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This Week in MLS--May 24, 2011

This Week in MLS – May 24, 2011
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters announced: 32 MLS players included
  • Quotables and Sweet Tweets
  • According to Elias: Set pieces producing lots of goals
  • Week 11 match previews
Week 11 match schedule
(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)
Tuesday, May 25
            U.S. Open Cup (play-in): San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25
            Nutrilite Canadian Championship (final, second leg): Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8 p.m.
            U.S. Open Cup (play-in): Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution, 8:30 p.m.
            New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m.
            Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m.
            LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 28
           Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 12:30 p.m.
            Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 5:30 p.m. (TSN2)
            Columbus Crew vs. Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m.
            New England Revolution vs. LA Galaxy, 8 p.m. (Galavision)
            Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8:30 p.m.
            Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
            Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m.
            Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 29
            Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United, 5 p.m.
CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters announced: 32 MLS players included
The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off in two weeks and 32 MLS players have been called up to represent their respective nations in the 12-team tournament.
The Gold Cup begins June 5 in Arlington, Texas and concludes June 25 with the final in Pasadena, California. The tournament will be played in 13 venues in 11 cities. The champion qualifies for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
A total of 32 current MLS players were named to Gold Cup rosters.
  • 10 of the 12 nations have at least one MLS player [All except Panama & Cuba].
  • 15 of 18 MLS clubs have at least one player in Gold Cup [All except CHV, FCD & SEA].
A total of 55 players with MLS experience were named to Gold Cup rosters (18 of them on the U.S. team).
MLS Players in Gold Cup by Club:
New York Red Bulls (5): Juan Agudelo, Dwayne De Rosario, Rafa Marquez, Tim Ream, Dane Richards.
Sporting Kansas City (4): Stephane Auvray, Roger Espinoza, Craig Rocastle, Shavar Thomas.
Real Salt Lake (4): Arturo Alvarez, Will Johnson, Nick Rimando, Alvaro Saborio.
Houston Dynamo (3): Andre Hainault, Jermaine Taylor, Je-Vaughn Watson.
Colorado Rapids (2): Omar Cummings, Tyrone Marshall.
LA Galaxy (2): Landon Donovan, Donovan Ricketts.
New England Revolution (2): Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph.
San Jose Earthquakes (2): Ryan Johnson, Chris Wondolowski.
Toronto FC (2): Julian De Guzman, Dicoy Williams.
Chicago Fire (1): Marco Pappa.
Columbus Crew (1): Robbie Rogers.
D.C. United (1): Dejan Jakovic.
Philadelphia Union (1): Carlos Ruiz.
Portland Timbers (1): Steve Purdy
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1): Terry Dunfield.
MLS Players in Gold Cup by Country:
Jamaica (9): O. Cummings, R. Johnson, T. Marshall, D. Richards, D. Ricketts, S. Thomas, J. Taylor, D. Williams.
USA (7): J. Agudelo, L. Donovan, B. Feilhaber, T. Ream, N. Rimando, R. Rogers, C. Wondolowski.
Canada (6): J. De Guzman, D. De Rosario, T. Dunfield, A. Hainault, D. Jakovic, W. Johnson.
El Salvador (2): A. Alvarez, S. Purdy.
Grenada (2): S. Joseph, C. Rocastle.
Guatemala (2): C. Ruiz, M. Pappa
Costa Rica (1) : A. Saborio
Guadeloupe (1): S. Auvray
Honduras (1): R. Espinoza
Mexico (1): R. Marquez

“Every time we come here I feel like I’m living a nightmare. I’m in the locker room here and I’m mad and I spend all night trying to figure out why we can’t play well in Dallas. At least now we have the result.”
-- Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis, after his team got its first point ever at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday
“I was like, ‘Come on, get in there. It was definitely a little bit of an out-of-body experience, because I don’t score that often. When it hit the net I was like, ‘Phew. Now what do I do?’ ”
-- Seattle Sounders FC defender Jeff Parke after scoring his first goal since 2004 in the 1-0 win vs. Kansas City
"It's my responsibility, so if you want to throw darts, the darts should be thrown at me,"
-- LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena on allowing David Beckham to play in the Gary Neville testimonial on Wednesday at Manchester United’s Old Trafford
"I thought Lenny would get there, and it sailed over his head. Wondo has X-ray vision."
-- San Jose Earthquakes rookie Ellis McLoughlin after scoring his first professional goal, heading home a Chris Wondolowski cross in Saturday’s 2-1 win vs. New England
“I mean, it’s Philadelphia – it’s what I expected. All the fans are the same here. I’d probably be the same if I were sitting in the stands as well. It’s what I expected. It’s a little more rowdy here.”
-- Chicago Fire goalkeeper Jon Conway, a Delaware County native and the son of Union season-ticket holders, to the Delco Timesafter his side’s 2-1 loss Saturday at PPL Park
“I’ve always told the forwards to stay on your feet, I don’t want you diving. I want you to be big and strong. I want you to play like a man. Because it’s a man’s game. But you can’t hold people by the hand and tell them to stay on their feet. As I say, I don’t think he’s diving any more, or falling any more, than any forward around the league.”
-- Portland Timbers coach John Spencer, on forward Kenny Cooper
Sweet Tweets
@AllenAHopkins– May 17
#ItsNotMLSUnless You know someone who thinks b/c they have a twitter account & played in high school that they're better than MLS players.
@jonahfreedman– May 19
Cheer up, Lakers fans: Why Galaxy-Chivas USA has chance to become LA's biggest rivalry. Yes, really.
@robstoneESPN– May 20
if he drops a HAMBONE he's my new fav @MLS plyr. “@PBATour: Bowl w/Jon Conway, in Chi @ 10pin bowling lounge. 2 p.m.
@SachaKljestan– May 20
Back in Cali… going to Chivas vs. Galaxy tomorrow night. This video is getting me excited for it.
@alecko11– May 22
GOOD MORNING WORLD! Its Graduation Day! Been waiting 10 years for this day to come. Thank you everyone who has helped me along the way here.
@ SoccerInsider(Steven Goff) – May 23
Portland Timbers MF Jack Jewsbury was born in Joplin, Missouri, which was devastated by tornado last night #mls
According to the Elias Sports Bureau: Set pieces producing lots of goals
This past weekend produced only 13 goals in eight matches, but that didn’t halt the surge in set-piece goals. Eight of those 13 goals were scored off set pieces, which was the highest total on any weekend in two years. So far this season, 22 percent of all MLS goals have been scored following corner kicks, free kicks, or the occasional throw-in or goal kick, marking the third consecutive year in which that percentage has grown from a low of 14 percent in 2008.
Portland has already scored eight goals that started from a set piece this season, more than all but five teams tallied in the entire 2010 season. Every side has netted at least one set-piece goal this season except Columbus, which shared the league lead with a combined 39 during four seasons with Guillermo Barros Schelotto. With Schelotto gone, the leaders in assists on set pieces this season are David Beckham (5), Jack Jewsbury (4), and Brad Davis (3).
Week 11 match previews: May 25-29, 2011 (all times ET)
Wednesday, May 25
New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m.
  • Dane Richards’ goal just 39 seconds into the 2-2 draw vs. Houston was the fastest scored in New York club history and the 20th-fastest in MLS history. Current Red Bulls midfielder Dwayne De Rosario holds the records, 11 seconds into a game for the San Jose Earthquakes against Dallas in 2003.
  • The Rapids have played to three consecutive draws – two of them scoreless – including their 0-0 result with Toronto FC on Sunday.
  • While kept off the scoresheet, Rapids striker Conor Casey was able to make his first start since April 3, playing 61 minutes against TFC.
  • New York’s 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena last Sept. 11 was their first against the Rapids since 2007, putting an end to a five-game winless streak. Colorado had won four of the games in between.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m.
