Carlos Vela goal celebration-RSL-LAFC-3-10.18
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This Week in MLS - March 19, 2018

This Week in MLS – March 19, 2018
  • MLS players join national teams in fight for World Cup roster spots
  • Young MLS players aim to shine on international stage
  • Toronto FC’s Osorio, MLS-heavy Canadian side clash against Kiwis in Spain
  • Atlanta United’s Almirón to be focal point of USMNT vs. Paraguay
  • MLS Week 4: Match Notes
 
 
MLS players join national teams in fight for World Cup roster spots
MLS players representing seven different 2018 FIFA World Cup-bound countries were called into national team duty during the upcoming international window, with these standouts using their stellar play in MLS to prove they belong on the biggest stage in sports this summer. Costa Rica and Panama each called six MLS players into international play, while Belgium, Egypt, Mexico, Peru and Sweden also called up MLS talent.
 
Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) led the way among MLS clubs with four players representing four different countries. Star forward Carlos Vela (Mexico), who has impressed with one goal and two assists in two games with LAFC will represent Mexico in friendlies against fellow World Cup squads Iceland and Croatia. Team captain and defender Laurent Ciman suits up for a Belgium side taking on Saudi Arabia, while defender Omar Gaber (Egypt) and forward Marcos Ureña (Costa Rica) round out the World Cup national team callups for LAFC.
 
A pair of national heroes who scored goals securing World Cup bids for their respective countries, Seattle Sounders FC defender Román Torres (Panama) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Kendall Waston (Costa Rica), will lead their national teams in preparation for the World Cup during this window.
 
A list of international matches involving MLS players is below:
 
Teams Time Location Channel
Slovakia vs. UAE March 22 (5:30 a.m. ET) Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok  
Algeria vs. Tanzania March 22 (1 p.m. ET) Stade du 5 Juillet 1962, Algiers  
Denmark vs. Panama March 22 (3 p.m. ET) Brøndby Stadium, Brøndby  
Bulgaria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina  March 23 (1 p.m. ET) Ludogorets Arena, Razgrad  
Norway vs. Australia March 23 (1 p.m. ET) Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo  
Hungary vs. Kazakhstan  March 23 (2 p.m. ET) Groupama Arena, Budapest  
Egypt vs. Portugal March 23 (3:45 p.m. ET) Letzigrund, Zurich, Switzerland WatchESPN
Scotland vs. Costa Rica March 23 (3:45 p.m. ET) Hampden Park, Glasgow WatchESPN
Peru vs. Croatia  March 23 (8 p.m. ET) Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida  
Mexico vs. Iceland March 23 (10:30 p.m. ET) Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara FS1 / FOX Sports Go / Univision / UDN
Canada vs. New Zealand March 24 (11 a.m. ET) Pinatar Arena Football Center, San Pedro del Pinatar  
Georgia vs. Lithuania  March 24 (11 a.m. ET) Mikheil Meskhis sakhelobis Stadioni, Tsbilisi  
Sweden vs. Chile March 24 (1 p.m. ET) Friends Arena, Stockholm beIN Sports
Jamaica vs. Antigua and Barbuda March 25 (7 p.m. ET) Sabina Park, Kingston  
USA vs. Paraguay March 27 (8 p.m. ET) Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. FS1 / FOX Sports Go / UniMas / UDN
Mexico vs. Croatia March 27 (11 p.m. ET) AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas  FS1 / FOX Sports Go / UDN
 
 
 
Young MLS players, Homegrowns aim to shine on international stage
Young, dynamic MLS players will represent 20 different national teams on the international stage during this international break, including a strong group of 11 Homegrown Players among the overall pool of 60 MLS standouts.
 
The United States called in seven players who developed out of MLS academies into its latest roster for a March 27 friendly against Paraguay, where they will face off against 23-year-old Designated Player Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), the 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year. Midfielder Tyler Adams, 18, on the heels of a spectacular performance to lift the New York Red Bulls past Club Tijuana in Concacaf Champions League play, leads the talented Homegrown group for the U.S., joined by current players Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC) and Marky Delgado (Toronto FC).
 
