AUSTIN FC BEGIN THEIR MLS HISTORY LOOKING ADD TO EXPANSION TEAM OPENING WINS

Austin FC kick off their inaugural campaign in Major League Soccer as the 27th club in the league in Week 1. Just four expansion teams have won their first game ever in Major League Soccer:

  • The Chicago Fire started their MLS history with a victory on March 21, 1998 – defeating fellow expansion club Miami Fusion 2-0 at Lockhart Stadium (the Fusion had lost their first match ever the week before to D.C. United).
  • Seattle Sounders FC defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on March 19, 2009 at Qwest (now Lumen) Field in their first-ever league match.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC knocked off Toronto FC to open the 2011 campaign, at Empire Field in Vancouver.
  • Los Angeles FC opened their history in 2018 with a 1-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field, as head coach Bob Bradley guided an expansion team to an inaugural win for the second time, the only coach in MLS history to lead two different teams to wins in their first league matches.

INAUGURAL MATCHES – MLS EXPANSION TEAMS
DATE        VISITOR              HOME            RESULT   ATT.    GOALS
3/15/1998   D.C. United         Miami            DC 2-0    20,450 DC: Williams (16) Sanneh (37)
3/21/1998   Chicago             Miami             CHI 2-0    14,653 CHI: Kosecki (76) Kotschau (87)
4/2/2005     D.C. United         Chivas USA   DC 2-0    18,493 DC: Gros (32) Gomez (76)
4/2/2005     Real Salt Lake    MetroStars     0-0           12,657 
4/7/2007     Toronto FC        Chivas USA    CHV 2-0   14,351 CHV: Razov (35) Kljestan (88)
4/3/2008     San Jose            Los Angeles   LA 2-0     27,000 LA: Beckham (9) Donovan (37)
3/19/2009   NY Red Bulls      Seattle           SEA 3-0    32,608 SEA: Montero (11,75) Evans (25)
3/25/2010   Philadelphia       Seattle           SEA 2-0    36,241 SEA: Evans (12) Montero (43)
3/19/2011   Toronto FC         Vancouver     VAN 4-2   22,592 VAN: Hassli (14,71) Dunfield (25) Harris (62);
                                                                                               TOR: De Rosario (19) dos Santos (73)
3/19/2011   Portland             Colorado        COL 3-1   17,139 COL: Larentowicz (7) Cummings (28)
                                                                                                       Smith (29); POR: Cooper (79)
3/10/2012   Montreal             Vancouver      VAN 2-0   21,000 VAN: Le Toux (3) Sanvezzo (53)
3/8/2015     NYCFC               Orlando City  1-1           62,510 ORL: Kaka (90); NYC: Diskerud (75)
3/3/2017     Minnesota          Portland         POR 5-1   21,144 POR: Olum (13) Valeri (46,81) Adi (90,92);
                                                                                               MIN: Ramirez (78)
3/5/2017     NY Red Bulls      Atlanta           NYR 2-1   55,297 NYR: Royer (75) own goal (81); ATL: Asad (24)
3/4/2018     Los Angeles FC Seattle           LFC 1-0    40,070 LFC: Rossi (11)
3/2/2019     Cincinnati          Seattle           SEA 4-1    39,011 SEA: Leerdam (27) Morris (33, 43) Ruidiaz (87);
                                                                                               CIN: Bertone (13)
2/29/2020   Atlanta                Nashville       ATL 2-1    59,069 NSH: Zimmerman (28)
                                                                                               ATL: Barco (9) Hyndman (37)
3/1/2020     Inter Miami        LAFC             LFC 1-0    22,121 LFC: Vela (44)
 

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LET THE SEASON BEGIN: THE 26th SEASON OF MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER KICKS OFF

The new MLS season kicks off Friday, April 16 as the quest begins to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy as MLS Cup champions in December.

Sporting Kansas City have won 14 times to begin the year in their 25 MLS seasons, the most of any club in league history, followed by the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas, with 13 season-opening wins each. Both Orlando City SC (1-0-5) and Los Angeles Football Club (3-0-0) have yet to lose in their season openers in club history.

Two stadiums will see season openers for the first time: DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, which will host a pair of kickoff matches (CF Montréal-Toronto FC and Inter Miami CF-LA Galaxy), as well as Soldier Field in Chicago, which will host a Fire FC season-opening match for the first time in that club’s 24-year history when they face the New England Revolution.

Here’s a look at the all-time records for MLS teams, in their overall season openers, as well as their first home games and first away matches in a season:

Table One

A look at the season-opening records for the teams in Week 1 matchups:

SJ-HOU: The Quakes last year gained a dramatic 2-2 draw with Toronto FC deep into stoppage time to open the season. They have a result from four of their last five season openers (3-1-1). … The Dynamo have drawn their last two season openers, last year reaching a 1-1 result with the LA Galaxy. The Dynamo are undefeated in their last nine season openers, dating back to 2012 (6-0-3).

