David VIlla in New York Derby, August 25, 2017
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This Week in MLS – April 30, 2018

This Week in MLS – April 30, 2018
  • Villa vs. Wright-Phillips: Top goal scorers square off in New York Derby Saturday
  • NYCFC’s Villa blazing into rivalry after 400th finish
  • Academy focus, young internationals take center stage in New York
  • Clubs target additional roster splash before close of Primary Transfer Window
  • MLS Week 10: Match Notes
Villa vs. Wright-Phillips: Top goal scorers square off in New York Derby Saturday
Over the past three-plus seasons, two players who have combined for 130 regular-season goals will take the pitch against one another Saturday afternoon. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, New York City FC forward David Villa (67 goals) and New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips (63 goals) rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in goal scoring since the start of the 2015 season – Villa’s and NYCFC’s first MLS campaign. They will be the clear focal points when they square off at Red Bull Arena.
How to Watch: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC – Saturday, May 5 (1:55 p.m. ET) – ESPN / ESPN Deportes
David Villa, NYCFC
Bradley Wright-Phillips, NYRB
Sebastian Giovinco, TOR
Kei Kamara, VAN
Ignacio Piatti, MTL
Wright-Phillips is the MLS record holder for most goals over a four-season span, tallying 85 goals from 2014-17. He also has feasted against NYCFC’s defense, posting an impressive 10 goals and one assist in nine matches during the regular season. In the six matches in which Wright-Phillips has scored a goal in this series, the Red Bulls hold a 5-1-0 record.
Spanish legend Villa is making a run at Wright-Phillips’ consecutive four-year goal-scoring record. Villa’s 67 goals since 2015 have been accrued with 25 regular-season games remaining in 2018. He already ranks No. 4 on this list. In the New York Derby, Villa has tallied four goals and an assist in nine games. Villa did not record a goal or an assist in the first four games of the series (NYCFC went 0-4-0 during this span), but in the five games since, NYCFC has posted a 3-1-1 record, highlighted by Villa’s first MLS hat trick on Aug. 6, 2017, for a 3-2 victory. The Red Bulls lead the all-time series 5-3-1.
NYCFC’s Villa blazing into rivalry after 400th finish
After NYCFC captain David Villa surpassed the 400-goal mark for club and country last week, all eyes will be on the Spanish superstar for an encore performance on May 5 against crosstown rivals the New York Red Bulls. As Spain’s all-time leading scorer, a World Cup Champion, and the 2016 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, Villa’s illustrious career has made regular waves on a global soccer scene, charting 11 professional seasons with 20 or more goals, and among only Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Spain/Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (Uruguay/Barcelona), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/LA Galaxy) as current players with 400 combined finishes.
Villa was NYFC’s first signing in club history. He became the first MLS player to post consecutive 20-goal campaigns with 22 scored in 2016 and 23 in 2017, and the club has a 32-11-9 record when Villa has found the back of the net.
A breakdown of David Villa’s goals can be found here.
Academy focus, young internationals take center stage in New York
When New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls square off in Saturday’s New York Derby, the matchup will have a distinct youth flavor. Between the increased focus on developing academy players and signing top youth internationals, both clubs will rely heavily on standout young performers this season.
The Red Bulls reliance on Homegrown Players is long documented, with 19-year-old U.S. National Team midfielder Tyler Adams the latest academy product to break out for both club and country. A strong run to the semifinals in Concacaf Champions League while managing positive performances in MLS play was boosted by depth provided by former academy players such as Sean Davis, Alex Muyl, Derrick Etienne, Jr., and 17-year-old Ben Mines. Along with newly signed 23-year-old Designated Player Kaku, the Red Bulls have thrived off the solid performances from these young standouts.
