ICYMI: MLS News & Notes

ICYMBI: MLS WEEK 8 NEWS & NOTES
News and notes and statistical trends from around Major League Soccer
 
CASHING IN: Over the matches of Week 8 in Major League Soccer, 29 goals were scored in the 11 games played –12 of those by Designated Players. Two Designated Players hit for braces: Nemanja Nikolic of the Chicago Fire in his club’s 3-0 win against the New England Revolution, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Fredy Montero, with both of his club’s goals in its 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC.
 
Through the opening eight weeks and 67 matches of the 2017 Major League Soccer season, 39 percent of the goals have come from Designated Players – on track to be the largest single-season percentage of goals from DPs since the rule was instituted for the 2007 season. So far this season, 31 percent of the assists have come from Designated Players – which would also be a single-season high.
 
 
DP GOALS
GOALS
PCT
DP ASTS
ASTS
PCT
2007
24
518
4.60%
17
477
3.60%
2008
47
591
7.90%
39
550
7.10%
2009
44
571
7.70%
27
546
4.90%
2010
36
591
6.10%
45
536
8.40%
2011
114
791
14.40%
57
710
8.00%
2012
146
854
17.10%
126
813
15.50%
2013
173
845
20.50%
123
768
16.00%
2014
225
924
24.40%
182
802
22.70%
2015
288
937
30.70%
202
867
23.30%
2016
281
956
29.40%
218
897
24.30%
2017
74
188
39.40%
49
156
31.40%
 
AGE OF MAJORITY: Orlando City SC striker Cyle Larin last Saturday celebrated his birthday a little bit early, scoring the game-winning goal in stoppage time to give his club a 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Orlando City Stadium.
 
For Larin, who turned 22 years of age on Monday, April 17, it was the 35th league goal of his professional career – the most of any player in MLS history before their 22nd birthday. Larin is in his third MLS season, the No. 1 selection overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Connecticut.
 
ALL-TIME MLS GOALSCORERS BEFORE AGE 22
 
BORN
GOALS
 
 
Cyle Larin
4/17/1995
35
 
 
Diego Fagundez
2/14/1995
34
 
 
Jack McInerney
8/5/1992
31
 
 
Eddie Gaven
10/25/1986
28
 
 
Landon Donovan
3/4/1982
26
 
 
Stern John
10/30/1976
26
 
 
 
QUIETING THE HOME CROWD: Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening recorded their second away shutout this season – still yet to concede a goal on their travels this year – in a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
 
It was the fourth consecutive league shutout away from home for Sporting, dating back to the final two matches of the regular season a year ago. The four-match road shutout streak is tied for the third-longest in MLS history; Sporting are riding a 367-minute shutout streak on their travels ahead of this weekend’s visit to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium.
 
The top road shutout streaks in MLS history (at least four consecutive complete shutouts):
 
 
 
START
STOP
LA Galaxy
619 minutes
9/26/2009
6/9/2010
Chivas USA
486 minutes
9/11/2008
4/22/2009
D.C. United
462 minutes
7/22/2007
9/6/2007
Sporting Kansas City
461 minutes
7/18/2012
10/7/2012
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
446 minutes
9/20/2014
4/11/2015
Real Salt Lake
442 minutes
10/5/2014
4/25/2015
Houston Dynamo
397 minutes
9/14/2011
3/23/2012
Sporting Kansas City
367 minutes
10/1/2016
active
 
OPENING IT UP RIGHT: Orlando City SC made history on Saturday, winning their fourth consecutive game in their new Orlando City Stadium, becoming the first club in MLS history to win its first four games in a new stadium built from the ground up.
 
Two other teams had won the first three games played in their new stadiums: the LA Galaxy in the opening of The Home Depot Center (now StubHub Center) in 2003, and the New York Red Bulls with the inauguration of Red Bull Arena in 2010.
 
