Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan - US national team - during Confederations Cup 2009
Fevre/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

This Week in MLS – July 17, 2017

This Week in MLS – July 17, 2017
  • Six MLS stars receive the call as reinforcements for United States at CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • MLS standouts lead Canada-Jamaica, Costa Rica-Panama to quarterfinal matchups at Gold Cup
  • David Villa set to face Sebastian Giovinco, Bastian Schweinsteiger in star-studded, Eastern Conference leader clash
  • Regional showdowns in the Southeast and Northwest highlight action packed slate of MLS matches
  • Dynamo’s Manotas Finds a Home, Thanks to Stadium Security Guard and Family
  • Finalists Announced for 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest Presented by Wells Fargo
  • Media credential application deadline approaching for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target 
  • Sweet Tweets
  • Week 20 Game Previews
 
Six MLS stars receive the call as reinforcements for United States at CONCACAF Gold Cup
Head coach Bruce Arena elected to call in six MLS players as reinforcements for his U.S. Men’s National Team squad at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Highlighted by four of the most accomplished U.S. players in history along with two of its brightest young stars, the U.S. is set to face El Salvador and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Darwin Ceren in a quarterfinal match at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, FS1/UniMas).
 
Four of the most celebrated players in U.S. history offer plenty of firepower to a U.S. squad that finished in first place in group play. With a goal, Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will tie Landon Donovan’s national team record of 57 goals scored, while Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), the eighth most capped player in national team history, also gets the call. A pair of Toronto FC teammates in Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore round out the quartet of players that have all registered over 100 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
 
Joining the team are also two of the USMNT’s most exciting young stars in Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe and FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez. Nagbe has blossomed into one of the U.S.’s most brilliant offensive creators, starring in four 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches since Arena’s takeover as head coach while featuring for a Timbers side that is tied for the most goals scored (34) in the Western Conference. Gonzalez will participate in his first U.S. camp after previously suiting up for Mexico at various youth national team levels. The 22-year-old has starred with five shutouts in 15 matches played for a Dallas squad that ranks as the second best defensive team in MLS with 18 goals allowed.
 
These six players join a U.S. team that has been heavily reliant on domestic players, with an MLS player scoring or providing the assist on six of the seven U.S. goals, the most of any nation in the tournament.
 
 
MLS standouts lead Canada-Jamaica, Costa Rica-Panama to quarterfinal matchups at Gold Cup
With the quarterfinal matchups set, it’s clear MLS players have played large roles in pushing advancing teams through to this part of the tournament. When looking at the four teams with the heaviest MLS presence aside from the United States, MLS players scored 13 of 19 goals overall and are set to shine once again in the quarterfinals with Costa Rica facing Panama on Wednesday at Lincoln Financial Field (6 p.m. ET, FS/UniMas) and Canada opposing Jamaica on Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1/Univision).
 
Canada’s 16-year-old midfielder Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC) is tied for the Golden Boot lead with three goals scored in Gold Cup play, becoming the youngest player in tournament and Canadian National Team history to score. Davies will be joined by Orlando City SC forward Cyle Larin, who was added as a replacement player following group play thanks to his scoring pedigree. Larin has scored 39 goals in three seasons of MLS play including eight goals in 2017. Jamaica, meanwhile, has seen all three of its goals scored by MLS players with Portland Timbers forward Darren Mattocks leading the effort with two goals.
 
Costa Rica finished atop its group thanks to crucial goals from San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Marcos Urena and Minnesota United FC defender Francisco Calvo. They will face off against Panama, which has seen MLS players provide the goal or assist in four of its six goals, the second most scored during Gold Cup group play. New York City FC midfielder Miguel Camargo helped the team advance with one goal and two assists, tied for second best in the tournament.
 
The complete 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters and schedule of games can be found here.
 
 
David Villa set to face Sebastian Giovinco, Bastian Schweinsteiger in star-studded, Eastern Conference leader clash
When MLS returns to play from its two-week Gold Cup break on Wednesday, fans will be treated to some of the most high-profile stars the league has to offer. New York City FC, sitting third in the Eastern Conference, will play the two teams directly above in the standings, first against Toronto FC on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2/MLS LIVE), followed by a Saturday matchup at home against the Chicago Fire (2 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE).
 
