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This Week in MLS - May 8, 2012

BBVA Compass Stadium Opens Saturday on NBC Sports Network

The Houston Dynamo will celebrate the inaugural match at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday as the team hosts D.C. United live on NBC Sports Network at 4:30 p.m. ET.


Situated in Downtown Houston’s East End, the stadium will be recognizable thanks in part to its distinctive facade. The stadium skin consists of tessellated aluminum mesh, enclosing the stadium while also allowing air to circulate throughout the facility. BBVA Compass Stadium incorporates environmentally-conscious elements, including water-efficient plumbing, integrated recycling, and local building materials that are expected to earn the 22,000-seat venue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. CLICK HEREfor more information about the facility.


BBVA Compass Stadium is the thirteenth stadium built or renovated for an MLS club. When the renovated Stade Saputo opens this summer in Montreal, 15 of 19 MLS clubs will play in soccer-specific stadiums.


CLICK HEREto hear with the Houston Dynamo players had to say after their first on-field training at BBVA Compass Stadium


May MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month

MLS W.O.R.K.S. has named Seattle Sounders FC’s Roger Levesque as its Humanitarian of the Month for May for his support of the Seattle Ronald McDonald House and its “Men in Kilts” campaign. From March 14 to April 13, Ronald McDonald House asked for $25 donations to vote online for the favorite “Men in Kilts” celebrity and Levesque placed 4th out of 14 to help raise $35,000 total – $10,000 above the original fundraising goal. This initiative will provide 1,400 nights of sponsored housing and services for families staying at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.


Additionally, Levesque has been involved with philanthropy for the Kindering Center, Make-A-Wish Foundation, UNICEF and SCORES, among other organizations. He also serves on the board for Street Soccer Seattle.


CLICK HEREto read more about Levesque as MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month


MLS Week 10 - National Broadcasts

Saturday, May 12:Montreal Impact vs. LA Galaxy, 4 p.m. (TSN/RDS)

Saturday, May 12: Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 4:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

Sunday, May 13: Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/TSN2)

Sunday, May 13:San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m. (Galavision)


AT&T MLS Goal of the Week – to vote,CLICK HERE

  • Fredy Montero (SEA)

  • Joel Lindpere (NY)

  • Dwayne De Rosario (DC)

  • Felipe Martins (MTL)

  • Blake Brettschneider (NE)


Check it Out
Chivas USA: Crossbar Challenge

Colorado Rapids: Ladder Exercise Blooper

FC Dallas: Favorite TV Show

Houston Dynamo: Statoil OTC Event

New York Red Bulls: America Scores Poetry Slam

Philadelphia Union: Off the Pitch With Hermes


MLS Week 10 Previews

(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)


Wednesday, May 9


New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m.

  • Hapless in Harrison: Houston has never won on the road at New York in their franchise’s history, going 0-3-3 in matches at Red Bull Arena and Giants Stadium. Houston last recorded a win in the series altogether on May 31, 2008, a 1-0 victory sealed by a second half goal from Brian Ching.

  • Cha-Ching: Dynamo forward Brian Ching has enjoyed playing against New York, tallying seven goals and two assists in 12 matches across his career with San Jose and Houston. The last came on June 2, 2010, Houston’s lone goal in a losing effort.

  • Homeward Bound: Despite not playing a regular season home game since October 1, 2011 due to the construction of BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston currently has a modest 2-2-2 record. The Dynamo will be rewarded for their two-month road-trip by playing 11 of their next 16 at home.


Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake, 8:30 p.m.

  • Costa Rican kin: Real’s Alvaro Saborio and Chicago’s Gonzalo Segares both make regular appearances for the Costa Rican National Team as well as for their current clubs, appearing in every match for their respective sides this season. Both also spent time earlier in their careers with Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rica’s most successful club.

  • Slow burn at home:The Fire have not won at home against RSL since 2009. Real have won and drawn on their last two league visits to Toyota Park, and also captured the 2009 Eastern Conference Championship on penalty kicks there.


FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8:30 p.m.

  • Score first for success: Since October 23, 2010, Seattle Sounders FC have gone unbeaten when scoring first, a span of 19 matches (16-0-3). In that same timeframe, FC Dallas have posted a 4-14-2 mark when allowing the first goal.  

  • Nearly unbeatable with Brad: In Seattle midfielder Brad Evans’ last 18 appearances with club, the team is 12-1-5. Overall, the club is 30-14-20 when Evans plays.

  • Four down for FCD:FC Dallas are now winless in their last four games. The only goals FCD have scored in that time frame came on two penalty kicks from Brek Shea, who missed one in the team’s 2-0 loss to Colorado on Sunday in which they played with nine men for 55 minutes.


Saturday, May 12


Montreal Impact vs. LA Galaxy, 4 p.m. (TSN/ADS)

  • Rickett fence: Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts will be facing his former side for the first time after leading the LA Galaxy to the 2011 MLS Cup and two straight Supporters’ Shields. Ricketts was protected by the Galaxy in the Expansion Draft, but was traded in November for allocation money after 70 matches and two seasons with LA.

