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This Week in MLS – September 30, 2013

This Week in MLS – September 30, 2013
 
·         Real Salt Lake and D.C. United Vie for 100th U.S. Open Cup Tuesday
·         AT&T Goal of the Week
·         Check It Out    
·         Quotables & Sweet Tweets
·         Playoff Scenarios
·         Week 32 Game Previews
 
Real Salt Lake and D.C. United Vie for 100th U.S. Open Cup Tuesday
 
The first major trophy of 2013 will be raised on Tuesday night in Sandy, Utah, as Real Salt Lake hosts D.C. United in the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final (8 p.m. ET, Gol TV).
 
RSL name success in international competition among their top priorities, so capturing their first Open Cup title would not only add company for its 2009 MLS Cup, but also earn them a coveted berth in CONCACAF Champions League.
 
For D.C. United, winners of more major trophies (12) than any club in MLS history, the game is a chance to add to that haul. Already eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoff race, it’s also United's shot at validation and victory during what has been a disappointing league campaign.
 
To reach the final, coach Ben Olsen’s squad defeated the Richmond Kickers of the USL PRO on penalties, followed by wins over the Philadelphia Union (3-1), the New England Revolution (3-1) and four-time Open Cup winners Chicago Fire (2-0).
 
Jason Kreis’ RSL side survived a pair of overtime scares against USL PRO squads, defeating the Atlanta Silverbacks (3-2) and the Charleston Battery (5-2) before defeating the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks (3-0) and the Portland Timbers (2-1) to advance to the USOC Final for the first time in club history. D.C. United will be looking for their third Open Cup trophy, having won the title in 1996 and 2008.
 
Week 32 National Broadcasts
 
Friday, October 4
D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, 8:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
 
Saturday, October 5
Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
 
Sunday, October 6
LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 5:00 p.m. ET (UniMas)
 
 
AT&T Goal of the Week (Week 31) – CLICK HEREto vote
·          Jared Jeffrey (DC) Long distance strike
·         Darel Russell (TOR) Chestedvolley
·         Saer Sene (NE) First touch blast
·         Maximiliano Urruti (POR) Flick off corner kick
·         Mauro Diaz (DAL) Incredible dribbling run
 
Check It Out
Colorado Rapids: The Man Behind the Magic
New York Red Bulls: Viking Army Flugtag
Philadelphia Union: The Union Tests FIFA 14
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: 2013 Raise-a-Reader with the ‘Caps
 
Quotables
 
“I think the players here should say thank you every morning to have someone like (Alessandro Nesta) here. He works hard and gives a lot of advice to the younger players, who should take advantage of the situation.”
Montreal Head Coach Marco Schallibaum on Alessandro Nesta
 
"We’re all excited. It’s a big game for all of us. We have an opportunity to make history. We have a chance to know that we all contributed to winning the U.S. Open Cup."
Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Velasquez on the upcoming Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final vs. D.C. United
 
“I’m extremely proud of my guys. Not only to get a result here, but to play very good and to put pressure all over a phenomenal team like Seattle. And to have many scoring opportunities – and they had some as well. To come in and not be intimidated by this crowd and with the recent form of Seattle and in a very stressful environment – I’m very proud of them.”
Coach Mike Petke of the New York Red Bulls on their 1-1 tie against Seattle Sounders FC
 
“It’s all about a mentality. The physical attributes are always there. I’ve been blessed with those, and they got me a long way in my career. But if I wanted to transcend to the next level in my career, I had to focus on the mental part of my game. When you get in a rut, it’s up to you to fight your way out of it.”
C.J Sapong of Sporting Kansas City on what has contributed to his recent return to top form in MLS play
 
“There’s still enough time to come in and play. Last year was the same story — I came back at the very end, and I played in the last game against L.A.... and that gave me a big boost going into the offseason. It probably will be a similar story to that.”
Seattle Sounders FC forward Steve Zakuani on returning to the first team after battling season-long injuries
 
"On the field, his contributions have been great; off of the field, his contributions have been even better. He's not just happy being a professional athlete. I think he wants to be part of the community."
Coach Dominic Kinnear on Brian Ching’s announcement of his retirement following the end of the 2013 season
 
Sweet Tweets
 
@dwaynederosarioSeptember 30 – Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United
 
@Dannycruz5– September 26 – Danny Cruz, Philadelphia Union
Relaxing the night before a big game on NBC Sports...#playoffpushhttp://instagram.com/p/evZVqIqwNT/
 
@LamarNeagle– September 26 – Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders FC
Just wanted to thank everyone who came out & donated to the first event of the Neagle Foundation! Much more to come!
 