An additional 11 academy-produced players, including five current Homegrowns playing with their MLS first teams, were called into the U.S. U-20 camp to face the French U-20 National Team and Atletico Madrid’s U-21 squad. Atlanta United’s 17-year-old midfielder Andrew Carleton joins the U.S. after registering his first career assist on Saturday with a beautiful cross to help Josef Martínez complete a hat trick in the club’s 4-1 victory.
 
Additional young players set to join their national teams include 22-year-old Raheem Edwards (Montreal Impact) and 23-year-old Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC) with Canada, 22-year-old Panamanian defender Michael Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls), and 23-year-old Slovakian midfielder Albert Rusnák (Real Salt Lake).
 
 
March 2018 MLS International Call-Ups
 
Algeria
Saphir Taïder (Montreal Impact)
 
Belgium
Laurent Ciman (LAFC)
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Haris Medunjanin (Philadelphia Union)
 
Canada
Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas)
Jay Chapman (Toronto FC)
Raheem Edwards (Montreal Impact)
Dejan Jaković (LAFC)
Mark-Anthony Kaye (LAFC)
Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC)
Jonathan Osorio (Toronto FC)
Michael Petrasso (Montreal Impact)
Sameul Piette (Montreal Impact)
Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto FC)
 
Costa Rica
Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United FC)
David Guzman (Portland Timbers)
Ulises Segura (D.C. United)
Marcos Ureña (LAFC)
Rodney Wallace (New York City FC)
Kendall Waston (Costa Rica)
 
Egypt
Omar Gaber (LAFC)
 
Finland
Alexander Ring (New York City FC)
Rasmus Schuller (Minnesota United FC)
 
Georgia
Vako (San Jose Earthquakes)
 
Hungary
Krisztián Németh (New England Revolution)
Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire)
 
Iraq
Justin Meram (Orlando City SC)
 
Jamaica
Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)
Oniel Fisher (D.C. United)
Dane Kelly (D.C. United)
Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls)
Romario Williams (Atlanta United)
 
Martinique
Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders FC)
 
Mexico
Carlos Vela (LAFC)
 
Montenegro
Emrah Klimenta (LA Galaxy)
 
New Zealand
Myer Bevan (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Michael Boxall (Minnesota United FC)
 
Norway
Ola Kamara (LA Galaxy)
 
Panama
Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes)
Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes)
Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo)
Fidel Escobar (New York Red Bulls)
Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls)
Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders FC)
 
Paraguay
Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United)
 
Peru
Andy Polo (Portland Timbers)
Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC)
 
Slovakia
Albert Rusnák (Real Salt Lake)
 
Sweden
Gustav Svensson (Seattle Sounders FC)
 
United States
Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls)
Alex Bono (Toronto FC)
Marky Delgado (Toronto FC)
Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United)
Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)
Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC)
Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
 
United States U-20
Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United)
Chris Goslin (Atlanta United)
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union)
Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas)
Mathew Real (Philadelphia Union)
 
 
Toronto FC’s Osorio, MLS-heavy Canadian side clash against Kiwis in Spain
Two nations separated by 8,000 miles of Pacific Ocean meet this Saturday in an MLS-heavy clash between Canada and New Zealand at Pinatar Arena in Murcia, Spain (11 a.m. ET / CanadaSoccer.com). The matchup is chock-full of Canadian and league ties, with 10 current MLS players representing new Canada manager John Herdman’s side.
 
Defending MLS Cup winners Toronto FC feature four players, led by 25-year-old midfielder Jonathan Osorio who has scored twice in Concacaf Champions League play to help TFC advance to the tournament’s semifinal stage. In addition to helping Toronto win the treble last year – the Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup and the Canadian Championship – Osorio also tallied his first two international goals in 2017, including a first-half tally during a 2-0 victory against Jamaica on Sept. 2, 2017. He will be alongside Toronto teammates Jay Chapman, Tosaint Ricketts and Ashtone Morgan for the match against the Kiwis.
 
