatti scored the game’s lone goal for an Impact win Aug. 27 at BMO Field.
  • TFC have won three of the four league meetings all-time at Stade Saputo; the Impact did take a 3-0 win in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs last year, in TFC’s first-ever postseason match. The Impact have won two league meetings at Olympic Stadium.
  • The win in the last meeting was the Impact’s first-ever in Toronto in their MLS history, with six losses and four draws in the first 10 meetings in all competitions at BMO Field.
  • The teams have met in every season they’ve been together in MLS in the Canadian Championship, with the Impact winning the title in 2014 by defeating TFC 2-1 on aggregate in the final. They’ve met four times in the semifinals, each team advancing twice, with Toronto FC going through this year, winning 4-2 at BMO Field before the teams reached a goalless draw in Montréal.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew SC, 3 p.m. ET
  • The Red Bulls extended their undefeated run to 14 matches with a second consecutive victory, coming back for a 3-2 win against Philadelphia Union on Oct. 1 at Red Bull Arena. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 21st goal to maintain a tie for leadership in the MLS Golden Boot standings; Wright-Phillips has goals in 11 of his last 13 games, dating back to July 24, with 12 goals in that time.
  • Dilly Duka netted his first goal since Sept. 19 of last season, also adding his first assist of the year, in Crew SC’s 3-0 win against Chicago on Oct. 1. Justin Meram also added his ninth and 10th assists of the season; he had 13 assists combined over his first five MLS campaigns.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Ola Kamara scored deep in stoppage time, canceling out a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal earlier in the second half as the teams settled for a 1-1 draw June 25 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • The Red Bulls won the lone league meeting between the teams at Red Bull Arena last year, a 2-1 win on Oct. 3, their first home win in the series since 2012. The teams split the two regular season meetings in Columbus, each winning by a 2-1 scoreline; the Red Bulls have taken points on six of their last eight visits to Columbus, dating back to 2011, with two victories there in that time.
  • The teams met in a thrilling Eastern Conference Championship a year ago, Crew SC winning the first leg 2-0 at home, then holding the Red Bulls to a 1-0 win in the return match at Red Bull Arena to advance to MLS Cup.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC, 3 p.m. ET
  • Union saw their winless streak extended to five games – their longest victory drought of the season – following their 3-2 loss at the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 1. Fabian Herbers netted his third goal of his rookie season, now with a goal and/or an assist in four consecutive games.
  • Orlando City had their winless run extended to five games, with a fourth defeat in that time, following their 1-0 loss to the Montréal Impact on Oct. 2 at Camping World Stadium. City were shut out at the attacking end for a second consecutive game.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Tranquillo Barnetta scored from a world-class free kick in the 90th minute, giving Union a 2-1 win April 8 at Talen Energy Stadium. On May 25, the teams combined for four goals in the second half before reaching a 2-2 draw at Camping World Stadium.
  • The teams met twice in Orlando City’s inaugural season, with one goal scored between the two games. Sebastien Le Toux scored the game’s only goal in a Union win Oct. 25 in Chester; the teams played to a scoreless draw Aug. 8 at the Citrus Bowl.
 
FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. ET
  • FC Dallas snapped a three-game winless run, following a pair of draws with a 1-0 win against the LA Galaxy on Oct. 1 at Toyota Stadium. Mauro Diaz collected his 12th assist of the season, his single-season career-high in his four MLS seasons.
  • Osvaldo Alonso matched his single-season career-high with his third goal of the year in Sounders FC’s 2-1 win vs. Vancouver on Oct. 2. Alonso scored the first goal of the season for Sounders FC – then went six months and 27 games before his next one, having scored two goals in three games with the strike vs. Whitecaps FC.
  • The teams are meeting for a third time this season, each having won convincingly on their home ground. Mauro Diaz scored early and Michael Barrios scored late as FC Dallas took a 2-0 win May 14 at Toyota Stadium; five different Sounders FC players netted goals in a 5-0 win July 13 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Sounders FC have won the last six league meetings between the teams in Seattle, and seven of the nine meetings there all-time, having outscored FC Dallas 8-0 there over the last two seasons. The only FCD win at CenturyLink Field came in 2011, a 1-0 victory on May 25.
  • The teams also met in the Western Conference Semifinals for a second consecutive season last year, FC Dallas winning the series on penalty kicks after the two legs finished 3-3 on aggregate, each team winning 2-1 on its home ground. The season prior, Sounders FC advanced on away goals, after the series ended 1-1 on aggregate.
 
Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy, 5 p.m. ET
  • The Galaxy had their winless run stretched to three games, dropping a 1-0 decision to FC Dallas on Oct. 1 at Toyota Stadium. The shutout loss also snapped a string of five consecutive games having scored multiple goals.
  • The teams are meeting for a third time this season, and the Galaxy have won the first two. Giovani dos Santos scored a pair of goals and set up a third as the Galaxy claimed a 4-1 win April 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium; Steven Gerrard scored the game’s lone goal in LA’s win July 15 at StubHub Center.
  • The Galaxy win this year was their first ever at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Galaxy’s last win in Houston had come in 2010– at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo had won four consecutive home games in the series.
  • The Galaxy have won the last two meetings at StubHub Center. Their win May 22, 2015 in Carson was LA’s first league victory against the Dynamo since May 25, 2011, ending a five-game league winless run in the series. The Dynamo had won four consecutive league meetings between the teams before a 1-1 draw March 21 in the first meeting last year.
 
Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Sebastien Le Toux scored the game’s lone goal after 63 minutes for the Rapids victory Oct. 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; they reached a goalless draw July 4, also in Commerce City.
  • The Rapids win in the last meeting ended a five-game Timbers undefeated streak alive in the series, Portland claiming three wins and two draws since the last Rapids victory, March 22, 2014 in Commerce City.
  • The visiting team has won just twice in the all-time series, the Rapids winning in Portland on June 11, 2011 before a Timbers win in Commerce City on May 30, 2015. The Timbers have a five-game home winning streak alive vs. Colorado.
  • The Timbers remained the only team in MLS winless on their travels following the loss at Colorado, now 0-10-6 on the road for the season. It was their sixth consecutive away defeat, a club record for their MLS history.
  • The Rapids entered the week as the only team still undefeated on their home ground for the season, 10-0-5 in Commerce City with two games remaining. Four teams in MLS history have gone through the entire season without a home loss.
 
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City, 5 p.m. ET
  • Real Salt Lake saw their winless run extended to five games, with a third loss in that time, in their 2-1 defeat by the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 1. Justen Glad scored the lone RSL goal, putting an end to a 310-minute goalless drought, the ninth-longest in MLS this season.
  • Sporting had their three-game undefeated run come to an end in their 3-1 loss at the New England Revolution on Oct. 1. Dom Dwyer scored for a fourth consecutive match, now with 16 goals for the season.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Real have won the first two, both at Children’s Mercy Park. Justen Glad and Luke Mulholland scored on either side of halftime as Real Salt Lake claimed a 2-1 win April 2; Yura Movsisyan’s goal in the second half clinched a 3-1 RSL win on May 21.
  • The first meeting victory was Real’s first ever at Children’s Mercy Park, in seven meetings lifetime, including MLS Cup 2013. RSL had last won in Kansas City in 2009 (at CommunityAmerica Ballpark).
  • Real have a four-game winning streak alive vs. Sporting, having won the last two league meetings a year ago, both by 2-1 scorelines, and both at Rio Tinto Stadium (June 21 and July 24) – their first wins against KC since the 2011 season. RSL haven’t lost in five consecutive regular season matches vs. SKC (4-0-2).
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 5 p.m. ET
  • Simon Dawkins netted his second goal in the last three games in the win against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1. Chris Wondolowski collected an assist, his second consecutive game involved in a goal.
  • Whitecaps FC had their league winless streak extended to three games as Seattle Sounders FC came back for a 2-1 win Oct. 2 at BC Place. It extended the ‘Caps home winless run to five matches, the club’s longest since the 2013 season.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Quincy Amarikwa and Simon Dawkins scored on either side of halftime to give the Quakes a 2-1 win Aug. 12 at BC Place.
  • The Quakes win in the last meeting was the first ever for the away team in the all-time series. The Quakes had lost on each of their last six visits to Vancouver before the win this year.
  • The teams have played to five consecutive draws in San Jose. The last time either team won in San Jose was April 7, 2012, a 3-1 Earthquakes victory at Buck Shaw Stadium. Whitecaps FC have come away with draws on five of their seven visits to San Jose.