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This Week in MLS - July 3, 2012

  • All-Star First XI to be announced Sunday on ESPN
  • MLS W.O.R.K.S Community MVP Contest
  • Kevin Hartman Ready to Make History
  • AT&T Goal of the Week
  • Week 18 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
 
Sunday on ESPN: First XI to be announced during Fire vs. Galaxy Game
The 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game First XI All-Stars will be announced Sunday live on ESPN during the broadcast of the Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy game (3:00 p.m. ET). LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan has the opportunity to be named an MLS All-Star for the 12th consecutive season, which would make him the outright leader, ahead of Eddie Pope, for most All-Star selections all-time.
 
Fans voted from a field of 114 players—the top six per team, chosen by a media panel—and gave their input in droves via text and online voting. Twitter voting also occurred over a two-day period from June 21-22.
 
The All-Stars will take on current European champions, Chelsea FC, on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., the first marquee event ever to be held at the Philadelphia Union’s stadium. ESPN2, TeleFutura, TSN and RDS will broadcast the game live at 8:30 p.m. ET.
 
Apply for 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game Credentials by CLICKING HERE. The application deadline is Monday, July 9, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
 
MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP Contest
MLS fans throughout the League have nominated individuals who go above and beyond every day to make a difference in their communities. Now that each club has selected a Community MVP, it’s time to vote. One Grand Prize winner will receive a $10,000 donation to their charity of choice and a trip to the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park. Voting for the 2012 MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community MVP Contest Grand Prize will take place from July 2nd to July 13th at 5 p.m. ET. Visit http://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsworks/community-mvp/voteto cast your vote.
 
Hartman Ready to Make MLS History
FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman could set a new MLS record this Wednesday, July 4. If Hartman logs minutes in FC Dallas’ match against Toronto FC tomorrow, he will become the first MLS player to reach the 400 games played mark. Additionally, if he starts the match versus the Reds, Hartman will have only been left out of the first 11 in five of the 400 MLS games in which he has appeared.
 
Current Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis became the first MLS player to reach 100 games played (April 30, 1999) and 200 games played (August 21, 2002), while Chris Henderson was the first player to 300 games (July 4, 2006). On August 20, 2011, Hartman surpassed Steve Ralston as the all-time MLS leader in matches played. On August 20, 2011, Hartman surpassed Steve Ralston as the all-time MLS leader in matches played, a record which had previously been 378.
 
In his 16th MLS season, Hartman is the all-time leader in saves (1,422) and shutouts (108), and holds the current single-season record GAA record of 0.62, which occurred in 2010.
 
MLS Week 17 - National Broadcasts
Wednesday, July 4: Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:00 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
Wednesday, July 4: Dallas FC vs. Toronto FC, 9:00 p.m. ET (TSN)
Saturday, July 7: Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids 11:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network/TSN)
Sunday, July 8:Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy, 3:00 p.m. ET (ESPN/Deportes)
Sunday, July 8: Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, 4:00 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
Sunday, July 8:New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:00 p.m. ET (Galavision)
 
 
AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 17) – CLICK HEREto vote
  • David Beckham (LA)
  • Chris Pontius (DC)
  • Victor Bernardez (SJ)
  • Jan Gunnar Solli (NY)
  • Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
 
Check it Out:
New England Revolution: Get to Know Matt Reis
Toronto FC: Happy Canada Day
Vancouver Whitecaps: Roommates on the Road
 
MLS Week 18 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
 
Tuesday, July 3
Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m.
  • The Compass Points ‘W’: Houston has yet to lose a match at the new BBVA Compass Stadium, going 4-0-2 since opening the ground on May 12.
  • Rolfe Return:Making his first start since returning to the Fire and Major League Soccer, Chris Rolfe assisted on Pappa’s goal in KC, his first on his return.
  • Different Strokes: The two goal scorers in the April 15 draw between these two sides have had wildly different seasons since their first encounter. Houston’s Will Bruin has scored eight goals since and leads his club in the category, while Chicago’s Logan Pausehas failed to score since the 1-1 tie.
  • No Sophomore Slump: Houston striker Will Bruin has recorded nine goals in 15 games, nearly doubling his rookie tally of five goals, which he managed in 25 total appearances.
 
