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This Week In MLS - June 26, 2012

This Week in MLS – June 26, 2012
  • California Clasico heats up Saturday on ESPN2
  • Secondary Transfer Window Opens Tomorrow
  • U.S. Open Cup Schedule
  • AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 16)
  • Week 17 Match Previews
  • Quotables & Sweet Tweets

California Clasico heats up with Wondo vs. Donovan Saturday on ESPN2
The Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes square off this weekend in game two of the California Clasico, Saturday live on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET.
League-leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski notched yet another last week for his Earthquakes who own the top spot in the Western Conference, and boast the most points in the league with 33 in 16 games.
His squad will face a tough test as they host Landon Donovan, who scored three goals across two games last week, and an LA Galaxy squad that has posted three wins in their last three matches.
Adding fuel to this always heated rivalry are history and familiar faces.  San Jose took the first match of the season, coming back from a two goal deficit to win the game 3-2 courtesy of an Alan Gordon stoppage-time goal.  Traded to San Jose earlier last season from Toronto, Gordonwon his first and only MLS Cup championship with LA in 2005. Three Galaxy standouts, Donovan, Todd Dunivant, and Josh Saunders also know what it is like on the other side, as all three hoisted the Cup while wearing Earthquakes jerseys and playing under San Jose coach Frank Yallop in 2003.
Secondary Transfer Window Opens Tomorrow
The secondary international transfer window opens tomorrow, June 27 and will remain open through Friday, July 27.
During the transfer window, players who are currently under contract or who were under contract during the primary transfer window earlier this year, will be eligible to join MLS clubs.
The below players have already agreed to terms with their respective MLS clubs and are expected to join when the window opens.  Note: The players’ ITCs may be requested on June 27, however; each player will become available for selection upon receipt of his ITC, passing a medical exam, and work authorization (P-1 Visa or work permit).
  • Marco di Vaio-  Montreal Impact (Bologna - Serie A)
  • Alex - Chicago Fire (FC Wohlen - Challenge League)
  • Barry Robson - Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Middlesbrough - The Championship)
  • Jairo Arrieta- Columbus Crew (Deportivo Saprissa – Primera División de Costa Rica)
  • Oscar Boniek Garcia- Houston Dynamo (C.D. Olimpia - Liga Nacional de Honduras)
2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals Set for Tonight
Philadelphia Union vs. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO): PPL Park; Chester, Pa; 7:30 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City vs. Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO): LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City; 8:30 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO): Titan Stadium; Fullerton, Calif; 10:30 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC: Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, Calif; 10:30 p.m. ET
MLS Week 17 - National Broadcasts
Wednesday, June 27: Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
Friday, June 29: Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, June 30: Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. ET (Galavision)
Saturday, June 30: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/RDS2)
AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 16) – CLICK HEREto vote
  • Patrick Ianni (SEA)
  • Marco Pappa (CHI)
  • Javier Morales (RSL)
  • Eddie Johnson (SEA)
  • Brandon Barklage (NY)
Check it Out
San Jose Earthquakes: My Wondolowski
Sporting Kansas City:  What Other Sport Would You Play?
MLS Week 17 Previews
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Wednesday, June 27
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • Star Power Lackluster: Entering Week 16, Toronto FC was the sole club remaining with only one player named to an MLS “Team of the Week,” with midfielder Eric Avila as the lone entry in Week 8.
  • Stellar at Stade Saputo: The Impact have had an unprecedented two-game performance in a new MLS stadium, scoring eight goals in their first two matches at recently renovated Stade Saputo.
  • Still Searching: For the second weekend in a row, Paul Mariner’s first victory as Toronto head coach was denied by a stoppage-time equalizer after holding a two-goal halftime lead, most recently at the hands of the New England Revolution on Saturday at BMO Field.
Friday, June 29
Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
  • Mama Said Shut You Out: Kansas City keeper Jimmy Nielsen is currently tied as the League leader in shutouts with six on the season. The Danish keeper is nearly on pace to break Tony Meola’s single season club record of 16 shutouts in 2000. 