The longest a team have gone undefeated in their new home is eight games, achieved by Sporting Kansas City with the opening of Sporting Park (now Children’s Mercy Park) in 2011, when they recorded four wins and four draws before their first home defeat in the ground.
 
LONGEST UNDEFEATED STREAK TO OPEN STADIUM
STADIUM
 
RECORD
START
STOP
Sporting Park
KC
4-0-4
6/9/2011
8/3/2011
Rio Tinto Stadium
RSL
4-0-2
10/9/2008
5/6/2009
The Home Depot Center
LA
3-0-2
6/7/2003
7/4/2003
Orlando City Stadium
ORL
4-0-0
3/5/2017
active
BBVA Compass Stadium
HOU
2-0-2
5/12/2012
5/26/2012
Red Bull Arena
NYR
3-0-0
3/27/2010
4/24/2010
 
MLS WEEK 8 – LOOK AHEAD
 
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Wednesday, April 19 (Week 8, MLS Game #70)
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; CSN-CA)
 
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Claudiu Badea; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 138 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 24; pens: 24
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Revolution 14 wins (2 shootout), 50 goals … Earthquakes 20 wins (0 shootout), 68 goals … Ties 6
AT NEW ENGLAND: Revolution 8 wins (0 shootout), 25 goals … Earthquakes 10 wins (0 shootout), 30 goals … Ties 2
  • The Revolution saw their three-game undefeated run come to an end, falling 3-0 to the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park.
  • The Revolution come into the match riding a six-game home winning streak dating back to last Sept. 3, one win shy of the club record set over the end of the 2004 season and the start of 2005.
  • The Quakes saw their overall winless streak extended to four games despite coming back for a second successive draw, gaining a 1-1 result with FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.
  • Jahmir Hyka scored his first career MLS goal, netting the equalizer in the 94th minute, the second consecutive week the Quakes hit for the equalizer from the 90th minute onward.
  • The Revolution have a four-game undefeated streak alive in the series. The Revolution had won three consecutive matches before the teams reached a scoreless draw last Aug. 24 in their only meeting of the season. The Quakes last won in the series March 10, 2012, a 1-0 win at Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • The Revolution have won the last two meetings at Gillette Stadium, their first home wins vs. the Quakes since the 2009 season, the last a 2-1 victory March 28, 2015. Last year’s meeting was the first ever at Avaya Stadium; when the Revolution won 2-1 in 2014 in the final meeting at Buck Shaw Stadium, it was their first win in northern California since 2009.
REVOLUTION: The Revolution are winless on the road this season, now with three defeats and a draw from four games away from Foxborough. The Revolution have a six-game winless streak on the road alive, dating back to last Sept. 25.
 
QUAKES: The Quakes head to New England riding a five-game road losing streak, their longest losing streak away from home since dropping seven in a row over the end of the 2008 season and the start of 2009. … Jahmir Hyka has been involved in three of the Quakes’ eight goals this season, with a goal and two assists.
 
TORONTO FC vs. CHICAGO FIRE
Friday, April 21 (Week 8, MLS Game #71)
BMO Field, Toronto, Ont.
7:30 p.m. ET (TSN; CSN-Chi+)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Toronto FC 7 wins, 36 goals … Fire 9 wins, 39 goals …Ties 8
AT TORONTO: Toronto FC 6 wins, 25 goals … Fire 4 wins, 23 goals …Ties 3
 