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m.
  • Shoe Shopping:Chris Wondolowski extended his lead atop the MLS Golden Boot standings with his third goal in the last three games, the game-winner in the wild 4-3 triumph against the LA Galaxy, his 14th of the season.
  • Home Field Advantage: Portland is undefeated in its last five MLS home games, having last fallen in league play at JELD-WEN Field on April 7 against Chivas USA.
  • Attacking Prowess: San Jose has scored more than twice as many goals as Portland this year, 31 to 14. Earthquake forward Chris Wondolowski leads the league with 13.
  • Going Streaking:San Jose is in the midst of their third three game win streak this season. The Quakes had not won three or more in a row since August and September of 2005, when the eventual Supporters’ Shield winners won six in a row.
 
Wednesday, July 4
Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • Scoring Woes:Sporting KC lost for just the second time this season at home last weekend, a 1-0 defeat by the Chicago Fire. It was their second consecutive defeat, both by shutout; all four KC losses this season have come in shutouts.
  • Second-Half Surrender:Montreal has given up six goals in their last two matches; all six have come after the 45th minute of play.
  • No Picnic: Sporting Kansas City has not traditionally fared well on the Fourth of July, going 2-7-2 all-time. SKC has lost five of their last six American Independence Day matches, last winning in 2002.
  • Brazilian Workhorse: Montreal midfielder Felipe Martins has played every single minute of regular season action, and is third on team in points, having contributed three goals and four assists.
 
FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC, 9 p.m.
  • On a Roll:Toronto striker Danny Koevermanshas scored six goals in his last six matches. No one else on the team has scored more than three goals all season.
  • Itching for a Win:FC Dallas return to action for the first time since June 23, putting an end to a three-game losing streak but still seeing their club-record winless slide reach 11 games in a scoreless draw with Chivas USA.
  • All Their Losses Live in Texas:Toronto FC has yet to record a victory against FC Dallas in Texas, going 0-4-1 in the Lone Star State, and are 1-6-3 in the overall series. The last three matches in the series have finished with a 1-0 Dallas score line. .
  • Texas Tailspin: FC Dallas is in the midst of an 11 game streak without a victory. The drought is the longest in franchise history and the longest of any club this season.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9:30 p.m.
  • Hunters Helping Hand:Right back Hunter Freeman has recorded assists in back-to-back games after setting up the opener vs. Portland, his sixth consecutive start for the Rapids.
  • Shut Down and Out:Whitecaps FC were shut out for the first time since March 31 in their last match, a 3-0 loss at the LA Galaxy on June 23.
  • Familiar Opponents:The teams are meeting for the second time in just a few weeks. Sebastien Le Toux scored the game’s lone goal in the 80th minute for a Whitecaps FC victory June 16 at BC Place.
  • Back in Burgundy: Last Saturday marked the first match Rapids forwards Omar Cummings and Conor Casey took the pitch together since July 16, 2011. Casey found net in Colorado’s 3-0 win over Portland, his first goal in nearly a calendar year after missing the last half of the 2011 season due to a ruptured Achilles .
 
Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m.
  • Seattle Searching:Sounders FC saw their club-record winless streak reach eight games when New England came back for a last-gasp 2-2 draw last weekend. Seattle has yet to lose consecutive games in that span.
  • So Fresh and So Clean Clean: Six of the nine meetings in this series (including MLS Cup Playoff matches) have ended in a clean sheet for either side. Former Seattle keeper Casey Keller and current RSL stopper Nick Rimando each have three shutouts to their credit in the series. .
  • Skid Row: After dropping a 2-0 decision to Columbus last weekend, RSL is now on a three-game losing streak. It is the first such streak in club history since a three-game skid in July 2007.
  • Shoot on Sight: Alvaro Saborio (44) and Fabian Espindola (42) have taken twice as many shots than anyone else on RSL. Kyle Beckerman and Will Johnson are tied for third with 21 each.
 
LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union, 10:30 p.m.
  • Shooting Stars:The Galaxy saw their three-game winning streak, their longest of the season, come to an end in another late loss to San Jose. The Quakes have twice come back from two goals down to defeat the Galaxy.
  • Precision Shooting:David Beckham’s goal vs. San Jose was his second directly from a free kick this season. Of the 13 league goals in his six MLS seasons, five have come directly from free kicks. Beckham also last year scored a goal directly from a corner.
  • Scoring Surge: After recording only 15 goals in its first 13 games, LA has now scored seven goals in its last three, winning all of them.
  • Galaxy Control:Union have never defeated the Galaxy. LA saw its three-game winning streak vs. Philadelphia come to an end in the second meeting a year ago, a 1-1 draw May 11 at PPL Park.
 
