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This Week in MLS – October 7, 2013

This Week in MLS – October 7, 2013
 
·         MLS Cup Playoffs Race Heats Up; Six Teams Can Clinch a Playoff Spot
·         Playoff Scenarios
·         AT&T Goal of the Week
·         Check It Out    
·         Quotables & Sweet Tweets
·         Week 33 Game Previews
 
 
MLS Cup Playoffs Race Heats Up; Six Teams Can Clinch a Playoff Spot
 
Six Major League Soccer teams have an opportunity to book their place in the playoffs this week and join the New York Red Bulls, who dramatically became the first team to clinch a 2013 postseason berth last Saturday night when they tied the New England Revolution on a 97th minute goal by Tim Cahill.
 
Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers and Colorado Rapids all enter the week with a shot of clinching, while Columbus Crew, FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are in danger of being eliminated from playoff contention.
 
This week is highlighted by the final two regular season games in the Cascadia Cup. Seattle host Vancouver on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS2 and have a chance to punch their ticket to the postseason with a win, and then travel to Portland for a Sunday night showdown on ESPN (9 p.m. ET).
 
Here’s a look at all the possible playoff-clinching scenarios:
 
Playoff Scenarios
 
Sporting Kansas City will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Sporting Kansas City win vs. Houston Dynamo on Wednesday
OR
·         Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. FC Dallas on Saturday
OR
·         Philadelphia Union lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday
 
Houston Dynamo will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Houston Dynamo win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday AND
·         New England Revolution tie or lose vs. Montréal Impact on Saturday AND
·         Chicago Fire lose vs. FC Dallas on Saturday
 
Columbus Crew will be eliminated from playoff contention IF
·         Houston Dynamo win or tie vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday AND
·         Montréal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday AND
·         Philadelphia Union win vs. D.C. United on Saturday
OR
·         Columbus Crew lose vs. New England Revolution on Oct. 19
OR
·         Columbus Crew tie vs. New England Revolution on Oct. 19 AND
·         Philadelphia Union win or tie vs. D.C. United on Saturday OR
·         Chicago Fire win vs. FC Dallas on Saturday
 
Seattle Sounders FC will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday
OR
·         Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday
OR
·         Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday
 
Real Salt Lake will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday
 
Colorado Rapids will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday AND
·         Seattle Sounders FC win or tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday
 
Portland Timbers will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Portland Timbers win vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday AND
·         Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday
OR
·         Portland Timbers tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday AND
·         Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday AND
·         Seattle Sounders FC win or tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be eliminated from playoff contention IF
·         Vancouver Whitecaps FC lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday AND
·         Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday
 
FC Dallas will be eliminated from playoff contention IF
·         FC Dallas lose or tie vs. Chicago Fire on Wednesday
 
Week 33 National Broadcasts
 
Wednesday, October 9
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:00 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS2)
 
Saturday, October 12
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 2:30 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS)
 
Sunday, October 13
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
 
AT&T Goal of the Week (Week 32) – CLICK HEREto vote
·         Tim Cahill (NY) Last second header to secure playoff berth
·         Kleberson (PHI) Game-winning free kick
·         Landon Donovan (LA) Record-tying chip
·         Darlington Nagbe (POR) Long distance, upper 90 strike
·         Camilo Sanvezzo (VAN)Scissor- kick volley
 
Check It Out
 
 
Quotables
 
“I know him inside and out…I know how to push his buttons at the right times. If you cross the line with him, you lose him. If you don’t push him enough, you don’t get enough…He’s one of those rare players that doesn’t come around very often…I feel like Darlington has just grown up right before my eyes”
Portland Timbers Head Coach Caleb Porter on midfielder Darlington Nagbe
 
"He's obviously the guy who sparked us for our run in the summer, and he continues to score for us and be that game-changer”
Chicago Fire veteran Chris Rolfe on teammate Mike Magee
 
