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10 May 5:49 pm

You've probably noticed that the Portland Timbers are pretty tough to beat. They're one of only two teams in the league with just a single loss, and it's not because they're bunkering.

On the contrary, they'll holding the ball higher up the pitch, and defending from the front better than anyone in the leauge:

Team Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2013 Passing Accuracy in Opp Half: 2012
Portland Timbers 74.1 69.86
Vancouver Whitecaps 72.48 68.55
Sporting Kansas City 71.7 69.81
Real Salt Lake 70.92 73.21
New York Red Bulls 70.74 72.21
Seattle Sounders FC 70.35 69.28
LA Galaxy 69.25 70.82
D.C. United 69 68.47
Montreal Impact 68 70.31
Colorado Rapids 67.51 72.11
Columbus Crew 67.14 69.18
Philadelphia Union 65.85 69.87
Houston Dynamo 64.8 74.13
Toronto FC 64.63 65.15
FC Dallas 64.25 64.45
Chicago Fire 64 71.68
New England Revolution 63.26 67.6
San Jose Earthquakes 62.64 69.92
Chivas USA 60.31 75.42

That's what coach Caleb Porter has instilled from Day 1: Defend the ball, not the goal. And his team has taken to it with aplomb thus far.

If you want to understand what "Porterball" really is, that's where you need to start.

P.S. We'll get to that outrageous 2012 number for Chivas USA at a later date. Statistics, remember, can often be damned, dirty lies.

10 May 5:38 pm

 

En algunos países el día de las madres se ha celebrado el viernes, mientras que en otros se hará el domingo. Lo que importa al final es que este fin de semana, mamá tiene un espacio primordial en nuestro fin de semana.

Por ello, ¿qué mejor que compartir con ella la pasión del fútbol?

Varios clubes de la MLS estarán celebrando el día de las madres con ofertas y eventos especiales en cada uno de sus estadios, y algunos con promociones que van más allá de este día; porque como debe ser, a las madres debemos festejarlas a diario.

MAMÁS CHIVISTAS

Aunque Chivas USA juega de visitante contra Portland Timbers esta semana, todas las madres chivistas que acompañen a sus hijos el próximo 19 de mayo al partido como locales ante Real Salt Lake, entrarán gratis al Home Depot Center.

MAMÁS DE LA PANDILLA

Columbus Crew recibirá a Colorado Rapids este sábado, y las mamás serán quienes más empujen a la pandilla en casa. El paquete Moms Rock que están ofreciendo en Columbus incluye cuatro boletos al partido, así como una foto en la cancha antes del partido y, además ¡una pizza! Como si fuera poco, las mamás podrán cumplir su sueño (obviamente) de cobrar un tiro penal después del encuentro.

MAMÁS NARANJAS

En Texas, varias mamás tendrán la oportunidad de conocer a dos de los jugadores del Houston Dynamo. Comprando el paquete de cuatro tiquetes que está ofreciendo el equipo naranja, los hijos que registren prontamente a sus mamás (cupos limitados) podrán conocer a Tally Hall y a Mike Chabala. Además, los primeros cinco mil aficionados que entren al BBVA Compass el domingo, para el partido ante Sporting Kansas City, recibirán una bufanda del equipo.

MÈRES DE MONTRÉAL

Montreal Impact también se une a la celebración, y antes del partido vs Real Salt Lake regalarán bufandas especialmente diseñadas para mujer, por la compra de cuatro tiquetes al partido.

Incluso, hay algunos que se le quieren adelantar al día del padre.

Sea como sea, a disfrutar este fin de semana con sus mamás. Quienes no puedan asistir a los partidos en cada una de estas ciudades, recuerden que todos los encuentros serán transmitidos gratuitamente por MLS LIVE. ¡Regístrense ahora!

 

10 May 11:42 am

Quelle semaine riche en MLS : après les 6 rencontres de mercredi soir, il y en aura 9 au programme ce week-end. Et vous aurez tout le loisir de suivre celles de votre choix, puisque sept d’entre elles seront diffusées gratuitement sur MLS Live.

La plus disproportionnée sur le papier oppose le premier du classement général, Dallas, dont les bons résultats contribuent à la popularité, au dernier, DC United, dont la défense a multiplié les cadeaux ces derniers temps. L’autre club texan jouera aussi à domicile : Houston, actuel dauphin de son voisin d’État, a fait le plein de confiance avant de recevoir Kansas City.

À New England, New York tentera de remporter sa cinquième victoire consécutive, probablement sans ses attaquants français Henry et Luyindula. Deux des autres clubs en embuscade, Montréal et Salt Lake, s’affronteront au stade Saputo. Les Québécois continueront de faire tourner leur effectif pour tenter de battre un Nick Rimando en toute grande forme.