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho; AR2 (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Caleb Mendez
MLS Career: 124 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 18; pens: 29
  • Toronto FC had their undefeated start to the season put to an end, a run of two consecutive draws also ended in a 2-1 loss at Columbus Crew SC on Saturday evening.
  • The Fire have won back-to-back games following their 3-0 victory against the New England Revolution at Toyota Park, the first time since March 29-April 24, 2014 they’ve recorded consecutive wins in league play. The Fire extended their home undefeated streak to seven games, dating back to last season.
  • Toronto FC have won the last four meetings between the teams, including all three a season ago. The Fire’s last victory in the series came April 4, 2015, a 3-2 win at Toyota Park, which ended a 12-game Fire undefeated streak in the series (6-0-6), dating back to 2010.
  • TFC have won the last three encounters at BMO Field, including both meetings a season ago – a 1-0 win on July 9, and a 3-2 win on Decision Day on Oct. 23.
  • TFC’s 2-1 win last Sept. 10 was their first ever at Toyota Park. The Fire had come away with five wins and five draws in the first 10 meetings all-time in Bridgeview.
TFC: Jozy Altidore scored his third goal of the season; with three goals and two assists for the season, he’s been involved in five of TFC’s seven goals on the campaign. Since last July 31, Altidore has scored 18 goals and added nine assists over 26 matches in both league and MLS Cup play. … According to Opta, Victor Vasquez had eight key passes in 86 minutes against Columbus, including the assist on the Altidore goal. No MLS player has had more key passes in a single game thus far this year.
 
FIRE: Nemanja Nikolic scored a pair of goals, his first career MLS multiple-goal game, now with three goals in his last two games and four goals for the season. It was the first two-goal game in league play for a Fire player since Gilberto hit for a brace Sept. 26, 2015. … Bastian Schweinsteiger scored his second MLS goal and also added an assist in the New England win; he’s been involved in three of the Fire’s six goals since his arrival with the club.
 
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs. MONTRÉAL IMPACT
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #72)
Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
1 p.m. ET (WPVI-6abc; TVAS)
 
REFEREE: Nima Saghafi. AR1 (bench): Eric Weisbrod; AR2 (opposite): Jason White; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 6 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 2; pens: 3
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Union 3 wins, 15 goals … Impact 5 wins, 22 goals … Ties 5
AT PHILADELPHIA: Union 2 wins, 8 goals … Impact 0 wins, 6 goals … Ties 4
  • It was a fourth consecutive loss for Union in their 2-0 home defeat by New York City FC, matching the club record set four times previously, last April 19-May 9, 2015. Union’s six-game home winless streak is one game shy of the club record set in 2014.
  • The Impact won their first match of the season, their first in league play since a 1-0 win last Oct. 2 at Orlando City, with their dramatic 2-1 victory against Atlanta United on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The seven-game regular-season winless run was the longest since a club-record 10-game streak over the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015.
  • The visiting team has won once in the all-time series – a 1-0 Union victory in 2015 at Stade Saputo. Union have won two of the six matchups in Chester, with four draws, including a 1-1 result last Sept. 10 in the only meeting there.
  • The Impact have won five of the seven meetings all-time at Stade Saputo, including a 5-1 victory last July 23, the second time the Impact have scored five goals in a game in the series (also: 5-3 win, May 25, 2013). The teams also reached a 1-1 draw there last May 14; the Impact had won the first four meetings between the teams in Montréal.
UNION: Union have conceded multiple goals in each of their last five matches. They have allowed 11 goals for the season, tied for second-most in MLS this year. … Fourth-round SuperDraft selection Jack Elliott made his first career MLS start vs. NYCFC … Rookie Adam Najem made his MLS debut, coming on as a late substitute.
 
IMPACT: Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored the game-winner, his second career MLS goal – both have come deep in second-half stoppage time. … Ignacio Piatti netted his second goal of the season, his first since March 11. Piatti has two goals and an assist this season.
 
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #73)
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
2:55 p.m. CT (UniMás)
 
