Romell Quioto - Houston Dynamo - Hugged by Alberth Elis
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This Week in MLS - May 8, 2017

This Week in MLS – May 8, 2017
  • A look at top 2017 newcomers with Primary Transfer Window set to close tonight
  • Undefeated at home this season, Houston Dynamo host Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  • New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas put historic unbeaten streaks on the line in FS1
  • Minnesota United FC faces first Canadian opponent in streaking Toronto FC
  • Sweet Tweets
  • Week 11 Game Previews
A look at top 2017 newcomers with Primary Transfer Window set to close tonight
Major League Soccer’s 2017 Primary Transfer Window closes on Monday at 11:59 p.m. ET at which point all MLS clubs will no longer be able to make transfers, loans or trades until the opening of the Secondary Transfer Window on July 10. MLS clubs can still sign any free agent during this period, however, as long as the player in question was out of contract at the time of the window closing.
A number of players new to the league this season have already put forth tremendous performances during the first 10 weeks of the season. Among the top performing newcomers to MLS this season, listed below, six of the players are 23 years old or younger, with the 12 standouts averaging 25 years in age.
MIN Christian Ramirez 10 9 812 6 1 26
CHI Nemanja Nikolic 9 9 758 6 0 29
ATL Josef Martinez 3 3 262 5 0 23
LA Romain Alessandrini 9 9 805 4 4 28
ATL Hector Villalba 9 9 742 4 2 22
HOU Alberth Elis 9 8 635 4 1 21
HOU Romell Quioto 7 4 410 4 1 25
ATL Miguel Almiron 9 8 730 2 4 23
NYC Maximiliano Moralez 9 9 803 2 4 30
ATL Yamil Asad 7 7 595 2 3 22
SJ Jahmir Hyka 10 6 621 2 3 29
RSL Albert Rusnak 9 9 809 2 3 22
TOR Victor Vazquez 9 7 600 1 6 30
Undefeated at home this season, Houston Dynamo host Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Enjoying a six game, home unbeaten streak, the Houston Dynamo this weekend host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BBVA Compass Stadium (Friday, May 12, 9 p.m. ET, MLS Live, TSN 1/3/4/5).
After cruising to a 4-0 win over Orlando City SC last week, Houston’s 2017 home record (5-0-1) includes two instances of four-goal outings – both against Eastern Conference opponents – April 1 vs. New York Red Bulls and May 6 vs. Orlando City SC.
With 19 goals in nine games, 17 of which were scored at home, the Dynamo are tied for second in finishing thanks to the resurgence of Mexican international Erik “Cubo” Torres, whose seven goals tie CJ Sapong (Philadelphia Union) for most in MLS. Six of those seven finishes found the back of the net at BBVA Compass Stadium.
In addition to Torres, the Dynamo scoring threats also feature 21-year-old Colombian forward Mauro Manotas, who notched two goals and an assist in Torres’ absence last week, along with Honduran international Romell Quioto, who last week also contributed a goal and an assist in his first start since returning from a dislocated shoulder.
Away from home has been a different story for the Dynamo as they have yet to capture a single point in three games, posting a 0-3-0 on the road this season.
The Dynamo will be looking to capitalize on that home-field magic this Friday as they face the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, currently on a back-to-back two-game road winning streak. For the first time since 2015, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have earned consecutive wins on the road and are looking to make it three-for-three after defeating the Montreal Impact 2-1 on April 29 and shutting out the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on May 5. 
New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas put historic unbeaten streaks on the line in FS1 doubleheader
Both the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas look to continue their quest for history on Sunday in a nationally broadcast doubleheader, as the Red Bulls host the LA Galaxy at Red Bull Arena (6 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes), before FC Dallas welcomes New York City FC to Toyota Stadium (8 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).
Red Bulls 19-game home unbeaten streak spans more than a year
The Red Bulls enter Sunday’s match with a 19-game unbeaten mark at home, dating back to April 24, 2016. New York’s streak is the seventh-longest mark in league history as the team has allowed one goal at Red Bull Arena all season, putting forth clean sheet efforts in four of five home matches while conceding a miniscule 0.58 goals per game during the 19-game period.
Dallas remains only unbeaten team in MLS with eight-game mark to open season
FC Dallas continues to display its excellent form that led to a 2016 Supporters’ Shield, as the team has opened its 2017 campaign with a 5-0-3 record and is the only undefeated club remaining in MLS. Its eight-game undefeated mark to open the season, the ninth-longest mark in MLS history, has been powered by a stout defense that has allowed a league best five goals on the year.
