CCL - 2018 - Toronto FC celebrates Giovinco goal

This Week in MLS - April 9, 2018

This Week in MLS – April 9, 2018
  • Toronto FC, Red Bulls on brink of Concacaf Champions League history, all-MLS final
  • Giovinco, Wright-Phillips in running for Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot
  • Red Bulls’ homefield finishing could lead to Concacaf Champions League final
  • Toronto heads to Azteca looking to knock off another Mexican giant  after fiery first leg
  • Former teammates, all-time greats Ibrahimović and Schweinsteiger meet for ninth time
  • Houston Dynamo’s Memo Treviño lifts trophy for inaugural eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation
  • MLS matches on ESPN+
  • MLS Week 7: Match Notes
 
Toronto FC, Red Bulls on brink of Concacaf Champions League history, all-MLS final
Major League Soccer is on the cusp of making Concacaf Champions League history when Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls head into their respective second legs in the CCL Semifinals on Tuesday. Defending MLS Cup champion Toronto visits Club América at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, while the New York Red Bulls host Chivas de Guadalajara at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. Should the two MLS sides advance past the historic Liga MX franchises, it would set up the first all-MLS final in tournament history.
 
Toronto carries a 3-1 aggregate lead over Club América while the Red Bulls need to rally from a 1-0 aggregate deficit against Chivas. Two MLS teams have advanced to the CCL final in this era (since 2008): Real Salt Lake in 2011 (runners-up to Monterrey) and the Montreal Impact in 2015 (runners-up to Club América).
 
MLS teams have posted five victories in matches against Liga MX teams in this year’s CCL, including four victories in the quarterfinal stage. The Concacaf Champions League winner advances to the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup hosted by the United Arab Emirates in December.
 
How to Watch:
  • New York Red Bulls vs. Chivas de Guadalajara (Tuesday, April 10, 8 p.m. ET) – Watch live on UDN, or live stream via go90.com or the go90 app.
  • Club América vs. Toronto FC (Tuesday, April 10, 10 p.m. ET) – Watch live on UDN or TSN, or live stream via go90.com or the go90 app.
 
Giovinco, Wright-Phillips in running for Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot
Spearheaded by Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and the New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips, multiple MLS players are in the running for the Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot. Giovinco and Wright-Phillips are currently tied for the lead with three goals apiece, and adding to their totals will certainly help them both in the Golden Boot race and potentially in advancement to the tournament finals later this month.
 
MLS is in the hunt for its first tournament Golden Boot. In addition to Giovinco and Wright-Phillips, Club América’s Cecilio Dominguez and Henry Martín also have three goals apiece for a share of the lead. Six of the 13 players tied with two goals are still competing in the semifinal stage, including TFC’s Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio.
 
 
Red Bulls’ homefield finishing could lead to Concacaf Champions League Final
Already charting a historic Concacaf Champions League (CCL) run, the New York Red Bulls are primed for an action-packed, do-or-die matchup against Chivas de Guadalajara in the second leg of the semifinals at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET, Univision / go90).  The Red Bulls have outscored CCL opponents 8-3 during the 2018 edition, and will be looking to capitalize on their fine finishing at home, which accounts for a 5-1 scoring advantage over all CCL opposition at Red Bull Arena this cycle. After taking down Club Tijuana 3-1 at home during the quarterfinals, the Red Bulls posted the largest MLS margin of victory over a Mexican side in this competition. With stakes at an all-time high and without playmaking midfielder Alex Muyl or Aurélien Collin on the backline, the Red Bulls will be heavily reliant on scoring from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra for a one-goal win that would send the series to penalties, or a win by two or more that automatically advances the Red Bulls into the Final.
 
Soundbytes from Bradley Wright-Phillips, Tyler Adams and coach Jesse Marsch can be found here
 
ADVANCEMENT SCENARIOS FOR NEW YORK RED BULLS
Through Leg 1: Chivas de Guadalajara 1, New York Red Bulls 0
  • The Red Bulls advance with two-goal victory (or greater), or by virtue of a 1-0 win in the second leg, followed by a penalty kick shootout victory
  • Chivas advance with a win, draw, and potentially a one-goal loss if they score an away goal to win that tiebreaker.
 
