Anthony Jackson-Hamel - Montreal Impact
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This Week in MLS – September 25, 2017

This Week in MLS – September 25, 2017
  • Homegrown Players starring for U.S. and Canada, producing goals at record pace in MLS
  • Youthful Real Salt Lake hitting stride in Western Conference race
  • MLS 24 Under 24 series kicks off, with winner unveiled Thursday on ExtraTime Live driven by Continental
  • Rookie of the Year race heats up as MLS Clubs begin nominating players for End of Year Awards
  • Twelve MLS Academy Products, Six Homegrown Players Lead U.S. U-17 World Cup Roster
  • Could Sporting Kansas City be on track for another MLS-Cup-winning season?
  • Sweet Tweets
  • Week 30 Game Previews
 
Homegrown Players starring for U.S. and Canada, producing goals at record pace in MLS
Homegrown Players are having an even greater impact in both Major League Soccer and for their respective national teams than ever before, with the collective class producing all-time highs in goals scored, assists and minutes played during the 2017 season. With a league-record 101 players currently active in MLS, Homegrown Players are making increasingly larger contributions on the field for both club and country as the next generation of domestic soccer stars
 
Montreal Impact and Canada National Team forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel leads all MLS Homegrown Players with nine goals scored this season, while his four assists rank tied for second among the group. The 24-year-old also has three goals scored over six caps in what has been a breakout year for Canada. New England Revolution and U.S. Men’s National Team forward Juan Agudelo, meanwhile, ranks second among Homegrown Players with a career-high eight goals scored this season, while Columbus Crew SC midfielder Wil Trapp leads all Homegrown Players with five assists in MLS play.
 
Seven Homegrown Player products were included on the United States title-winning 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster, including reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC) and two-time MLS All-Star Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas). The duo both played prominent roles for the United States this season and could figure into Bruce Arena’s plans for the 2018 FIFA World Cup roster should the U.S. qualify in October.
 
In addition to Jackson-Hamel, Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Alphonso Davies starred for Canada at the Gold Cup, winning the tournament’s Young Player Award. The 16-year-old was also named to the tournament Best XI team and finished in a three-way tie for the Golden Boot as the top scorer.  
 
Additionally, five Homegrown Players are currently starting at goalkeeper, as U.S. Men’s National Team players Bill Hamid (D.C. United) and Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas) join the group of Tyler Deric (Houston Dynamo), Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire) and Jon Kempin (LA Galaxy) as MLS starters.
 
Homegrown Player Production
  GP GS MIN G A
2017 1048 695 64684 69 83
2016 751 532 48488 58 43
2015 815 602 54767 50 54
2014 576 422 38878 39 35
2013 522 417 37846 39 41
2012 243 157 14824 9 23
2011 207 124 12294 17 14
2010 75 48 4441 7 7
2009 13 5 429 0

4

 
Youthful Real Salt Lake hitting stride in Western Conference race
Real Salt Lake’s penchant for utilizing strong young talent is well known throughout the league, and the rest of the Western Conference is certainly feeling the heat from RSL’s current crop of rising talent. Salt Lake sits in fifth place in the conference and is one of the hottest teams since July 4 with a robust 7-2-3 record over a 12-game stretch.
 
A fitting example of RSL’s youthful impact over the past weekend was the contribution of Young Designated Player Jefferson Savarino, who notched a goal and an assist during Real’s 2-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday. The 20-year-old Venezuelan forward, who now has six goals and five assists to his name on the West’s fourth-ranked offense, was also voted No. 22 in the league’s annual 24 Under 24 series on Monday, potentially to be joined by other talented Real Salt Lake teammates later this week.
 
Leading the way with assists is Slovakian midfielder Albert Rusnák, whose 13 helpers – including six over his past six games – rank fifth in MLS. The 23-year-old also shares the team goal-scoring lead with seven tallies.
 
