This Week in MLS – October 16, 2012
Chris Wondolowski: In pursuit of history this Sunday on Galavision
This Sunday, the San Jose Earthquakes play host to the LA Galaxy (Galavision, 7:00 p.m. ET) setting up a pivotal match in striker Chris Wondolowski’s career. With just two matches left, the Earthquakes forward’s stellar season has put him within reach of a two Major League Soccer records.
Wondolowski has tallied 25 goals this season, just two short of the MLS single-season goal-scoring record. No player has scored 27 goals in one regular season since Roy Lassiter for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 1996.
Wondolowski is also likely to become the only player in MLS history to lead the league in goal-scoring for three consecutive years. Currently, Stern John (1998 and 1999) and Carlos Ruiz (2002 and 2003) are the only other players that have scored the most regular season goals in back-to-back seasons.
“Wondo” will not have an easy path to breaking the existing single-season goal-scoring record. Over seven league matches played, he has only scored two goals against Los Angeles. He did, however, score both of those goals in the past three seasons, one of which came when the teams last met in June.
If Wondolowski falls short of the record on Sunday, he will have one last regular season game, against the Portland Timbers, on Saturday, Oct. 27 (6:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) to make it to his mark.
San Jose Earthquakes within reach of Supporters’ Shield
The San Jose Earthquakes have two games remaining, and with a win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 20, the club would clinch the 2012 Supporters’ Shield and be guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. San Jose has defeated LA on two previous meetings this season and will be going for the clean sweep against their fellow Californians live on Galavision this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET.
San Jose Earthquakes will win the Supporters’ Shield IF
· San Jose Earthquakes win vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
· Sporting Kansas City lose or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday
Seattle Sounders FC’s Servando Carrasco voted MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitatian of the Month
Servando Carrasco has been named the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month for October for his efforts to help raise awareness about breast cancer. Carrasco participated in June’s Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure,” raising $6,300 as part of the Por La Mujer Hispana team. He has also worked with the Pugent Sound Blood Center.
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MLS Cup Playoff Race Update
Returning to action after the international break, four clubs (three from the East, one from the West) set their sights on qualification for the 2012 MLS Cup playoffs.
On Saturday, October 20, three Eastern Conference clubs have the opportunity to clinch playoff berths.
Columbus Crew travel to Washington D.C. to fight for their playoff lives but face a tough test on the road.
If D.C. defeats Columbus, the remaining three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference could be accounted for by Saturday night. United have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games while outscoring their opponents six to two and posting three shutouts.
On Sunday, October 21, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will have a chance to secure their first MLS Cup playoff appearance. If the second-year club beats Portland they are guaranteed one of the Western Conference playoff spots.
D.C. United will clinch a playoff spot IF
New York Red Bulls will clinch a playoff spot IF
Houston Dynamo will clinch a playoff spot IF
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will clinch a playoff spot IF
San Jose Earthquakes will win the Supporters’ Shield IF
MLS Week 33 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Wednesday, October 17
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, October 20
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, 1:30 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
New York Red Bulls vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m. (NBC SN)
Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 21
San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers, 7 p.m. (TSN2/RDS2)
Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes)
Check It Out:
D.C. United: Nick DeLeon - 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year Candidate
LA Galaxy: Galaxy Unveil Herbalife Players' Lounge
Portland Timbers: The US town which is fanatical about football
San Jose Earthquakes: Veteran Advice with Ramiro Corrales
Seattle Sounders FC: Kingdom Finder
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: #OffThePitch - Jordan Harvey Flies
“To get the record is fantastic. I didn’t know who held it before, but just to have my name in the record book is cool.”
-Matt Hedges, FC Dallas defender on breaking the record for most minutes played by a rookie for FC Dallas
"I went to see the last game [RSL's 2-1 win over Portland] and the fans were just amazing. I think the atmosphere is better than in Europe."
-David Viana, Real Salt Lake’s newest arrival talking about the MLS
"Today’s U.S. players have a chip on their shoulder to prove they can play for Spurs or Everton. Back then we had a chip on our shoulder because we were so desperate to grow the game in this country."