New York City FC last week unveiled its new state-of-the-art training facility Etihad City Football Academy which will house both first team and academy training. Over the past year, NYCFC has signed two academy players to first team contracts – 17-year-old James Sands and 15-year-old Joe Scally – both of whom have featured for the U.S. U-17 National Team. Top young international signings are also paying dividends for the club as 20-year-old Paraguay National Team midfielder Jesús Medina is tied for the league-lead with five assists, while 20-year-old Venezuela National Team midfielder Yangel Herrera has played in all nine matches this season.
Clubs target additional roster splash before close of Primary Transfer Window
The Primary Transfer Window closes at 11:59 p.m. CT Tuesday (12:59 a.m. ET Wednesday), meaning clubs have less than 48 hours to look for an additional roster splash. The window has drawn some significant late signings in the past, and last week included impactful movement from the Houston Dynamo. On Thursday, Houston acquired Swedish defender Adam Lundqvist – a 24-year-old who represented Sweden’s 2016 Summer Olympics squad and was signed using Targeted Allocation Money. Last Monday, the Dynamo signed 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup midfielder Luis Gil, 24, on loan from Liga MX’s Querétaro FC, by trading their 2019 MLS SuperDraft fourth-round selection to Real Salt Lake for his MLS rights. Time will tell if Lundqvist and Gil can provide the same effect as other notable late Primary Transfer Window signings such as 2015 MLS Cup winner Fanendo Adi of the Portland Timbers (signed in 2014) and former Columbus Crew SC midfielder and 2008 MLS Cup MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto (signed in 2007).
2018 Transfer Window Dates:
  • Primary Transfer Window: Feb. 7-May 1
  • Secondary Transfer Window: July 10-Aug. 8
  • Roster Freeze Date: Sept. 14
MLS Week 10: Match Notes
Friday, May 4, 2018
Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 8 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • Toronto FC put an end to a two-game losing slide, but still saw themselves hauled back into a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon. Jonathan Osorio and Victor Vazquez scored their first league goals of the season.
  • The Union put an end to a five-game winless streak, winning for the first time since the season opener in a 3-2 victory against D.C. United at Talen Energy Stadium. Borek Dockal scored his first MLS goal.
  • The teams met twice a season ago. They reached a 2-2 draw on March 11 at Talen Energy Stadium, before TFC took a 3-0 win on Aug. 23 at BMO Field.
  • Toronto FC has a seven-game undefeated streak alive in the league series, over the past three seasons. The Union have not defeated TFC since a 2-1 win on Sept. 6, 2014, at BMO Field. The teams also met in the Knockout Round in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, with TFC claiming a 3-1 win at BMO Field.
  • Sebastian Giovinco has scored in six of the past eight meetings between the teams (league and MLS Cup), with six goals and two assists in that span.
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 1 p.m. ET (TVA Sports, ESPN+)
  • The Impact suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, falling 4-1 to Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The losing run is tied for the third-longest in the club’s MLS history.
  • The Revolution put an end to a brief two-game winless run, getting the game’s lone goal from Teal Bunbury for a win against Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. Bunbury has four goals on the season, all coming over the past five games.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Andrew Farrell scored his first goal as a professional, and the Revolution also got goals from Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez and Wilfredo Zahibo as they rolled to a 4-0 win on April 6 at Gillette Stadium.
  • The Revolution have won the past five meetings between the teams, over the past three seasons, snapping a five-game undefeated streak for the Impact in the all-time series and also ending a three-game Montréal winning run.
  • The Revs have won the past two meetings in Montréal. The Revolution have also won the past three meetings at Gillette Stadium, their first home wins in the series in Foxborough since Sept. 13, 2014.
New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN)
  • The Red Bulls followed a defeat with a victory for the third time this season, knocking off the LA Galaxy 3-2 at StubHub Center on Saturday evening. Kakú converted a late penalty kick to seal the win, after setting up the opening two Red Bulls goals.
  • David Villa scored the 400th and 401st goals of his career for both club and country, netting twice as NYCFC took a 3-1 win at home against FC Dallas on Sunday evening. Villa joined Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Luis Suarez as current players with at least 400 goals.