A side that earlier this year saw five players compete on the international stage for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in the Republic of Korea, featured: defenders Danny Acosta and Justen Glad, forwards Sebastian Saucedo and Brooks Lennon, and Academy alum and current University of New Mexico defender Aaron Herrera. Glad and Lennon each notched a goal during a dominant 6-0 U.S. victory against New Zealand to advance to the tournament’s quarterfinals.
 
Their extensive international experience has translated onto the club side. Combined with the veteran leadership of senior national team players Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman, RSL has created a dynamic that appears to be hitting its stride at the right moment of the season.
 
MLS 24 Under 24 series kicks off, with winner unveiled Thursday on ExtraTime Live driven by Continental
MLSsoccer.com began rolling out its roster of the top 24 young players in MLS with the league’s annual 24 Under 24 series. The top 10 and winner will be unveiled this Thursday on MLSsoccer.com’s exclusive show , ExtraTime Live driven by Continental, starting at 2 p.m. ET on Facebook Live.
 
Monday’s first group includes a number of highly touted players:
No. 21. Argentine midfielder Luciano Acosta (D.C. United)
No. 22. Venezuelan forward Jefferson Savarino (Real Salt Lake)
No. 23. Gambian striker Kekuta Manneh (Columbus Crew SC)
No. 24. Uruguayan midfielder Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution)
 
The 24 Under 24 series kicked off in 2010 with current Vancouver Whitecaps FC and former Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero taking the honors. Other past No. 1s have featured U.S. National Team players Brek Shea (2011), Darlington Nagbe (2013) and DeAndre Yedlin (2014), Jamaican forward Darren Mattocks (2012), Colombian international Fabian Castillo (2015) and last year’s winner Cyle Larin of Orlando City SC.
 
Who will join this esteemed group on Thursday? Tune in to ExtraTime Live for the hour-long special.
 
Rookie of the Year race heats up as MLS Clubs begin nominating players for End of Year Awards
As MLS clubs are currently in the process of nominating players for 2017 End of Year Awards, one race coming down to the wire is Rookie of the Year. During the 2017 season, a number of young and emerging talents have become difference makers for their respective clubs. The trio of Julian Gressel (Atlanta United), Abu Danladi (Minnesota United FC) and Jack Elliot (Philadelphia Union) are all in contention to lead rookies in numerous categories and even set new MLS rookie records.
 
Gressel has notched eight assists this season, leaving him just two shy of Clint Mathis’ single-season rookie record of 10 assists. Playing with a talented Atlanta United squad on the brink of clinching a postseason berth in its inaugural season, the German midfielder has been able to break through and feature in every game for Atlanta this season.
 
Danladi, meanwhile, has totaled seven goals this season, leaving him just five goals away from Jordan Morris’ rookie goal haul of last season, which ranked second all-time. A continued late season run could see the forward rank in the top five single-season totals for goals by a rookie. Danladi has also proven to be an essential part of his team as Minnesota has won each match in which the Ghanaian forward has scored.
 
Elliot has started in 25 consecutive games for the Philadelphia Union as the rock on the backline. Philadelphia has recorded clean sheets in eight of his appearances. A fourth-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, the Englishman has produced tidy defending, totaling only four yellow cards while leading all 2017 rookies with 2,262 minutes played.
 
Twelve MLS Academy Products, Six Homegrown Players Lead U.S. U-17 World Cup Roster
The United States named its 21-man Under-17 World Cup roster last week, with 12 MLS academy products, including six Homegrown Players set to represent the U.S. The tournament kicks off on Friday, October 6 with the United States facing host nation India in New Delhi for the first of its three Group A matches (10:30 a.m. ET, FS2/Universo).
 
Atlanta United leads all clubs with three academy products on the U.S. roster, with goalkeeper Justin Garces joining Homegrown Players Andrew Carleton and Chris Goslin. Garces was named the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Golden Glove winner as the best goalkeeper and was one of four MLS academy products named to the tournament’s Best XI team. Rounding out that group was a trio of Homegrown stars in Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City), James Sands (New York City FC) and Christopher Durkin (D.C. United).
 