  • Beasts vs. the East: The LA Galaxy fared well against Eastern Conference foes last season, garnering at least a point in nearly every meeting, taking away an 8-2-9 record.

  • Conversion City, Canada:The Impact have made penalty kicks in three of their last four MLS games. Their three penalties are the most for a single team in MLS this season.


Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 4:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

  • Opening act:This will be the first match played at Houston’s new 22,000-seat BBVA Compass Stadium. Opening nights have traditionally fared well for the home side, with the hosts going 6-2-4 in inaugural matches at soccer specific stadia.

  • May-be this year: The Houston Dynamo have gone winless in their last seven matches in the month of May (0-4-3). Their last victory came on May 22, 2010 against D.C. United, a game in which current D.C. United midfielder Danny Cruz made his first-ever MLS start with Houston, scoring in the 10th minute. 

  • Danny’s debut:D.C. midfielder Danny Cruz is facing his former side for the first time since being traded from Houston during the offseason. Cruz amassed four goals in 51 starts over three seasons with the Dynamo. 


New England Revolution vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 7:30 p.m.

  • French Revolution: The leading scorers for both clubs are in their first seasons and hail from France. Saër Sène joins the Revolution from Bayern Munich and has contributed three goals already this season. Vancouver’s Sebastian Le Toux also has three on the year, joining Vancouver Whitecaps FC in an offseason trade from the Philadelphia Union.

  • Clean ‘Caps and New England nils:Vancouver has kept a league-leading five clean sheets this season, allowing just six goals in eight matches. Conversely, New England has failed to score in four of their seven games. 

  • DP delivers:Whitecaps FC striker Eric Hassli scored his first goal in 17 MLS games– the last strike coming on August 7, 2011 – in his club’s win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. Hassli finished his first season in the league last year with 10 goals.


Columbus Crew vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

  • Let’s go halvesies: Every regular season series between these two sides has been split evenly since the 2008 season. The home side proved victorious in 2009 and 2011 while in 2010, the clubs split the points evenly both times with two draws.

  • The other event named after Lamar Hunt: In addition to the U.S. Open Cup, the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup also bears the late businessman’s name and is contested annually between the two clubs owned by the Hunt Sports Group. Originally a pre-season contest, the winner of the cup is now determined by the aggregate winner of the two-game regular season series. FC Dallas are the current holders, retaining the title last season by an all-time head-to-head goals tiebreaker.

  • The Amazing Hartman:After missing three games with back spasms, Kevin Hartman, the MLS all-time leader in goalkeeper wins, returned to the FC Dallas lineup for the 2-0 home loss to Colorado.


Chicago Fire vs. Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

  • Getting frank: Although his MLS playing career only lasted four seasons, Fire manager Frank Klopas was a member of both Chicago and Kansas City for two seasons apiece. Klopas contributed seven goals and 11 assists in his 49 appearances with the Kansas City Wizards in 1996 and 1997 and six goals and five assists in 40 appearances the following two seasons with Chicago.

  • Patriot pals:Kansas City boss Peter Vermes and Chicago manager Frank Klopas represented the United States National Team eight times together from 1988-1994. Team USA went 3-3-2 in those matches, with Klopas netting three goals, including a brace on August 13, 1988 against Jamaica in a World Cup Qualifier.


Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m.

  • Seattle seeking revenge: This is the first meeting between the two sides since Real Salt Lake eliminated Seattle in the Western Conference Semifinals last November by an aggregate score of 3-2. RSL won the first leg in Seattle 3-0 thanks to an Alvaro Saborio brace and a goal from Ned Grabavoy, and were able to hang on in the second leg to secure a trip to the Conference Semifinals.

  • Pursuing a personal best: Through 11 games, RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman has already matched or surpassed his goal count for all but one of his 13 seasons in MLS. His career high came in 2007 (the only season he has scored more than three), when he tallied seven with the Colorado Rapids. 


Sunday May 13


Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/TSN2)

  • Home cookin’: In these clubs’ four total meetings, the home side has won every encounter, splitting the series even at 2-2-0. In their last meeting on October 20, 2011, the Red Bulls took advantage of a Philadelphia own goal to win 1-0 and clinch a spot in the MLS Playoffs. 

  • Top heavy:Red Bull forwards Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry have combined for 16 of the club’s 19 goals this season. Without Henry in the lineup on May 5 against the LA Galaxy, the Red Bulls surprised many by taking a 1-0 victory.

  • Agudelo absent no more:Juan Agudelo made his first appearance since the season opener for the Red Bulls in the 1-0 win against the LA Galaxy, coming on as a substitute. Agudelo suffered a knee injury while playing for the U.S. U-23 national team in the Olympic qualification tournament.


San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m. (Galavision)

  • No way, Jose: Chivas USA have dominated their NorCal rivals since 2008, going 6-1-2 in that span. The Goats swept the season series in 2011 by scorelines of 2-0 and 2-1.

