Clint Dempsey -- Michael Bradley -- Standing over free kick
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This Week in MLS – August 28, 2017

This Week in MLS – August 28, 2017
  • Over 90 MLS Players Called to Represent National Teams; 2018 FIFA World Cup Hopes on the Line
  • Quakes’ Ureña providing spark heading into Ticos’ crucial qualifier against U.S. Men’s National Team
  • Gold Cup rematch pits MLS on both sides of Canada vs. Jamaica
  • Red-hot Piatti, surging Impact look to hold off rebounding Fire team in key Eastern Conference tilt
  • Sweet Tweets
  • Week 26 Game Previews
 
Over 90 MLS Players Called to Represent National Teams; 2018 FIFA World Cup Hopes on the Line
A record 91 MLS players have received the call to represent their national teams in international matches during the month of September, with the majority of the standouts participating in World Cup Qualifying play in their respective federations.
 
Thirty-three of the 91 players are in their first year playing in MLS, a group that includes a number of talented young South Americans in Atlanta United’s 23-year-old Miguel Almirón (Paraguay) and 24-year-old Josef Martinez, Orlando’s Yoshimar Yotún (Peru), and New York City FC’s 19-year-old midfielder Yangel Herrera (Venezuela). 
 
Bruce Arena named 18 MLS players to his U.S. Men’s National Team squad that will oppose a number of familiar faces when taking on Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena on Friday in a crucial World Cup Qualifying match (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/Univision/UDN). Clint Dempsey will become the United States’ all-time leader in goals scored if he manages to get on the board on Friday. Dempsey is joined by Sounders FC teammate Jordan Morris, one of two MLS Homegrown Players on the U.S. roster, along with FC Dallas midfielder Kellyn Acosta. Costa Rica bounces back with seven MLS players on its roster for a matchup pitting the second and third ranked teams in the CONCACAF standings against each other.
 
Elsewhere in CONCACAF, Mexico and Panama square off on Friday in a match featuring the first and fourth place teams in the standings. Mexico’s trio of MLS players in brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos will team up with future rival Carlos Vela who is set to begin play with expansion club LAFC next season. Panama, meanwhile, features seven players from MLS on its roster and is in need of a result to stay in contention for a trip to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
 
A complete list of MLS players called up for international duty sorted by club can be found here.
 
MLS Players Called Up by International Window
 
 
CONCACAF
CONMEBOL
UEFA
AFC
CAF
OFC
 
September 2017
62
7
12
2
4
4
91
July 2017
59
0
0
0
3
0
62
June 2017
58
2
6
0
8
1
75
March 2017
50
5
6
0
1
1
63
January 2017
51
0
0
0
4
0
55
November 2016
37
3
3
2
3
1
49
October 2016
28
2
2
0
3
1
36
September 2016
52
2
4
1
4
0
63
June 2016
34
3
5
0
4
1
47
March 2016
46
0
3
1
3
0
53
November 2015
44
2
3
1
6
0
56
October 2015
42
2
5
1
5
0
55
September 2015
41
2
7
2
7
0
59
 
MLS Players Called in August 2017 Window by Country
 
Albania
Jahmir Hyka – San Jose Earthquakes
 
Belgium
Laurent Ciman – Montreal Impact
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Haris Medunjanin – Philadelphia Union
 
Cameroon
Nouhou Tolo – Seattle Sounders FC
 
Canada
Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas
Jay Chapman – Toronto FC
David Choiniere – Montreal Impact
Alphonso Davies – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Marcel de Jong – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Amer Didic – Sporting Kansas City
Raheem Edwards – Toronto FC
Anthony Jackson-Hamel – Montreal Impact
Will Johnson – Orlando City SC
Cyle Larin – Orlando City SC
Jonathan Osorio – Toronto FC
Samuel Piette – Montreal Impact
Tosaint Ricketts – Toronto FC
 
Costa Rica
Christian Bolaños – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Francisco Calvo – Minnesota United FC
David Guzman – Portland Timbers
Marco Ureña – San Jose Earthquakes
Johan Venegas – Minnesota United FC
Rodney Wallace – New York City FC
Kendall Waston – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
 