U.S. 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup Roster by Position:
*Homegrown Player
 
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (S.L. Benfica; Philadelphia, Pa.), Justin Garces (Atlanta United FC; Miami, Fla.)
 
DEFENDERS (6): Sergiño Dest (Ajax; Almere-stad, Netherlands), Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey* (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands* (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Tyler Shaver (New York City FC; Greenwich, Conn.), Akil Watts (Portland Timbers, Fort Wayne, Ind.)
 
MIDFIELDERS (6): George Acosta (North Carolina FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake; Eden, Utah), Christopher Durkin* (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Soccer Club; Southlake, Texas), Chris Goslin* (Atlanta United FC; Locust Grove, Ga.), Indiana Vassilev (Unattached; Savannah, Ga.)
 
FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton Ont.), Andrew Carleton* (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Jacobo Reyes (C.F. Monterrey; Houston, Texas), Bryan Reynolds* (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Joshua Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O'Fallon, Mo.), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Rosedale, N.Y.)
 
Could Sporting Kansas City be on track for another MLS-Cup-winning season?
Reminiscent of the 2013 season that crescendoed into an MLS Cup winning finale, Sporting Kansas City have methodically risen to third place in the Western Conference, and remain the only MLS club with an undefeated home record (10-0-5). Riding last week’s 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory, Sporting also boast the fewest losses, fewest goals against, and greatest goal differential in the Western Conference heading into Saturday’s intraconference showdown against West No. 1, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9 p.m. ET, FOX Sports KC+ / FOX Sports GO / MLS Live).
 
With the attacking front that has evenly spread the wealth of goals during the month of September, forward Gerso Fernandes leads all scoring with eight goals and two game-winners, complemented by finishes from Latif Blessing and Daniel Salloi in Open Cup action in addition to goals from Cristian Lobato and Diego Rubio’s three goals in his last two MLS outings. U.S. National Team right back Graham Zusi has contributed seven assists, and has been a stronghold for the backline in front of rock-solid goalkeeper Tim Melia, whose 10 shutouts this season tie Seattle’s Stefan Frei for most in MLS.
 
Sporting are only five wins away from tying their 17 victories achieved in 2013, and they’re only four wins away from surpassing the 58-point total that earned them second place in the Eastern conference four seasons ago. Will Sporting Kansas City’s consistency keep them among the frontrunners in the West or will Vancouver’s resurgence and current seven-game unbeaten streak create some separation between a too-close-to-call Western Conference favorite?
 
Sweet Tweets
 
Week 30 Game Previews
 
Wednesday, Sept. 27
Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United, 7 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Atlanta United’s Tyrone Mears hit for the equalizer in second-half stoppage time after the Union had taken a two-goal lead after just 23 minutes, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw Aug. 26 at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • Atlanta United extended their undefeated run at their new home, defeating the Montréal Impact 2-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The win extended ATLUTD’s overall undefeated streak to six games, matching the longest in the club’s inaugural MLS season (also: June 24-Aug. 6).
  • Atlanta United now have four wins and one draw in their new home, having scored 19 goals (and conceding just three) in the five games. The win extended ATLUTD’s home undefeated streak to 11 games (9-0-2), dating back to May 20, including the final six matches played at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
  • The Union put an end to their six-game winless run, but have now gone four consecutive games without loss, following their 3-1 win against the Chicago Fire at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • Chris Pontius scored a pair of goals, his first goals of the season, the first since last Oct. 1, when he scored the final of his single-season career-high 12 goals. It was the sixth multiple-goal game of Pontius’s career, his last coming March 12, 2016.
 