-John Harkes, former U.S. International commented on the growth of soccer in the United States
“He continues to do things for other people. That’s one of the big things that made him who he was — that he put other people before himself.”
-Mark McCullers, Columbus Crew General Manager, speaking of Kirk Urso and the new memorial fund that is founded in his name
"Soccer is a weird beast, especially Major League Soccer. The teams are so evenly matched that you just really need to find your best form at the right time."
-Joe Cannon, speaking to the fact that anyone can win the MLS Cup once in the playoffs
"For me, these are your better years, these are when you become wiser as a player, and I just wanted to use my experiences -- good and bad -- in Europe to help motivate me and push me to still be a consistent player and be able to play at the highest level.”
-Eddie Johnson, on his resurgence with the U.S. National Team
“We’re going to concentrate more on that. But it definitely is good that we are in. [Watching the playoffs the last two years] has been frustrating. I know that when they mention the Chicago Fire, we should be a perennial playoff team.”
-- Chicago Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko, to the Chicago Sun-Times, on the club’s aim of finishing atop the Eastern Conference now that they are guaranteed a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs
“It doesn't matter what age I am. I'm playing good soccer right now.”
-- San Jose Earthquakes striker Alan Gordon, 31, to the San Jose Mercury-News, after earning his first international cap and setting up Eddie Johnson’s winning goal in the U.S. national team’s 2-1 win vs. Antigua & Barbuda
“I'm sure there'll be some spontaneous celebrations but I don't think we'll make the mistake of draping the locker-room for a champagne party. The time to celebrate is at the end of the season, hopefully with a good deep run into the playoffs.”
-- Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder John Thorrington, to the Vancouver Sun, on the possibility of the club clinching a playoff berth in its second season with a win against Portland this weekend
“Queens is the perfect place for this type of venue. Queens is the cultural epicenter of the country. This stadium will be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. Soccer is the international sport.”
-- MLS Commissioner, and Flushing, N.Y. native, Don Garber, to the Western Queens Gazetteon the building of a new stadium in the borough for a 20th MLS team
@Tim_Cahill– October 12, 2012
Gym, Core and Pool session done, and Football this afternoon in the stadium behind me. #preparation pic.twitter.com/kQH3gDHj
@HeathGPearce– October 11, 2012
Is anyone in Hoboken right now. I'm going to get a pedicure... If you come with me I'll pay for it. Who's in?
@JustinMeram– October 12, 2012
First big purchase finally here..... Hello Porsche Cayenne Spic.twitter.com/172r1IVn
@BrekShea– October 12, 2012
@JustinMeram– October 12, 2012
Just finished my monthly visit to the children's hospital. Met some amazing kids everytime. #wanttomakeadifference
@mdr7(Mauro Rosales) - October 12, 2012
@huntfree(Hunter Freeman) – October 13, 2012
Doing a little pumpkin pickin this morning w/ the fampic.twitter.com/S2yQkUsz
- Chris Wondolowski: In pursuit of history Sunday on Galavision
- San Jose looking to clinch Supporters’ Shield
- MLS W.O.R.K.S Humanitarian of the Month
- 2012 MLS Cup Playoff Race Update
- Week 33 Match Previews
- Quotables & Sweet Tweets
- D.C. United win or tie vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday
- Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday
- New York Red Bulls win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday
- Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday
- New York Red Bulls tie vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday AND
- Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday OR
- Columbus Crew tie vs. D.C. United on Saturday
- Houston Dynamo win vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday
- Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC win vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday
- FC Dallas lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC tie vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday AND
- FC Dallas tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday
- San Jose Earthquakes win vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
- Sporting Kansas City lose or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday
- Defensive minded: The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Fabian Espíndola netted the game’s lone goal for an RSL win May 12 at CenturyLink Field, then the teams played to a scoreless draw July 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Playoff preview?: The match could also be a preview of a Western Conference Semifinal Series. The teams are sitting in second and third place in the conference, and could have those placing’s secured by week’s end. The teams met in a in a tense Western Conference semifinal last year, Real winning the first leg 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium, then advancing on aggregate despite a 2-0 loss at CenturyLink Field in the return match.
