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This Week in MLS - July 16, 2018

  • MLS All-Stars Davies, Piatti square off in first leg of Canadian Championship
  • Arriola, reinvigorated D.C. visit record-breaking Atlanta
  • Bradley, expansion LAFC make serious push for U.S. Open Cup
  • MLS, Liga MX champions to battle for North American crown at Campeones Cup
  • MLS Week 21: Match Notes
 
MLS All-Stars Davies, Piatti square off in first leg of Canadian Championship
A pair of MLS All-Stars go head-to-head in the semifinals of the Canadian Championship when the Montreal Impact host Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday in the first leg of the round (7:30 p.m. ET). Led by 17-year-old Homegrown phenom Alphonso Davies, Vancouver travels east to Montreal to take on a red-hot Impact side headlined by Ignacio Piatti.
 
Piatti, who notched his 10th goal and eighth assist of the season during Montreal’s 2-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, has led the Impact to five wins over their past six regular-season games. Montreal now sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference – in a playoff position – thanks to the three-time MLS All-Star’s dominance this season.
 
Davies, who is a Commissioner’s Pick for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target in Atlanta, leads Vancouver with eight assists. He also netted his third tally of the season on Saturday during Whitecaps FC’s road match at D.C. United’s Audi Field, a stunning left-footed strike in stoppage time (WATCH GOAL).
 
On the other side of the semifinal bracket, defending Canadian Championship winners Toronto FC begin their defense against the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC (7:30 p.m. ET). The Reds are winless over their past six league games, but can this tournament help them regain the form that led to a Canadian Championship, Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup just last year?
 
Arriola, reinvigorated D.C. visit record-breaking Atlanta
On the heels of a momentous 3-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, D.C. United ushered in a new era to properly christen the highly anticipated opening of Audi Field on Saturday. The reinvigorating win showcased the type of offensive prowess the club needs as it attempts to make a significant clbim up the Eastern Conference table.
 
Led by U.S. Men’s National Team standout Paul Arriola, the 23-year-old netted a brace against Vancouver in one of his strongest performances of the year. In his past seven appearances, Arriola has garnered a combined four goals and four assists during this stretch. He and the club developed some immediate chemistry with English icon Wayne Rooney, who made his MLS debut and garnered a second-half assist in front of a sellout crowd. D.C. now rides that momentum for one of only five remaining road matches this season to face Atlanta United on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (3:30 p.m. ET / Univision, Twitter).
 
Atlanta once again broke an MLS single-game attendance record with 72,243 fans during Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Seattle Sounders FC. Atlanta’s league-leading offense is paced by Josef Martínez, who is on pace to break the single-season MLS scoring record and leads the Golden Boot standings with 19 goals in 21 appearances this season. The Venezuelan forward tied his MLS career high by scoring in his fourth consecutive match in a draw against Seattle on Sunday and will look to break the mark against D.C.
 
Although Atlanta won the first matchup between the two clubs earlier this season, D.C. came away with three victories over Atlanta in 2017 and has proven a difficult opponent for this season’s Supporters’ Shield leaders.
 
Bradley, expansion LAFC make serious push for U.S. Open Cup
Los Angeles Football Club head coach Bob Bradley is no stranger to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, having enjoyed championship success with an MLS expansion side before. Now, Bradley is just three wins away from replicating that feat with 2018 newcomers LAFC. Bradley’s side hosts the Portland Timbers for the second time in four days when they prepare for Wednesday’s Open Cup quarterfinal at Banc of California Stadium (10:30 p.m. ET). All quarterfinal matches will be shown live on U.S. Soccer’s Open Cup Match Center.
 
LAFC and Portland played to a scoreless draw on Sunday in league action, but Wednesday will produce a victor to advance in the U.S. Open Cup. The former Chicago Fire head coach took the 1998 expansion Fire to a tournament crown.
 