D.C. United at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alex Muyl and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored goals on either side of halftime, leading the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win April 15 at Red Bull Arena.
  • The Red Bulls have an eight-game undefeated streak going in regular season matches at Red Bull Arena, having won five of the past six meetings in Harrison. United have a five-game undefeated streak in the series alive at RFK Stadium.
  • D.C. United put an end to a two-game losing slide in style, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 4-0 at RFK Stadium. United scored four goals, their single-game high for the season, the most in exactly a calendar year, since a 4-1 win vs. Orlando City SC on Sept. 24, 2016.
  • Patrick Mullins scored four goals, matching the D.C. United club record in a single game, his first goals of the season, his first since last Oct. 16. Mullins scored his four goals over a 31-minute span in the second half, the fastest four goals scored by a player in MLS history. He became the first player in 5,031 MLS league matches to score four goals in a half. It was the fourth time a United player has scored four goals in a game.
  • The Red Bulls saw their winless streak extended to six games, their streak of four consecutive draws put to an end in a 3-2 loss to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium. The defeat extended the Red Bulls’ road winless streak to five matches, with a third loss in that span, since a 3-0 win at Minnesota United FC on July 22.
 
New York City FC at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN1; TVAS)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Anthony Wallace gave NYCFC a first-half lead, but Dominic Oduro netted the equalizer midway through the second half to leave the teams in a 1-1 deadlock March 18 at Yankee Stadium.
  • NYCFC have won both meetings all-time in Montréal, including a 3-1 win last July 17 at Stade Saputo in the last meeting between the teams in Québec.
  • The Impact suffered their fifth loss in their past six matches, falling 2-0 to Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Impact return home riding a three-game losing streak on their home ground, equaling the club’s longest home losing run in their MLS history (set twice previously, in 2013 and 2014).
  • New York City FC had their winless run extended to three games with a second successive draw, reaching a 1-1 result with the Houston Dynamo in a match played at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. on Saturday afternoon.
  • With the draw and the Montréal Impact loss at Atlanta, NYCFC clinched a berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, their second consecutive postseason qualification.
 
New England Revolution at Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kei Kamara scored his first career hat trick in MLS and Lee Nguyen tied the all-time MLS record with four assists, as the Revolution rolled to a 4-0 win on Sept. 2 at Gillette Stadium, a game originally scheduled to be played on March 12.
  • 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 teams had reached draws in their first two encounters in Orlando.
  • Orlando City SC concluded their four-game road swing with a second loss in that time, falling 3-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
  • The Revolution put an end to their two-game losing streak, defeating Toronto FC 2-1 at Gillette Stadium. The win was the sixth in a row in Foxborough for the Revolution, one game shy of the club-record home winning streak set Sept. 18, 2004-May 14, 2005. It equals the longest home winning run contained within a single season in club history (also 1996, 2014).
 
Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas, 8 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. They reached a goalless draw on Aug. 12 at Toyota Stadium. The Rapids have come away with points in the past three meetings with FC Dallas in Frisco, the draw following a pair of wins. FC Dallas had won four consecutive home meetings before the two Rapids victories.
  • FC Dallas saw their winless streak extended to 10 matches, dating back to July 29, with a sixth defeat in that span, in a 4-1 loss to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium. The 10-game winless run is tied for the third-longest in FCD club history, the long since an 11-game run without victory in 2013 (the club record is a 13-game winless streak, set in 2012).
  • The four goals conceded by FC Dallas match their single-game season-high, also in a 4-0 loss to Vancouver on July 29 to start their 10-game winless run. FCD has conceded three or more goals five times in the 10-game streak, with 23 goals allowed in that span; they allowed just 19 goals in their first 19 games this season.
  • The Rapids had their brief two-game undefeated streak put to an end, falling 2-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place.
  • Dominique Badji scored for a third consecutive game, adding to his MLS single-season career-high with his ninth goal of the season. Badji is the first Rapids player to score in three consecutive team games since Vicente Sanchez, who hit the back of the net in the opening three matches of the 2014 season.
 