  • Goats searching for goalscorers: Five goals from five different players have accounted for all of Chivas USA’s scoring thus far this season. Two of those goals came from MLS newcomers Casey Townsend and Oswaldo Minda. 

  • Wondo welcomes width: Until San Jose’s 2-1 victory over Philadelphia on April 28, Chris Wondolowski was the only Earthquakes member to tally more than one goal on the season, scoring 8 of the team’s 13. In that match and in the club’s 5-3 win against D.C. United on May 2, fellow striker Steven Lenhart has gotten in on the act, scoring twice in both matches.

  • Wondo wows:Over his last 34 games (the current length of an MLS season), Wondolowski has scored 25 goals. That would be the fourth-largest single-season total in league history (the record is 27, held by Tampa Bay’s Roy Lassiter in MLS’s inaugural season in 1996).



“I might even French kiss him tonight.”

-- Vancouver Whitecaps GK Joe Cannon joked, to the Vancouver Sun,about Eric Hassli’s game-winning injury-time goal against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday


“The fans aren't the only ones who are excited. You look at everyone. The guys have an extra pep in their steps. The organization is walking around with smiles on their faces. This is something to be proud of not just for our organization but for the city. It's truly a special day, and it's going to be a bigger and more special day on May 12.”

-- Houston Dynamo forward Brian Ching, to theHouston Chronicle, on this weekend’s opening of BBVA Compass Stadium


"As far as the exterior, Houston has a reputation for being tough and frontier men-like… Texans pride themselves on being tough. It's got a little tough exterior. We were looking for a look that was unique to the area."
-- BBVA Compass Stadium architect Jeff Spear, to the Houston Chronicle,on creating a blueprint that would match the Houston vibe

“When I went to get my car, he was there; when I went to get my engagement ring, he was there, helping me out…”

-- Portland Timber standout Darlington Nagbe, to KPTV (Fox Portland),on his close friendship with teammate Freddie Braun


“We’re walking on eggshells, once it cracks everything just falls apart. And that shouldn’t happen at home … Losing this many in a row is very depressing and it’s very hard to live with as a player and I’m sure it is as a fan as well.”
-- Toronto FC midfielder Julian de Guzman, to the Toronto Sun, about the club’s 0-0-8 start to the season, an MLS all-time worst


“You’re 0-7, why not go for the win? It’s supposed to be attacking-style football. It was difficult for us to break down but they didn’t pose a threat going forward. I’m glad we kept our composure because it can get frustrating.”

-- D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario, to The Washington Post, after defeating his former club in a 2-0 victory


“Nick Rimando, keeps doing it every single year, and I just can’t understand why he isn’t the goal keeper of the year every year."

-- Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers, to The Salt Lake Tribune, on teammate Nick Rimando’s key saves in the clubs win against the New England Revolution on Saturday


"It wasn't the prettiest of matches for him to come to.”

-- LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, to the Los Angeles Times, after England Olympic team manager Stuart Pearce came to see the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls


“I’m at a loss for words, it’s heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking.”

-- Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, after a stoppage-time goal by Chicago sent his team to a fifth consecutive home loss this season


“I wasn't really too nervous and it was a relatively easy game for me. The back four didn't allow too much through. I don't think I saw any shots on target.”

-- Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith, to the Associated Press, after a 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union in his first MLS start


Sweet Tweets

@AlexiLalas: - April 30
Wish I'd had twitter when I played. Then I wouldn't have had to call the fans individually and apologize after every game.”


@TaylorTwellman   – April 30
ESPN, Inc. Launches New Multi-Platform Worldwide Soccer Brand, ESPNFC « ESPN MediaZone


@HoustonDynamo  – April 30

The originals, @brianchingand @BradsBrigadegetting used to their new home.


@YouTube– May 2
Happy Birthday, David Beckham! Here’s to many more years of goals like this:


@SoccerByIves  – May 2
Montero just blistered that shot from 40 yards out. Goal of the Week in MLS for sure, best goal not scored by Pappis Cisse today.

@EthanFinlay13– May 2
Freddy Montero's 35 yd rocket = world class #MLS. This goal needs to be on #SCtop10tomorrow.



@HoustonDynamo – May 2
We've said it before, but the views are incredible. From the last row of 228. Right on top of the action.


@HoustonDynamo – May 2
A look at @BBVACompassStdmlast night from the outside, courtesy of G. Lyon Photography:



@dwaynederosario – May 3
Tough loss tonight. Thanks to all the Earthquakes fans who still show love when my name was announced, really felt good 1st class Off to T.O

@JimmyConrad_com – May 3
Thursday Fun Time on @KickTV: My Top 5 ugliest jerseys of all time and sorry, @AlexiLalas, but you're in my list again.


@LAGalaxy– May 4
.@cobijonesdesigning for #3rdkitcontest. "[evil laugh] I'm making it pink!"


@SportingKC– May 4
How can you not love @BigAfrika88? Not sure who's teaching who here, but it's awesome regardless... #SportingTykes


@brianching– May 6
There's a special 14-page section in today's @HoustonChronabout @BBVACompassStdm. Very nice