SEA-MIN: Sounders FC have won their last two season openers, a year ago opening with a 2-1 win at home vs. Chicago Fire FC, the game-winner scored in stoppage time by Jordan Morris. … Minnesota United FC have won their last two season openers, in 2020 getting a brace from Kevin Molino for a 3-1 win at the Portland Timbers. MNUFC have opened every season on the road.

MTL-TOR: CF Montréal have won their last two season openers, a year ago opening with a 2-1 win vs. New England at Stade Olympique in Montréal, the first time in the club’s MLS history they opened with a home game. … TFC are undefeated to open the last two seasons, last year reaching a 2-2 draw at the San Jose Earthquakes. TFC is 4-1-2 in season openers since 2012.

ORL-ATL: Orlando City SC has never lost to open a campaign in MLS, with a 1-0-5 record in season openers. OCSC last year played to a goalless draw with Real Salt Lake, a third consecutive season-opening draw. … Atlanta United last year opened a season with a win for the first time in the club’s history, a 2-1 win at Nashville SC.

LFC-ATX: Los Angeles FC have opened each of their three MLS seasons with victories, last year defeating Inter Miami CF at Banc of California Stadium, the game’s lone goal coming from Carlos Vela. … Austin FC is looking to become just the fifth expansion team to open its history with a victory.

DC-NYC: D.C. United last year had a three-game undefeated run in season openers ended in a 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Audi Field. ... NYCFC had a streak of back-to-back results to open their seasons snapped in a 1-0 season-opening defeat by Columbus Crew SC last year.

DAL-COL: FC Dallas extended their streak to 11 consecutive season openers without loss last year, kicking off with a 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Stadium. Since 2010, FCD is 7-0-4 in season openers. … The Rapids gained a result for a second consecutive year to open their season last year, defeating D.C. United 2-1 at Audi Field.

NYR-KC: The Red Bulls stretched their season-opening undefeated streak to four games with a third win in that time last year, defeating FC Cincinnati 3-2 at Red Bull Arena to start the year. … Sporting snapped a two-game losing slide in season openers last year, winning 3-1 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place.

CHI-NE: The Fire are looking to open their season with a victory for the first time since 2009 this year, opening a season at Soldier Field for the first time in the club’s 24 seasons. The Fire last year started with a 2-1 reversal at Seattle Sounders FC. … The Revolution are looking to start a season with a win for the first time since 2013, when they defeated the Fire 1-0 in Bridgeview. The Revs have opened every season away from home except 2008.

NSH-CIN: Nashville SC last year started their history with a 2-1 reversal by Atlanta United before a record crowd of 59,069 at Nissan Stadium. … FCC is looking for a first result in a season opener, last year falling 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls on the road.

MCF-LA: Inter Miami last year kicked off their inaugural campaign with a loss by the game’s only goal at Los Angeles FC. … The Galaxy are undefeated in their last three season openers, two wins following by a 1-1 draw at the Houston Dynamo to start 2020.

CLB-PHI: Crew SC are undefeated in their last four season openers (2-0-2), a year ago defeating New York City FC by the game’s only goal at home to kick off the year. … The Union last year opened their season with a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas, last winning a season opener in 2018.

VAN-POR: Whitecaps FC have opened each one of their 11 MLS campaigns with a home game, last year falling 3-1 to Sporting KC at BC Place. … The Timbers last year started off their MLS campaign with a 3-1 defeat by Minnesota United FC at Providence Park, snapping a streak of five games undefeated when opening a season at home.

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SPORTING KC’S ZUSI TO MATCH RECORD FOR LONGEST CAREER WITH SINGLE CLUB

Graham Zusi will begin his 13th season in Major League Soccer this year – all with Sporting Kansas City. When he plays in his first game this season, he will match C.J. Brown for the most seasons played in MLS all with the same club. Brown played his entire career with the Chicago Fire, 13 seasons from 1998-2010.

Two players spent the entirety of their 12-year careers with the same club – MLS Original Cobi Jones, who played with the LA Galaxy from 1996-2007, and Logan Pause, who spent all of his 12 years in the league with the Chicago Fire.

Zusi’s teammate for 12 years with Sporting Kansas City, Matt Besler, had spent the entirety of his career with the club, before moving to expansion club Austin FC this year.