LA Galaxy at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Galaxy’s Romain Alessandrini netted the equalizer deep in second-half stoppage time, leaving the teams in a 2-2 deadlock on June 17 at StubHub Center.
  • The Galaxy won twice last year in Houston, their first wins ever at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Galaxy’s last win in Houston had come in 2010 – at Robertson Stadium. The Dynamo had won four consecutive home games in the series. The Galaxy had won three consecutive meetings at StubHub Center before the draw this year.
  • The Dynamo put an end to a two-game losing run but still had their winless streak stretched to five matches, reaching a 1-1 draw with New York City FC in a match played at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The draw extended the Dynamo’s road winless streak to five matches, following their only away victory of the campaign July 22 at D.C. United.
  • The Galaxy suffered a third consecutive defeat as their winless streak was extended to four games, suffering a 2-1 defeat by Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • The loss extended the Galaxy’s road winless streak to seven matches, their longest since a 15-game stretch without a road win from Sept. 10, 2014-July 25, 2015. The Galaxy have won one game in their past 15 league starts overall, dating back to June 24, with a 1-12-2 record over that span.
 
Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Quakes alternated wins and losses for a fourth consecutive match, falling 4-0 to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. The Quakes conceded four goals for a third time in the past five matches, all on the road, and all by 4-0 score lines. The Quakes have won by shutout in the other two matches in that stretch.
  • The Quakes return to Avaya Stadium riding a seven-game home undefeated run, with a 5-0-2 record in that span, dating back to June 17.
  • The Fire had their three-game undefeated streak put to an end, falling 3-1 to Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium. The Fire conceded three goals for the fifth time in the last 10 matches, dating back to July 29, after allowing three goals or more just twice over their first 20 league games this season.
  • The Fire won the only meeting between the teams a year ago, a 1-0 win on July 1 at Toyota Park, snapping a two-game Quakes winning streak in the series.
  • The Earthquakes have won the past two meetings in the series in northern California, winning 2-1 on March 22, 2015 in the first encounter at Avaya Stadium. Neither team has won on the road in the series since 2010, when each team won away in the two meetings that year.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m. ET (TSN1)
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Fredy Montero scored a pair of goals against his former club, giving Whitecaps FC a 2-1 win April 14 at BC Place; Montero then hit for the second-half equalizer to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw Aug. 23, also in Vancouver.
  • Sounders FC won the last meeting at CenturyLink Field, a 1-0 win last Sept. 17, the first win by the home team in the series since a Vancouver win at BC Place on July 5, 2014. The away team has won six of the last nine league meetings between the clubs.
  • Since the clubs first met at Empire Stadium on June 9, 1974 in the old North American Soccer League, they have played 132 times over all competitions. The Sounders have won 62, the Whitecaps 49, and there have been 21 draws.
  • Sounders FC saw their club-record undefeated streak in MLS put to an end after 13 games, falling 2-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Sounders FC have still gone winless now in their last five matches, the loss ending a streak of four consecutive draws. It was the first loss in league play for Sounders FC since June 17, a 2-1 defeat at New York City FC; they last won Aug. 20 in a 2-1 win vs. Minnesota.
  • Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated streak to seven matches, with their fifth victory in that span, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-1 at BC Place. The seven-game undefeated run matches the second-longest in the club’s MLS history, long since a six-game run without loss in 2014 (the club’s MLS record is eight games, set April 19-June 25, 2014).
 
Saturday, Sept. 30
FC Dallas at Orlando City SC, 4 p.m. ET (Univisión)
  • The teams have met twice previously, and FC Dallas have won both, by shutout on both occasions. FCD took a 2-0 win July 11, 2015 at Camping World Stadium in the first meeting between the teams; FCD claimed a 4-0 victory last July 4 at Toyota Stadium in the only meeting a year ago.
  • Michael Barrios collected his 14th assist of the season for FC Dallas in the Minnesota United FC match, his fourth assist in the past six matches. The 14 assists are one shy of the FC Dallas club record, set in 1999 by Jason Kreis.
 
