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This Week in MLS - October 9, 2012


Chris Wondolowski: Two games and two goals to go
Two games and two goals are all that stand between Chris Wondolowski and MLS history. The runaway Budweiser Golden Boot leader now has 25 goals on the season which is two away from tying Roy Lassiter’s 1996 all-time record for goals in a single season (27).
Wondo has been nothing short of spectacular this season as he leads the league in goals scored (25), multi-goal games (6), game-winning goals (11) and shots on goal (51) while helping the San Jose Earthquakes lead the Western Conference.
En route to his quest for history, the Earthquakes superstar has been among the best in MLS all season - highlighted by his four MLS Player of the Week and history-making three MLS Player of the Month awards. “Wondo” also this season broke San Jose’s all-time scoring record as he notched his 62nd goal in an Earthquakes uniform Saturday, passing Ronald Cerritos for the most all-time.
With two games left, against the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers, and two goals to go, the soccer world will be watching.
San Jose Earthquakes within reach of Supporters’ Shield
The San Jose Earthquakes have two games remaining, and with a win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Oct. 20, they would clinch the 2012 Supporters’ Shield and be guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. San Jose has defeated LA on two previous meetings this season and will be going for the clean sweep against their fellow Californians.
San Jose Earthquakes will win the Supporters’ Shield IF
·         San Jose Earthquakes win vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
·         Sporting Kansas City lose or tie vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday
MLS Cup Playoff Race Update
While the MLS clubs will have the weekend off from MLS competition, four clubs will be looking to the following week with optimism.  On Saturday, October 20, following the international break, four MLS clubs could clinch spots in the playoffs and qualification in the East could come down to the D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew matchup on Saturday.
The remaining three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference could be claimed on Oct 20 – if D.C. defeats Columbus.  Columbus will be fighting for their playoff lives but United have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games while outscoring their opponents 6-2 and posting three shutouts. 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be striving to clinch the final Western Conference spot next week as well.
All of the East will be on watch Saturday, Oct. 20 while all of the West will be on watch that Sunday.
D.C. United will clinch a playoff spot IF
·         D.C. United win or tie vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday, Oct. 20
·         Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 20
New York Red Bulls will clinch a playoff spot IF
·         New York Red Bulls win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 20
·         Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday, Oct. 20
·         New York Red Bulls tie vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Oct. 20 AND
·         Houston Dynamo lose vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 20 OR
·         Columbus Crew tie vs. D.C. United on Saturday, Oct. 20
Houston Dynamo will clinch a playoff spot IF
·         Houston Dynamo win vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Oct. 20
·         Columbus Crew lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday, Oct. 20
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will clinch a playoff spot IF
·         Vancouver Whitecaps FC win vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 21
·         FC Dallas lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, Oct. 21
·         Vancouver Whitecaps FC tie vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday, Oct. 21 AND
·         FC Dallas tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, Oct. 21
45 MLS Players called to 19 National Teams for international competition
Teams will have the weekend off from competition this week as the MLS schedule accounts for international play in 2012.  Ahead of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches this week, as well as the CFU Caribbean Cup, 45 MLS players were called up to 19 different national teams.
Canada and the United States both boast seven MLS players to their respective national teams with Honduras right behind at six.
CLICK HEREto view a full country-by-country breakdown of MLS players selected to their international rosters for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying and CFU Caribbean Cup.