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Table Two

MLS WEEK 1 – LOOK AHEAD

HOUSTON DYNAMO FC vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Friday, April 16, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #1)

BBVA Stadium, Houston, Texas

7 p.m. CT (QuestTEXAS Ch. 55; NBC-BA+)

REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Kyle Atkins; AR2 (opposite): Jeffrey Greeson; 4th: Rosendo Mendoza; VAR: Edvin Jurisevic; AVAR: Diego Blas

MLS Career: 151 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 28; pens: 34

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dynamo 13 wins, 36 goals … Earthquakes 9 wins, 31 goals … Ties 3

AT HOUSTON: Dynamo 9 wins, 23 goals … Earthquakes 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 1

  • The teams last met during the 2019 regular season, each winning at home that season. The Dynamo won 2-1 on April 13 in Houston, then the Quakes took a 2-0 win June 26 in San Jose.
  • The Quakes have won once at BBVA Stadium in eight meetings, a 1-0 win in 2015. The Dynamo last won in San Jose in 2016 (the teams reached a draw there in 2018).
  • 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 13 meetings and the Quakes nine, with three draws.
  • The Dynamo concluded their preseason preparations with a 3-0 defeat by FC Dallas in the finale of the La Copita tournament at BBVA Stadium. It was the Dynamo’s first loss in preseason play, after winning their first five matches in advance of the season.
  • The Quakes ended their preseason schedule with a 3-2 win against Oakland Roots SC on April 9 at PayPal Park, coming from two goals down to score three goals in the final quarter-hour.  

DYNAMO FC: Boniek García is second all-time on the Dynamo with 39 assists, behind only Brad Davis (104). … Darwin Quintero finished in a tie for the league lead in assists in 2020 with 10, along with Nicolás Lodeiro (SEA) and Alejandro Pozuelo (TOR).

QUAKES: Chris Wondolowski saw his streak of consecutive seasons with 10 goals or more snapped after 10 seasons in 2020. … Shea Salinas last year became the club’s all-time leader in assists with 48, surpassing Ronald Cerritos (47). Salinas is second on the club all-time with 292 appearances, behind only Wondolowski (344). … Cristián Espinoza recorded nine assists in 2020, fourth-most in MLS.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs. MINNESOTA UNITED FC

Friday, April 16, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #2)

Lumen Field, Seattle, Wash.

6:30 p.m. PT (FS1 / FOX Deportes; TSN3)

REFEREE: Joseph Dickerson. AR1 (bench): Jeremy Hanson; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Timothy Ford; VAR: Jon Freemon; AVAR: Joshua Patlak

MLS Career: 40 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 8; pens: 12

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sounders FC 5 wins, 13 goals … MNUFC 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 1

AT SEATTLE: Sounders FC 3 wins, 6 goals … MNUFC 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0

  •  The teams did not meet during the 2020 regular season, but they did face off in a dramatic Western Conference Final at Lumen Field. MNUFC held a 2-goal lead with a quarter-hour remaining, but Sounders FC stormed back with three goals, capped by a Gustav Svensson goal in stoppage time, for a 3-2 win and a place in 2020 MLS Cup.
  • Sounders FC are undefeated in six league meetings all-time with MNUFC. Sounders FC won the first four meetings between the teams all-time, with an 11-3 advantage in goals. Seattle has won all three matchups in Seattle.
  • Sounders FC took a 1-0 win against USL side San Diego Loyal at Lumen Field in their final match of the preseason, the game’s only goal coming from Will Bruin. The Sounders had one run-out against MLS competition in the preseason, the first team playing some 75 minutes in a 1-1 result with the Portland Timbers.
  • Minnesota United concluded their preseason preparations in a 3-2 loss to Orlando City SC in Florida on April 9, their first loss in preseason action. The goals came from Niko Hansen and draft selection Justin McMaster.

SOUNDERS FC: Fredy Montero returns to Sounders FC tied for the club’s all-time lead in goals scored in MLS league play with 47 (equal with Clint Dempsey). Montero is also tied for second on the club in assists in MLS, tied with Mauro Rosales with 34 (behind Nicolás Lodeiro with 58). … Nicolás Lodeiro finished in a tie for the league lead with 10 assists, along with Darwin Quintero (HOU) and Alejandro Pozuelo (TOR). Lodeiro became the seventh player in MLS history to record 10 assists or more in at least four consecutive seasons.

MNUFC: Ethan Finlay has the fourth-most goals in Minnesota United’s MLS history, with 16 (behind a three-way tie for the lead at 21 from Kevin Molino, Darwin Quintero, Christian Ramirez). … Jan Gregus is tied for second in assists in the club’s MLS history with 18 (Darwin Quintero leads with 20).