New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC, 7 p.m. ET (TSN2)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Bradley Wright-Phillips opened the scoring for the Red Bulls in the first half, but Benoît Cheyrou leveled terms with 20 minutes left, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw on May 19 at Red Bull Arena.
  • TFC is undefeated in their past four home matches vs. the Red Bulls. The Red Bulls last won in Toronto in 2013, a 2-1 victory at BMO Field. The Red Bulls are now 10-2-2 all-time in home matches vs. Toronto FC.
  • TFC has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, following their 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. The loss also snapped a string of seven consecutive games where TFC scored three goals or more, dating back to Aug. 12 (with 24 goals scored in that span).
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 16th goal of the season in the 3-2 loss to Columbus, his second in the past three matches. Over the last four seasons, Wright-Phillips has 84 goals in 128 league appearances.
 
D.C. United at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Federico Higuaín and Ola Kamara each netted goals from the penalty spot as Crew SC claimed a 2-0 victory on March 18 at RFK Stadium.
  • United have not won in Columbus since the 2007 season. Crew SC have won six of the nine meetings since on their home ground, with three draws. Crew SC conclude their history at RFK Stadium having won on three of their final seven trips to East Capitol Street (against two United victories).
  • Crew SC extended their undefeated streak to seven matches, defeating the New York Red Bulls 3-2 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • Federico Higuaín recorded assists on all three Crew SC goals, the first three-assist game of his MLS career, the fifth time in Columbus club history a player has recorded three assists in a game.
  • Paul Arriola netted his first two MLS assists in United’s 4-0 win vs. San Jose, while Steve Clark was credited with one save in keeping a clean sheet in his first start since coming to D.C., his first in MLS since last Oct. 13.
 
Atlanta United at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Josef Martinez became the third player in MLS history to net hat tricks in back-to-back games as Atlanta United equaled the all-time league record for largest margin of victory, in a 7-0 win against the Revolution on Sept. 13 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • With the two goals scored vs. Montreal, Atlanta United have now scored 63 goals in the first 29 games of the club’s history, setting an all-time MLS record for expansion clubs, surpassing the total of 62 scored by the Chicago Fire in their first season of 1998.
  • Lee Nguyen became the 51st player in MLS history to have at least 10 goals and 10 assists in a season, when he scored a goal and added an assist vs. Toronto FC. It’s the second time in his six seasons in his MLS career he’s reached double figures in goals (career-best, 18 goals, 2014); he also collected his 15th assist of the year, adding to his single-season career-high.
 
Minnesota United FC at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the third 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; they reached a goalless draw on July 19 at TCF Bank Stadium.
  • The Dynamo return this week for the first time since a 1-0 defeat by Colorado on Sept. 9, the first loss of the season at home for the Dynamo, putting an end to their undefeated run at BBVA Compass Stadium after 12 matches, the third-longest in club history.
  • Minnesota United FC have won back-to-back games for the first time in their MLS history, defeating FC Dallas 4-1 at TCF Bank Stadium.
  • The four goals scored by MNUFC matched their single-game high in their first MLS season, achieved twice previously. Abu Danladi scored his seventh goal, most by a rookie this season.
 
New York City FC at Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. David Villa and Frederic Brillant scored goals three minutes apart early in the second half, leading NYCFC to a 2-1 win on July 22 at Yankee Stadium.
  • NYCFC are undefeated in the past five meetings between the teams, since the Fire won 1-0 on April 24, 2015 in their first ever encounter. NYCFC have won three of those five matches, with two draws.
  • Against Philadelphia, Luis Solignac scored his sixth goal of the season for the Fire, setting a single-season career-high in his three MLS campaigns. Nemanja Nikolic recorded his fourth assist of the season – the first time this season Nikolic collected an assist when he did not also score a goal.
 