Dallas will be challenged by a dangerous NYCFC attack paced by reigning MLS MVP David Villa who leads the league in combined goals (six) and assists (four) this season and has scored in four consecutive matches, including a golazo last week. Maxi Urruti counters for Dallas with six goals of his own, tied for second in the Golden Boot standings, after recording a brace in last week’s 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Minnesota United FC faces first Canadian opponent in streaking Toronto FC
Since battling defensive woes in its opening weeks in Major League Soccer, expansion club Minnesota United FC has bounced back in a big way, as only six clubs have captured more points than the Loons since April 1. Minnesota will face one such club in Toronto FC on Saturday at BMO Field for its first ever match against a Canadian MLS side (3 p.m. ET, CTV/MLS LIVE).
Toronto enters the match on the heels of a 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, avenging its 2016 MLS Cup defeat and extending its four-game win streak, tied for the best mark in MLS this season. Jozy Altidore scored his sixth goal of the season to lead Toronto last week, as the U.S. Men’s National Team forward has totaled 21 goals and 10 assists across his last 30 matches, including MLS regular season and MLS Cup playoff matches. Meanwhile, forward Christian Ramirez is tied with Altidore for second in the Golden Boot race with six goals on the season for a Minnesota squad that has allowed one goal in its previous three matches, including two shutout victories over that span. Abu Danladi, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, registered his first career goal and assist during his first career start in Minnesota’s 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City last week. 
Sweet Tweets
Week 11 Game Previews
Wednesday, May 10
Toronto FC at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. (TSN)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season, a second time in less than a month at Mapfre Stadium. First-half goals from Ola Kamara and Justin Meram answered an earlier strike from Jozy Altidore to give Crew SC a 2-1 win on April 15.
  • Crew SC put an end to a two-game losing slide with their 2-0 win against the New England Revolution as Ola Kamara scored a goal in second consecutive game, involved in each of Crew SC’s last three goals. It was Crew SC’s fourth win in their last five matches at Mapfre Stadium.
  • Toronto FC have equaled their all-time club record with their fourth consecutive victory, a 1-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in an MLS Cup rematch. Jozy Altidore scored his sixth goal of the season, his fourth in the last five matches.
Friday, May 12
Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Houston Dynamo, 9 p.m. (TSN)
  • The Dynamo returned home and won a second consecutive game at BBVA Compass Stadium, a 4-0 win against Orlando City SC as Mauro Manotas scored a pair of goals and also added an assist.
  • The Dynamo extended their home undefeated streak to six matches since the start of the season; in their ome games this season, Dynamo are 5-0-1, with 17 goals for and five goals against, while in three road games (all losses), the Dynamo have been outscored 8-2.
  • Whitecaps FC have won back-to-back games following their 1-0 win at the Colorado Rapids, the first time they’ve been victorious in consecutive league games since last May 7-14 (a span of 28 regular-season games). The ‘Caps also won a second match in a row on their travels, the first time they’ve won consecutive games in league play away from BC Place since June 6-27, 2015, when they won three in a row.
Saturday, May 13
Minnesota United FC at Toronto FC, 3 p.m. (CTV/TSN)
  • Minnesota United FC won their third game in their MLS history, their second in the last three weeks, with their 2-0 win against Sporting Kansas City. All three victories for MNUFC have come at TCF Bank Stadium, in their five home matches overall, along with both of the team’s shutouts.
  • Abu Danladi scored his first career MLS goal and recorded his first career assist, in the first career MLS start for the No. 1 pick overall in the 2017 SuperDraft.
  • Toronto FC return home undefeated for the season at BMO Field, with three wins and two draws, undefeated in their last six home games in league play dating back to last season. TFC have not lost in regulation play in their last 10 games at BMO Field.
San Jose Earthquakes at Colorado Rapids, 4 p.m. (UniMás)
  • The Rapids saw their losing slide extended to five games in their 1-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. It’s the club’s longest losing streak since their club-record 6-game run, set July 30-Sept. 5, 2014; they also had their winless streak stretched to seven games, longest since the MLS-record 18-game stretch without a victory July 30, 2015-April 4, 2015.
  • The Quakes won their second game on the trot in a 3-0 victory against the Portland Timbers. Chris Wondolowski scored a pair of goals, the 18th multiple-goal game of his league career, now fifth all-time in MLS history; he also added an assist, tied for second place on the MLS assist leaderboard this year.