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira
MLS Career: 89 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 19; pens: 37
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dynamo 9 wins, 24 goals … Earthquakes 7 wins, 23 goals … Ties 2
AT HOUSTON: Dynamo 5 wins, 13 goals … Earthquakes 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1
  • The Dynamo had their three-game winning streak at BBVA Compass Stadium to open the season put to an end, Minnesota United FC coming back for a 2-2 draw Saturday evening.
  • Mauro Manotas scored his first goal of the season, his first since last Oct. 8 when he scored two goals vs. Colorado, the last of a five-game stretch where he netted six goals.
  • The Quakes have won once at BBVA Compass Stadium in four meetings, a 1-0 win May 5, 2015. The teams reached a 1-1 draw there last July 31 in their only encounter in Houston.
  • The Dynamo have won two of the three meetings between the teams at Avaya Stadium, including a 2-1 win last Aug. 19, as well as a 2-0 win July 10, 2015 in the first encounter ever between the clubs in the stadium.
  • The two teams have shared a pitched rivalry since the Earthquakes returned to the league in 2008, after the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006. The Dynamo have won nine meetings and the Quakes seven, with two draws.
DYNAMO: Erick Torres collected his first assist of the season; with six goals and an assist, he’s been involved in seven of the Dynamo’s 12 goals this season, and has a goal or an assist in every game where the Dynamo have scored this season. … Torres has scored his MLS-leading six goals from just seven shots on target (15 total attempts at goal). … Alberth Elis scored his second MLS goal, his first since March 11.
 
QUAKES: The Quakes concluded Week 7 have conceded just 15 shots on target – the average of 2.5 shots on goal against the lowest of any team in MLS.
 
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #74)
Providence Park, Portland, Ore.
1 p.m. PT (CTV / TSN; KPTV)
 
REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Jeremy Hanson; AR2 (opposite): Kathryn Nesbitt; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 102 games; FC/gm: 23.8; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 34; pens: 32
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Timbers 7 wins, 29 goals … Whitecaps FC 4 wins, 23 goals … Ties 6
AT PORTLAND: Timbers 4 wins, 17 goals … Whitecaps FC 1 win, 11 goals … Ties 4
  • The Timbers had their home undefeated streak put to an end after eight matches, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Providence Park.
  • Fredy Montero scored both Whitecaps FC goals in their win against Seattle, his first multiple-goal game in his return to MLS coming against his former club, his first since netting a hat trick for Sounders FC on Aug. 25, 2012 vs. Chivas USA. Montero has three goals and an assist, involved in four of Whitecaps FC’s last five goals. Montero is the all-time leading scorer in Sounders FC’s MLS history, with 47 goals for the club from 2009-12.
  • Whitecaps FC have won the last three league meetings at BC Place, over the last two seasons, their only league wins at home vs. the Timbers. The ‘Caps won both meetings last year in Vancouver, a 2-1 win on May 7 and a 4-1 win in the Decision Day season-finale; the Timbers won 2-0 in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series in 2015.
  • The Timbers now have a four-game home undefeated streak alive in the series, with two wins and two draws. The last Vancouver win in Portland came June 1, 2014, a 4-3 victory.
  • Whitecaps FC have won four times in 17 all-time MLS meetings between the teams, all coming in the last nine meetings.
  • The teams first met on May 16, 1975 in the old North American Soccer League, the Timbers winning 2-0 at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The teams have met 84 times since then, across a number of competitions – the Whitecaps hold a 37-31-17 advantage in the all-time record between the clubs. The teams met twice in the NASL playoffs, in 1978 and 1980, each team advancing on one occasion.
TIMBERS: The Timbers were shut out on their home ground for the first time since Oct. 3, 2015 – when Sporting KC also achieved the feat – a span of 21 home league matches with a goal. … Diego Valeri finished the match with exactly 10,000 minutes played for his MLS league career, the fourth player in the Timbers’ MLS history to reach that total.
 
WHITECAPS FC: Cristian Techera collected his first assist of the season, his first since recording assists in back-to-back games last April 23-27, a span of 25 league matches. … Christian Bolaños recorded his first assist of the season, his first since the final day of the regular season last year. … Kendall Waston recorded his first assist this season, the second of his MLS career, the first coming last Aug. 12.
 