Montreal Impact at Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m. ET (TVAS)
  • The Impact won on their last visit to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, a 1-0 win Oct. 10, 2015, their first win ever against the Rapids. Colorado had won the first three matchups between the teams, over the Impact’s first three seasons in MLS.
  • The Rapids have come away with points on their two trips to Montréal, including a 2-2 draw last April 30 in the only meeting between the teams. The Rapids won 4-3 in 2013 at Stade Saputo.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m. ET (TSN2)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Cristian Techera and Tim Parker scored goals on either side of halftime as Whitecaps FC took a 2-0 victory May 20 at BC Place.
  • The Whitecaps FC win in the first meeting snapped a five-game undefeated streak in league play for SKC in the series. It was the first Vancouver win in an MLS meeting since 2014. Sporting have won the past three regular-season meetings at Children’s Mercy Park, including both encounters a year ago.
  • Fredy Montero scored for a second consecutive match in the Colorado match, his 13th goal of the season, equaling his single-season career-high set with Seattle in 2012. Montero also had an assist, his third consecutive game with an assist, and his second game in a row with both a goal and an assist – he has now been involved in each of the past five goals scored by Whitecaps FC. Montero has seven goals and five assists in his last 10 games, dating back to July 29.
  • Sporting won their second consecutive game – their first back-to-back league victories since April 29-May 3 – in their 2-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Sporting are now undefeated in their past 24 home league games, the third-longest such streak in MLS history. Sporting are the final team undefeated at home this season in league play.
 
Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Jefferson Savarino scored a pair of goals and Albert Rusnák netted one goal and added two assists as Real rolled to a 6-2 victory July 4 at StubHub Center, each team matching records for goals scored and conceded in a match. On March 18 at Rio Tinto Stadium, David Romney and Emmanuel Boateng scored five minutes apart in the second half to overcome a Yura Movsisyan first-half goal to give the Galaxy a 2-1 win.
  • The Galaxy win in the first meeting snapped a Real five-game undefeated streak at Rio Tinto Stadium in the series, their first win in Sandy since April 27, 2013. RSL’s win in the last match ended a three-game Galaxy winning streak in league meetings at StubHub Center.
  • Real won their second game in a row and their fifth game in their past seven outings, defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. It was a fourth consecutive home win for RSL, now undefeated in their last seven home matches.
  • Romain Alessandrini scored his 10th goal of the season for the Galaxy in the Sporting KC loss, his second in his last four matches, when he also has a pair of assists. Alessandrini scored directly from a free kick, his second such goal this year.
 
Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season, each winning once. Chris Wondolowski scored two goals and set up a third from Jahmir Hyka as the Quakes rolled to a 3-0 win May 6 at Avaya Stadium. On June 2, Diego Valeri netted both goals as the Timbers claimed a 2-0 win June 2 at Providence Park.
  • The Quakes have won the past two meetings at Avaya Stadium, the victory on March 13, 2016 their first victory in the series since 2013, snapping a five-game winless streak. The Timbers’ 2-1 victory Oct. 4, 2014 in Santa Clara is the only one by a visiting team in the all-time league series.
  • The Timbers returned home and won for a fourth consecutive match at Providence Park, defeating Orlando City SC 3-0.
  • Diego Valeri scored a pair of goals for the Timbers, taking over the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 20 goals. Valeri also scored for a ninth consecutive game, extending his all-time MLS record goal streak.
 
Sunday, Oct. 1
Seattle Sounders FC at Philadelphia Union, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Sounders FC have won the past three meetings between the teams at CenturyLink Field, including a 2-1 win last April 16 in the only encounter between the clubs.
  • The Union have never lost to Sounders FC in Chester, Pa. After a 3-1 Philadelphia win vs. Seattle in the grand opening of the new stadium in 2010, the teams played to draws there in their next two meetings, before the Union claimed a 1-0 win June 24, 2015 in the last encounter at Talen Energy Stadium.
  • With his goal vs. Chicago, CJ Sapong scored his 14th goal of the season, his second in the last three matches. The 14 goals have equaled the Union’s single-season club record, first set by Sebastien Le Toux in the club’s inaugural season in 2010.
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