Montreal Impact midfielders Raheem Edwards and Samuel Piette and defender Michael Petrasso look to add to their budding senior national team careers. MLS Cup winner and Toronto native Edwards has fit in quickly with his new Impact club, notching an impressive left-footed volley during a Week 2 match against Columbus Crew SC on March 10. Rounding out the Canada roster is FC Dallas midfielder Tesho Akindele and expansion Los Angeles Football Club’s duo of Mark-Anthony Kaye and Dejan Jaković.
 
New Zealand touts two players with either current or former ties to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall, who has earned 31 caps with the Kiwis, was a member of Whitecaps FC’s inaugural 2011 season, when he started in 18 of 19 matches. Boxall teams up with current Vancouver forward Myer Bevan, who in just his second international match scored his first goal on Sept. 4, 2017, en route to a 2-2 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw against the Solomon Islands.
 
 
Atlanta United’s Almirón to be focal point of USMNT vs. Paraguay
When the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Paraguay on Tuesday, March 27 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, UniMás, UDN), a familiar MLS staple will be the showpiece of the opposition at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
 
Atlanta United’s Miguel Almirón, with 12 caps for La Albirroja, has 10 goals for the Five Stripes and a collective average of nearly one goal in every three games over his MLS career to date. The assist man by trade last season dished out 14 helpers to rank among the league’s top five in that category, and his breakout debut season earned him the distinctions of MLS All-Star, Newcomer of the Year, and the top-rated player in MLSsoccer.com’s annual 24 Under 24 ranking. Now in his sophomore campaign, the quick-paced playmaker has recently had his hand in two of Atlanta’s three goals against D.C. United on March 11, and he contributed an assist in last week’s 4-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Fitting comfortably into a starring offensive role with Atlanta United, Almirón is the current league leader in shots, as he prepares to go toe-to-toe against teammate Atlanta Darlington Nagbe in the center of the park. 
 
 
MLS Week 4: Match Notes
Saturday, March 24, 2018
New England Revolution vs. New York City FC, 1:30 p.m.
  • The Revolution return to action after a week off, after winning their first match of the season in a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids on March 10 at Gillette Stadium. Diego Fagundez and Chris Tierney scored the Revolution goal, the latter a direct free kick for the game-winner in second-half stoppage time.
  • NYCFC have opened the season with three wins from three starts, following their 2-0 win against Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. It’s the first time in the club’s history it has started a season with three wins in a row; the winning streak is one game shy of the club record set twice previously.
  • The teams met three times a year ago, evenly splitting the season series. Each team won 2-1 on their home ground – NYCFC on Aug. 20 at Yankee Stadium, and the Revolution on Oct. 15 at Gillette Stadium. The teams opened the set with a 2-2 draw May 31 in The Bronx.
  • The Revs have won the last two meetings in Foxborough. NYCFC has won once at Gillette Stadium, a 1-0 victory July 6, 2016.
  • NYCFC’s win in the last meeting at Yankee Stadium ended a three-game winless streak vs. the Revolution in home matches (0-1-2). NYCFC’s last previous home win vs. New England came in the first meeting ever between the clubs, a 2-0 triumph March 15, 2015, NYCFC’s first victory in club history.
 
FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers, 3:30 p.m.
  • FC Dallas returned to league play and won for the first time in MLS this season, easing to a 3-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday at Toyota Stadium. Roland Lamah scored a pair of goals and assisted on the third.
  • The Timbers return to action after a week off, shut out for the first time in 22 games in their last match, a 4-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls on March 10. The Timbers have lost their first two games, the first time since their inaugural MLS season of 2011 they’ve opened a season with back-to-back defeats.
  • The Timbers put an end a five-game winless streak in the series in the last meeting a year ago, a 2-0 win June 10 at Providence Park. FC Dallas had won four meetings in a row before a 2-2 draw in the first encounter last year, April 29 at Toyota Stadium.
  • The Timbers have won once in 10 visits all-time to Toyota Stadium, in 2014. When FC Dallas won 3-1 at Portland on April 13, 2016, it was their first victory ever at Providence Park; the Timbers had won four of the first six league meetings there with two draws.
  • The teams also met in the Western Conference Championship in 2015. The Timbers claimed a 3-1 win at Providence Park in the first leg, before the teams reached a 2-2 draw in the return match at Toyota Stadium as the Timbers advanced to MLS Cup for the first time.
 