  • FC Dallas have not allowed a goal for 399 minutes, the second-longest shutout streak of the season, behind the Columbus Crew (414 minutes). The FCD club record is 415 minutes, set last season.
  • FC Dallas managed to maintain their undefeated run since David Ferreira went down to a season-ending injury, now six games unbeaten including the Vancouver match when he was hurt, April 23.
  • In netting the dramatic game-winning goal for Seattle last weekend, Jeff Parke scored his first goal since his rookie season of 2004, when he scored for the MetroStars vs. San Jose.
  • There has been just one victory in the four all-time meetings – Seattle’s 2-1 win at Qwest Field on the final day of the 2009 season that knocked FC Dallas out of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m.
  • David Beckham recorded his sixth assist in the 1-0 win vs. Chivas USA, putting him into a tie with Houston’s Brad Davis for the league lead. Beckham will miss the Houston match, negating a duel between arguably the League’s two best crossers.
  • The Galaxy’s win was their second in a row and moved them five points clear at the top of the Western Conference. They have the most points in MLS and have lost just once in their last 10 games.
  • Koke scored his first MLS goal for Houston, putting home a rebound on a corner kick, for what appeared to be the game-winner until New York scored in stoppage time for a 2-2 draw.
  • The Galaxy won both meetings a year ago, extending their unbeaten streak against Houston to four games in league play and five in all competitions. The Dynamo last won vs. LA on Oct.18, 2008, a 3-0 win.
Saturday, May 28
Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 12:30 p.m.
  • Philadelphia Union had scored just six goals through their first nine games, before hitting for two in the win against the Chicago Fire, the first time they’d scored multiple goals in a game this season.
  • Joao Plata, was called into Ecuador’s national team for the first time, for a pair of friendlies June 1 vs. Canada and June 7 against Greece in New York. Plata has been a part of the last four goals TFC has scored in league play (2 goals, 2 assists).
  • Toronto FC will have a chance to win silverware for the first time this season when they face Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship on Wednesday at BMO Field. TFC, winner of the past two Voyageurs Cups, drew 1-1 in Vancouver last week.
  • Each team won by a 2-1 score at home last year in the two meetings Union’s inaugural season.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 5:30 p.m. (TSN2)
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC come into the match after having last weekend off. Their last league match was a 1-0 loss at New England on May 14 that extended their winless streak to 10 games in league play.
  • In between the league games, Whitecaps FC will have faced Toronto FC twice in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship; the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Empire Field on May 18.
  • After scoring his five goals in a five-game stretch, Thierry Henry missed the 2-2 draw in Houston with swelling in his right knee.
  • Goalkeeper Greg Sutton made his first appearance for the Red Bulls since backstopping a 1-0 win against Seattle in the season opener. Sutton missed several weeks after that match due to a concussion suffered in practice.
Columbus Crew vs. Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Crew have gone 10 games into the season without scoring in the first half, setting an MLS record last held by the Houston Dynamo in 2009. The all-time MLS record for consecutive games failing to score in the first half is 15 games, set by New England (2007-08).
  • At home, the Crew are undefeated, with three wins and two draws. But on the road, they are 0-3-2 and have been outscored 8-2.
  • After being victimized by former players in consecutive games, the Crew might pay special attention to Chivas USA’s Alejandro Moreno, who scored 20 goals in four seasons with Columbus, but was selected in each of the past two expansion drafts.
  • Since a 1-0 win in 2005 in their first visit to Crew Stadium, Chivas USA have not won in the Ohio state capital. The Crew have won three in a row at home vs. Chivas (1-0 last year).
New England Revolution vs. LA Galaxy, 8 p.m. (Galavision)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after a Juninho goal canceled out an early Shalrie Joseph strike to leave the teams deadlocked at 1-1 on March 20 at The Home Depot Center.
  • Last week David Beckham contributed his fifth assist from a dead ball situation. In his first four seasons in the league, just four of Beckham’s 16 assists came from restarts.