“To look in the players’ eyes before the game in Seattle and see they were ready was a great feeling…There’s a belief that we can accomplish things. There’s no question we have the backbone to go in to a hostile environment against a good team and get a result. A point there was phenomenal, it gives us confidence.”
New York Red Bulls coach Mike Petke after clinching a berth in the playoffs with the tie against Seattle Sounders FC
 
“If there’s one thing we did a good job of this year was sticking together…The wheels never fell off — and a lot of times it was close. When you go through this much turmoil, it’s tough to stay together.”
D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen on winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
 
"Just got to keep on going, like we all say…You just have to take it one at a time. The guys back here will be working hard and getting in the rest that they need and putting in the work. Then we will go and try and get it done for the U.S., then get back and ready to go."
Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman on the recent call-up to the U.S. national team for World Cup Qualifying
 
Sweet Tweets
 
@JimmyConrad – October 1 – Jimmy Conrad, former MLS and U.S. national team player and host of KICKTV
Congrats to @dcunitedand my old teammates, Ben Olsen, Josh Wolff, and @dwaynederosario, for winning a trophy and qualifying for the CCL!
 
@AjSoares – October 2 – AJ Soares, New England Revolution
 
@tallyhallGK– October 6 – Tally Hall, Houston Dynamo
Ricketts is ruining Vancouver's playoff hopes #iwishicouldmakethatsave
 
@Matt_Hedges – October 6 – Matt Hedges, FC Dallas
Camilwhoa..
 
@AdrianHealey– October 6 - Adrian Healey, ESPN commentator
If this weekend is anything to go by, the @mls playoffs are going to be completely insane.
 
@CBarrett19 – October 7 – Chad Barrett, New England Revolution
Just saw Camilo's goal....wow. #whatabike
 
MLS Week 33 Previews
 
Wednesday, October 9
Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.
·         The Dynamo have gotten hot at the right time of the season, now with a four-game undefeated streak, one short of their season-long (set April 14-May 8). After their last loss, a 4-1 defeat vs. New York on Sept. 8 that ended a four-game winless run, the Dynamo were outside the top five in the Eastern Conference.
·         Center back Ike Opara matched his career-high with his third goal this season as Sporting KC won for the fourth time in the last five matches, defeating Columbus 1-0 on Saturday to move to the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Aurélien Collin’s header in the 73rd minute was the only goal of the game as Sporting put an end to the Dynamo’s 30-game league home undefeated streak on May 12 at BBVA Compass Stadium; two weeks later, SKC’s Kei Kamara and Houston’s Brad Davis traded goals to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park.
·         The Sporting win in the first meeting was the first victory for the road team in the series since 2009, and Sporting’s second win ever in Houston. The last three league meetings at Sporting Park have ended in draws.
 
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. (TSN, RDS2)
·         Sounders FC matched the heaviest defeat in the club’s MLS history when they lost 5-1 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Seattle lost 4-0 to the LA Galaxy on May 26 of this year.
·         Camilo Sanvezzo scored two goals in a game for the second time in the last three matches, including a stunning flying side volley, to bring Whitecaps FC back for a 2-2 draw with Portland on Sunday evening. Camilo has scored the last four Vancouver goals; he now has five 2-goal games and is tied for the league lead in multi-goal games. He is second in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 18 goals.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Darren Mattocks and Kenny Miller scored to give Whitecaps FC a 2-0 victory on July 6 at BC Place; less than a month earlier, Lamar Neagle’s late goal capped a comeback and gave Sounders FC a 3-2 victory before a crowd of better than 53,000 at CenturyLink Field.
·         The Vancouver victory in the last meeting was their first ever against their Cascadia rivals to the south since coming to MLS. Sounders FC had won three of the first six meetings, with three draws.
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids, 10:30 p.m.
·         When Deshorn Brown scored after 15 seconds of Colorado’s 5-1 home defeat of Seattle on Saturday evening, it was the second-quickest goal ever scored in MLS history. Dwayne De Rosario scored after 11 seconds for San Jose on Sept. 27, 2003; the previous second-fastest was also scored by the Rapids, Conor Casey scoring after 16 seconds on April 4, 2009.
·         The Earthquakes return to action after a week off, Chris Wondolowski netting his first goal since Aug. 18 for the only marker in a 1-0 victory vs. Chivas USA on Sept. 29 at StubHub Center.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Sam Cronin’s second-half goal gave the Earthquakes a 2-1 victory June 15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Mark Watson’s first game in charge of the club. The teams played to a 1-1 draw May 18 at Buck Shaw Stadium, when Marvín Chavez scored in the 78th minute for San Jose, answering a first-half Rapids goal from Nathan Sturgis.
·         The Rapids last defeated San Jose in the first meeting in the 2011 season. The Quakes have won four of the six meetings since, with two draws, including all three matches last season.
 