The Timbers, led by an improving defense, have produced some high-level road results over the past month with Sunday’s 0-0 draw at LAFC and a 1-1 draw at Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta United on June 24. Portland is unbeaten in 14 games across all competitions (8-0-4 over its past 12 league games), setting the table for a tightly contested showdown Wednesday.
 
Seven of the remaining eight U.S. Open Cup teams are represented by MLS, with four-time Open Cup champions Chicago and Sporting Kansas City still in the thick of this year’s race.
 
2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
Wednesday’s quarterfinal schedule
Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC, 7 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. Louisville City FC (USL), 8:30 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Football Club vs. Portland Timbers, 10:30 p.m. ET
 
MLS, Liga MX champions to battle for North American crown at Campeones Cup
The inaugural edition of the Campeones Cup, the annual clash of champions between the winner of MLS Cup and the winner of Liga MX, will take place on Sept. 19 at BMO Field in Toronto. The first edition will see 2017 MLS Cup champions Toronto FC face off against Tigres UANL, the winners of the 2017 Apertura and the 2018 edition of Campeón de Campeones, in which they beat out Santos Laguna 4-0 to crown themselves outright as Liga MX champions.
 
The Campeones Cup, a competition created to crown the absolute champion of North American soccer, is part of a larger initiative between the two leagues designed to bring fans together from the U.S., Mexico and Canada in a show of unity while fueling a rivalry between two of the world’s most competitive soccer leagues.
 
For information on this year’s Campeones Cup, visit www.CampeonesCup.com.
 
MLS Week 21: Match Notes
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Minnesota United FC vs. New England Revolution, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • MNUFC won a second consecutive home game, defeating Real Salt Lake 3-2 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Darwin Quintero played a part in all three Minnesota United goals, scoring one and assisting on two. Quintero has four goals and two assists over the past three games, involved in six of MNUFC’s last seven goals.
  • The Revolution saw their seven-game undefeated streak put to an end, the LA Galaxy scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals in stoppage time to come back for a 3-2 win at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Diego Fagundez scored a goal and added an assist, the second time in the last four games he’s had a goal and an assist in the same game, and the 14th time in his MLS career he has had at least one goal and one assist in the same game. Fagundez has three goals and four assists in the last six games.
  • The teams met once in Minnesota United’s inaugural season, with the Revolution rolling to a 5-2 win on March 25 at Gillette Stadium.
 
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Atlanta United vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univisión / UDN)
  • Atlanta United extended their home undefeated streak to four games, reaching a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium before a crowd of 72,243, the record single game attendance in MLS history.
  • Josef Martínez scored his 19th goal of the season, a fourth consecutive game with a goal. Martínez has 11 goals in the past nine games, dating back to May 30.
  • D.C. United made the opening of Audi Field one to remember, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-1 in the inaugural game at their new stadium. The victory put an end to a five-game winless run.
  • Paul Arriola netted two goals for D.C. United, while Yamil Asad scored the opener – the first goal in Audi Field history, in the 27th minute – and also added an assist.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Miguel Almirón and Hector Villalba netted goals two minutes apart in the second half to give Atlanta United a 3-1 win on March 11 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • D.C. United won all three meetings between the teams in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, taking a 3-1 win in the first matchup on April 30 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, then claiming wins by 2-1 (June 21) and 1-0 (Aug. 23) at RFK Stadium.
 