Saturday, July 7
Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m.
  • Costly Loss: This is the first meeting between these two clubs since Houston eliminated SKC in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. Second half goals from Andre Hainault and Carlos Costly ended Sporting’s playoff run and secured the Dynamo their third MLS Cup appearance.
  • Bunbury Brace: Sporting KC forward Teal Bunbury tallied two goals in the last regular season meeting between the two sides, a 3-0 victory on September 10, 2011. For his career Bunbury has three goals in four matches against the Dynamo.
  • Dynamo Doubt:In league play, Sporting have a three-game unbeaten streak alive vs. Houston, winning their last two meetings in Kansas City.
  • Ching for the Win:Brian Ching scored his first goal in BBVA Compass Stadium, converting a penalty kick to give the Dynamo their 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia last weekend.
 
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m.
  • Veteran Moves:The last man still standing from the MLS inaugural season of 1996, San Jose’s Ramiro Corrales, has three assists in four games after setting up a goal in the 4-3 win vs. LA. Corrales has 14 goals and 43 assists in 286 league games in his MLS career.
  • Wondo-ful Performance– After failing to find the back of the net in his first 10 matches against FC Dallas, Chris Wondolowski has scored three times in San Jose’s last two meetings with the hoops.
  • Scoring 4 – The last time these two teams played each other was October 22, 2011 when the Earthquake exploded with four goals in a twelve minute span to win 4-2.
  • A Yallop-ing Pace: A Frank Yallop managed squad has never lost to a Dallas team when scoring first. Since 2001 with the Earthquakes and Galaxy, Yallop has coached his teams to a 10-0-1 record when opening the match’s scoring against FCD.
 
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m.
  • Drifting Away: Portland is one of two MLS clubs (FC Dallas) still in search of that first elusive road victory. This is not unfamiliar territory for the Timbers- last season their first road win did not come until July 16 and they only collected one more the rest of the season. They have scored just two goals in seven road matches this season.
  • Tough on Troy:In eight career attempts, Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins has yet to record a clean sheet against Real Salt Lake. With D.C. and Portland, Perkins has allowed 11 goals (1.38 GAA) against RSL since 2005.
  • Rough Trip: The Timbers have been shut out in four consecutive games away from Jeld-Wen Field. Their last road goal came April 14 in a 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy, now 427 minutes without scoring.
  • Clutch Scoring:Real won the first meeting between the clubs this season in a thriller, Jonny Steele scoring in the 89th minute then Kyle Beckerman hitting for the winner in stoppage time in a 3-2 RSL victory, March 31 in Portland.
 
Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m.
  • Back on Track:Chivas USA are playing for the first time since a scoreless draw June 23 with FC Dallas. The rojiblancos have lost just once in their last seven games.
  • On The Road Again:The game at Chivas USA is the third in a five-game road swing for Whitecaps FC. They will not play again at BC Place until July 18, when they meet the LA Galaxy.
  • DeMerit Dominance: A goal from Whitecaps FC center back Jay DeMerit gave his club a 1-0 win in the first meeting between the teams this season, March 17 at The Home Depot Center. It was the first victory by either team in the all-time series.
  • Invading HDC – The Vancouver Whitecaps won their first franchise away game earlier this season against Chivas USA.
 
 
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 11 p.m. (NBC SN)
  • Sound Defeats: Sounders FC likely has dates with the Rapids circled on their calendar- since joining the league in 2009, Seattle has gone 5-1-1 against Colorado. Defender Zach Scott was the lone goalscorer in this year’s first meeting, a 1-0 victory for the Rave Green.
  • Great Scott! – Sounders unlikely hero Zach Scott went 2,048 minutes in the MLS without a goal before he headed in the game winner against the Colorado Rapids on in their last match on April 14.
  • Sound Control: Sounders FC have won the last four meetings between the clubs. Colorado’s only victory in seven all-time league meetings came May 29, 2010 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Wild Wild West –Forthe Colorado Rapids, since on June 30, 12 of their 13 opponents are Western Conference foes.
 