En forme également, Portland se mesurera à Chivas USA devant les caméras d’Unimas alors que l’autre équipe de Los Angeles, le LA Galaxy en attente du retour de Roy Keane, ira à Vancouver. À suivre sur vos écrans TV : la visite de Philadelphie, qui mise sur la formation des jeunes, à Chicago (TSN2, NBCSN) et l’éternel choc entre Seattle et San José (Univision Deportes).

LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Samedi 11 mai
13h30 : Chicago - Philadelphie
14h00 : Montréal - Salt Lake
16h00 : Seattle - San José
19h00 : Vancouver - LA Galaxy
19h30 : New England - New York
19h30 : Columbus - Colorado
20h30 : Dallas - DC United
Dimanche 12 mai
17h00 : Portland - Chivas USA
20h00 : Houston - Kansas City

Classement général
Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs

09 May 5:12 pm

It was just a run-of-the-mill Thursday for former Columbus Crew player and current Crew brand ambassador Frankie Hejduk.

Or, maybe not.

Hejduk participated in a "Monster Meat" eating competition with local broadcasters and seven Asian elephants (yes, you read that right) in a charity event for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus. The event was sponsored by restaurant group Max & Erma's, who provided the sliders for the humans to eat, and the Ringling Bros., who provided the elephants competing against the humans.

So how well did Hejduk represent the Crew and MLS? He certainly held his scarf aloft and cheered enthusiastically, as you'll see in the video. As far as the competition itself, Hejduk didn't fare as well, as the player well-known for his fitness during his playing days probably didn't routinely eat a stack of sliders at once as part of his regimen.

Citing a lack of appetite, the two-time MLS Cup champion could only finish four sliders, but it was all for a good cause, as Max & Erma's donated $18,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs.

This event got us thinking: If Hejduk joined the circus, what would be his ideal event? Would his physical gifts make him a good choice for the tightrope or trapeze? Or should he be the ringmaster, with his unlimited energy and infectious enthusiasm?

Maybe his stint with the circus should last longer than one day!

09 May 12:54 pm

LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has coached at every level of the men's game in the United States, and he's also kept an eye on the women's side, as he proved by sharing some intriguing observations with former WNBA president Val Ackerman in an in-depth interview for ESPNW this week.

The four-time MLS Cup winner and former US national team coach discussed the growth of women's soccer at the youth, collegiate and international levels – which he believes has accelerated “at a little faster rate than it has on the men's side” – and even praised female players for generally being more coachable and not as “contaminated” by greed and ego.

“In my experiences with coaching girls or women ... they are much more receptive to coaching than men,” said Arena. “They're eager to learn, and I believe they're more disciplined in terms of their concentration and training.”

READ: LA Galaxy look to regain momentum on road as they kick off three-game trip

He also issued a surprising mea culpa regarding the impact of Title IX, the law mandating gender equity which transformed the college sports landscape over the past four decades. Arena made his name at the helm of the University of Virginia's NCAA dynasty in the 1990s, and he admits now that his qualms about the change were mistaken.

“We see all the good things that have happened because of it,” he said of Title IX. “People like myself, at the time, thought it was wrong on so many fronts. I was absolutely wrong on every front.

“I thought it would take away from men. Nothing was taken away from men. It was appropriate to give women opportunities to participate and they've taken those opportunities and have grown them at every level.”

READ: FC Kansas City-Portland Thorns raise the curtain on new women's league NWSL

Arena and Ackerman also mulled the struggles of women's professional soccer in this country. Though he believes there is limited “crossover” potential with MLS, he sounded a note of cautious optimism about the NWSL, the new effort in that sphere being led by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

“They have a better financial model in place and, in the early going, I think there is going to be patience,” Arena said. “So, if we give it time, the women's professional league is going to be around for many years to come, and hopefully this new plan will make it work.”

09 May 11:26 am

Houston et New York ont réalisé la bonne opération du milieu de semaine en revenant à un point de Dallas pendant que Seattle prenait ses distances d’un fond de classement où DC United s’enfonce de plus en plus.

Privé de plusieurs titulaires, le leader a souffert chez lui devant Portland mais la paire Hedges - Woodberry s’en est bien sortie derrière, limitant les dégâts à un but compensé par le penalty inscrit en fin de match par Cooper, et vivement contesté par les visiteurs. Ces deux unités perdues par Dallas ont néanmoins offert la possibilité à ses poursuivants de se rapprocher.