Toronto heads to Azteca looking to knock off another Mexican giant after fiery first leg
Toronto FC will face the all-time winningest Liga MX club in Mexico’s most heralded stadium as the Reds look to advance to the Concacaf Champions League final with a positive result against Club América on Tuesday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (10 p.m. ET, UDN / TSN / go90). After dispatching Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals, Toronto defeated Club América 3-1 in Leg 1 of the semifinals at BMO Field in a fiery match that saw both sides voice their frustrations with the opposition. A positive result from the Reds would see the club take one step closer to winning its fourth trophy in the past year and solidifying itself as one of the top MLS clubs in history.
 
All of Toronto’s goals in the tournament have come from Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore or a Homegrown Player, with the club looking for more of the same at the heralded 87,000-seat Azteca, which has hosted two World Cup finals. Giovinco is tied for the Golden Boot lead, while Jonathan Osorio and Altidore are tied for fourth with two goals apiece.
 
Soundbytes from Toronto FC press conference can be found here
 
ADVANCEMENT SCENARIOS FOR TORONTO FC
Through Leg 1: Toronto FC 3, Club América 1
  • Toronto FC advance with a win, draw, one-goal loss, or a 3-1 loss if TFC wins the subsequent penalty kick shootout
  • TFC can also advance with a two-goal loss provided it can score two goals or more on the road to win the away goals tiebreaker
  • Club América can advance with a three-goal win (or greater), as well as a two-goal win if they hold TFC scoreless to clinch the road goals tiebreaker.
 
Former teammates, all-time greats Ibrahimović and Schweinsteiger meet for ninth time
Two of the most accomplished players in world soccer in LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimović and Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will face off for the first time as MLS foes on Saturday at Toyota Park (3:30 p.m. ET, Univision / Twitter). Former teammates while at Manchester United from 2016-2017, the two players have also played against each other eight previous times holding a 3-3-2 head-to-head record. Ibrahimović has a 3-2-1 record in UEFA Champions League matches, while Schweinsteiger is 1-0-1 in international competition including a 2-0 Germany victory over Sweden at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
 
This season, Schweinsteiger ranks second in the league with three assists in three starts, while Ibrahimović scored two tremendous goals in his MLS debut, a 4-3 come-from-behind Galaxy victory over local rival Los Angeles Football Club.
 
 
Houston Dynamo’s Memo Treviño lifts trophy for inaugural eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation
Major League Soccer hosted the inaugural eMLS Cup presented by PlayStation this weekend at PAX East, a popular gaming festival in Boston. The Houston Dynamo’s Memo Treviño, better known by his gamer tag Kid M3Mito, went undefeated through tournament play and lifted the first ever eMLS Cup trophy on Sunday afternoon.
 
Treviño defeated the Montreal Impact’s Lyes Ould-Ramoul (LyesMTL) in the eMLS Cup Final by a combined 6-4 aggregate score over the course of the two-legged Championship series. The 21-year-old Houston native tallied 94 goals through 21 tournament matches which culminated in front of a packed crowd at the PAX Arena Main Stage.
 
By advancing to the eMLS Cup Final, both Treviño and Ould-Ramoul qualified for the EA SPORTS FIFA 18TM Global Series Playoffs on the Road to the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018. NYCFC’s Chris Holly finished in third place, but had previously qualified for the Global Series Playoffs at the EA SPORTS FUT Champions Cup Barcelona in January. The EA SPORTS FIFA 18TM Global Series Playoffs this June will feature 64 players in each playoff series, with 32 players advancing to the eWorld Cup in August, where the winner will be crowned the undisputed FIFA 18 World Champion.
 