CF MONTRÉAL vs. TORONTO FC

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #3)

DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

2 p.m. ET (TVA, TVA Sports; TSN 1/4; CTV)

REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Jason White; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira; VAR: Alan Kelly; AVAR: Craig Lowry

MLS Career: 161 games; FC/gm: 25.6; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 45; pens: 51

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: CFM 8 wins, 31 goals … Toronto FC 14 wins, 43 goals … Ties 4

MONTREAL HOME GAME: CFM 5 wins, 13 goals … Toronto FC 7 wins, 20 goals … Ties 1

  •  The teams met four times a season ago, and Toronto FC won three. In the last meeting, Jozy Altidore netted the 88th-minute winner as TFC took a 2-1 win at Stade Saputo. In the previous meeting on Sept. 1 at BMO Field, Rudy Camacho scored the game’s only goal as the Impact put an end to TFC’s 18-game undefeated streak – one game shy of the all-time MLS record.
  • The teams first met during group play in the MLS is Back Tournament as 20-year-old Ayo Akinola scored a hat trick – the third-youngest player in MLS history to score three goals in a game – leading Toronto FC to a 4-3 on July 16. Then on Aug. 28 at Stade Saputo, Alejandro Pozuelo converted a penalty kick for the game’s only goal in TFC’s win.
  • TFC has won five of the last six league meetings, over the last two seasons. The Impact win last year ended a four-game TFC winning streak in the series.
  • The teams also met in the final of the Canadian Championship in 2019 – the seventh time in the last eight years they met in the tournament – the Impact winning the title in a penalty shootout after each team won 1-0 at home, the Impact on Sept. 18 in Montréal, and TFC on Sept. 25 in Toronto. It was the second time the Impact defeated TFC for the Canadian crown, also in 2014; TFC defeated Montréal for the second of their three titles in a row in 2017.
  • CF Montréal opened their Florida sojourn with a 2-0 loss to Tormenta FC of USL League One in their first preparatory match of the preseason on April 11. Toronto FC began their competitive schedule with a 1-1 draw with CSD León of Mexico in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in the Concacaf Champions League on April 7. The return match is set for Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

CFM: Romell Quioto led Montréal with eight goals in 2020, also for the club lead with six assists.

TFC: Jozy Altidore is second on the club all-time with 58 goals, behind only Sebastian Giovinco (68). … Jonathan Osorio is second all-time on Toronto FC in assists (35, behind Sebastian Giovinco, 52), and third in goals scored (29). … Alejandro Pozuelo, the 2020 MLS Most Valuable Player, finished in a tie for the league lead with 10 assists, along with Darwin Quintero (HOU) and Nicolás Lodeiro (SEA). Pozuelo also scored nine goals, tied for eighth-most in the league, along with teammate Ayo Akinola.

ORLANDO CITY SC vs. ATLANTA UNITED

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #4)

Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

3 p.m. ET (UniMás; TUDN)

 REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Jose da Silva; AR2 (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Tori Penso; VAR: Younes Marrakchi; AVAR: Kyle Longville

MLS Career: 273 games; FC/gm: 23.0; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 43; pens: 86

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Orlando City 2 wins, 14 goals … ATLUTD 6 wins, 18 goals … Ties 4

AT ORLANDO: Orlando City 1 win, 7 goals … ATLUTD 4 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1

  • The teams met four times a season ago, and Orlando City came away with points from all four. Orlando City SC won for the first time in 10 meetings in all competitions between the clubs with a 3-1 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 29, then claimed a 4-1 win Oct. 28 at Exploria Stadium. In between, the teams played to a pair of draws, a 1-1 draw Sept. 5 at Exploria Stadium, and a goalless result Oct. 7 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • In the first eight league meetings between the teams over three seasons, Atlanta United had not lost to their neighbor to the south, with six wins and two draws. The OCSC win in the first meeting last year snapped a five-game ATLUTD winning streak in the series.
  • Orlando City SC ended their preseason preparations with a 3-2 win in a scrimmage vs. Minnesota United FC on April 9. Earlier in their preseason calendar, they defeated FC Cincinnati 1-0 in a rain-shortened affair, and drew 2-2 with Chicago Fire FC.
  • Atlanta United moved into the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League in their first competitive matches of the year, defeating LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica 1-0 in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie Tuesday at at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga., taking the series 2-0 on aggregate. Jürgen Damm scored the game’s only goal in second-half stoppage time.

OCSC: Nani is tied for fourth all-time in the club’s MLS history in goals scored (18), and third in assists (15). … Chris Mueller is tied for fourth in Orlando City history with 18 goals. Mueller finished in a tie for fifth place in the 2020 MLS Golden Boot with 10 goals.

ATLUTD: Jeff Larentowicz retired ahead of the start of the season following 16 seasons in Major League Soccer, the ATLUTD all-time leader with 113 appearances (second is Brad Guzan with 104). … Josef Martínez leads the club all-time with 77 league goals; second place is held by Miguel Almíron and Hector Villalba (both 21).

LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL CLUB vs. AUSTIN FC

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #5)

Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.

3 p.m. PT (FOX / FOX Deportes; TSN4)

REFEREE: Alex Chilowicz. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Frank Anderson; 4th: Baldomero Toledo; VAR: Kevin Stott; AVAR: Fabio Tovar

MLS Career: 42 games; FC/gm: 24.0; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 6; pens: 13

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.

  • The teams are meeting for the first time in their histories. They have two more regular season meetings scheduled this season, both in Austin, on July 7 and Sept. 15.
  • LAFC ended their preseason plans with a 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution at Banc of California Stadium on April 10. Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi each scored, before Eddie Segura netted a late equalizer. In their preseason opener on April 3, LAFC drew 2-2 with the Revolution.
  • Austin FC ended their inaugural preseason on a high note with a 5-1 win against San Antonio FC of the USL in the finale of the La Copita tournament at St. David’s Performance Center in Austin. Cecilio Dominguez netted a pair of goals, while Tomás Pochettino also added one directly from a free kick. Austin FC lost their La Copita opener 3-2 to Houston Dynamo FC.

LAFC: The two MLS Golden Boot winners for the last two seasons return for LAFC – Diego Rossi (2020, 14 goals) and Carlos Vela (2019, 34 goals). It’s the first time in MLS history one team has had back-to-back winners of the MLS Golden Boot. … Vela and Rossi are 1-2 all-time in LAFC history in both goals scored (Vela, 52; Rossi, 42) and assists (Vela, 29; Rossi, 20).

ATX: Matt Besler is tied for 46th all-time in MLS history with 294 career league appearances. Entering the 2021 season, 43 players in league history have appeared in 300 or more league games. … Diego Fagundez last year became the youngest player to reach 250 career league appearances (at 25 years, 202 days).

NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #6)

Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.

8 p.m. ET (MSG; Bally Sports KC)

REFEREE: Robert Sibiga. AR1 (bench): Gjovalin Bori; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Kieso; 4th: Guido Gonzales Jr.; VAR: Jorge Gonzalez; AVAR: Thomas Supple

MLS Career: 116 games; FC/gm: 21.6; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 24; pens: 32

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Red Bulls 21 wins (2 shootout), 69 goals … Sporting 21 wins (2 shootout), 73 goals … Ties 14

AT RED BULLS: Red Bulls 12 wins (1 shootout), 34 goals … Sporting 6 wins (0 shootout), 28 goals … Ties 8

  • The teams did not meet during the 2020 season. Their last meeting came April 14, 2019, a 2-2 draw at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • The Red Bulls won the last meeting between the teams at Red Bull Arena, a 3-2 victory July 14, 2018, their first win vs. Sporting since 2014, ending a three-game winless run in the series. Sporting have come away with points on four of their last six visits to Red Bull Arena since 2012, winning three.
  • Sporting won the previous meeting between the teams in Kansas City, a 2-0 victory on May 3, 2017, which ended a five-game winless streak for Sporting in the series on their home ground, their first win in Kansas City since 2011.
  • The Red Bulls concluded their preseason with a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on April 10 at Red Bull Arena, the lone goal coming from Daniel Royer on a penalty kick.
  • Sporting concluded their preseason match schedule on April 3, with a 1-0 win vs. the LA Galaxy. SKC finished with a 2-1-1 record, going 1-1-1 vs. MLS competition. Wilson Harris led Sporting with 4 goals in 4 games, while Gianluca Busio had two.

RED BULLS: Daniel Royer is tied for fifth all-time in MetroStars/Red Bulls club history with 39 league goals. Just ahead at No. 4 is current Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese with 41.

SPORTING: Graham Zusi is in his 13th season in MLS, all with Sporting – tying C.J. Brown (Chicago Fire, 1998-2010) for the most seasons in MLS all spent with a single club. … Zusi is second all-time in SKC history with 66 assists, behind only Preki (98). Zusi is also ninth in club history with 29 league goals.

D.C. UNITED vs. NEW YORK CITY FC

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #7)

Audi Field, Washington, D.C.

