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This Week in MLS - June 19, 2012

This Week in MLS – June 18, 2012
  • Cascadia Cup Clash this Sunday on ESPN
  • Eastern  Conference Bragging Rights at Stake
  • Week 16 National Broadcasts
  • Week 16 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets
Cascadia Cup Clash this Sunday on ESPN
The Cascadia Cup continues this weekend as the Portland Timbers (3-6-4) host Seattle Sounders FC (7-4-3) Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET live on ESPN.  The teams face off three times this year during the regular season  and this weekend’s clash is the second match for both clubs in this season’s three-team Cascadia Cup, a trophy awarded by supporters to the team with the best record among Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver.
Portland and Seattle both tied Vancouver in their first games of the in-season tournament.
Twitter Voting for 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game Begins Thursday
Twitter Voting for the First XI players to be named MLS All-Stars will run from 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 21 through 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, June 22. The terms for Twitter voting are as follows:
  • An eligible vote consists of #MLSAllStar and the player's full name (first and last required), with or without a space.
  • A user may vote for multiple players in a tweet; however, a user may not vote for a single player multiple times within one tweet.
  • All users must follow @MLS for their votes to be eligible.
Fan voting via online ballot and texting continues, and after 10 days of voting, Dan Kennedy, Aurelien Collin, David Beckham and Chris Wondolowski lead at their respective positions. CLICK HERE TO VOTE. Online and text voting concludes July 2 at 5 p.m. p.m. ET.
Leaders in Fan Voting (as of June 18, 2012):
Top 10 in Text Voting
Chris Wondolowski (SJ)
Jimmy Nielsen (SKC)
Eric Brunner (POR)
Graham Zusi (SKC)
Nat Borchers (RSL)
Davy Arnaud (MTL)
Steven Beitashour (SJ)
Dan Kennedy (CHV)
Aurelien Collin (SKC)
Kei Kamara (SKC)
Top 5 Forwards
Chris Wondolowski, F (SJ)
Thierry Henry, F (NY)
Fredy Montero, F (SEA)
Kenny Cooper, F (NY)
Robbie Keane, F (LA)
Top 7 Midfielders
David Beckham, M (LA)
Landon Donovan, M (LA)
Dwayne De Rosario, M (DC)
Kyle Beckerman, M (RSL)
Brek Shea, M (DAL)
Graham Zusi, M (SKC)
Freddy Adu, M (PHI)
Top 7 Defenders
Aurélien Collin, D (SKC)
Jay DeMerit, D (VAN)
Jamison Olave, D (RSL)
Geoff Cameron, D (HOU)
Nat Borchers, D (RSL)
Jeff Parke, D (SEA)
Young-Pyo Lee, D (VAN)
Top 5 Goalkeepers
Dan Kennedy, (CHV)
Jimmy Nielsen, (SKC)
Nick Rimando, (RSL)
Kevin Hartman, (DAL)
Andy Gruenebaum, (CLB)
MLS Week 16 - National Broadcasts
Wednesday, June 20: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 11 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS2)
Saturday, June 23: FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA, 9 p.m. ET (Galavision)
Saturday, June 23: LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
Sunday, June 24: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN/Deportes)
Sunday, June 24: New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Check it Out
NY Red Bulls: 13 Games, 26 Goals
NY Red Bulls: A Touch of Greatness
Portland Timbers: Off Pitch with Hermes
San Jose Earthquakes: Euro Predictions
Vancouver Whitecaps: Fashion Show
MLS Week 15 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Wednesday, June 20
Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy, 9 p.m.
  • For Club and Country:Since May 5, Real Salt Lake player Álvaro Saborio has scored eight goals in all competitions, including a hat trick in Costa Rica’s 4-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Guyana on June 12 – the first road hat in CONCACAF’s FIFA World Cup qualifying history.
  • Blanked in the Beehive State:Since a 3-2 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 29, 2006, the Galaxy have not won in Utah. Real have won all three lifetime meetings at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Shutout on Shutouts: The Galaxy are coming off their first victory since April 21, recording their first shutout of the season in the 1-0 win against Portland on Sunday. A year ago, LA tied the MLS record with 17 shutouts for the season.
Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, 9 p.m.
  • Dynamo Dynamo: Houston forward Brian Ching is one assist away from tying Brian Mullan for second on the Dynamo’s all-time assists list. With his appearance against Dallas this past weekend, he also moved into second for most regular season games played in a Dynamo jersey.
  • Bruin Finding Balance: Will Bruin scored his first home goal of the season on Saturday against FC Dallas. It was his sixth overall on the year, and first goal in Houston since September 17, 2011.
  • The Mariner’s Revenge: The first game for Toronto FC under Paul Mariner ended the way nine of 10 games had with Aron Winter in charge this season: a loss, falling 2-0 at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9:30 p.m.