Ecuador
Carlos Gruezo – FC Dallas
 
Finland
Alex Ring – New York City FC
 
Georgia
Vako Qazaishvili – San Jose Earthquakes
 
Ghana
Harrison Afful – Columbus Crew SC
Jonathan Mensah – Columbus Crew SC
 
Honduras
Alberth Elis – Houston Dynamo
Maynor Figueroa – FC Dallas
Boniek Garcia – Houston Dynamo
Romell Quioto – Houston Dynamo
 
Hungary
Zoltan Stieber – D.C. United
 
Iraq
Justin Meram – Columbus Crew SC
 
Jamaica
Andre Blake – Philadelphia Union
Oniel Fisher – Seattle Sounders FC
Shaun Francis – Montreal Impact 
Kemar Lawrence –New York Red Bulls
Alvas Powell – Portland Timbers
Jermaine Taylor – Minnesota United FC
Je-Vaughn Watson – New England Revolution
 
Lebanon
Soony Saad – Sporting Kansas City
 
Liechtenstein
Nicolas Hasler – Toronto FC
 
Mexico
Giovani dos Santos – LA Galaxy
Jonathan dos Santos – LA Galaxy
Carlos Vela – LAFC
 
New Zealand
Michael Boxall – Minnesota United FC
Kip Colvey – San Jose Earthquakes
Stefan Marinovic – Vancouver Whitecaps FC
James Musa – Sporting Kansas City
 
Panama
Armando Cooper – Toronto FC
Fidel Escobar – New York Red Bulls
Anibal Godoy – San Jose Earthquakes
Adolfo Machado – Houston Dynamo
Michael Murillo – New York Red Bulls
Roman Torres – Seattle Sounders FC
 
Paraguay
Miguel Almiron – Atlanta United
 
Peru
Yoshimar Yotun – Orlando City SC
 
Senegal
Clement Diop – LA Galaxy
 
Slovakia
Albert Rusnak – Real Salt Lake
 
Slovenia
Antonio Delamea – New England Revolution
 
Spain
David Villa – New York City FC
 
Sweden
Gustav Svensson – Seattle Sounders FC
 
Switzerland
Blerim Dzemaili – Montreal Impact
 
Trinidad and Tobago
Cordell Cato – San Jose Earthquakes
Joevin Jones – Seattle Sounders FC
Kevin Molino – Minnesota United FC
Mekeil Williams – Colorado Rapids
 
United States
Kellyn Acosta – FC Dallas
Jozy Altidore – Toronto FC
Paul Arriola – D.C. United
DaMarcus Beasley – Houston Dynamo
Alejandro Bedoya – Philadelphia Union
Matt Besler – Sporting Kansas City
Michael Bradley – Toronto FC
Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders FC
Brad Guzan – Atlanta United
Matt Hedges – FC Dallas
Tim Howard – Colorado Rapids
Dax McCarty – Chicago Fire
Jordan Morris – Seattle Sounders FC
Darlington Nagbe – Portland Timbers
Nick Rimando – Real Salt Lake
Cristian Roldan – Seattle Sounders FC
Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
Graham Zusi – Sporting Kansas City
 
Uruguay
Nicolas Lodeiro – Seattle Sounders FC
 
Venezuela
Yangel Herrera – New York City FC
Josef Martinez – Atlanta United
Jefferson Savarino – Real Salt Lake
 
Quakes’ Ureña providing spark heading into Ticos’ crucial qualifier against U.S. Men’s National Team
San Jose Earthquakes forward Marco Ureña has put together a strong stretch the past two months in his first MLS season, scoring three goals in his past five appearances as San Jose hopes to solidify a spot in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. On the international stage, Ureña and Costa Rica are gearing up for a crucial FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against the U.S. Men’s National Team on Friday at Red Bull Arena (6:30 p.m. ET), with the broadcast on ESPN, UniMás and UDN.
 
Ureña is one of seven MLSers on the roster, three of whom are the midst of their first MLS season. Ureña has posted 11 goals in 54 international matches, and there is the possibility that some teammate rivalries could take front-and-center position Friday night. Ureña is going up against Quakes teammate Chris Wondolowski, who continues to add to his league-record resume. Ticos midfielder David Guzman, also competing in his first MLS season with the Portland Timbers, could potentially square off against his club teammate Darlington Nagbe.
 