- Goal machine: Fredy Montero scored his MLS single-season career-high 13th goal in the 3-0 win against Portland on Oct. 7. Montero, who has scored in double digits in goals in each of his four MLS seasons, has 47 goals since coming to the league from Colombia’s Deportivo Calí.
- Hot streak: Fabian Espíndola continued his hot streak, getting both goals in RSL’s 2-1 win at the LA Galaxy on Oct. 6. In the last three games – all RSL wins – Espíndola has three goals and three assists.
- Grudge match: The Canadian rivals are meeting for the third time this season in MLS, the first at BMO Field. Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Andrew Wenger each scored to lead the Impact to a 2-1 win April 7 at Olympic Stadium, then Torsten Frings, Ryan Johnson and Danny Koevermans all scored for a 3-0 TFC victory, June 27 at Stade Saputo.
- Tough times: Toronto FC saw their winless streak extended to 12 games – one shy of the club record set over the end of the 2011 season and the start of this year – in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Oct. 6.
- Great start: With a victory in either of their last two games, the Montréal Impact will have the third-best record for an expansion team in MLS history. Only Chicago in 1998 and Seattle in 2009 will have had more points than the Impact.
- Top form: While he didn’t not score a goal, Impact striker Marco Di Vaio continued his recent form with an assist on his team’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Houston on Oct. 6. Over the last nine games, Di Vaio has five goals and three assists.
- Grand finale: The teams are meeting for the third time this season, all coming over the final three months of the season. A month ago, C.J. Sapong and Kei Kamara scored as Sporting ended the Red Bulls long home unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory at Red Bull Arena. The teams played to a 1-1 draw on Aug. 26 at Livestrong Sporting Park, as Kamara scored at both ends, giving KC an early lead then scoring into his own net for the equalizer.
- Dropping dimes: Graham Zusi regained the league lead with his 15th assist, setting up Sporting’s goal in their 1-1 draw with Columbus on Oct. 7.
- Brick wall: SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen has 14 shutouts this season, tied for second-most in a single season in MLS history. If he posts shutouts in the final two games of the season, he will equal the all-time MLS record set in 2000 by Kansas City’s Tony Meola.
- Series split: The teams are meeting for the third time this season, having split the first two, each winning at home. Goals four minutes apart from Kelyn Rowe and Benny Feilhaber midway through the second half gave the Revolution a 2-0 victory June 2 at Gillette Stadium, then Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald scored first-half goals for a 2-1 Fire win, Aug. 18 at Toyota Park.
- Finishing touch: Sherjill MacDonald had his first two-goal game since coming to MLS, netting both goals in the Fire’s 2-0 win at New York on Oct. 6.
- Goals needed: The Revolution have been shut out in back-to-back games for a third time this season following their 1-0 loss at Philadelphia on Oct. 6. They have not been blanked in three consecutive games this season.
- Third meeting: The teams are meeting for the third time this season, each having taken 1-0 decisions on their home ground. The Crew won 1-0 at Crew Stadium on July 21, the game’s only goal scored by Chris Birchall in the opening minute of the second half. United returned the favor Aug. 4 at RFK Stadium, the only goal scored by Chris Pontius in the 49th minute.
- On fire: United extended their unbeaten streak to five games – going 4-0-1 in that time – with their 1-0 win at Toronto FC on Oct. 6.
- Playoff bound?: With a win or a draw, United will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007 – the four-year postseason drought the longest in club history, and tied for second-longest in MLS history.
- Career best: Eddie Gaven scored his eighth goal of the season – a huge equalizer for a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC on Oct. 7 – to match his single-season career-high, which he set in 2005 at age 19 with the MetroStars.
- Bragging rights: The teams are playing for the third time this season, having split the first two. A late Brian Ching penalty kick was the decider in a 2-1 Dynamo victory June 30 at BBVA Compass Stadium, then Freddy Adu scored a pair of goals in a 3-1 Union win Sept. 23 at PPL Park.
- Home field advantage: It’s the final home game of the regular season for the Dynamo, who are bidding to become the fourth team in MLS history to go undefeated at home over an entire season (San Jose, 2005; Real Salt Lake, 2010; LA Galaxy, 2011).