  • Sensational Screamer: Marco Pappa’s fourth goal of the season was a stunning blast from all of 25 yards, sending the Fire on their way to a 2-1 win against Columbus on Saturday. Of Pappa’s 24 career goals in MLS, 10 have come from outside of the penalty area.
  • Shorthanded Saves: Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made a career-high eight saves in Chicago’s last League match, a 10-man 2-1 defeat of the Columbus Crew.
  • Even Stevens: Kansas City has not defeated Chicago at home since 2007, and the teams have played to draws in four of their last five meetings in Kansas City; the Fire took the sole win there in 2009, a 2-0 victory.
Saturday, June 30
Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. (Galavision)
  • Minus Marquez: The Red Bulls have been without Designated Player Rafa Marquez for nine games this season due to suspension and injury. New York is 5-0-2 on the year in games in which he appears, and is undefeated in those matches dating back to October 15 of last season.
  • DP Delivers: Danny Koevermans is starting to heat up for Toronto FC. He has five goals in his last five games – three in his last two – after scoring the opener Saturday vs. New England. He also added an assist, his first of the season.
  • Straight Bullheaded: The Red Bulls have won four of the last five in the series, and have not lost since June 2009. In those matches, New York has outscored Toronto 16-2.
  • Barklage Blasts: The first two goals of Brandon Barklage’s MLS career came within about a half-hour of each other, netting twice against his former club, D.C. United, in the Red Bulls’ 3-2 victory on Sunday.
D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m.
  • Centennial Mark: D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario needs two more goals to mark the 100th of his MLS career. De Ro would become just the seventh player in League history to reach the mark, and is currently second among active players, behind Landon Donovan, for most MLS goals all-time.
  • Settling the Score: The Impact and United are meeting for the second time this season. Montreal’s Bernardo Corradi and D.C.’s Maicon Santos traded goals four minutes apart midway through the second half to leave the clubs in a 1-1 draw on April 18 at RFK Stadium.
  • Punctual Pontius: Chris Pontius’s goal within the first 31 seconds of D.C. United’s 2-3 loss on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls was the fastest strike in United’s 17-season history.
  • Olsen’s Army: On June 21, United Head Coach Ben Olsen was named the MLS All-Star head coach, making him the fourth D.C. United manager to be selected to lead the All-Star team and the youngest manager ever to take the helm of the All-Stars.
New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Firsties: At 7-0-0, Seattle Sounders FC has not dropped a single point when striking first this season. The same occurrence has not meant as much for the Revolution, who hold a 3-2-1 record when scoring the opening goal.
  • Engines Revved: Sounders FC won both meetings between the clubs last season, but the Revs have been undefeated at Gillette Stadium since April 14.
  • Stars and Stripes: Cuban-born Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso returned to the Seattle lineup on June 20, for the first time ever as a U.S. citizen.
Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m.
  • Still Solid: Real Salt Lake’s 2-3 defeat at the hands of the LA Galaxy on June 20 was the first time in the team’s 235-game MLS history that the club has blown a two-goal lead to ultimately lose a match. However, despite recently suffering back-to-back home losses against the Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, Real Salt Lake’s 32 points in 17 games is the best mark in their eight-year franchise history.
  • Bereft of “Ws” in Buckeye State: The Crew have won the last five meetings between the teams at Crew Stadium. Real Salt Lake’s only victory in Ohio came August 16, 2006, a 2-1 triumph over Columbus.
  • Slipping Into Silver: With one more win, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando will tie former Chicago Fire and Chivas USA backstopper Zach Thornton for second place on the all-time goalkeeper wins list. With Saturday’s loss against San Jose, however, Rimando moved just four back of Tony Meola who is in third place on the all-time loss list.
Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30 p.m.
  • Franchise Player: Houston’s Will Bruin has been the greatest single contributor to his team in all of MLS this season, scoring 9 of the Dynamo’s 21 goals (43%). He has also scored nearly half of his club’s away goals.
  • Doop Dominance: In four meetings, Houston has yet to find a way to defeat the Union in their short existence (2-0-2). Those four matches over 14 months featured five different goalkeepers and 10 goals, nine of which were scored by different players.
  • McScoreney: After only playing 93 minutes in the first 11 League games for the Union, Jack McInerney scored two goals in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Sporting Kansas City, putting him in a tie for 3rd place on Philadelphia’s all-time list.