The MLS pool involved in Friday’s match will likely play a major factor as Costa Rica (3-1-2, 11 points) and the U.S. (2-2-2, 8 points) sit second and third, respectively, in the Hexagonal as the countries try to book a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. First-year defender Francisco Calvo of Minnesota United FC has had a massive contribution for Costa Rica with three international goals this year in the Copa Centroamericana, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and a first-minute tally during Costa Rica’s 2-1 victory against Trinidad & Tobago on June 13 in qualifying.
 
As a side note, Ticos midfielder Rodney Wallace returns to Red Bull Arena for the second time in a week. He and New York City FC drew 1-1 against the New York Red Bulls in Heineken Rivalry Week this past Friday to cap off an unbeaten series win (2-0-1).
 
The qualification stakes will be high for Costa Rica, with a Sept. 5 bout against Hexagonal leader Mexico also on the horizon.
 
Gold Cup rematch pits MLS on both sides of Canada vs. Jamaica
In a must-see rematch of last month’s thrilling CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal, the Canadian (CANMNT) and Jamaican National Teams will meet again on Saturday, September 2 for an international friendly that features 18 players from 11 MLS clubs (7 pm. ET, TSN). 
 
Showcasing the likes of Jay Chapman, Raheem Edwards, Jonathan Osorio, and Tosaint Ricketts from Toronto FC, the all-too unstoppable force dominating MLS, the CANMNT also includes 16-year-old show-stopper Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), along with the attacking duo of Will Johnson and Cyle Larin from Orlando City SC.
 
With sights set on claiming their third straight win over the Canadian side, the Reggae Boyz, have called in an equally strong defensive unit led by Shaun Francis (Montreal Impact), who opened the scoring the last time these two teams met, and Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), who’s added a goal and three assists to the top-scoring offense in the MLS Western Conference.
 
With Jamaica staking claim over the most recent two matchups, both in Gold Cup action, can Canada reconquer the Reggae Boyz for the first time since 2014?
 
Red-hot Piatti, surging Impact look to hold off rebounding Fire team in key Eastern Conference tilt
An Eastern Conference clash between the Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire features two sides in completely opposite trajectories. The pivotal three points will be up for grabs at Stade Saputo on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, TVAS).
 
Montreal has won four out of its past five, with its only loss coming against league-leaders Toronto FC. Ignacio Piatti has scored in each game during the five-game stretch with seven goals and an assist. The Argentine is tied for fourth in the Golden Boot race with 15 goals this season.
 
Chicago, on the other hand, has lost four straight games and six of its past seven. David Accam has brought some light to the team by scoring in the past two matches for his 13th and 14th goals of the season. The Fire’s potential turnaround could lie on the club’s goal-scoring leader Nemanja Nikolic. Nikolic is still tied for second in the Golden Boot race with 16 goals, but Fire fans have been eagerly awaiting the Hungarian National Team player to break out of a slump of eight straight games without a goal. 
 
The Impact took a 3-0 victory at Stade Saputo when the teams met just two weeks ago, and three points will be essential for either Montreal to advance above the playoff line or for Chicago to return to form in the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
 
Sweet Tweets
 
Week 26 Game Previews
 
Saturday, Sept. 2
Chicago Fire at Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. ET (TVAS)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Ignacio Piatti scored a pair of goals and Matteo Mancosu converted a penalty kick as the Impact rolled to a 3-0 win Aug. 16 at Stade Saputo. On April 1, Ballou Tabla gave the Impact the lead in the final minute of regulation play, but the Fire’s Luis Solignac scored the game-tying goal deep in second-half stoppage time, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw at Toyota Park.
  • Before last year, the visiting team had never won in the series – when each team won on the other’s home ground. The Impact won 2-1 on April 16 at Toyota Park. Then the Fire returned the favor on Aug. 20 at Stade Saputo in a 3-0 win that ended their MLS-record 36-game road winless streak.
  • The Impact had their four-game winning streak put to an end, falling 3-1 to Toronto FC at Stade Saputo. The four-game winning streak was one shy of the club’s record winning streak in its MLS history; the loss also ended a three-game winning streak at Stade Saputo.
  • Piatti scored a goal in a fifth consecutive game, the Impact club record goal-scoring streak during their time in MLS. He has been involved in eight of the Impact’s 12 goals scored over those past five matches, with seven goals and one assist.
  • The Fire suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, falling 2-1 to Minnesota United FC at Toyota Park. The losing slide is one game shy of the club-record five-game losing streak. It was also a second consecutive defeat at Toyota Park following a nine-game home winning streak, which was tied for the second-longest in MLS history.
 