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. D.C. UNITED
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #75)
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; NewsChannel8)
 
REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Jose da Silva; 4th: Alan Kelly
MLS Career: 72 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 18; pens: 29
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Revolution 26 wins (3 shootout), 84 goals … United 32 wins (3 shootout), 100 goals … Ties 11
AT NEW ENGLAND: Revolution 17 wins (2 shootout), 40 goals … United 10 wins (2 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 7
  • United had their two-game winning run put to an end, after their 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening.
  • It was a second away match for United this season, both shutout defeats. United have scored four goals over their last two home games.
  • The Revolution have a five-game undefeated streak alive at home in the series in league play (2-0-3). United’s last win in Foxborough came in 2012; the teams have reached draws each of the last two seasons in the lone matchups at Gillette Stadium.
  • United have won the last four league meetings at RFK Stadium between the MLS Original clubs, including both matchups a season ago, a 3-0 win on April 23 and a 2-0 win June 25.
  • The teams have also met four times in the MLS Cup Playoffs, United winning three of the four series all-time, last a 2-1 win at RFK Stadium in the Knockout Round in 2015.
REVOLUTION: Midfielder Lee Nguyen became the seventh player in Revolution club history to reach the 14,000-minute mark in the Chicago match, the second player currently in the Revolution squad (Chris Tierney, 17,739).
 
UNITED: Sebastien Le Toux made the 250th regular-season appearance of his MLS career, the 67th player in league history to reach the mark. Le Toux is one of two active players with 50 goals and 50 assists in league play.
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. COLUMBUS CREW SC
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #76)
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
7:30 p.m. ET (MSG; Spectrum OH / CW Clb)
 
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 137 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 42; pens: 34
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Red Bulls 29 wins (0 shootout), 93 goals … Crew SC 26 wins (0 shootout), 80 goals … Ties 10
AT RED BULLS: Red Bulls 17 wins (0 shootout), 50 goals … Crew SC 10 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals … Ties 5
  • Crew SC won their third home game in a row and remained undefeated at Mapfre Stadium for the season, coming back for a 2-1 win against Toronto FC on Saturday evening.
  • Federico Higuaín recorded a pair of assists, sitting in a tie for the MLS league lead, now with an assist in three consecutive games. It was the fifth multiple-assist game of Higuaín’s MLS career, his first since May 24, 2014. Higuaín has assists in each of his last three games, matching his career-long assist streak (also: June 29-July 7, 2013).
  • The Red Bulls put an end to a four-game winless run, defeating D.C. United 2-0 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. It marked the first time this season two Red Bulls players scored in the same match (own goals were part of the Red Bulls’ two previous multiple-goal outings).
  • The win extended the Red Bulls’ home undefeated streak to 17 games, dating back to last April 24, now tied for the ninth-longest in MLS history.
  • The Red Bulls have won the last two league meetings between the teams at Red Bull Arena, including a 3-2 victory last Oct. 16 in the only encounter in Harrison. They are the first home wins for the Red Bulls in the series since 2012.
  • The teams have evenly split the last six meetings in Columbus, over the last four seasons, each winning two with two draws. The teams reached a 1-1 draw last June 25 at Mapfre Stadium in the only match there between the clubs. The Red Bulls have taken points on six of their last eight visits to Columbus, dating back to 2011.
CREW SC: Justin Meram scored his fourth goal of the season, in a tie for sixth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, all four goals coming over the last four matches. Meram has four goals and two assists, with a goal or an assist in five of Crew SC’s seven matches this season. … Ola Kamara netted his fourth goal of the season, in a tie for sixth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, with one goal in four of the last six matches. … Crew SC rookie defender Alex Crognale recorded his first career MLS assist, making a third consecutive 90-minute appearance.
 
RED BULLS: Bradley Wright-Phillips netted his third goal of the season, all coming over the last five matches. … Alex Muyl scored his first goal of the season, the third of his MLS career, the last coming in the regular-season finale on Decision Day last year. … Sacha Kljestan, last year’s MLS assist champion, moved into a tie for fourth in the assist standings this season with his third of the year, his second in the last three matches. … According to Opta, Kljestan leads the league with 25 chances created thus far this year. Portland’s Diego Valeri (20) is the only other player to have 20 or more chances created this season.
 