New York a saisi sa chance en s’imposant contre Montréal grâce à deux buts de Thierry Henry - dont un spectaculaire retourné - mais l’attaquant français appréciait davantage les trois points que l’esthétisme de sa réalisation. Après avoir réduit l’écart, les visiteurs ont failli égaliser dans les arrêts de jeu : un point qui, selon eux, aurait été mérité même s’ils admettent que l’ouverture du score locale juste avant la pause leur a fait mal.

Houston recolle également à une unité de la tête du classement général, grâce à une plantureuse victoire 0-4 à DC United, marquée du sceau de Will Bruin impliqué dans chacun des buts. Plus rien ne va dans l’équipe de la capitale américaine, dernière avec la plus mauvaise attaque et la plus mauvaise défense. Ben Olsen sent que sa place est en jeu.

Enfin, Kansas City a galvaudé l’occasion de réaliser une bonne opération, en passant à côté de son sujet en deuxième mi-temps face à Seattle, tout heureux de voir la chance lui sourire enfin cette saison.

LES RÉSULTATS
DC United - Houston
New York - Montréal
New England - Salt Lake
Kansas City - Seattle
Dallas - Portland
San José - Toronto

 
0-4
2-1
1-2
0-1
1-1
2-1

Classement général
Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo

 

09 May 10:15 am

This one's pretty easy:

Player Chances Created from Open Play
Wondolowski, Chris 18
Lee Young-Pyo 17
Higuaín, Federico 17
García, Oscar Boniek 17
Ferreira, David 16
Harris, Atiba 16
Henry, Thierry 15
Chara, Diego 15
Feilhaber, Benny 14
Bruin, Will 14

Bear in mind, Wondo has played more minutes than most of the guys on that list, and San Jose's wide-open style is conducive to creating a ton of chances no matter who's out there.

But still... he's leading the league in chances created from the run of play. And he's tied for second in assists. It takes more than a poacher's instincts to manage that.

08 May 4:04 pm

It took a day or two, but cooler heads have prevailed in Houston after an unfortunate incident involving homophobic tweets posted on a Dynamo supporters group's Twitter account Sunday night.

On Monday Dynamo officials met with the leadership of the Brickwall Firm, the group at the center of the controversy, and determined that the tweets were the product of a single individual whose statements did not reflect the group's collective values. Brickwall has been tasked with identifying and ejecting -- from their ranks as well as from future Dynamo matches -- the person who wrote them.

“First of all, something totally unacceptable in society has occurred,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told the Houston Chronicle. “We are condemning the comments. The leaders of the group are condemning the comments. They don’t share those values. It was an individual.

“It doesn’t paint a broad picture of members of Brickwall, our supporters groups, our fans or our community. We are going to work with the group to have the person identified and have the group take action against that individual.”

The Brickwall Firm's official account tweeted out an explicit slur towards LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan after Houston's 1-0 win over LA. A day later, Brickwall apologized for the incident in a series of tweets that underlined the isolated nature of the opinions which had been expressed.

08 May 4:00 pm

It took two games for Roy Miller to become a punchline this season, but since his return to the lineup in mid-April, the New York Red Bulls have gone 4-1-0. Here's a chart that should give you some idea as to why:


Team Crossing Open Accuracy Crosses/Corners Accuracy
New York Red Bulls 31.21 33.02
D.C. United 27.27 30.32
Colorado Rapids 26.67 30.9
LA Galaxy 25.56 29.26
Seattle Sounders FC 25.22 27.85
Montreal Impact 25 29.27
New England Revolution 24.32 23.58
Sporting Kansas City 22.78 30.37
Chivas USA 22.76 32.92
FC Dallas 22.48 23.16
Houston Dynamo 22.31 27.66
Chicago Fire 20.65 21.05
Vancouver Whitecaps 19.72 22.58
Philadelphia Union 19.23 25.13
Portland Timbers 19.08 20.19
Real Salt Lake 18.38 22.65
San Jose Earthquakes 18.32 23.1
Columbus Crew 16.13 27.27
Toronto FC 12.71 17.47

This is not to say that Miller, alone, is the cause for New York's crossing prowess. In fact, he rates significantly lower than Heath Pearce – the "other" left back in Mike Petke's rotation – by Opta's count.

But one of the best aspects of Thierry Henry's game is his ability to drop deep on the left, find space, then curl in a right-footed cross to the penalty spot – usually aiming for the head of Tim Cahill, who still excels at making those delayed runs from central midfield.

The reason Henry has all that space? Because Miller overlaps as relentlessly as any fullback in the league, dragging defenders away from the Frenchman, creating new passing lanes, and just making it harder to defend that side of the field.