Orlando City SC at New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET
  • The teams were originally scheduled to play on March 12, but the game was postponed because of extreme cold.
  • Orlando City’s only victory in the all-time series came in the final of three meetings last season, a 3-1 win July 31 at Camping World Stadium. The Revolution’s lone win came in the first meeting between the teams at Gillette Stadium, a 3-0 triumph on Sept. 5, 2015. The teams also reached a 2-2 draw in their lone encounter at Foxborough last year.
  • The Revolution suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 1-0 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The defeat extended the Revolution’s road winless streak to 15 games, a club record, surpassing a 13-game away winless run set during the 2012 season, and was their fifth loss in a row on the road.
  • Orlando City SC had their winless streak extended to seven games in a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening. The seven-game winless run is a club record during Orlando City’s three MLS seasons; OCSC is also winless in their past six home games, also a club record in its MLS history.
  • Orlando City’s Cyle Larin scored his 10th goal of the season, his first goal in his past four games. Larin has reached double digits in goals in each of his three MLS seasons, now with 41 goals in 82 career league appearances.
 
New York Red Bulls at FC Dallas, 9 p.m. ET (UniMás)
  • FC Dallas saw their winless streak extended to six matches, with a fourth loss in that time, falling 2-1 to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium. The six-game winless streak is the longest for FCD since a six-game winless run from May 15-June 19, 2015. It was also a third consecutive loss on the road for FC Dallas.
  • The Red Bulls extended their home undefeated streak to four games, following three consecutive wins there, with a 1-1 draw with New York City FC at Red Bull Arena on Friday evening.
  • The Red Bulls have a four-game undefeated streak in the series, after their 4-0 win on April 29, 2016 at Red Bull Arena – the largest margin of victory in the all-time series between the MLS Originals.
  • The Red Bulls have recorded four consecutive clean sheets against FC Dallas, their shutout streak now at 389 minutes since FCD last scored in the series, which came in a 2-1 win on March 11, 2012 in Frisco.
  • The Red Bulls have won on three of their past five visits to Frisco, with one draw, in both league and MLS Cup play. FC Dallas haven’t won at the Red Bulls since 2006, when they took a 2-1 victory at Giants Stadium. FCD has never won at Red Bull Arena (0-2-2).
 
Colorado Rapids at LA Galaxy, 11 p.m. ET
  • The Galaxy suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, falling 3-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes at StubHub Center. The defeat extended the Galaxy’s winless streak to 10 games overall, matching the second-longest in club history; they were shut out at the attacking end for a third consecutive match, now 354 minutes since their last goal, the third-longest goalless drought in club history.
  • The Galaxy were shut out for a fourth consecutive match at StubHub Center, the first time in their 22-year MLS history they’ve been blanked in four consecutive home games. The loss also extended the Galaxy’s winless streak in Carson to 10 games, also the club record in their MLS history.
  • The Rapids suffered a third consecutive defeat, losing 4-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. The loss extended the Rapids’ winless streak to eight games overall, equaling the fourth-longest in club history.
  • The Rapids saw their road winless streak extended to 13 games overall in the loss at RSL, the second-longest stretch without a win on the road in club history. The Rapids are still winless on the road this season, now 0-10-2 on their travels, now one of two teams without an away victory this season (the other being the New England Revolution).
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jack McBean scored a pair of goals and Romain Alessandrini converted a penalty kick as the Galaxy took a 3-1 win June 21 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The teams reached a pair of draws in the two meetings last year at StubHub Center, a goalless result on June 22, and a 1-1 draw on Aug. 13. The teams have played to draws in the past three meetings in Carson. The last Galaxy win there came in 2014 – a 6-0 victory, the largest-ever victory in the all-time series. Colorado last won at StubHub Center in 2013.
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