FC DALLAS vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #77)
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
7 p.m. CT (KTXA-21; FS-KC+)
 
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Eduardo Mariscal; AR2 (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Ted Unkel
MLS Career: 298 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 71; pens: 78
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: FC Dallas 21 wins (1 shootout), 88 goals … Sporting 23 wins (2 shootout), 84 goals … Ties 11
AT DALLAS: FC Dallas 13 wins (0 shootout), 53 goals … Sporting 9 wins (2 shootout), 31 goals … Ties 5
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The teams reached a scoreless draw March 11 at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • FC Dallas remained undefeated on the season in league play, despite being hauled back into a late 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium. FCD extended their regular-season undefeated streak to 10 matches dating back to last Sept. 17, matching the second-longest in club history (record: 19 games in 2010).
  • Sporting also remain undefeated on the season – along with FC Dallas the final two MLS clubs without a loss – following their 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Providence Park. SKC is riding an eight-game undefeated streak dating back to the end of last season, the club’s longest since going 13 games without defeat over the end of 2012 and the start of 2013.
  • FCD has a four-game home undefeated streak alive in the series. Kansas City’s last win in Frisco came June 12, 2011, a 4-1 win.
  • FC Dallas have not won at Children’s Mercy Park since 2011, the first match there in the series. SKC has won four of the six meetings since, with two draws, a three-game home winning streak ended in the first meeting there this season.
FCD: Kellyn Acosta scored his second goal of the league season, his first since netting in the season opener on March 4. Acosta has five goals and one assist in nine appearances in all competitions this season (MLS and CONCACAF Champions League). … Jesse Gonzalez conceded a goal for the first time in three league outings this season, the first goal in MLS play he has allowed since last July 16, ending a personal 270-minute shutout streak in league play.
 
SPORTING: Dom Dwyer netted his second goal of the season, a second consecutive game with a goal; he has two goals and an assist over those matches, involved in each of SKC’s last three goals. … Sporting recorded a second shutout in as many away matches this season – the club’s fourth road shutout in a row, dating back to last season, tied for the third-longest such streak in MLS history. … Tim Melia recorded his fourth shutout in six matches this season, having allowed two goals for the year (an 0.33 goals against average, tied for the MLS-best along with FCD’s Jesse Gonzalez). … Melia has recorded shutouts in six of the last eight league matches dating back to the end of last season.
 
REAL SALT LAKE vs. ATLANTA UNITED
Saturday, April 22 (Week 8, MLS Game #78)
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
7:30 p.m. MT (KMYU-12; FS-SE / CW Atl)
 
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Cameron Blanchard; AR2 (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 232 games; FC/gm: 26.3; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 66; pens: 81
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.
  • Real Salt Lake won their second game in row after putting an end to their 12-match winless streak in league play in a dramatic 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. It’s the first consecutive wins for RSL since winning the final two games before the start of that streak, last Aug. 20-26 vs. FC Dallas and Colorado.
  • The win in Colorado also ended an eight-game winless run on the road in league play, which matched the club’s longest since a 14-game away winless streak over one calendar year (Aug. 26, 2007-2008).
  • Atlanta United had their four-game undefeated streak put to an end, the Montréal Impact netting a late winner for a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo.
  • Since coming into the league as an expansion club in 2005, Real Salt Lake have won five of their first nine meetings with expansion teams since, with one draw, currently riding a four-game undefeated run in first encounters. RSL last lost to an expansion team in the first meeting in 2011, a 1-0 loss to Portland.
REAL: Yura Movsisyan scored for a third consecutive game, now with four goals for the season. The three-game streak matches his long in his MLS career, also established June 2-22 of last year. … Homegrown Player Brooks Lennon scored his first career professional goal for the game-winner in Colorado, making a fifth consecutive start.
 