- Historic season: The Dynamo are also riding a 24-game home unbeaten streak in league play, now the second-longest in MLS history. Real Salt Lake’s 29-game streak from 2009-11 is the league record.
- Still fighting: Since they were officially eliminated from playoff contention, Union have won back-to-back games, their last triumph a 1-0 win vs. New England on Oct. 6, as Jack McInerney scored for a third consecutive game.
- Familiar Foes: The teams are meeting for a third time this season. Two goals from Kamani Hill, plus tallies from Jeff Larentowicz and rookie Tony Cascio, gave the Rapids a 4-0 win April 28 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, then the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Commerce City on Aug. 18.
- Three years: The Rapids now have a seven-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Chivas USA. Chivas last defeated Colorado in 2009 at The Home Depot Center.
- Bad history: Jorge Villafaña’s goal to give Chivas USA a 1-1 draw vs. FC Dallas on Oct. 7 was the club’s first since Sept. 8, ending a 601-minute goalless drought that was the second-longest in MLS history (behind Toronto FC’s 824 minutes without a goal in 2007).
- Heating up: André Akpan netted his third career goal – his second in the last five games – in Colorado’s 4-1 loss to San Jose on Oct. 6 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- Goals galore: The Earthquakes scored four or more goals in a game for the sixth time in their 4-1 win at Colorado on Oct. 6. The Quakes have scored multiple goals in seven consecutive games, since Aug. 25, with 21 goals in that time.
- Historic season: While Chris Wondolowski enters the final two games of the regular season two goals from tying the all-time MLS single-season record, Marvín Chávez collected his 11th assist in the win at Colorado, the most for an Earthquakes player since their return to the league in 2008.
- King Keane: Robbie Keane scored his 15th goal of the season – his 11th in the last 14 games – in the Galaxy’s 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Oct. 6. Keane sits in fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
- Clean sweep?: The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and the Earthquakes have won the first two. Late goals from Khari Stephenson and the stoppage-time winner from Alan Gordon gave the Quakes a 3-2 victory, May 23 in Carson, then the Quakes came back from two goals down, capped by a Chris Wondolowski winner, in a 4-3 win June 30 at Stanford Stadium before a crowd of more than 50,000.
- Rivals: The Cascadia Cup rivals are meeting for the third time. Goals from Portland’s Kris Boyd and Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks left the teams in a 1-1 stalemate, June 26 at Jeld-Wen Field, then Darlington Nagbe and Kenny Miller scored first-half goals to lead the Timbers to a 2-1 win Aug. 25, also in Portland.
- Winless: Whitecaps FC have never defeated the Timbers in MLS competition. The Timbers have won three of the four meetings, with one draw.
- Making progress: Since losing five consecutive games from Aug. 15-Sept. 15, Whitecaps FC are 1-0-2 in their last three, have recorded back-to-back shutouts, their first since July 7.
- Away trouble: It’s the final road game of the year for the Timbers, who are bidding to keep from becoming the fifth team in MLS history to go through an entire season without an away win. The last? Vancouver, in 2011 (also: Los Angeles, 2003; Real Salt Lake, 2005; New York, 2009).
- Cup at stake: The match will also decide the Cascadia Cup competition for 2012. Portland must beat Vancouver to capture the Cascadia Cup, while a Whitecaps FC win or draw would award the cup to Seattle.
- Last meeting: The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Fredy Montero scored twice to lead Sounders FC to a 2-0 victory May 9 at FC Dallas Stadium, then Seattle’s Mauro Rosales and FCD’s Jackson traded first-half goals as the clubs ended in a 1-1 draw, Sept. 2 in Frisco.
- Road woes: Sounders FC haven’t defeated FC Dallas at home in league play since 2009. FC Dallas have never defeated Sounders FC at home, now winless in four games all-time in Frisco.
- Prime Perez: Blas Pérez has scored three goals in the last two games, netting the equalizer for FC Dallas in their 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on Oct. 7, their third draw in four matches.
- Still got it: Eddie Johnson scored his 14th goal in Sounders FC’s 3-0 win against Portland on Oct. 7 – nearly matching his total of 15 goals scored in his last season in the league, 2007 when he played for the Kansas City Wizards.