  • Entering Wednesday’s games, Landon Donovan leads the league in goals (7) and David Beckham is tied for the league lead in assists (6).
  • After back-to-back shutouts, the Revolution conceded their first goal since April 30 in the 2-1 loss at San Jose. The Revs had not allowed a goal in 284 minutes, fifth-longest streak in MLS this season.
Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8:30 p.m.
  • This league game is the second part of a unique home-and-home series. They meet Tuesday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match, with the winner advancing to the tournament proper.
  • Including a win in their first Open Cup play-in, the Quakes are 3-0-1 in their last four games.
  • With the 2-1 loss to Philadelphia, the Fire’s winless streak reached eight games, one shy of the club record set in 2004. The Fire last league win was on March 26.
  • Entering Wednesday’s matches, last year’s Budweiser Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski was tied for third in MLS in goals (5) and led the league in shots taken (38).
  • A year ago, the road teams won both meetings, the Quakes winning 2-1 in Bridgeview in April before the Fire repaid them with a 3-0 triumph in September in Santa Clara.
Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
  1. The in-state rivalry for “El Capitán”, the 19th-century cannon awarded to the supporters of the club that wins the season series, has been ramped up in recent weeks as both clubs have bought signsin the other’s territory.
  2. FC Dallas have won two of the last three meetings between the teams, after going nine games without a win against Houston.
  3. Teenager Fabian Castillo has two goals and one assist since his countryman David Ferreira was lost to injury. FC Dallas is 3-0-2 in that span.
  4. FC Dallas won for the first time ever at Robertson Stadium in the final meeting last season (1-0). The Dynamo had gone 5-0-2 at home against FCD, plus won an MLS Cup Playoff match and a U.S. Open Cup match.
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m.
  • Sporting Kansas City will get their first chance of the year to play in front of their home fans on Wednesday when they meet the New England Revolution in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match at Blue Valley District Activities Complex. The winner advances to the main tournament.
  • Kei Kamara leads Sporting KC in goals (3) and assists (2). He scored in KC’s 1-0 victory over Colorado in Kansas City last year.
  • Looking to snap a five-game losing streak, Sporting still have two games left in their season-opening road trip. Sporting are the fourth club in MLS history to start the year with multiple games on the road while awaiting a new home: Columbus (1999), LA Galaxy (2003) and Chicago (2006).
  • The Rapids are 4-0-2 at home against Kansas City since 2004. The clubs tied 1-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last year.
Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m.
  • While Real Salt Lake played to a second consecutive scoreless draw at FC Dallas – their first-ever point gained at Pizza Hut Park – they have still allowed just two goals on the season through eight games. A year ago, when RSL set an all-time MLS record with just 20 goals allowed on the season (in 30 games), they allowed nine through the first eight games.
  • RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando is tied with FC Dallas’ Kevin Hartman for the MLS shutout lead (5). Real have allowed opponents just 75 shots, by far the fewest in MLS this season (New York is next, with 95).
  • In four all-time league meetings between the clubs, each team has won at home once, with a pair of draws in the other games. Both draws came last season.
Sunday, May 29
Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United, 5 p.m.
  • The clubs first league meeting comes after each faced AFC Ajax of Amsterdam in friendlies. United lost 2-1 to Ajax on Sunday at RFK Stadium; the Timbers take on the Dutch power on Wednesday night at Jeld-Wen Field.
  • United return to league play after a week off. Their 1-1 home draw against the Colorado Rapids extended their unbeaten run to three games.
  • Columbus native and former Crew defender Eric Brunner haunted his former team Saturday by scoring the lone goal in the Timbers win. It was the fifth goal scored by Portland defenders this season (out of 13 total).
  • The Timbers became the first expansion club in MLS history to win its first five home matches ever. The LA Galaxy won the first seven home games in that club’s history; the all-time record for home wins at the start of a season is 10, set by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2002. Since the league eschewed overtime in 2006, the only teams to win five in a row at home to start a season are Chivas (2009) and Portland (2011).