  • Ever Moor Minutes: Last week, the Rapids re-signed defender Drew Moor to a multi-year deal (June 12). In 2011, Moor set an MLS record for non-goalkeepers by playing the full 90 minutes in 69 regular season matches, which comes to 6,210 minutes of consecutive action; since joining Colorado in 2009, he has started 85 regular-season matches.
  • Extended Vacation: The Earthquakes are the last team to resume action following the international break, their last league match a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City on May 27 that ended a three-game unbeaten streak.     
  • Bingham’s Breakthrough: Rookie David Bingham will get the start in net for San Jose in place of the suspended Jon Busch. It is the Cal alum’s second career MLS start, the first since a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution on October 8, 2011.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10 p.m.
  • Like Father Like Son: Sporting KC’s Konrad Warzycha became the second son of a former MLS player (current Crew head coach Robert) to appear in a match when he came on as a substitute in the 2-0 win vs. Toronto on June 16. The first was SKC teammate Teal Bunbury (son of Alex).
  • Testing Times:This match-up will be the second of seven games within 22 days for Sounders FC. This follows a stretch from April 28-May 12 in which the club played five matches in 15 days; one week later, from May 19-30, Seattle continued its grueling schedule with four games in just 12 days.
  • Everybody Gets One:Sounders FC have won five consecutive league meetings vs. Sporting Kansas City since a 1-0 KC win in the first meeting ever between the clubs, April 11, 2009 in Seattle.
Chivas USA vs. Montreal Impact, 10:30 p.m.
  • California, Here He Comes: Impact head coach Jesse Marsch returns to the club where he was captain during a four-year span from 2006-09, capping his 14-year MLS playing career. The former midfielder tallied eight goals and 24 assists in his time with the Goats.
  • More Road Games, Please: Chivas USA lost for the sixth time in eight games (with one draw) this season at The Home Depot Center in the 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake on June 16. The 1-6-1 home start is Chivas’ worst in club history, ‘besting’ a 1-5-2 start in 2005.
  • Warm Welcome: Montreal won their first match in the newly-renovated Stade Saputo on Saturday against Seattle Sounders FC 4-1; the Impact’s home base is one of eight soccer-specific stadia to come to the league since 2007. In MLS history, the hosts are8-2-4 in inaugural matches at such stadia.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls, 11 p.m. (TSN/RDS2)
  • X-Factors: The Red Bulls lost for the first time in nearly two months in Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Chicago, playing without Thierry Henry and Rafa Márquez. Both are also expected to miss the Vancouver game with injuries.
  • Drought Ender: Sebastien Le Toux netted his first goal since April 18 last weekend against Colorado. Le Toux’s was the only goal of the game as Whitecaps FC overcame a man disadvantage for a home win that moved the Caps into third place in the Western Conference.
  • What’s A Mattocks With You: After scoring three goals in the previous two games, and in his his first as a professional, Vancouver’s Darren Mattocks was sent off vs. Colorado on Saturday, receiving two yellow cards in the space of a minute. He will be eligible to return to the lineup for Whitecaps FC’s Saturday match in Los Angeles.
Saturday, June 23
Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution, 5:30 p.m.
  • Mirror Images: The Revs have performed well at home this season, boasting a 4-1-2 record and outscoring opponents 12-6. The story is different outside Gillette Stadium, however- New England is 1-6-0 with -7 goal differential on the road.
  • A Reunion of Sorts: In his second game in charge, TFC head coach Paul Mariner will face a familiar foe – the club where he served as an assistant coach from 2004-08, during which the Revolution appeared in three consecutive MLS Cup Finals.
  • Reliable Rowe:In 11 appearances, Rev rookie Kelyn Rowe has put 14 of his 19 shots on frame, good enough to lead the league in shot accuracy with a 73.7% clip.
Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m.
  • Proving His Worth: John Hackworth wasn’t able to reverse the Union’s fortunes in his first game in charge of the club as interim manager, Philadelphia seeing its winless streak stretched to six games in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United.
  • Jack and Hack:In his first game in charge, Hackworth gave 19-year-old Jack McInerney his first start of the season, as the lone striker. McInerney last made Philly’s first eleven on August 13, 2011.
  • Feeling It:After scoring 14 times in his first two MLS seasons, Sporting striker Teal Bunbury started the 2012 campaign with zero goals in his first seven league matches played; however, Bunbury has seemingly turned his luck around with three goals over the last five games in all competitions.
Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.
  • Glory Days: The Dynamo boast two of the three 2010 MAC Hermann Award finalists, the top individual honor in American collegiate soccer. Will Bruin (Indiana) and Colin Rolfe (Louisville) both finished their collegiate careers with 33 goals apiece. In his sophomore MLS season, Bruin has already matched his entire rookie-year productivity with six goals in just 13 games, while Rolfe is still waiting to make his professional debut.