Saturday, October 12
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 2:30 p.m. (TSN, RDS)
·         The Impact saw their winless streak reach four matches following a 1-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. Their season-long is five games without a win, June 29-July 10.
·         Diego Fagundez netted his fifth goal in the last seven games as the Revolution reached a late 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. Fagundez also has two assists in that span; he has 12 goals for the season.
·         The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Patrice Bernier scored a pair of goals – both on penalty kicks – and Marco Di Vaio also scored twice as the Impact rolled to a 4-2 victory Sept. 8 at Gillette Stadium.
·         The Impact have won three of the four meetings all-time. The lone Revolution win came at Stade Saputo, a 1-0 victory last Oct. 27.
 
D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season in league play. Jack McInerney scored a pair of goals to pace Union to a 3-2 victory April 21 at RFK Stadium, then Conor Casey hit for a brace in a 2-0 Union victory Aug. 10 at PPL Park.
·         United suffered their third consecutive league loss on Saturday, falling 3-0 to the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium, extending their MLS winless streak to nine games in their club-record 22nd defeat this season.
·         Union have won back-to-back 1-0 matches, winning on Saturday vs. Toronto FC at PPL Park behind a Kléberson free kick five minutes deep into second-half stoppage time, his first MLS goal.
·         Goalkeeper Zac MacMath now leads MLS with 12 shutouts following the victory vs. Toronto, one ahead of Jimmy Nielsen (KC) and Donovan Ricketts (POR).
 
FC Dallas vs. Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m.
·         Kenny Cooper scored his first league goal since May 18 as FC Dallas kept alive their playoff hopes with a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening.
·         The Fire ended a brief two-game winless streak with a 3-0 win against D.C. United on Saturday evening as midfielder Jeff Larentowicz scored his second goal this season and center back Bakary Soumare his first.
·         The Fire won the Brimstone Cup – awarded by the two supporters’ clubs of the two teams so named when it matched the Fire and the Burn – last year for the first time since 2001, in a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park in the only meeting between the teams.
·         The win was the first for the Fire in the all-time series since a 3-1 Chicago win in 2009, and was their first win ever in Bridgeview, their last home win coming in 2005.
 
Sunday, October 13
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
·         Darlington Nagbe scored his ninth goal of the season – a new club single-season record in MLS – as the Timbers reached a 2-2 draw at Vancouver on Sunday evening.
·         Sounders FC’s 5-1 loss at Colorado on Saturday snapped a seven-game undefeated run, and was just their second loss since mid-July (going 8-1-3 from July 20 to Sept. 29).
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. A Rodney Wallace goal in second-half stoppage time canceled out an early Eddie Johnson to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, March 16 at CenturyLink Field. Johnson scored the game’s only goal for a Sounders FC home win on Aug. 25.
·         Sounders FC have now defeated their Pacific Northwest rivals in three consecutive matches, all in Seattle. In the first meeting a year ago, the Timbers defeated Seattle in MLS play for the first time, a 2-1 win at Jeld-Wen Field on June 24.