  • The teams met three times a year ago, and NYCFC won twice, winning the season series for the first time in the rivalry. NYCFC won the first time ever at Red Bull Arena in a 2-0 victory on June 24. Then, David Villa hit for his first career MLS hat trick, overcoming a Bradley Wright-Phillips brace to give NYCFC a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 6. The teams reached a 1-1 draw Aug. 25 in Harrison.
  • The Red Bulls have still won five of the nine meetings all-time in league play, with a 21-11 goal differential, also winning a fourth-round matchup 1-0 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup last year. Included in that was a 7-0 Red Bulls win on May 21, 2016 at Yankee Stadium, the victory matching the largest margin of victory in MLS history (and the seven goals by the Red Bulls their club record).
  • Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips has scored 10 goals against NYCFC, scoring in six of the games, with two goals in a game on four occasions. Wright-Phillips’ 10 goals in nine meetings is the third-best by one player against a single opponent in MLS history.
Minnesota United FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 3 p.m. ET (CTV, TSN, ESPN+)
  • MNUFC put an end to a four-game losing streak, coming back for a 2-1 win against the Houston Dynamo at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday evening. Darwin Quintero scored his second MLS goal; he has a goal or an assist in each of his three MNUFC appearances.
  • Whitecaps FC snapped a three-game losing slide, defeating Real Salt Lake 2-0 at BC Place on Friday evening. Cristian Techera scored his first goal of the season and Anthony Blondell netted his first for Whitecaps FC and in MLS.
  • The teams met twice in Minnesota United’s inaugural campaign. They reached a 2-2 draw in their first meeting ever, June 24 at TCF Bank Stadium, then Whitecaps FC rolled to a 3-0 win on Sept. 13 at BC Place.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Sounders FC weren’t able to build upon their first win of the season, falling 1-0 in dramatic fashion to the Los Angeles Football Club in the opening of Banc of California Stadium on Sunday evening.
  • Crew SC put an end to a four-game winless run, getting a late winner for a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Mapfre Stadium.
  • Crew SC won the only meeting between the teams a year ago, a 3-0 victory on May 31 at Mapfre Stadium. It was just the second win ever for Crew SC against Sounders FC on their home ground; Seattle won three of the first four meetings all-time in Columbus, with one draw.
  • Sounders FC won the last meeting in Seattle, a 1-0 victory on April 30, 2016, at CenturyLink Field. The victory ended a two-game winning streak in Seattle for Crew SC, the first home win for Sounders FC in the series since a 6-2 victory on Aug. 27, 2011. The home team has won the past two meetings in the series, after three consecutive victories by the away side.
Los Angeles Football Club vs. FC Dallas, 4 p.m. ET (Univision)
  • LAFC won the opening match at Banc of California Stadium in dramatic fashion, getting a free kick goal in stoppage time from Laurent Ciman for the only goal of the game against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday evening.
  • Ciman has scored four goals in his MLS career, scoring each of the past two weeks directly from free kicks, his only two free kick goals in the league.
  • FC Dallas saw their undefeated start to the season come to an end – the final team to lose in MLS this season – following a 3-1 road defeat to New York City FC on Sunday afternoon. FCD had started the year with three wins and three draws.
  • The teams are meeting for the first time ever, the first of two meetings this season, both coming within the next month.
Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United, 8:30 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • The Fire ended their two-game road swing with a win and a draw, scoring a dramatic equalizer deep in stoppage time for a 2-2 result with Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger scored his first goal of the season – the fourth of his MLS career – then set up the equalizer from Alan Gordon, which was the eighth goal scored in stoppage time in his MLS career.
  • Atlanta United extended their undefeated streak to seven games in a second consecutive win – the longest unbeaten run in their MLS history – with a 4-1 victory against the Montréal Impact at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
  • Kevin Kratz scored a pair of goals directly from free kicks, the fifth player in MLS history to score twice from free kicks (since 2003, when records are available) – the first ever to do it after coming off the substitutes’ bench.