ATL UTD: Hector Villalba collected the assist on the Atlanta United goal, now with a goal or an assist in back-to-back games. Villalba has been involved in each of the last three ATL UTD goals (two goals, one assist), with three goals and two assists on the season. … Kenwyne Jones scored his first career goal, hitting for the Atlanta United opener in Montréal.
 
NEW YORK CITY FC vs. ORLANDO CITY SC
Sunday, April 23 (Week 8, MLS Game #79)
Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
1:30 p.m. ET (FS1 / FOX Deportes)
 
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Kyle Atkins; AR2 (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Alex Chilowicz
MLS Career: 214 games; FC/gm: 23.3; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 39; pens: 61
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: NYCFC 1 win, 10 goals … Orlando City 2 wins, 12 goals … Ties 2
AT YANKEE STADIUM: NYCFC 1 win, 7 goals … Orlando City 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Cyle Larin scored the game’s lone goal to give Orlando City SC the win in the season opener March 5 at Orlando City Stadium.
  • New York City FC won away from Yankee Stadium for the first time this season, putting an end to a four-game losing run on the road over all competitions, with their 2-0 win against Philadelphia Union on Friday evening.
  • Orlando City SC became the first team to open a new stadium in MLS with four consecutive wins, remaining perfect at Orlando City Stadium with a dramatic late 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon.
  • Orlando City are undefeated in the last five meetings between the teams, with victories in four. Orlando City won 1-0 last March 18 at Yankee Stadium, the only road win in the six all-time meetings between the expansion class of 2015.
  • The teams reached a 1-1 draw on March 8, 2015 at the Citrus Bowl, the first meeting between a pair of expansion clubs to open their MLS histories.
NYCFC: David Villa scored from nearly the halfway line to seal NYCFC’s win at Philadelphia, his fourth goal of the season. Villa has 45 goals in his 69 MLS league appearances in his three seasons; four of those of been scored from outside the penalty area (two direct from free kicks). … It was a second consecutive game with a goal for Villa, with a goal and/or assist in three games in a row. Villa has four goals and three assists for the season, involved in seven of NYCFC’s 10 goals. … According to Opta, NYCFC is completing an average of 459.5 passes per game this season, the most of any MLS team. Only two other teams (Columbus, 420.3; Seattle, 400.5) complete an average of more than 400 passes per game.
 
OCSC: Cyle Larin scored his fourth goal of the season, sitting in a tie for sixth spot in the MLS Golden Boot standings, netting the game-winner vs. LA in stoppage time. … Larin has scored seven goals in six matches all-time vs. NYCFC, his most against any single opponent. … Will Johnson scored a goal and added an assist, the fourth time in his 11-year MLS career he’s had a goal and an assist in the same game. It was a second consecutive game with an assist, the second time in his MLS career he’s collected assists in back-to-back matches, the first coming Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2013 while with Portland.
 
LA GALAXY vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Sunday, April 23 (Week 8, MLS Game #80)
StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
1 p.m. PT (ESPN / ESPN Deportes; TSN)
 
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 87 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 22; pens: 24
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Galaxy 9 wins, 30 goals … Sounders FC 5 wins, 23 goals … Ties 7
AT LA: Galaxy 5 wins, 17 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 3
 