Pictures and videos can be found below:
 
MLS Matches on ESPN+
Through a previously announced agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS), ESPN+ subscribers will receive the entire MLS LIVE out-of-market schedule with more than 250 games this season. Currently, matches leading up to the launch of ESPN+ on April 12 are available free to stream live on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App. After the launch, ESPN+ will provide exclusive access to out-of-market MLS games. ESPN+ will also be the local-market home for the Chicago Fire, exclusively bringing 23 Fire matches to fans in Chicago.
 
 
MLS Week 7: Match Notes
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
New York City FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. ET
  • New York City FC extended their undefeated run to a club record six games overall, dating back to the final league game of last year, with their 2-1 win at the San Jose Earthquakes in their last match March 31. NYCFC are one of two teams still undefeated on the season (with FC Dallas).
  • RSL won their second consecutive game at Rio Tinto Stadium, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 on Saturday evening, netting multiple goals in a game for the first time this season.
  • Real Salt Lake have never lost to New York City FC. In three meetings all-time, Real have scored seven goals; NYCFC has scored three.
  • The teams met once last year, with RSL taking a 2-1 win on May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium, their second victory in the series in Sandy. Real won on the only visit to Yankee Stadium, a 3-2 victory on June 2, 2016.
 
Friday, April 13, 2018
Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • The Union put an end to their goalless streak after 265 minutes – the fifth-longest in club history – in coming back for a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. Alejandro Bedoya scored his first goal of the season.
  • Orlando City overcame a two-goal deficit for a victory for the first time in the club’s MLS history, storming back with three goals in a seven-minute span for a 3-2 win against the Portland Timbers at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
  • Dom Dwyer scored his third goal of the season for OCSC, after returning to the lineup over the past two matches; Dwyer has scored in three consecutive games overall, dating back to the end of last season.
  • The teams met twice a season ago, each winning on their home ground. Orlando City SC took a 2-1 win on March 18 at Orlando City Stadium, then the Union claimed a 6-1 win on Decision Day at Talen Energy Stadium behind a CJ Sapong hat trick, equaling the club record for goals in a game.
  • The victory in the last meeting last year was the first for the Union in Chester since 2015; OCSC won there in 2016, the only victory by the road team in the series. OCSC’s win in the first was the first for either team in Orlando; the first two encounters there both ended in draws.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)
  • Whitecaps FC saw a brief two-game undefeated run snapped in their second defeat of the season, falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Brek Shea scored his third goal of the season, his second in as many games.
  • LAFC suffered a second consecutive defeat following two wins to start their MLS history, falling 5-0 to Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. LAFC have conceded nine goals over their past two matches.
  • Whitecaps FC have faced expansion clubs five times, winning three, in their MLS history. A year ago, Vancouver defeated Atlanta United in their only meeting, 3-1 on June 3 at BC Place; they reached a 2-2 draw in their first encounter with Minnesota United FC on June 24 at TCF Bank Stadium.
 
Saturday, April 14, 2018
New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 1 p.m. ET (TVA Sports)
  • The Red Bulls return to league action following their Concacaf Champions League sojourn for the first time since March 31, when they suffered a 4-3 loss to Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium, their second defeat (with two wins) in four starts this season. Florian Valot netted a goal and added an assist, both the first of his MLS career.
  • The Impact saw their two-game winning streak put to an end, falling 4-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Friday evening.
  • The teams met twice a year ago, each winning by a shutout on their home ground. The Impact won by the game’s only goal on June 3 at Stade Saputo; the Red Bulls replied with a 4-0 victory on July 29 at Red Bull Arena.
  • The Impact have won twice in the past 11 league meetings (with two draws), dating back to 2013, winning the last two league meetings in Montréal. The Red Bulls have won all eight regular season meetings at Red Bull Arena.
  • The teams also met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2016, with the Impact winning both legs, a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo, then a 2-1 triumph at Red Bull Arena, advancing 3-1 on aggregate.
 