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 4 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • Sounders FC extended their undefeated run to three games with a second consecutive draw, reaching a 1-1 result with Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
  • Whitecaps FC weren’t able to build upon a first win in three games, falling to D.C. United 3-1 in the opening of Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening.
  • The teams evenly split their season series a year ago, each winning on their home ground. Whitecaps FC took a 2-1 win on April 14 at BC Place; Sounders FC claimed a 3-0 win on Sept. 27 in the only encounter at CenturyLink Field. The third meeting was a 1-1 draw on Aug. 23 in Vancouver.
  • Before last season, the away team had won six of the previous nine league meetings between the clubs. Sounders FC have won the past two meetings in Seattle, over the last two seasons.
  • The teams have met the most times of any rivalry in soccer history in the USA and Canada. Since the clubs first met at Empire Stadium on June 9, 1974, in the old North American Soccer League, they have played 133 times over all competitions. The Sounders have won 63, the Whitecaps 49, and there have been 21 draws.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Red Bulls won for the fourth time in the past five games, defeating Sporting Kansas City 3-2 at Red Bull Arena. Marc Rzatkowski scored a pair of goals, his first two in MLS; Kaku collected his league-leading 11th assist.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Teal Bunbury scored the game-winner in the 78th minute as the Revolution came from behind for a 2-1 win on June 2 at Gillette Stadium.
  • The Red Bulls won both meetings a year ago. Their win in the second encounter ended a seven-game winning streak for the home team in the I-95 rivalry, also snapping a three-game winning streak for the Revolution in Foxborough against the Red Bulls. When the Red Bulls won 2-0 at Gillette Stadium on June 8, 2014, it was the first for New York in New England since 2002. The Revolution had won 13 of 19 meetings in league and MLS Cup play since that previous New York win.
  • The Revolution have never won at Red Bull Arena in league play. Since the stadium opened in 2010, the Red Bulls have won nine of 10 regular-season games there, with one draw. When the Revolution won 2-1 in Harrison in the first leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference Championship, it was their first win of any sort in New Jersey since 2007, ending a 10-game winless streak there in all competitions.
 
Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Union put an end to a two-game losing run in their last match, with David Accam scoring the game-winner in stoppage time to give his new club a 4-3 win against his former club, the Chicago Fire, at Toyota Park on July 11. Cory Burke also netted two goals for the Union.
  • The Galaxy became the fifth team in MLS history to score the game-tying and game-winning goals after the 90th minute of play for a regulation win, defeating the New England Revolution 3-2 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. Chris Pontius scored the game-winner in the 93+ minute, his second of the game.
  • The teams have reached draws in each of the last two seasons, including a goalless result April 29, 2017 at StubHub Center in the only meeting between the clubs.
  • The Galaxy have a five-game undefeated streak alive in the series, having outscored the Union 15-5 over that time.
  • The Galaxy have won six of the 10 meetings all-time between the teams, with three draws. The Union have never defeated the Galaxy at home, losing twice with two draws in four all-time meetings in Chester. The Galaxy have won four of the six meetings all-time at StubHub Center; the lone Union victory in the series came July 4, 2012, a 2-1 in Carson.
 
Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • The Fire suffered a third consecutive defeat, falling 3-1 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. Brandt Bronico scored his first MLS goal for the lone Fire goal.
  • TFC saw their winless streak in league play extended to six games with a fourth loss in that time, falling 2-1 to Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alan Gordon scored the equalizing goal for the Fire four minutes deep in second-half stoppage time, leaving the teams in a 2-2 draw April 28 at BMO Field.
  • Toronto FC had a six-game winning streak in the series before the draw in the first meeting this season. The Fire’s last victory in the series came April 4, 2015, a 3-2 win at Toyota Park, which capped a 12-game Fire undefeated streak in the series (6-0-6), dating back to 2010.
  • TFC have won the last two meetings at Toyota Park, their only wins ever there. The Fire had come away with five wins and five draws in the first 10 meetings all-time in Bridgeview. TFC are undefeated in the five encounters at BMO Field.
 