  • The Galaxy lost for a second consecutive away match, their fourth loss in six games overall, following their late 2-1 loss at Orlando City SC on Saturday afternoon.
  • Romain Alessandrini scored his fourth goal of the season, tied for sixth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, netting the Galaxy goal in the loss at Orlando City. Alessandrini has scored in three consecutive games, netting four of the last five goals scored by the Galaxy.
  • Sounders FC had their four-game undefeated run put to an end, dropping a 2-1 decision at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday evening. Sounders FC saw their road winless streak stretched to five games dating back to the end of last season.
  • Sounders FC won the final meeting between the teams last season, a 4-2 win at StubHub Center, their first victory at the Galaxy since 2009, ending an 11-game winless streak in league and MLS Cup play.
  • The Galaxy have come away with points on their last three trips to CenturyLink Field over the last two seasons, with a 1-0 win there last July 9, as well as two draws. Sounders FC last defeated the Galaxy at home in league play Oct. 25, 2014, a 2-0 victory.
  • The teams have met four times in the last seven seasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Galaxy advancing on three occasions before Sounders FC won in the Knockout Round in 2015.
GALAXY: Romain Alessandrini leads the league with 27 total attempts at goal. He is one of three players in the league to have at least 10 shots on target thus far this season. … Alessandrini has been involved in six of the Galaxy’s eight goals on the season, with a goal and/or an assist now in four consecutive games. … The four goals scored by Alessandrini in April matches the league-leading total for April 2016 set by Sebastian Giovinco (TOR), Chris Wondolowski (SJ) and David Villa (NYC). … Jermaine Jones has a goal or an assist now in three consecutive matches, recording the assist on the Galaxy goal, with a goal and two assists over that span.
 
SOUNDERS FC: Nicolas Lodeiro collected his second assist of the season, now with two goals and two assists for the year, involved in four of Sounders FC’s eight goals this season. Lodeiro has 10 goals and 10 assists in 25 career games in MLS in both league and MLS Cup play. … Will Bruin netted his second goal of the season, making a fifth appearance (all off the substitutes’ bench), his first goals in MLS since last June 26 (when he was with Houston). Both of Bruin’s goals have been as a substitute; coming into this season, Bruin had scored 50 goals in his MLS league career, just one as a substitute. … Osvaldo Alonso reached the 20,000-minute mark (now at 20,014) for his MLS career, the first player in Sounders FC’s MLS history to reach the 20K plateau in league play. Alonso is one of 10 players in MLS history to reach the 20,000-minute mark with a single club.
 
MINNESOTA UNITED FC vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
Sunday, April 23 (Week 8, MLS Game #81)
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.
5 p.m. CT (WFTC My29; Altitude)
 
REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Danny Thornberry; 4th: Drew Fischer
MLS Career: 63 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 14; pens: 20
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: MNUFC 0 wins, 2 goals … Rapids 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
AT MINNESOTA: First meeting.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Goals from Kevin Molino and Christian Ramirez gave MNUFC the lead after Dominique Badji had given the Rapids an early advantage, but Marlon Hairston hit for the equalizer to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw March 18 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Rapids saw their winless streak reach four matches with a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The loss also snapped the Rapids’ home undefeated streak after 19 matches, dating back to the start of last season, equaling the sixth-longest mark in MLS league history.
  • Christian Ramirez scored his fifth goal of the season, sitting in a tie for second place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, starting the Minnesota United FC comeback in their 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
MNUFC: Kevin Molino recorded his third assist of the season, all coming over the last three games. Molino has three goals and three assists this season, involved in half of Minnesota United’s goals this season. … Johan Venegas scored his second goal of the season, both coming over the last three matches. … Minnesota United have conceded multiple goals in each of their seven matches this season, now having allowed 24 goals through seven games, an average of 3.43 per contest. … From 2014-16, current MNUFC players Sam Cronin (5,067) and Marc Burch (5,062) were two of the three Rapids outfield players to log more than 5,000 regular season minutes (also: Dillon Powers).
 
RAPIDS: Kevin Doyle scored for a second consecutive game, now with two goals for the season. It is the second time in his MLS career he’s scored in back-to-back games (also: Aug. 26-29, 2015). … Marlon Hairston collected his first assist of the season, now with a goal and an assist over the last three games. … Bismark Adjai-Boateng collected his first career MLS assist, making a second start in his Rapids career. … The Rapids have conceded multiple goals in back-to-back home games, now having allowed four goals in three games this season. Last year, the Rapids did not allow multiple goal in a single one of their 17 home games, setting an MLS record with seven goals allowed at home for the season.
 
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