@Tim_Cahill– September 25 – Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls
youtu.be/W29JlTDltss  here it is #TeamCahillvs #TeamDrakeplay by play. @Drakethanks for the game bro. @EASPORTSFIFA#Fifa14
 
@brianching– September 25 – Brian Ching, Houston Dynamo
Just want to thank everyone for all the kind words. Means a lot. Wouldn't have been possible without all of your support through the years.
 
 
Playoff Scenarios
 
New York Red Bulls will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         New York Red Bulls win or tie vs. New England Revolution on Saturday
OR
·         New York Red Bulls lose vs. New England Revolution on Saturday AND
·         Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. D.C. United on Friday AND
·         Philadelphia Union tie or lose vs. Toronto FC on Saturday
 
Sporting Kansas City will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Sporting Kansas City win vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday
AND TWO OF THE FOLLOWING THREE
·         New England Revolution tie or lose vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday AND/OR
·         Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. D.C. United on Friday AND/OR
·         Philadelphia Union lose vs. Toronto FC on Saturday
 
Seattle Sounders FC will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday
 
Real Salt Lake will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF
·         Real Salt Lake win vs. FC Dallas on Saturday
 
D.C. United, Toronto FC and Chivas USA have been eliminated.
 
MLS Week 32 Previews
 
Friday, October 4
D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
·         Mike Magee scored multiple goals in a game for the first time since coming to the Fire in the 2-2 draw Saturday with Montréal at Toyota Park. Magee had scored multiple goals in a game once previously this season – a hat trick for the LA Galaxy, against Chicago, in the season opener March 3. Magee is second in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 18 goals.
·         D.C. United set a club record with their 21st league loss of the season, their current winless streak now at eight games following the 4-1 loss at Toronto FC. United is still winless on the road, with one away match remaining (Oct. 18 at Sporting KC).
·         The teams are playing for the third time this season, and the Fire have won both previous. An own goal and Mike Magee’s first league goal in a Fire uniform gave Chicago a 2-0 victory, June 2 at Toyota Park; Chris Rolfe had a pair of goals and Joel Lindpere had two assists in a 4-1 Fire win on July 20 in Bridgeview.
·         The Fire’s two wins this year were their first at home vs. United since a 1-0 win in 2006. United had won three of their seven trips to Toyota Park in between, with four draws. In the last meeting at RFK Stadium, last Aug. 22, United snapped a home winless streak vs. Chicago dating back to Aug. 29, 2009.
 
Houston Dynamo vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 p.m.
·         Will Bruin scored his second goal in as many games as the Dynamo extended their undefeated run to three games in the 1-1 draw at New England on Saturday evening. Boniek García set up the goal; he has two goals and an assist in the last three games.
·         Homegrown Player Maxim Tissot scored his first professional goal to pull the Impact back into a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Marco Di Vaio maintained his leadership in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his 19th goal of the season.
·         The teams are playing for the third time this season, and the Impact have won both without conceding a goal. In the last meeting, Montréal handed Houston its worst-ever defeat, a 5-0 win Aug. 24 at Stade Saputo behind two goals from Marco Di Vaio. First-half goals from Felipe and Di Vaio led the Impact to a 2-0 win June 19 at Stade Saputo.
·         The Impact have won all three meetings all-time at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo have won one of the two meetings lifetime in Houston, with one draw.
 
Saturday, October 5
New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m.
·         The Red Bulls had their four-game winning streak come to an end, but still extended their undefeated run to five games and remained atop the race for the Supporters’ Shield following their 1-1 draw Sunday at Seattle Sounders FC.
·         Saer Sene made it four games in a row with a goal or an assist, netting the opener in the Revolution’s 1-1 draw Saturday with Houston. Sene has two goals and three assists over the last four games.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Dax McCarty, Fabian Espíndola, Thierry Henry and Jonny Steele all hit the back of the net as the Red Bulls strolled to a 4-1 victory, April 20 at Red Bull Arena. New York’s Lloyd Sam and New England’s Diego Fagundez scored goals a minute apart as the teams reached a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium on May 11.
·         The Revolution haven’t won in New Jersey since 2007, now winless on their last eight trips to face the Red Bulls. New York has won all four league meetings at Red Bull Arena.
·         New York has not won in New England since 2002. The Revolution have won 13 of 19 meetings in league and MLS Cup play since that last New York win.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
·      Conor Casey’s goal, the first for Union in more than a month (since Aug. 25), gave the club a 1-0 win Friday at Sporting KC, ending a five-game winless run. The tally ended a club-record 346-minute goalless streak.
·         Toronto FC recorded a season-high four goals in their 4-1 defeat of D.C. United on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. Bright Dike and Álvaro Rey scored their first goals for TFC in the victory.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and on each occasion, Jack McInerney scored a goal in stoppage time to rescue a point for Union. McInerney’s goal answered a Robert Earnshaw strike for a 1-1 draw April 13 at PPL Park; McInerney’s tally answered a Jonathan Osorio goal in a 1-1 draw June 1 at BMO Field.
·         Union have two wins and two draws in four meetings all-time vs. TFC at PPL Park following the first meeting this season. The only road victory in the all-time series came at BMO Field on May 28, 2011, when Union claimed their biggest-ever victory, a 6-2 defeat of TFC.
 
Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m.
·         The Crew extended their winning streak to a season-high three games in their 4-2 defeat of FC Dallas on Sunday evening. Since taking over as interim head coach, Brian Bliss has seen his charges post a 4-1-0 record; the Crew have scored 11 goals in five games since Bliss took over.
·         Dominic Oduro scored for a third consecutive match, while Federico Higuaín scored for a second game in a row. Oduro has 12 goals and Higuaín has 11; the Crew are one of two teams with two players with 10 goals or more (also Philadelphia).
·         Sporting Kansas City had their three-game winning streak put to an end in their 1-0 home loss to Philadelphia Union on Friday evening, It was their fifth loss this season at Sporting Park, tied for third-most home losses in the league.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season, the earlier contests each won at home by Sporting. Kei Kamara’s second goal of the game, in the 80th minute, gave KC a 3-2 victory June 29; Claudio Bieler. Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong scored in a 3-0 Sporting victory on Sept. 7.
 
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m.
·         Real put an end to a two-game losing skid and moved back atop the Western Conference with their 1-0 win at Vancouver on Saturday evening, also snapping a five-game road winless streak.
·         FC Dallas saw their losing streak extended to a season-long three games, matching their season-high by conceding four goals in their 4-2 home loss to Columbus on Sunday.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Behind goals from Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy and Olmes Garcia, Real won for the first time ever in Texas in a 3-0 victory on July 13. Fabian Castillo and Jackson scored second-half goals to give FC Dallas a 2-0 win March 23 in Frisco.
·         After 21 matches in the state of Texas, against both Houston and Dallas, going 0-18-3, the win in the last meeting was RSL’s first ever  in the Lone Star State.
·         RSL is now 1-9-2 at FC Dallas all-time in league games between the clubs; FCD has also won a game in the MLS Cup Playoffs (in 2010) and a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal (in 2011)
 
Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
·         The Rapids return to action after a weekend off, their two-game winning run put to an end last time out in a 1-0 loss at Portland.
·         Sounders FC extended their overall undefeated run to seven games, but saw their club-record CenturyLink Field winning streak come to end after six matches, after the 1-1 draw with New York on Sunday evening. Sounders FC have not lost at home in 14 games, since a 1-0 loss to Montréal to open the season on March 2.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Obafemi Martins scored the game’s only goal in the first half to lead Sounders FC to victory, April 20 in Commerce City; Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin and Colorado’s Drew Moor traded second-half goals to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw July 20 at CenturyLink Field.
·         The draw in the last match ended a seven-game winning streak between the teams for Sounders FC. They have won eight of 11 league matches in the series, with two draws. The lone Rapids victory came May 29, 2010, a 1-0 triumph at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
 
Sunday, October 6
LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 5 p.m. (UniMas)
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Gyasi Zardes scored the game’s only goal for a Galaxy win in the first SuperClásico at the newly named StubHub Center on June 23; the teams played to a 1-1 tie March 17 in Carson.
·         The Galaxy have won nine of the last 11 league meetings, dating back to 2009. Chivas USA won 1-0 last May 19, their first victory against the Galaxy since Aug. 23, 2007, snapping an 11-game winless run in SuperClásicos.
·         The Galaxy had their winless streak extended to a season-long four games in league play in their 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon.
·         Chivas USA lost their second game in a row, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday evening at StubHub Center.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m.
·         Whitecaps FC had their home winless streak extended to three games, dropping a 1-0 decision to Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon at BC Place.
·         Maximiliano Urruti scored his first goal since coming to Portland from Toronto FC and the Timbers won by a 1-0 scoreline for a second consecutive match, defeating the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers extended their overall undefeated run to four games, and haven’t lost in the Rose City in 13 league matches.
·         The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Portland’s Jose Adolfo Valencia scored the equalizer with eight minutes to go to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw May 18 at BC Place; the Timbers’ Ryan Johnson and Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey each netted in the 1-1 draw Aug. 3 at Jeld-Wen Field.
·         The Timbers have never lost to Whitecaps FC since the two teams have played in MLS competition. The Timbers have won four of the seven meetings all-time, including two of the three contests at BC Place.
 
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