Columbus Crew SC vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Crew SC suffered a second consecutive loss, both by shutout, falling 2-0 to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening. It was their fourth loss in the past five games, all by shutout.
  • Orlando City SC put an end to their nine-game losing streak, equaling the fourth-longest in MLS history, by defeating Toronto FC 2-1 at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday evening. Dom Dwyer scored his eighth goal of the season for the eventual game-winner.
  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Justin Meram scored goals in each half as Crew SC took a 2-0 victory April 1 at Mapfre Stadium. On Aug. 19 in Orlando, Lalas Abubakar gave Crew SC the first-half lead, but Giles Barnes netted a second-half equalizer to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw.
  • Crew SC have a five-game undefeated streak in the series, including three wins, over the last two seasons. The last OCSC victory in the series came Aug. 1, 2015, a 5-2 win at Orlando City Stadium.
  • Crew SC have not lost to Orlando City in three meetings on their home ground, including a 2-0 win last April 1 in the only meeting in Columbus a year ago. Crew SC have two wins and a draw in their last three visits to Orlando City Stadium.
 
Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Dynamo extended their undefeated streak to three games with a second draw, playing to a goalless result with the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening.
  • FC Dallas remained undefeated on their home ground this season, their unbeaten streak at Toyota Stadium now at 17 games, following a 3-1 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening.
  • The teams reached three draws in three meetings a season ago. They first reached a goalless result on May 28 at Toyota Stadium, then a 1-1 draw on June 23 at BBVA Compass Stadium, then played to a 3-3 final on Aug. 23 in Frisco.
  • The Dynamo have defeated FC Dallas just once over the past five seasons. Since the start of 2013, FC Dallas are 6-1-4 in league play against Houston, and have won the three meetings between the teams in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • The Dynamo haven’t won in Frisco since 2011, but the last three meetings there have ended in draws. FCD has won five of the past eight matches in all competitions between the teams at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The clubs play for “El Capitán,” the 19th-century Mountain Howitzer cannon to be awarded to the winner of the season series by supporters groups for both clubs.
 
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Real Salt Lake had their two-game winning streak put to an end, falling 3-2 to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday evening. Joao Plata scored both RSL goals, his fifth career multi-goal game in MLS.
  • The Rapids snapped a two-game losing run, reaching a goalless draw with the Houston Dynamo at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Real got three goals in the final eight minutes plus stoppage time for a 3-0 victory April 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Real have a 16-game home undefeated streak alive vs. Colorado. Since the Rapids last win in Utah, a 2-0 victory April 30, 2007 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Real have won 12 games with four draws. Colorado has never won at Rio Tinto Stadium (0-10-4 all-time in league play).
  • Real Salt Lake have won three of the past six visits to Commerce City, over the last four seasons.
  • The rivals play for the Rocky Mountain Cup, a trophy awarded by the supporters groups of both teams.
 
Portland Timbers vs. Montreal Impact, 11 p.m. (TVA Sports, ESPN+)
  • The Timbers stretched their undefeated streak to 12 games – the longest in MLS this season – with a goalless draw with the Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
  • The Impact returned to their winning form with a fifth win in their past six matches, claiming a 2-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. Ignacio Piatti scored his 10th goal, his fifth in the last six games; Saphir Taïder scored his third goal in the past three games.
  • The Impact won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 4-1 victory on May 20 at Stade Saputo.
  • The Impact win last year snapped a three-game winless streak in the all-time series. The Timbers had won on their previous two trips to Montréal.
  • The Impact have come away with points on both visits to Providence Park, last a 1-1 draw July 13, 2016. The Impact won 2-1 on March 9, 2013 in the first meeting in Portland.
 
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Minnesota United FC vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 7 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • LAFC remained undefeated at home in their inaugural season, extending their undefeated streak to seven games with a scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers at Banc of California Stadium.
  • With a win, LAFC will have posted the best record of any MLS expansion team after 20 games in league history. Following the draw with Portland, LAFC has a 10-4-5 record for 35 points, sitting in second place in the Western Conference.
  • The teams have met once in LAFC’s inaugural MLS campaign. Eduard Atuesta and Mark-Anthony Kaye netted goals six minutes apart in the first half to lead LAFC to a 2-0 win May 9 at Banc of California Stadium.
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