Wednesday, October 10
French Guyana vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 5 p.m. ET
St. Kitts & Nevis vs. Anguilla, 7 p.m. ET
Friday, October 12
Albania v. Iceland, 12 a.m. ET
Canada vs. Cuba, 7:45 p.m. ET
Colombia vs. Paraguay, 4:30 p.m. ET
El Salvador vs. Costa Rica, 9:30 p.m. ET
Ecuador vs. Chile, 5 p.m. ET
Estonia vs. Hungary, 2:30 p.m. ET
Guatemala vs. Jamaica, 10 p.m. ET
Panama vs. Honduras, 10:05 p.m. ET
Wales vs. Scotland, 2:45 p.m. ET
Argentina vs. Uruguay, 8 p.m. ET
Republic of Ireland vs. Germany, 2:45 p.m. ET
Anguilla vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 5 p.m. ET
St. Kitts & Nevis vs. French Guyana, 7 p.m. ET
Antigua and Barbuda vs. USA, 7 p.m. ET
Faroe Islands vs. Sweden, 12 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 13
Tahiti vs. New Zealand, 2 a.m. ET
Sunday, October 14
St. Kitts & Nevis vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 7 p.m.ET
Tuesday, October 16
Iraq vs. Australia, 10:15 a.m. ET
Albania vs. Slovenia, 2:24 p.m. ET
Honduras vs. Canada, 4 p.m. ET
Costa Rica vs. Guyana, 9 p.m. ET
Venezuela vs. Ecuador, 6 p.m. ET
Mexico vs. El Salvador, 9 p.m. ET
Andorra vs. Estonia, 1 p.m. ET
Faroe Islands vs. Republic of Ireland, 2 p.m. ET
New Zealand vs. Tahiti, 2:35 p.m. ET
Cuba vs. Panama, 4 p.m. ET
Belgium vs. Scotland, 2:45 p.m. ET
Bolivia vs. Uruguay, 4 p.m. ET
USA vs. Guatemala, 7:15 p.m. ET
Germany vs. Sweden, 2:45 p.m. ET
AT&T MLS Goal of the Week (Week 29) – CLICK HEREto vote
·         Gabriel Gomez (PHI)
·         Barry Robson (VAN)
·         Antoine Hoppenot (PHI)
·         Marvin Chavez (SJ)
·         Robbie Keane (LA)
Check It Out
“Every game, I just try to be the best player I can and take advantage of the experience, because it’s been invaluable. I’m trying to look at it this way because I didn’t have an opportunity like this last year.”
-Amobi Okugo, talking about how he focuses on games during his increased role and playing time this season
“It’s been fun, a dream, a goal of mine to get here. The experience has been great, and there’s no better way of getting it than being on the field. It’s also been great for my growth to play beside Arne (Friedrich).  He’s become a good buddy.  He’s a great guy, always there to help.  It’s just been good to see how he handles himself.”
-Austin Berry, on how his rookie campaign has been since starting early in the season after Cory Gibbs went down to injury
“Nobody used to recognize me unless it was at a soccer event and they were very big soccer fans.”
-Matt Besler, on getting recognized in a local Apple store two days before a big game against the Chicago Fire.
“I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s something that would be welcome among many fan bases. There’s no better way to build a relationship with your fans and generate some interest in a team than to give them some control over the fate of the team.”
-Brian Frederick, executive director of the Sports Fan Coalition, on how the Seattle Sounders GM’s fate will be voted on by the clubs fans.
“These fans are the greatest in the league. All I ask is that they keep coming out supporting us, and we’ll give them a great show.’’
-Brandon Barklage, speaking  about the New York Red Bulls fan base at home where they have an MLS-best ratio in points per home game.
"This is it. This is the fourth year. You've got to put your money where your mouth is, right?"
-Joe Roth, Sounders FC majority owner, discussing the upcoming vote by fans on the fate of GM Adrian Hanauer
"Come out to practice and watch this guy. He's one of the most naturally talented players I've ever been around on a daily basis. You don't really appreciate him until you see him every day. He does things other players can't do, and he does it consistently."
-Dominic Kinnear, Houston Dynamo Coach on Brad Davis.
“Blood, snot and fire.”
-Toronto FC coach Paul Mariner, of what he expects during the club’s second-to-last home match of this season.
"People who say, 'Hey, is soccer going to make it in this country?' You've got to come to the game on Sunday and you'll see if soccer can make it in this country. I think it's going to be a great advertisement."
-Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid, on the atmosphere at the Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers game.
Sweet Tweets:
@ChrisKonopka414– October 3, 2012
@MikeLahoud let's walk around the city with your pants on backwards!!
@bbknighton– October 4, 2012
Thanks to our fans for their tremendous and continued support! Y'all were fantastic yet again! @bcplace is a fortress thanks to y'all! #love
@zkscott– October 5, 2012
Remind me to ask roger if golden scarf gets you admission into a secret willy wonka-esque candy playland #iwantanoompaloompa
@PaladiniXI– October 6, 2012
@b_shuttle– October 7, 2012
65k in Seattle...incredible stuff #MLS
@BenSpeas18– October 7, 2012
Miss ya Kirky
@eddie_johnson7  -  October 8, 2012
Great win and and well deserved 3pts lastnite .Oh yeah and what a amazing atmosphere lastnite. #wehavethebestfansintheleague
@Ddwyer14– October 8, 2012
Day off, Gotta take care of the feet!!
@D6MERIT– October 8, 2012
You know when you propose to your girlfriend with a mullet and she says YES, she's the girl for you. So happy!! Love u @ashleighmcivor!