8 p.m. ET (NBC-Wash+ / TeleXitos; YES)

REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): Cory Richardson; 4th: Joshua Encarnacion; VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero; AVAR: Brian Dunn

MLS Career: 106 games; FC/gm: 23.6; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 33; pens: 54

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: D.C. United 4 wins, 15 goals … NYCFC 6 wins, 23 goals … Ties 3

AT D.C.: D.C. United 4 wins, 10 goals … NYCFC 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1

  •  The teams met twice during the 2020 regular season. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi netted a pair of goals as NYCFC took a 4-1 win Oct. 7 at Yankee Stadium; the teams also reached a goalless draw at Audi Field on Sept. 6. NYCFC have a four-game undefeated streak alive in the series.
  • NYCFC has come away with points from their last two trips to Audi Field. NYCFC’s win at Audi Field on April 21, 2019 was just the second by the road team in the series; D.C. United has never won at Yankee Stadium (two draws in six visits all-time).
  • D.C. United finished off their preseason preparations with a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on April 10 at Red Bull Arena, the United goal coming from Erik Sorga. D.C. posted a 1-2-2 record in their preseason campaign, 0-1-2 vs. MLS opposition.
  • NYCFC concluded their preseason schedule with a 4-0 win vs. USL Championship side Hartford Athletic at the Etihad City Football Academy on April 10. Jesús Medina netted a pair of goals for NYCFC, who won four times in five preseason matches.

UNITED: Ola Kamara finished as the club’s leading scorer in 2020, with four goals in 22 appearances. … Hernán Lozada takes over as United head coach in 2021, the first new man in charge to start a season for United since 2010, when Curt Onalfo began the year as head coach.

NYCFC: Maximiliano Moralez is now second on the club all-time with 21 goals scored in MLS play, just ahead of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who is third with 19. … Anton Tinnerholm is tied for third in the club’s history with 18 assists, level with Andrea Pirlo, just behind David Villa (26). The club’s all-time is Moralez with 49. … Sean Johnson recorded seven shutouts in 2020, tied for third-most in MLS, and led the league with 81 saves. … Over the last five seasons, NYCFC has collected 270 standings points, most in MLS (second: New York Red Bulls, 258). NYCFC’s record since 2016: W 77 – L 43 – T 39.

FC DALLAS vs. COLORADO RAPIDS

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #8)

Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas

7 p.m. CT (FCDTV / Estrella KMPX-29; Altitude)

REFEREE: Nima Saghafi. AR1 (bench): Nick Uranga; AR2 (opposite): Eric Weisbrod; 4th: Elton Garcia; VAR: Daniel Radford; AVAR: Jonathan Johnson

MLS Career: 71 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 9; pens: 24

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: FC Dallas 34 wins (2 shootout), 117 goals … Rapids 24 wins (1 shootout), 93 goals … Ties 17

AT DALLAS: FC Dallas 25 wins (2 shootout), 71 goals … Rapids 8 wins (1 shootout), 41 goals … Ties 6

 The teams met once during the 2020 season. Santiago Mosquera netted a hat trick as FC Dallas collected a 4-1 win Sept. 16 at Toyota Stadium.         

  • FC Dallas have won the last two meetings at Toyota Stadium, undefeated in their last five home meetings in the series (with two draws). The Rapids’ last win there came in 2016.
  • The Rapids have won the last two meetings in Commerce City, their first home wins in the series since 2013, a five-game home winless run; the teams had reached four consecutive 1-1 draws there.
  • FC Dallas ended the preseason as La Copita champions, following their 3-0 win against Houston Dynamo FC in their preparatory finale at BBVA Stadium on Saturday. Franco Jara, Ryan Hollingshead and Jesús Ferreira all netted goals for FCD, who also defeated USL side San Antonio FC 5-0, and recorded a shootout victory vs. Austin FC.
  • The Rapids completed their preseason preparations with a 1-0 win against USL side Phoenix Rising FC on April 11 in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup, the game’s lone goal coming from Michael Barrios. The Rapids reached a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy leading into the match, after dropping a 3-0 decision to Real Salt Lake in Tucson, their first defeat in the preseason.

FCD: Jimmy Maurer finished atop the MLS goalkeeper leaderboard in 2020 with an 0.84 goals against average from 16 appearances. He recorded seven shutouts, tied for third-most in the league. … Franco Jara led FCD in goals scored in 2020 with seven, followed by Ryan Hollingshead with four.

RAPIDS: Cole Bassett and Jonathan Lewis ended the 2020 season tied for the club lead in goals in 5, followed by Andre Shinyashiki (4). Bassett was also tied for the club lead with five assists, along with Jack Price.

CHICAGO FIRE FC vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #9)

Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.