Colorado Rapids vs. Toronto FC, 3 p.m. ET (CTV / TSN)
  • The Rapids extended their undefeated run to three games with a second draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. Dominique Badji picked up his first assist of the season as Joe Mason scored his second MLS goal; Badji has been involved in five of the Rapids’ seven goals this season.
  • TFC return to league play after putting an end to their two-game losing streak to open defense of their MLS Cup title, defeating Real Salt Lake 3-1 on March 30 at BMO Field. Jozy Altidore scored a pair of goals for TFC, the ninth multiple-goal game of his MLS career, his seventh since moving to Toronto FC.
  • The teams reached a 1-1 draw in their lone meeting last year, July 22 at BMO Field. The Rapids have won three of last five meetings between the teams, over the last five seasons – all by 1-0 scorelines.
  • The Rapids have won the past two meetings at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, including a 1-0 win there on April 2, 2016. The Rapids won 1-0 on April 12, 2014, in Toronto, their only victory ever against TFC at BMO Field (the Rapids did win MLS Cup 2010 there). TFC had won the first six meetings between the teams in Ontario.
 
Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univisión / UDN)
  • Nemanja Nikolic scored for the fourth time in four games this season as the Fire won for the first time in 2018, getting the game’s only goal – on their only shot on goal – for a win against Columbus Crew SC at Toyota Park on Saturday evening. Nikolic is tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings, one off the league lead, after winning the scoring title last season.
  • The Galaxy saw their brief two-game undefeated streak put to an end, losing for the first time after a pair of wins at StubHub Center, falling 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday evening.
  • The teams played to a 2-2 draw in their lone meeting a year ago, May 6 at StubHub Center, the second consecutive year they’ve played to a 2-2 result.
  • The Galaxy have not lost to the Fire since 2010, a 3-2 Chicago victory in Carson on Aug. 1. In the nine meetings since, the Galaxy have won five, with four draws.
  • The Fire have not defeated the Galaxy in Bridgeview since 2008, with three draws and three losses in six home meetings since. The Galaxy are undefeated in the last four meetings between the teams at StubHub Center.
 
D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m. ET
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Federico Higuaín collected a pair of assists, becoming the 19th player in MLS history to reach 50 goals and 50 assists, as Crew SC took a 3-1 win March 24 at Mapfre Stadium.
  • 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.
  • United have not won in Columbus since the 2007 season. Crew SC have won eight of the 11 meetings since on their home ground, with three draws.
  • D.C. United saw their winless streak extended to nine games overall dating back to the end of last season – equaling the fourth-longest in club history – in their 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on March 31. United are one of three teams still without a win this season (with Portland and Seattle).
  • Crew SC suffered their second consecutive defeat after four games undefeated to open the season, falling 1-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Saturday evening.
  • The match will be played ay Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Md., just the third league game in D.C. United’s MLS history played away from RFK Stadium. The first came June 7, 2014, against Columbus Crew SC, played at FedEx Field in Raljon, Md. as part of an international doubleheader.
 
New England Revolution vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • The Revolution extended their undefeated streak to four games with a second consecutive victory, rolling to a 4-0 win against the Montréal Impact at Gillette Stadium on Friday evening.
  • Diego Fagundez and Wilfredo Zahibo each scored a goal and added an assist, while Andrew Farrell scored his first MLS league goal – in his 164th career league match, the third-longest wait of any player in MLS history before their first goal.
  • FC Dallas remained undefeated on the season with a third draw in four matches this year, reaching a 1-1 result with the Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • FC Dallas have won the last six meetings between the teams, including a 2-1 victory last March 18 at Toyota Stadium in the only encounter between the clubs.
  • FCD has won the last two meetings at Gillette Stadium, its first wins in Foxborough since 2003. FC Dallas won their 4-2 on May 21, 2016 in the last encounter there, the first Revolution goal ending a 387-minute attacking shutout streak in the series, their first goal vs. FCD since 2011.
  • The Revolution have not won in Frisco since 2008; FCD has taken five consecutive home wins vs. New England. The Revolution goal there last year was their first in Frisco in 394 minutes, their first at Toyota Stadium since 2010.
 
Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United FC, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Timbers remained winless on the season, their streak of back-to-back draws put to an end in a 3-2 loss to Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was the third time in their MLS history the Timbers suffered a defeat after holding a 2-0 lead.
  • MNUFC suffered a second consecutive defeat last time out, both by shutout, falling 1-0 to Atlanta United at TCF Bank Stadium on March 31.
  • The teams met twice in Minnesota United’s inaugural season, each winning on their home ground. The Timbers won 5-2 on March 3 at Providence Park in the first MLS match in Minnesota United club history; MNUFC returned the favor with a 3-2 win on June 21 at TCF Bank Stadium.
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • The Quakes put an end to their two-game losing skid, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. Magnus Eriksson scored his first MLS goal; he has a goal or an assist in three consecutive games.
  • The Dynamo saw their winless streak extended to three games with a second loss in that time in their last match, falling 2-0 to the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 31.
  • The teams met three times a season ago, all three games won by the home team on their own ground. The Dynamo won the first two, both at BBVA Compass Stadium, a 2-0 win on April 22, then a 3-0 victory on Aug. 12. The Quakes won the lone matchup at Avaya Stadium by the game’s lone goal on Sept. 16.
  • The Dynamo have won two of the four meetings between the teams at Avaya Stadium, last a 2-1 triumph Aug. 19, 2016. The Quakes have won once at BBVA Compass Stadium in six meetings, a 1-0 win in 2015.
  • The two teams have shared a pitched rivalry since the Earthquakes returned to the league in 2008, after the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006. The Dynamo have won 10 meetings and the Quakes seven, with two draws.
 
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Sporting Kansas City vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • Sporting stretched their undefeated streak to five games with a second consecutive victory, defeating the LA Galaxy 2-0 at StubHub Center on Sunday evening. Tim Melia set a club record in league play with 10 saves in the match, recording a second shutout in a row.
  • Sounders FC return to league play following a 1-0 loss to the Montréal Impact on March 31 at CenturyLink Field, their third consecutive loss to open the season. Sounders FC have yet to score a goal this season; their 270-minute scoreless drought is the fourth-longest in the club’s MLS history.
  • The teams met twice a year ago, each winning by shutout on their home ground. Gerso Fernandes scored a hat trick inside of 13 minutes in the second half in Sporting’s 3-0 win on May 17 at Children’s Mercy Park; Clint Dempsey scored the game’s lone goal in the Sounders FC win on Aug. 12 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Sporting have won the past four league meetings between the teams at Children’s Mercy Park, over the past three seasons. Sporting’s win in 2016 at CenturyLink Field was just their second win ever in Seattle, after SKC won 1-0 in 2009, the first meeting ever between the clubs.
  • But Sounders FC won the Knockout Round match between the clubs in Seattle in the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2016, the game’s lone goal from Nelson Valdez in the 88th minute.
 
Atlanta United vs. New York City FC, 6 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Atlanta United won their fourth game on the trot, rolling to a 5-0 win against the Los Angeles Football Club at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was the third time in the club’s MLS history (in 39 games) ATLUTD scored five or more goals in a game. Atlanta United has scored multiple goals in each of their 11 regular-season games played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Josef Martínez scored his fifth goal of the season, tied for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with Felipe Gutiérrez of Sporting KC. Martínez has scored 24 goals in his first 25 MLS league matches, most of any player in league history.
  • Maximiliano Moralez netted his third goal of the season and added his first assist in NYCFC’s win vs. San Jose, the second time in his MLS career he’s been involved in a goal and an assist in the same game. The first came when he scored his first MLS goal and recorded his first two MLS assists, last March 12 vs. D.C. United. Moralez has three goals and one assist this year, having played a part in four of NYCFC’s 10 goals.
  • The teams split their two encounters last season in Atlanta United’s inaugural MLS campaign, each winning by a 3-1 scoreline on their home ground, three weeks apart. NYCFC took their victory on May 7 at Yankee Stadium, before Atlanta United won May 28 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
 

 

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