Columbus Crew SC vs. D.C. United, 6 p.m.
  • Crew SC remain undefeated on the season, after reaching a scoreless draw with the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Crew SC started the year with back-to-back wins.
  • D.C. United came back for a dramatic draw Saturday, getting the equalizer from Luciano Acosta seven minutes deep into stoppage time for a 2-2 tie with the Houston Dynamo. The game was played at the Maryland SoccerPlex, just the second league home game in United’s history they played away from RFK Stadium.
  • Crew SC won both meetings a year ago, both by 2-0 scorelines, first on March 18 at RFK Stadium, then on Sept. 30 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • United have not won in Columbus since the 2007 season. Crew SC have won seven of the 10 meetings since on their home ground, with three draws.
  • Crew SC concluded their history at RFK Stadium having won on three of their final seven trips to East Capitol Street (against two United victories), dating back to the 2013 season.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United FC, 7 p.m.
  • The Red Bulls suffered their first defeat in 2018 over all competitions, falling 1-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. The Red Bulls were coming off a 4-0 win against Portland in their league opener; they also took three wins and a draw in advancing to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals.
  • Minnesota United made their 2017 home debut and won for a second consecutive match, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. Ibson scored his first career MLS goal and Sam Nicholson scored his second in MLS play for MNUFC.
  • Minnesota United have won back-to-back games for the second time in their MLS history, after winning last Sept. 16 and 23 vs. Montreal and Dallas. MNUFC has never won three games in a row in MLS play.
  • The teams met once in MNUFC’s inaugural MLS campaign. Danny Royer, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Alex Muyl all scored as the Red Bulls cruised to a 3-0 win July 22 at TCF Bank Stadium.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m.
  • The Rapids opened their 2018 MLS campaign two weeks ago, dropping a 2-1 decision to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Niki Jackson scored the lone Rapids goal, just slightly more than a minute after coming onto the field in his MLS and Rapids debut.
  • Sporting won their second game on the trot, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 on Saturday evening at Children’s Mercy Park. Felipe Gutíerrez netted his third goal in the last two matches for the eventual match-winner; SKC have scored seven goals in the two victories.
  • The teams split their season series a year ago, each winning on their home ground. Sporting claimed a 3-1 win at Children’s Mercy Park on April 9; the Rapids scored the game’s lone goal for a victory May 27 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • The Rapids have won the last four meetings between the teams in Commerce City – each of the last three by 1-0 scorelines – their first home wins in the series since 2009.
  • The Sporting victory in the first meeting last year ended a five-match Rapids winning streak in the all-time series, and a two-game Colorado winning streak at Children’s Mercy Park – the Rapids’ first two wins in Kansas City since the 2002 season.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m.
  • Whitecaps FC saw their two-game winning run to open the season put to an end, going down a man early then falling 4-1 to Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Erik Hurtado netted the lone ‘Caps goal late.
  • The Galaxy return to action after a week off, dropping their first game of the season last time out in a 2-1 loss at New York City FC on March 11. Jonathan dos Santos netted the lone Galaxy goal; he had an assist in the club’s 2-1 win against Portland to open the season.
  • Whitecaps FC won both meetings a year ago, a 4-2 victory on April 1 at BC Place, and a 1-0 triumph July 19 at StubHub Center. It was the second time in three seasons Whitecaps FC swept the season series.
  • The opening Vancouver goal in the first meeting last year snapped a 347-minute scoreless streak in the series. Whitecaps FC did not score a goal in three meetings vs. the Galaxy in 2016.
  • Whitecaps FC have won four of the last seven meetings between the teams, with two draws. The lone Galaxy win over the last three seasons was a 2-0 victory, July 4, 2016 in Carson. The two Vancouver wins at StubHub Center over the last three years have been their first ever in Carson.
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