7:30 p.m. CT (WGN-TV; MyRITV / WBZ-TV)

REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Lukasz Szpala; VAR: Malik Badawi; AVAR: Michael Kampmeinert

MLS Career: 104 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 20; pens: 36

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Fire 27 wins, 93 goals … Revolution 23 wins, 85 goals … Ties 14

AT CHICAGO: Fire 17 wins, 61 goals … Revolution 6 wins, 38 goals … Ties 9

  • The teams met twice during the 2020 season. They reached a 1-1 draw in the second week of the season, March 7 at Gillette Stadium, then the Revolution got a pair of goals from Teal Bunbury for a 2-1 win Sept. 6 at Soldier Field. The Revolution have two wins, with a draw, in the last three meetings.
  • The Revolution win in the last meeting ended a nine-game home undefeated streak for the Fire in the series. The Fire had a seven-game undefeated streak overall in the series (5-0-2) ended in the Revolution’s win in 2019 to start their current streak.
  • Fire FC ended their preseason preparations in a 3-2 defeat by Vancouver Whitecaps FC at SeatGeek Stadium on April 10, with Robert Berić netting his second goal of the preseason. The Fire concluded their match schedule with a 3-2-1 record, including wins vs. NYCFC and Philadelphia Union.
  • The Revolution concluded their preseason schedule with a 3-3 draw with Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium on April 10. The Revs ended with a 2-1-2 preseason record in matches vs. LA Galaxy, LAFC and LA Galaxy II.

FIRE: Robert Berić finished in a tie for second place in the 2020 MLS Golden Boot race with 12 goals scored.

REVOLUTION: Teal Bunbury starts the 2021 season tied for fourth in Revolution with 42 goals scored, entering the campaign 10 behind Lee Nguyen for third and 11 behind Diego Fagundez for second.

NASHVILLE SC vs. FC CINCINNATI

Saturday, April 17, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #10)

Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.

7:30 p.m. CT (MyTV 30; WSTR – Star 64)

REFEREE: Rubiel Vazquez. AR1 (bench): Andrew Bigelow; AR2 (opposite): TJ Zablocki; 4th: Matthew Thompson; VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.; AVAR: Jeff Muschik

MLS Career: 44 games; FC/gm: 22.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 8; pens: 8

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.

  • The teams are meeting for the first time in their histories. They have two more meetings scheduled in 2020 regular season, July 24 at Nissan Stadium, and Oct. 27 in Cincinnati.
  • Nashville SC ended their preseason schedule with two wins in two matches vs. USL competition, a 4-0 win vs. Louisville City FC on March 20, and a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on March 31.
  • FC Cincinnati concluded their preseason preparations with a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL on April 10. Draft signee Calvin Harris netted the lone FCC goal.

NASHVILLE SC: Joe Willis led MLS with nine shutouts in 2020, ending the year with an 0.96 goals against average, fifth-best in the league. … Hany Muhktar and Daniel Ríos led the club with four goals in 2020; Randall Leal and Dax McCarty finished tied for the club lead with four assists. … Entering the 2021 season, McCarty is eighth all-time in MLS with 382 appearances, and ninth all-time in minutes played (30,960)

FCC: Yuya Kubo led FC Cincinnati with three goals in the 2020 season. … Brandon Vázquez was tied for the club lead with two assists in 2020.

INTER MIAMI CF vs. LA GALAXY

Sunday, April 18, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #11)

DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

3 p.m. ET (ABC / ESPN Deportes; TSN3)

REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Cameron Blanchard; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira; VAR: Alan Kelly; AVAR: Craig Lowry

MLS Career: 170 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 51; pens: 65

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.

  • The teams are meeting for the first time in their histories. This is their only meeting scheduled in the 2021 season.
  • Inter Miami concluded their preseason preparations with an intrasquad scrimmage at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on April 11.
  • The Galaxy finished off their preseason preparations with a 1-0 win vs. Real Salt Lake in the finale of the Visit Tucson Sun Cup, Victor Vázquez netting the game’s only goal. The Galaxy had earlier suffered reversals to Sporting KC and the New England Revolution in Tucson, having earlier knocked off the Revolution at Dignity Health Sports Park.

INTER MIAMI: Lewis Morgan finished in a tie for fifth in the MLS assists race, with eight for the 2020 season. Morgan also led the club with five goals scored for the year.

GALAXY: Cristian Pavón finished in a tie for fifth place in the 2020 MLS Golden Boot, with 10 goals for the year. … New head coach Greg Vanney is seventh all-time in Galaxy club history with 193 career appearances.

COLUMBUS CREW SC vs. PHILADELPHIA UNION

Sunday, April 18, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #12)

Historic Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

5:30 p.m. ET (FS1 / FOX Deportes; TSN3)

REFEREE: Ramy Touchan. AR1 (bench): Kathryn Nesbitt; AR2 (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Ismir Pekmic; VAR: Hilario Grajeda; AVAR: Ryan Graves

MLS Career: 37 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 7; pens: 5

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Crew SC 15 wins, 37 goals … Union 9 wins, 35 goals … Ties 3

AT COLUMBUS: Crew SC 11 wins, 26 goals … Union 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 2