Reigning MLS MVP winner David Villa will face 2015 winner Sebastian Giovinco for the first time since Toronto easily dispatched NYCFC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Villa has 12 goals scored this season, second in MLS, while Giovinco ranks in the top 10 with nine goals scored. Additionally, both players were voted into the Fan XI for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
 
Villa then shifts his sights to his first MLS matchup against another star in Bastian Schweinsteiger, as New York City FC will look to end the Chicago Fire’s MLS best 11-game unbeaten streak. Two of the biggest stars in MLS will meet at Yankee Stadium, 11 days before taking the field against Real Madrid as All-Star teammates.
 
 
Regional showdowns in the southeast and northwest highlight action packed slate of MLS matches
MLS returns from a two-week Gold Cup break with a pair of highly anticipated regional showdowns highlighting the action, first on Saturday in a southeastern showdown between Orlando and Atlanta, followed by a Pacific Northwest clash between Portland and Vancouver on Sunday.  
 
The long-awaited I-75 Rivalry will finally see the light of day starting this week, with back-to-back games between Orlando City SC and expansion Atlanta United FC in a nine-day stretch. The first meeting occurs this Friday at Orlando City Stadium (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). Atlanta (9-7-3, 30 points) and Orlando (8-7-5, 29 points) are side-by-side in the upper half of the Eastern Conference standings, so this inaugural matchup certainly carries plenty of weight. Atlanta is in the midst of a club-record three-game winning streak while Orlando has one victory in its past six games (1-2-3 record during this current stretch). Following Friday’s game, they meet again on July 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC will attempt to add to its strong home track record against the Portland Timbers when the two sides meet this Sunday at BC Place (6:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes). Whitecaps FC has won the past three home matches against the Timbers and will be looking to reverse the season series’ opening result. Portland’s Darren Mattocks scored what proved to be the winner against his former Whitecaps FC side to lead the Timbers to a 2-1 victory on April 22 at Providence Park. Both clubs will be coming off midweek clashes, with Whitecaps FC traveling to face the LA Galaxy and the Timbers hosting Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. This Sunday is the second of three regular-season meetings; they cap off the regular season at Portland’s Providence Park on MLS Decision Day (Oct. 22).
 
 
Dynamo’s Manotas Finds a Home, Thanks to Stadium Security Guard and Family
Since arriving in Houston just over two years ago, Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas has always felt at home, even though he lived the first 19 years of his life in Columbia. His transition to the U.S. has been made more comfortable because Manotas has found a second family in the household of Ed Chavez, a longtime security guard at Dynamo games at BBVA Compass Stadium.
 
Ed Chavez and his wife, Ingrid, volunteered to Dynamo management that they would take Manotas into their home. It was a good fit for everyone involved because they have a son, Chad, who is close to Manotas’s age and a daughter, Haley, who is just a few years younger. After Mauro stayed with the Chavez family for a few months, his own family visited from Columbia and everyone hit it off and agreed that Mauro was in an ideal home as he began his MLS career.
 
Now in his third season with the Dynamo – he is third on the team in goals – Manotas continues to live with the Chavez family.
 
“I feel like I am at home,” said Manotas. “When I first arrived in Houston, I was alone for two weeks and that was rough. I didn’t eat well and was very uncomfortable. Having the structure really helped me. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without their support.”
 
 
Finalists Announced for 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest Presented by Wells Fargo
Major League Soccer last week announced finalists for the 2017 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo. The Grand Prize winner, as voted by fans, will be recognized on-field during halftime of the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target at Soldier Field in Chicago on August 2 and will receive a $25,000 donation for their selected charity.
 
MLS WORKS and Wells Fargo are recognizing individuals who use soccer as a tool to make a difference in their community. Throughout June, MLS fans nominated individuals who are helping to build better communities. Twenty-two finalists have been selected, one representing each MLS club.
 
Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the Community MVP Contest site (www.MLSsoccer.com/CommunityMVP) and using the vote or Tweet buttons for each finalist.
 