  • Sudden Revival: After only scoring eight goals through 16 MLS weeks—at the time, the worst goals for total in the League—the Union increased their season strike total by 50% in their 4-0 shellacking of Eastern Conference third-place club, Sporting Kansas City, on Saturday.
Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers, 9 p.m.
  • Slim Pickens: Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens leads MLS with 63 saves, is tied for fifth in wins and shutouts and has twice made an MLS-high eight saves in one game.
  • Fear of Missing Out: Portland player Kris Boyd scored the opening goal against Seattle on Sunday, the fifth consecutive goal scored by Portland in which he had participated (four goals, one assist). The Timbers had also received two own goals in that stretch, dating to April 7, in which Boyd also played a part.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/RDS2)
  • Keepin’ it in the (California) Family: Before they were members of the LA Galaxy, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Josh Saunders all played on the Earthquakes together overlapping their respective San Jose tenures in 2003 when the ‘Quakes, led by current manager Frank Yallop, lifted the MLS Cup. Current San Jose man Alan Gordon was also a member of an MLS Cup-winning team with Donovan, Dunivant and Saunders, the 2005 Los Angeles Galaxy.
  • Great late: The last time the Earthquakes scored a League goal before the 70th minute was on May 5, a span of six MLS matches, in a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Twelve of the ‘Quakes’ goals this season have been in the 75th minute or later and four of those have been stoppage-time winners.
  • Fratricide: Galaxy forward Landon Donovan brings out his best when facing his former club. Since moving from San Jose to LA in 2005, Landon has collected either a goal (six total) or assist (five total) in all 11 of his matches against the Nor Cal side.
“I’ll never forget it. It’s got to be one of the great moments of my life.”
-- Portland Timbers defender David Horst, after scoring the eventual winning goal in his club’s 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday
“This is the date that I definitely circled on the calendar. I knew I was just going to go out there and give it 110 percent and whatever happened, happened. Thankfully, I got the two goals against an ex-team. It feels unbelievable.”
-- New York Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage after scoring two goals against his former club, D.C. United, in New York’s 3-2 win on Sunday
"That was one of the best moments of my career. I didn't want it to end."
-- Philadelphia Union striker Jack McInerney, to the Philadelphia Inquirer, after scoring two goals in his club’s 4-0 defeat of Sporting Kansas City
“It’s an understatement to say we’re all disappointed. Thirty seconds and we would have had a W.”
-- Toronto FC Head Coach Paul Mariner, to the Toronto Star, after his team gave up a stoppage-time equalizer for a second consecutive match in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with New England
"Right now we’re in a bad way, there’s no doubt. We’re cycling downwards. Two games at home to lose, this doesn’t happen to us."
-- Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis, to The Salt Lake Tribune, after the club lost back-to-back home games at Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time
“Our team needs our designated players playing like designated players, and they sure did tonight and made a difference.”
-- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, after his club’s 3-0 win vs. Vancouver
Sweet Tweets
@GrantWahl – June 24
Trying to decide who should win FIFA Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Alan Gordon.
@SeppBlatter– June 20
After last night’s match ‪#GLTis no longer an alternative but a necessity.
‏@BrekShea – June 24
@swish41(Steve Nash) thanks for coming out to the game last night bro!
@kylemartino – June 24
Congrats to the @PhilaUnionfor their huge result last night. Such a wonderful fan base deserves to have something to cheer about.
‏@RyanTronovitch – June 22
#MLSAllStargame fact: #DCU's Ben Olsen is the youngest ever to coach an All-Star squad. Next closest is Thomas Rongen at 39
‏@ussoccer – June 24
3 years ago today, the #USMNTbeat No.1-ranked Spain 2-0 in FIFA Confederations Cup Semifinal. What a game!
@dwaynederosario – June 23
Special thanks to everyone who took time to tweet me for #MLSAllStarGame. You inspire me to stay disciplined and working hard. Thank You...
@AlexiLalas – June 22
Ballack telling @TaylorTwellmanabout a goal he scored AND singing Tone Loc's "Wild Thing." Quite impressive actually.