  • The teams met twice a season ago, and Crew SC won the pair, both in Columbus. Lucas Zelarayán scored the game’s only goal in the 55th minute for a Crew SC win on Sept. 2, then Krisztian Németh netted the late game-winner for the 2-1 win Crew victory Nov. 1. The second game was first time since 2016 there was not a shutout in the game, snapping an eight-game streak.
  • Crew SC are undefeated in the last six meetings between the teams at home with five wins; the Union goal in the second meeting last year was their first in the last 521 minutes played in Columbus. The Union are undefeated in the last four meetings in Chester; they have a 270-minute shutout streak alive in home games.
  • Crew SC kicked off their competitive campaign with a convincing victory, defeating CD Réal Estelí 4-0 in the first leg of their round-of-16 Concacaf Champions League series in Nicaragua. Gyasi Zardes scored a pair of goals as the Crew took a four-goal lead by halftime. The return leg is set for April 15 at Historic Crew Stadium.
  • The Union gained an impressive result in the first competitive international match in the club’s history, defeating Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica 1-0 in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League tie in San José on April 7. The game’s only goal came from Kacper Przybylko in the 34th minute. The return match will be played at Subaru Park on April 14.

CREW SC: Gyasi Zardes enters the season tied for fourth all-time in Crew club history with 44 league goals, with Stern John. Federico Higuaín is next on the leaderboard, with 55; the club’s all-time leader is Jeff Cunningham with 64. … Zardes finished in a tie for second place for the 2020 MLS Golden Boot with 12 goals for the season. … Pedro Santos finished in a tie for fifth place in assists in MLS in 2020 with eight.

UNION: Kacper Przybylko enters the season fourth all-time in Union club history with 23 league goals. Jack McInerney is next on the leaderboard, with 25; the club’s all-time leader is Sebastien Le Toux with 50. … Ilsinho is fourth in Union club history with 20 assists. … 2020 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake ended the season with 8 shutouts, second-most in the league, finishing in second place with an 0.86 goals against average in 21 appearances.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Sunday, April 18, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #13)

Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah

8 p.m. MT (TSN 1/3; ROOT-NW)

REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Chris Elliott; 4th: Silviu Petrescu; VAR: Victor Rivas; AVAR: Jeffrey Swartzel

MLS Career: 176 games; FC/gm: 21.9; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 44; pens: 75

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Whitecaps FC 7 wins, 32 goals … Timbers 13 wins, 42 goals … Ties 6

VANCOUVER HOME GAME: Whitecaps FC 5 wins, 16 goals … Timbers 5 wins, 16 goals … Ties 2

  •  The teams met twice a season ago and the Timbers won both by the game’s only goal, both at Providence Park. Felipe Mora scored the game’s only goal after just five minutes and the Timbers held out for the win Sept. 27 in a Whitecaps FC home game, then Yimmi Chará scored the only marker on the hour Nov. 1 in a Timbers home game.
  • The Timbers have won the last three meetings after a three-game Whitecaps FC winning streak in the series, after the Timbers won the prior three matchups. Whitecaps FC have won seven times in 26 all-time MLS meetings between the teams, all coming in the past 18 meetings.
  • The teams first met on May 16, 1975, in the old North American Soccer League, with the Timbers winning 2-0 at Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The teams have met 96 times in all, across a number of competitions – the Whitecaps hold a 40-38-18 advantage in the all-time record between the clubs. The teams met twice in the NASL playoffs, in 1978 and 1980, with each team advancing on one occasion.
  • Whitecaps FC closed out their preseason preparations with a 3-2 win against Chicago Fire FC at SeatGeek Stadium on April 10, their only match vs. MLS competition in the preseason. Lucas Cavallini netted a pair of goals, including a masterful direct free kick.
  • The Timbers rolled into the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, defeating CD Marathón of Honduras 5-0 in the second leg of their round-of-16 series Tuesday night at Providence Park, winning the tie 7-2 on aggregate. Yimmi Chará scored a hat trick – just the second hat trick by a Timbers player in the club’s MLS history (also: Fredéric Piquionne, in the U.S. Open Cup vs. Wilmington Hammerheads in 2013). Diego Valeri and Marvin Loría also netted goals for the Timbers.

WHITECAPS FC: Lucas Cavallini led the ‘Caps with six goals in the 2020 season.

TIMBERS: Diego Valeri is far and away the club’s all-time leader in MLS in both goals (84) and assists (88). … Jeremy Ebobisse is fifth in goals scored in the Timbers’ MLS history with 22, behind Sebastian Blanco (fourth, 26) and Darlington Nagbe (third, 27). … Sebastian Blanco is second in assists in the club’s MLS history with 35. … Yimmi Chará finished in a tie for fifth place in assists in MLS with eight in 2020. He tied the MLS single-game record with 4 assists vs. LA, Oct. 28.

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