Columbus Crew SC at Montreal Impact, 5 p.m.
  • The Impact put an end to a brief two-game winless slide, getting the game’s only goal for a victory against D.C. United. Homegrown Player Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla scored his second goal of the season, his second game-decider this season, for the winner.
  • Crew SC hit the road following the midweek contest with Toronto FC after having lost their last two away matches, both by shutout, now 204 minutes since their last goal on their travels.
  • The Impact have won the last three home meetings in league play in the all-time series; Crew SC hasn’t won in Québec since a 2-1 win Sept. 14, 2013 at Stade Saputo.
Philadelphia Union at D.C. United, 7 p.m.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jose Guillermo Ortiz and Luciano Acosta netted United’s first goals of the season for their first victory in 2017, a 2-1 triumph April 1 at RFK Stadium.
  • Union snapped a 15-game winless streak, tied for fourth-longest in MLS history, winning for the first time in league play since last Aug. 27 in a 3-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls.
  • C.J. Sapong scored his first career hat trick – all three goals coming after the 74th minute – in hitting for all the Union goals. Sapong is now tied for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with seven goals (with Erick Torres of HOU); the seven goals have matched his total from a season ago, two shy of his single-season career-high (set in 2012 and 2015).
Sporting Kansas City at Orlando City SC, 7 p.m.
  • Orlando City has suffered defeats in back-to-back games for the first time this season, following their 4-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening. It’s the club’s first consecutive losses since last Sept. 11-24.
  • Sporting saw their two-game winning streak put to an end, falling 2-0 to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium. SKC conceded multiple goals in a game for the first time this season, the first time in 12 league and MLS Cup games dating back to last year. SKC had allowed three goals through their first nine games, the second-lowest total in MLS history.
Real Salt Lake at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
  • The Revolution saw their winless streak extended to five matches, dropping a 2-0 decision to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium, still winless on their travels for the season, one of six teams in MLS still without an away victory.
  • Real suffered their third consecutive loss – their second in a row at Rio Tinto Stadium – in a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas on Saturday evening. It’s the first time since Oct. 14-17, 2015 that Real have dropped back-to-back league games in Sandy.
Seattle Sounders FC at Chicago Fire, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • The Fire return home after ending their three-game road swing with their first result, gaining a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. Nemanja Nikolic scored for a second consecutive game, his sixth goal of the season, one of nine players in a tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • Sounders FC saw their home undefeated streak come to an end after 11 games, falling 1-0 to Toronto FC at CenturyLink Field in a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup Final. It was the second-longest home undefeated run in the club’s MLS history (14 games, 2013).
Sunday, May 14
Atlanta United at Portland Timbers, 4 p.m. (ESPN1)
  • The Timbers went a second consecutive win without a victory, falling 3-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Avaya Stadium.
  • Atlanta United have suffered consecutive defeats for the first time in their brief MLS history, following their 3-1 loss at New York City FC. The three goals conceded by Atlanta United matched their single-game high, both coming in the last two games.
LA Galaxy at New York Red Bulls, 6 p.m. (FS1)
  • The Red Bulls have suffered back-to-back defeats for a second time this season, following their 3-0 loss at Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • The Red Bulls return home after extending their home undefeated streak to 19 games in their last match at Red Bull Arena, a 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire on April 29. The undefeated run is tied for the sixth-longest in MLS history; the Red Bulls have won their last three home games.
  • The Galaxy recorded a second consecutive draw, both at StubHub Center, coming back for a 2-2 result with the Chicago Fire, going 0-1-2 over their three-game homestand. Romain Alessandrini collected assists on both Galaxy goals; he has been involved in eight of the Galaxy’s 10 goals this season – in each of the last five matches where the Galaxy have scored a goal – with four goals and four assists.
New York City FC at FC Dallas, 8 p.m. (FS1)
  • FC Dallas are still the only team without a loss in MLS this season, following their 3-0 win at Real Salt Lake behind a pair of goals from Maximiliano Urruti. The eight games without defeat to start the season is now the ninth-longest in MLS history; the all-time record is 12 games without loss to open the year (LA 1996; KC 2000; LA 2010; RSL 2014).
  • NYCFC have won back-to-back games for the first time this season, the first time since last Sept. 23-30. They have won their last two games away from Yankee Stadium.
  • David Villa scored for a fourth consecutive game, matching his MLS-long streak set last Sept. 23-Oct. 23. Villa also added an assist, now with a goal or an assist in five games in a row and in six of his last seven matches overall.