Sunday, July 8
Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy, 3 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes)
  • Shooting Star:Landon Donovan scored for a third consecutive match in the 4-3 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium, with four goals (and two assists) in that time.
  • En Fuego against Fire: LA’s Landon Donovan has registered a goal or an assist in nine of his last eleven matches against Chicago. Since August 13, 2005, Donovan has collected eight goals and three assists when lining up against the Fire.
  • Fire Extinguished:The Galaxy have come away with points on their last three visits to Toyota Park, including a 2-1 win last April 17, and a 2-0 win in 2009. The Fire have won just one of the last six meetings between the clubs.
  • Open Galaxy:The Galaxy has surrendered 27 goals in 17 MLS games, half a season. Last year they gave up 28 goals for the full 34-game campaign.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, 4 p.m.
  • Dramatic Fashion – When they last met, Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire Danny Koevermans hammered home a shot in the 88th minute as TFC defeated the PhiladelphiaUnion 1-0 at BMO Field.
  • Frings Feeling It:Four days after netting his first goal of the season, Torsten Frings contributed his first assist of 2012, setting up Danny Koevermans with a corner kick in the 1-1 draw vs. New York last weekend.
  • Comeback for Backary: The Union are expected to have newly signed center back Bakary Soumare available for the TFC match, as he continues to regain fitness following knee surgery. Soumare, the 2008 MLS Defender of the Year with Chicago, was signed after playing the last four seasons in Europe.
 
New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • TH14:The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A Thierry Henry goal after just seven minutes stood up the rest of the way for a Red Bulls victory April 28 at Red Bull Arena, their seven straight home meeting vs. New England without defeat.
  • Solli Smokin Hot:After going 42 MLS league games without scoring a goal, the Red Bulls’ Jan Gunnar Solli now has two in two games, scoring in the 1-1 draw with Toronto FC last weekend.
  • Sire Sene: New England forward Saer Sene has made the largest contribution to his club’s home scoring than any other play in MLS this season. The Frenchman has scored six of the Revolution’s 14 goals at Gillette Stadium in 2012 (43%).
  • Come Back Kids: The Revolution have come back to tie games in the 94th minute in back-to-back contests, after Diego Fagundez scored to give them a 2-2 draw with Seattle on Saturday.
 
Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
  • Bruising Crew: The teams are meeting for the second time. Goals from Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas on either side of halftime gave the Crew a 2-0 win in Columbus on March 24.
  • Tchani on a Tear:Tony Tchani scored for the second consecutive game to send the Crew on their way in their 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake last weekend.
  • Good Looks:Chris Birchall has assists in back-to-back games, his first two starts with the Crew. Birchall signed with the club this season after winning MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy last year.
  • Gruenebaum the Bomb– Columbus Crew goaltender Andy Gruenebaum is currently ranked second in the league in saves with 59.
 
Quotables
 
“…I think these types of events, where you put 50,000 people and turn it into an all-American football crowd to see a Major League Soccer game and to see the Earthquakes, it's a really strong indication of where our sport is going. The future cannot be brighter."
-- San Jose Earthquakes President Dave Kaval, to the Palo Alto Daily News, about the growth of soccer in the United States
 
“It was a pretty complete performance. You have to take advantage of teams down on their luck, and we stepped on them.”
-- D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen after his team won a sixth consecutive game at RFK Stadium, a 3-0 victory against the Montréal Impact
 
"We knew when we were down 3-1 we were going to win. We don't like coming from behind – it gives us cardiac arrest – but we'll take it."
-- San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski, to the San Francisco Chronicle, after his team again came back from two goals down to defeat the LA Galaxy, 4-3
 
“We’re a little harder to beat than we have been in the past.”
-- Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner after his team’s 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls
 
"This is exactly what this community needs. There's a true natural fan base for Major League Soccer…in the most diverse borough in the entire country,"
-- New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya, to The Wall Street Journal, about the possibility of a soccer stadium and MLS team in Queens, N.Y.
 
Sweet Tweets
 
Official attendance: 50,391, largest crowd at Stanford Stadium since renovations, largest non-doubleheader crowd in club history
 
@NERevolution‏– June 30
As we celebrate our heroes during Navy Week, a few service men got to meet tonight's hero, @DiegoFagundez14#Revs http://pic.twitter.com/X1QPyphW
 
@RealDanGargan– June 27
Pretty sure I was on pace for a hotdog an inning until we sang the stretch. #kobayashiwouldhavebeenproud #noketchup http://pic.twitter.com/Y1aNev6O
 
@DaxMcCarty‏– June 28
Andrea Pirlo always has his jersey tucked in not bc he's old school, but bc no opponent can get close enough to him to untuck it. #maestro
 
New signing Oscar Boniek Garcia signs autographs for fans. http://instagr.am/p/McPLNZjx2J/
 
Salute to the Armed Forces halftime show wrapping up http://pic.twitter.com/t4c5Rklj