  • The teams split their two meetings last year in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, each winning by shutout at home. ATLUTD took a 4-0 win on March 18 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Then the Fire returned the favor with a 2-0 win on June 10 at Toyota Park.
Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Dynamo weren’t able to build upon their first victory in five matches, falling 2-1 to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday evening. Alberth Elis scored for a second consecutive game, now with four goals this season.
  • The Galaxy suffered a second consecutive loss, falling 3-2 to the New York Red Bulls at StubHub Center on Saturday evening. Zlatan Ibrahimović set up both goals, now with three goals and two assists since coming to the Galaxy, a part of every goal when he’s been on the field since his March 31 debut.
  • The teams met twice a year ago, drawing on each occasion – a 2-2 tie on June 17 at StubHub Center, and a 3-3 result on Sept. 27 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Galaxy have come away with points on their past three trips to Houston, winning there twice in 2016, 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 last year. Their win on May 22, 2015 in Carson was LA’s first league victory against the Dynamo since May 25, 2011, ending a five-game league winless run in the series. The Dynamo had won four consecutive league meetings between the teams before a 1-1 draw March 21, 2015.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Rapids held a two-goal lead after just eight minutes, but Sporting eventually leveled terms through a Diego Rubio goal in stoppage time to leave the teams in a 2-2 deadlock on March 24 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Sporting was only the sixth team in MLS history to gain a win or a draw after falling behind by two goals in the first 10 minutes of a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Sporting saw their seven-game undefeated streak put to an end, falling 1-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The Rapids suffered a second consecutive loss, Orlando City SC coming back for a 2-1 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday afternoon. Dominique Badji scored his fifth goal of the season, sitting in a tie for third place in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
  • The Rapids had won the past four meetings between the teams in Commerce City before the draw earlier this season – three in a row by 1-0 scorelines – their first home wins in the series since 2009.
  • The Sporting victory in the first meeting last year on April 9 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.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Quakes saw their winless streak extended to six games with a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-1 to Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday evening. Danny Hoesen scored his third goal of the season for the lone Quakes tally.
  • The Timbers return to action after winning for a second time this season in a second consecutive home match, rolling to a 3-0 win against then-undefeated New York City FC on April 22 at Providence Park. Fanendo Adi scored for a second game in a row while Sebastian Blanco netted his fourth goal of the season.
  • The teams met three times a year ago, the home team winning on each occasion. The Quakes won twice at Avaya Stadium – a 3-0 win on May 6, and a 2-1 triumph on Sept. 30. The Timbers claimed a 2-0 win in the only game at Providence Park, on June 2.
  • The Quakes have never lost to the Timbers at Avaya Stadium in four meetings all-time, winning the past three, 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 on Oct. 4, 2014, in Santa Clara is the only one by a visiting team in the all-time league series.
  • The Timbers have never lost to the Quakes at home in their MLS history. The Timbers have won seven of 10 meetings between the teams in Portland (with three draws), including the last five meetings there.
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Orlando City SC vs. Real Salt Lake, 5 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Orlando City SC won for a fifth consecutive match – equaling the club’s record in MLS play set in their inaugural season of 2015 – coming back for a 2-1 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday afternoon.
  • Sacha Kljestan set up the first OCSC goal with his third assist of the season, now with 87 assists in his MLS league career, in sole possession of ninth-most all-time. Kljestan has a goal and/or an assist now in five consecutive matches.
  • RSL suffered a third consecutive defeat on the road, falling 2-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Friday evening. Real head coach Mike Petke started a back four of Nick Besler (24 years old), Justen Glad (21), Brooks Lennon (20) and Pablo Ruiz (19) – the second-youngest back line in MLS history.
  • Orlando City won 1-0 last year in the only meeting between the clubs, June 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium – the first victory by either club in the all-time series.
  • The first two matchups between the clubs both ended in draws. The clubs first reached a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 4, 2015, then played to a 2-2 result March 6, 2016 at Camping World Stadium, Orlando City netting two goals in stoppage time to secure a share of the points.