 
Media credential application deadline approaching for the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target 
Media planning to cover the star-studded 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target in Chicago, may apply for credentials by CLICKING HERE. With a week of festivities culminating in the annual mid-season showcase, MLS’ biggest names will face reigning European champions Real Madrid for what is sure to be a highlight of this year’s summer of soccer.

MLS All-Stadium credentials, team season credentials and credentials from previous MLS and SUM events will not be recognized for any of the media events surrounding the All-Star Game. Without exception, credential applications must be received by Friday, July 21.
 
The best in MLS will face Spanish giants Real Madrid, the newly minted back-to-back reigning UEFA Champions League winners, in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The summer showcase will air at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports domestically as well as more than 170 countries globally.  
 
Tickets to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target are available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Click here for more information about the Chicago Fire All-Star Plan and All-Star Group 2-Pack or call the Fire at (888) MLS-FIRE.
 
Credential questions should be submitted to All-Star Game accreditation officer Paola García, Paola.Garcia@MLSsoccer.com.
 
 
Sweet Tweets
 
 
 
Week 20 Game Previews
 
Wednesday, July 19
Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. (TVA)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Impact overcame a three-goal deficit with Anthony Jackson-Hamel scoring the second of his two goals three minutes from full time to leave the teams in a 3-3 draw April 22 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • The Impact suffered a second loss in their last three games in their last match, a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 4.
  • Philadelphia Union had their two-game winning streak put to an end but still extended their undefeated run to three games, reaching a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on July 6.
 
San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Red Bulls won a second consecutive away match on the heels of a six-game losing streak on the road, coming back for a 3-2 win against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on July 5. The three goals scored by the Red Bulls were their season-high in a game this year.
  • The Quakes had their two-game winning run put to an end, conceding a season-high in goals in a 4-2 loss to Atlanta United at Bobby Dodd Stadium on July 4. It was a second consecutive defeat on the road for the Quakes, coming off a three-game undefeated homestand.
  • The Quakes have not won at New York since 2005. Since San Jose’s return to MLS, the Red Bulls have won five home encounters with the Quakes, with two draws.
 
Toronto FC at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN2)
  • New York City FC are undefeated vs. Toronto FC in league play in their two MLS campaigns, winning two of five meetings all-time, with three draws. The teams also met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals – and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
  • David Villa has scored six goals in three appearances vs. Toronto FC, including both goals in the draw in The Bronx last year. Sebastian Giovinco has four goals and two assists in league play, including a hat trick in a nine-minute span in a wild 4-4 draw between the teams July 12, 2015 at Yankee Stadium; he also scored a hat trick and added an assist in the second leg of the MLS Cup Playoffs series.
  • New York City FC had their winning streak put to an end after four games last time out, falling 3-2 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on July 5. The four-game winning streak equaled the club record, originally set last June 18-July 6.
  • Toronto FC won their third game out of their last four, defeating Orlando City SC 3-1 at Orlando City Stadium on July 5. The win in Orlando snapped a two-game road losing streak for TFC, having conceded three goals in each defeat.
 
Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United FC, 8 p.m.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time. Goals from MNUFC’s Christian Ramirez and Johan Venegas canceled out goals from the Dynamo’s Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw April 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Minnesota United suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 1-0 to Columbus Crew SC at TCF Bank Stadium on July 4. MNUFC had their three-game undefeated streak in Minneapolis put to an end, after two wins and a draw.
  • The Dynamo put an end to a four-game winless run, defeating the Montréal Impact 3-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 5. The win extended the Dynamo’s home undefeated streak to 10 games, their longest since the MLS-record 30-game home unbeaten run July 9, 2011-April 28, 2013.
 
D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m.
  • Sounders FC put an end to a three-game winless run, defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 4. Sounders FC put an end to their road winless streak after five games, their first road win since April 23.
  • D.C. United suffered their third consecutive defeat, falling 4-2 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on July 4. United scored on the road for the first time since a 1-0 win May 27 at Vancouver, putting an end to their away shutout streak after 419 minutes, after four consecutive road shutouts.
  • Sounders FC have won the last four meetings between the teams, and are undefeated in the last six league encounters in the series (4-0-1). United’s last win against Seattle in league play came May 4, 2011
 
Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m.
  • The Timbers saw their winless streak extended to five matches with a third consecutive draw, reaching a 2-2 result with the Chicago Fire at Providence Park on July 5. The draw extended the Timbers home undefeated streak to six matches at Providence Park (3-0-3).
  • Real Salt Lake put an end to a two-game losing streak overall, rolling to a 6-2 win against the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center on July 4, matching their club record with the six-goal outburst.
  • RSL became the second team in MLS history to score six goals and allow six goals in the same season (losing 2-6 to FC Dallas on June 3). The Dallas Burn did it in 2001 (2-6 vs MIA on 6/2/2001; 6-3 at COL on 6/16/2001).
  • The Timbers have an eight-game undefeated streak alive in the all-time league series, Real last winning April 19, 2014. Portland has won four of those eight games, with four draws.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (TSN)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Romain Alessandrini scored twice for the Galaxy, but Matias Laba scored the final two goals for Whitecaps FC, snapping a 2-2 tie for a 4-2 victory April 1 at BC Place. The opening Vancouver goal in the first meeting snapped a 347-minute scoreless streak for the ‘Caps in the series.
  • The LA Galaxy suffered a third consecutive defeat, suffering a 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at StubHub Center on July 4.
  • The six goals conceded by the Galaxy matched their club record, set once previously in their 680 MLS league matches (3-6 vs Dallas, Sept. 12, 2009). Both of those games have been at StubHub Center. The loss also extended the Galaxy’s home undefeated streak to six games.
  • Whitecaps FC put an end to a three-game winless run, hitting for a late winner for a 3-2 win against New York City FC at BC Place on July 5.
 
Friday, July 21
Atlanta United at Orlando City SC, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Atlanta United extended their winning streak to three games, their longest since coming into MLS, in a 4-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Bobby Dodd Stadium on July 4. Atlanta United have won five consecutive home games, dating back to May 20.
  • Josef Martínez scored a pair of goals in Atlanta United’s win, now with nine goals in his first MLS season (in nine appearances), already with three multiple-goal games for the season (including one hat trick).
  • Orlando City lost at home for the first time since May 21 last time out, suffering a 3-1 loss to Toronto FC at Orlando City Stadium on July 5.
 
Saturday, July 22
Chicago Fire at New York City FC, 2 p.m.
  • The Fire had their four-game winning streak put to an end, but still extended their two-month long undefeated streak, reaching a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on July 5. The Fire extended their undefeated streak in league play to 11 games, dating back to May 6, their longest since the club-record 12-game unbeaten run Oct. 23, 2008-May 28, 2009.
  • David Villa scored his 12th goal of the season in the loss at Vancouver, now tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings (with Erick Torres of HOU; Nemanja Nikolic of CHI has 16). Villa scored a goal for a second consecutive game, now with four goals in his last four games.
  • NYCFC are undefeated in the last four meetings between the teams, since the Fire won 1-0 on April 24, 2015 in their first match ever. NYCFC have won two of those four matches, with two draws.
 
New York Red Bulls at Minnesota United FC, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
  • During the Gold Cup break, the Red Bulls reached the semifinals in the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2003, following a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on July 13 in Cambridge, Mass. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the game’s lone goal three minutes from full time.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time ever. The Red Bulls opened the season facing a member of the expansion class of 2017, winning 2-1 at Atlanta United.
 
Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC, 7 p.m. (TSN)
  • The Rapids suffered their third loss in their last four matches in their last action, falling 3-1 to Seattle Sounders FC on July 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Sebastian Giovinco netted a pair of goals in TFC’s win at Orlando City, his third two-goal game this season, his second vs. OCSC. Since the start of 2015, when Giovinco came into MLS, he has 12 multiple-goal games, tied for second-most in the league (David Villa, NYC, 13).
  • The Rapids have won three of last four meetings between the teams, over the last four seasons – all by 1-0 scorelines. The Rapids won 1-0 on April 12, 2014 in Toronto, their only victory ever against TFC at BMO Field.
 