  • Paying Dividends: Andrew Wenger scored his second goal in as many matches and the third of his rookie season vs. Seattle on Saturday. Both goals came in the first two professional starts for Wenger, the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s SuperDraft.
  • The Franchise:Impact midfielder Felipe has two goals and an assist in his last five games. He is the only field player to play every minute of every match for the expansion side.
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew, 8:30 p.m.
  • Crew-sing: Columbus is now riding a six-game undefeated streak following their scoreless draw at New England over the weekend. After only grabbing one point out of a possible 12 in all of April, the Crew have gone 3-0-3 in their last six matches since May 5.
  • Saturday in the (Toyota) Park: Columbus hasn’t recorded a victory in Chicago since October 7, 2006, going 0-3-4 in that span. Current Fire member Chris Rolfe and current Crew forward Eddie Gaven opened the scoring for their respective sides on that day in a 4-1 Columbus rout.
  • Offsides Oduro: Dominic Oduro has been whistled for being offsides more than any other player in the league this year (21 infractions). His aggressiveness has paid off, however, as he leads the Fire in goals this season with four.
Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9 p.m.
  • Real-y Good: RSL’s seven-game undefeated run following their 3-0 win at Chivas USA on Saturday matches the longest in MLS this season, along with D.C. United (March 24-April 28) and Sporting KC (March 10-April 18). At 10-3-2, it is their best start in club history.
  • Spreading It Around: Real Salt Lake sits atop first place in the Western Conference and owns the best record in the league despite not having a single player in the top five of the Budweiser Golden Boot race. Conversely, the Earthquakes’ Chris Wondolowski, the category’s current co-leader has scored 11 of second-place San Jose’s 27 goals this season.
  • You Bring Out The Best In Me: Kyle Beckerman has scored on the last three occasions these two Western Conference rivals have met. With three goals in 14 matches, Beckerman has already matched or surpassed his scoring totals for the past seven seasons.
FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA, 9 p.m. (Galavision)
  • Dallas Domination: The Hoops have emerged victorious in their last four matches with Chivas USA, dating back to June 26, 2010. All four of those matches were decided by a difference of a single goal.
  • If You’re Gonna Play in Texas:The Lone Star State has not been kind to Chivas USA. Since they came into the league in 2005, the Goats have gone 2-12-6 against Dallas and Houston in Texas-based matches.
  • Escape-d Goat: Perhaps an indication of Chivas USA’s low offensive output this season, Goat rookie Casey Townsend remains tied for third on the club’s leaderboard for goals scored, despite not seeing any playing time in a League match since April 28.
LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:30 p..m. (TSN/RDS)
  • Savior Saunders: Last Sunday marked Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders’ return to the first team pitch since April. LA was winless in seven games in all competitions without Saunders.
  • Becks Brewing Assists:David Beckham has recorded assists in three consecutive games and now has five for the season, setting up the lone goal in LA’s 6/17 win against Portland.
  • Shut It Down: Whitecaps FC recorded their first shutout since April 28 in the weekend home win vs. Colorado, their MLS-leading seventh of the season.
Sunday, June 24
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. (ESPN/Deportes)
  • Cascadia Update: This is the second match for both clubs in this year’s Cascadia Cup, the trophy awarded by supporters to the owner of the best record in head-to-head matches between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Portland and Seattle both tied with Vancouver in their first games of the in-season tournament.
  • Finally A Road Trip:Sounders FC saw their 10-game road unbeaten streak – the second-longest in MLS history – put to an end in the 4-1 loss in Montréal on Saturday. Their last loss away from Seattle had come July 30, 2011 at Houston.
  • Familiar Face:This is Portland forward Mike Fucito’s first match against a Sounders FC club he was a member of from 2009-2011. Fucito was traded from Seattle to Montreal in February 2012, then to Portland from Quebec in April.
New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
  • Winning Ways: D.C. United extended their winning streak to four games with a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia on Saturday. It is the club’s longest since winning four in a row from June 7-29, 2008.
  • Scorer’s Delight:The Red Bulls and D.C. United collectively boast three of the season’s top five scorers in Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry, and Maicon Santos, who have combined for 27 goals. As clubs, United and New York rank first and second (tied), respectively, in the same category. 
  • Streak Stoppers: The Red Bulls saw their six-game undefeated streak put to an end in the 3-1 loss at Chicago on Sunday. It was their first defeat since a loss to D.C. in the first meeting this year, a game that ended a four-game unbeaten streak for New York.
"Right from the start, since I was 16, I wanted to play in New York. I called in and offered myself."
--Thierry Henry deliberating on whether he would have gone to China instead of MLS if there was such an offer
“I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I know what good wine tastes like. When I sipped the wine recently, it didn’t taste so good.”
-- Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz on his decision to part ways with Peter Nowak as Philadelphiaa manager
“The one thing I love about this city and this club is how tough everybody is, and we as coaches and as players want to make sure we go out there every day and make sure we compete to the highest of our abilities, and I think you will see that from us going forward.”
--Philadelphia Union interim head coach John Hackworth upon replacing Peter Nowak as manager
"Goals just suck."
--Whitecaps FC keeper Joe Cannon in The Provinceon his hatred of goals
“It is not uncommon, after a loss or a tie, for Marius Rovde, the Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper coach, to receive a text message at two or three in the morning. It's Joe Cannon. He can't sleep. He feels terrible. And he needs to text it out.”
-- The Province writer Marc Weber in his feature on Joe Cannon
"What's been most frustrating is that I don't think we can all look in the mirror and say we've given everything we've had, myself included."
-- Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan lamenting LA’s recent performances
“The sound was great… it feels more like Europe.”
-- Montreal midfielder Lamar Neagle after the Impact’s home opener in Saputo Stadium
“Finally having a place to be able to call our home, it’s tough to put in words. Now we have a practice facility and our own stadium and it feels like a professional environment.”
--Houston midfielder Brad Davis to the Houston Chronicle on the Dynamo’s new BBVA Compass Stadium
"I played preseason with the Fire, so I know most of the players. And ever since (preseason), I've been following MLS from Switzerland."
--Brazilian Alex Monteiro de Lima ahead of joining the Chicago Fire during the summer transfer window
“As a player you always want something to play for, whether it’s the winner gets a Gatorade bottle or the winner gets $50 or the winner gets to step on the field against New England.”
-- Crew assistant coach Mike Lapper to The Columbus Dispatch on the extended break from MLS action
“I really hope that gets (MLS) goal of the week.”
-- SKC’s Cesar to The Kansas City Starabout his volleyed first-half score
"Competing in sports makes everyone better. If you're comfortable in your spot, then something's wrong, especially at our level. No one should ever be comfortable or do average and get by."
--Earthquakes rookie David Bingham before the second start of his MLS career and first of the season
Sweet Tweets
@AJD_20– June 18 (AJ DeLaGarza)
Gotta start somewhere. Big thanks to the supporters. And a congrats to @ToddDunivant on the goal.
@SoundersFC– June 17
VIDEO Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there from the boys in Rave Green.
@Chabala4– June 17
Happy Father's Day to all you especially my Dad @sandbager4 doing whatever it took to allow me to pursue my dream. Love you
@DaxMcCarty11- June 17
I guess the older you get, the easier it is to sleep in funny positions. From last weekend w/ my pops. #happyfathersday
@EricAvila12– June 17
@FeliMartins23– June 17
I'm happy for score the first goal in the NEW STADIUM SAPUTO! thank you to all the fans for support us… you guys is REALLY Amazing! VAMOS!  
@PaladiniXI– June 17
Fantastic atmosphere tonight. Great win. Thank you to all who made it out. @Section8Chicagoclass. #cf97
@KCCauldron– June 17
There were 20,488 of you at the stadium tonight. Hell, there are only 18,500 seats.
@FreddyAdu– June 16
you fans were unreal today. Thank you so so much. Man i wish we could have rewarded u with a win today. team played great.Will build on this
@DubbZV– June 16 (Zarek Valentin)
Amazing to be back and in a way like this. Fans were ELECTRIC. Can't wait for more home games. Thanks to everyone who was there! #IMFC
@SoccerByIves– June 16
A VERY laud applause from the Union fans at PPL Park as John Hackworth is announced. Loudest cheer for an interim head coach EVER.
@ColumbusCrew– June 15
On this day 18 years ago, Columbus was awarded one of the 10 inaugural clubs in @MLS! Happy birthday to our fellow charter members!
@D6MERIT– June 15
Great to see @HeathGPearce playing for Sweden these days... #Euro2012
@SJEarthquakes– June 14
Look who's back in San Jose @ChrisWondo
@DaxMcCarty11– June 14
To commemorate the Germans domination of the Dutch in Euros yesterday, I shall watch Beerfest everyday until their next game (Baywatch too).
@BigMacca26(Stephen McCarthy) – June 13
How are my media skills?
@stevezakuani11– June 13
Thinking of my friend O'Brian White tonight. Happiest, most positive, chill person I know. We're in your corner!
@awideman3– June 13
New record on the pop-a-shot. Today was a good day.
@Goleador17(Fredy Montero) – June 13
Enjoying soccer & Colombian food made by my wife. Great job Germany. @alexisimmigLove you....
@tallyhallGK  – June 13
"why do goalkeepers think they can play football?" favorite commentary quote of the tournament
@andrewenger– June 13
New stadium looks great, excited for Saturday!