Houston Dynamo at D.C. United, 7 p.m.
  • The Dynamo come into the week still winless away from home this season, with trips ahead to Minnesota and D.C. United, now 0-7-2 on their travels, one of four teams without an away win this season. The seven away defeats are tied for the league-high (with Colorado, New England and Minnesota).
  • Ian Harkes scored his first career MLS goal in the July 4 defeat at FC Dallas, after recording his career MLS assist when the club scored its last previous goal June 21. Harkes became part of the fourth father-and-son combination to score goals in MLS, along with father John, joining Alex and Teal Bunbury, José and José Adolfo Valencia, and David and Jesus Ferreira.
 
FC Dallas at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. (TVA)
  • FC Dallas won their third consecutive game at home, extending their overall undefeated streak to four games, defeating D.C. United 4-2 at Toyota Stadium on July 4.
  • Ronald Lamah scored a pair of goals for a second consecutive game for FCD, now with eight goals on the season – all of them coming in the last eight matches (since May 25). Michael Barrios collected a pair of assists, now with 10 for the season, tied for the MLS league lead (with Victor Vazquez of Toronto FC).
  • The Impact start the week with two games at Stade Saputo vs. Philadelphia and Dallas riding a three-game home winning streak, the club’s longest in league play since a seven-game winning run Sept. 5, 2015-April 9, 2016.
 
Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m.
  • Crew SC won for a second time in three games in their last match, defeating Minnesota United FC 1-0 at TCF Bank Stadium on July 4. Kekuta Manneh scored his second goal of the season, both coming in the last three games.
  • Union won all three meetings between the teams a season ago. Union won both matches at Mapfre Stadium – both by 2-1 scorelines, on March 12 and Aug. 24 – their first two wins ever in Columbus. Crew SC had won six of seven meetings there prior, with one draw.
 
LA Galaxy at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Revolution suffered their fourth consecutive loss overall in league play, their second in a row at Gillette Stadium, in a 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls on July 5. The Red Bulls then eliminated the Revolution from the U.S. Open Cup at the quarterfinal stage in a 1-0 result July 13.
  • The Galaxy were also eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup at the quarterfinal stage since their last league match, falling 3-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on July 11.
  • The Galaxy won 4-2 last May 8 at StubHub Center, their second consecutive win at home in the league series – the third time in the last four matchups the winning team has hit for four goals or more. The teams reached a 2-2 draw in their last meeting at Gillette Stadium, May 31, 2015 – after each team hit for five goals in consecutive regular season matches the two years previous (NE 5-0 win in 2013; LA 5-1 win in 2014).
 
Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake, 10 p.m.
  • Sporting extended their undefeated streak to six games with a fourth draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with Philadelphia Union on July 6. The draw extended Sporting’s club-record home undefeated streak at Children’s Mercy Park to 18 games.
  • Sporting also reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the third time in the last six seasons, defeating FC Dallas 3-0 in extra time on July 12, Latif Blessing scoring a pair of goals.
  • In RSL’s 6-2 vs. LA, Jefferson Savarino scored his first two goals in his MLS career, while Albert Rusnák scored his fourth MLS goal and also collected a pair of assists, now with seven for the season –his second two-assist game in MLS.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer and Gerso Fernandes all hit the back of the net, giving Sporting a 3-0 win April 29 at Children’s Mercy Park. The SKC win in the first meeting snapped a seven-game winless streak in league play in the all-time series (0-4-3), their first victory since 2013.
 
Sunday, July 23
Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Darlington Nagbe and Darren Mattocks each found the back of the net as the Timbers took a 2-1 win April 22 at Providence Park.
  • 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.
  • Fanendo Adi scored his 10th goal of the season in Portland’s 2-2 draw with Chicago, reaching double-figures in goals for a third consecutive season. Adi is in a four-way tie for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. Adi has four goals over the last six matches.
  • 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 88 times in all, across a number of competitions – the Whitecaps hold a 37-33-18 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.
 
San Jose Earthquakes at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m.


 

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Nicolas Lodeiro gave Sounders FC the lead in the 84th minute, but Chris Wondolowski scored in the final minute of the regulation 90, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw April 8 at Avaya Stadium.
  • Chris Wondolowski scored his eighth goal of the season in the Quakes’ 4-2 loss at Atlanta United, his second consecutive game with a goal. It was Wondolowski’s first goal scored away from Avaya Stadium this season – the 63rd career goal scored on the road in his career, tied for the most in MLS history (with Landon Donovan).
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