Jonathan Osorio
USA Today Sports Images

This Week in MLS - September 18, 2018

  • Giovinco, Osorio lead Toronto in pursuit of Campeones Cup vs. Tigres
  • Union’s young talent prepped for Western Conference Goliaths
  • Sporting KC’s Gerso Fernandes to help set the Western Conference table
  • League touts record scoring weekend, multi-goal performances
  • MLS Week 30: Match Notes
 
Giovinco, Osorio lead Toronto in pursuit of Campeones Cup vs. Tigres
Two of Toronto FC’s brightest performances of the Concacaf Champions League were the resounding play of 2018 CCL MVP Sebastian Giovinco and CCL Golden Boot winner Jonathan Osorio. That duo will command the Reds once more against Liga MX opposition when they host Tigres UANL in the inaugural Campeones Cup on Wednesday at BMO Field (8:15 p.m. ET / ESPN2, Univision, TSN, TVA Sports).
 
If Toronto FC captures the Campeones Cup, it would mark the club’s fifth title over the past 15 months, having previously won the 2017 and 2018 Canadian Championships, the 2017 Supporters’ Shield and 2017 MLS Cup during this span.
In this matchup between the defending MLS champions and the Campeón de Campeones, the two highly touted clubs will have the opportunity to capture another sought-after crown in a battle for North American supremacy.
 
The Campeones Cup is also an anticipated rematch after Toronto eliminated Tigres in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League en route to a runner-up tournament finish. Osorio scored the game-winning goal in the first leg of that series (a 2-1 home win in Toronto on March 7), and Giovinco netted a crucial away goal during the second leg (a 3-2 loss at Tigres on March 13), with the Reds advancing via the road goals tiebreaker.
 
Tickets for the historic 2018 Campeones Cup are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.ca.
 
Union’s young talent prepped for Western Conference Goliaths
The Philadelphia Union are in the midst of a 2018 turnaround season with 26-year-old Cory Burke leading their push toward the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. After inking with the Union from their USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC, in late 2017, Burke has become measurable proof that Philadelphia’s young, dynamic player strategy is finally paying off. Burke leads the club with eight goals scored this season, including three finishes during the Union’s five-game unbeaten streak from Aug. 11-Sept. 1 – their longest undefeated stretch since going eight games without a loss in 2016.
 
Despite their recent success, all eyes will be on the Union’s continued resilience as they look to regain momentum after last week’s streak-snapping 4-1 defeat to the Montreal Impact. Burke will be the one to watch when they face a pair of non-conference powerhouses in the surging Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field (11 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and Sporting Kansas City, the Western Conference No. 1, on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium (1 p.m. ET, ESPN / ESPN Deportes / TSN2).
 
Sporting KC’s Gerso Fernandes to help set the Western Conference table
With only one point keeping Sporting Kansas City atop the Western Conference standings, a boost of continued magic from forward Gerso Fernandes could keep their conference-reigning hopes alive.
 
Born in the war-torn, West African nation of Guinea-Bissau, Fernandes fled his home country with family at a young age and was later raised as an orphan in Portugal before ever getting the chance to make his mark on the sport. Now 27 years old after withstanding a remarkable journey, Fernandes’ playing career progressed through the ranks to the top flight in Portuguese soccer before his arrival as a breakout star for Sporting KC last season.
 
The 2017 leading scorer for SKC, Fernandes stole the show last week with his hand in four of his club’s five goals against San Jose, and now ranks among the club’s top-five scorers with five goals and five assists this season. Sporting KC have a 3-1-0 record anytime he finds the back of the net, which means a consecutive week of production from Fernandes could bring success against the reinvigorated Philadelphia Union on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium (1 p.m. ET, ESPN / ESPN Deportes / TSN2).
 
League touts record scoring weekend, multi-goal performances
This past weekend in Week 29, the goalscoring piled up in record numbers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, for the first time in MLS history, nine teams scored three goals or more in their respective games over the course of one weekend (Sept. 15-16).
 
Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City led the way with five goals apiece in their respective wins; the Chicago Fire, Montreal Impact and Houston Dynamo each netted four goals; and Atlanta United, the LA Galaxy D.C. United and New York Red Bulls tallied three apiece.
 
For the Red Bulls, Bradley Wright-Phillips notched his fifth career hat trick, which ties for second all-time with Diego Sergna and Stern John, and is one behind Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez. Martinez (28) and Wright-Phillips (19) sit first and second, respectively, in the MLS Golden Boot race, with Martinez’s staggering goalscoring output already marking a single-season MLS record.
 
MLS Week 30: Match Notes
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew SC, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
  • The Timbers saw their three-game undefeated streak put to an end, falling 4-1 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Crew SC stretched their undefeated run to three games with a second draw in that time, reaching a goalless draw with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Crew SC won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 3-2 victory on March 25 at Mapfre Stadium, ending a two-game Timbers winning streak in the series. It was the first victory for Crew SC vs. the Timbers since 2013.
  • Crew SC have never won in Portland, in four trips there all-time. The Timbers have won twice, including a 2-1 win to open the 2016 season at Providence Park.
  • The game is a rematch of MLS Cup 2015, a 2-1 Timbers victory at Mapfre Stadium. Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace gave the Timbers a 2-0 lead after just seven minutes; Kei Kamara pulled a goal back on 18 minutes, but the Timbers held on for their first MLS title.
 
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Sounders FC won their ninth consecutive match, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 at BC Place on Saturday evening. The nine-game winning streak matches the longest of any team since the end of the shootout era (since 2000); it equals the fifth-longest winning streak of any type in MLS history.
  • Raúl Ruidíaz scored both Sounders FC goals vs. Vancouver, his third consecutive match scoring a goal, now with five goals in his first MLS season.
  • The Union saw their five-game undefeated streak come to an end, falling 4-1 to the Montréal Impact at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. Borek Dockal assisted on the Union goal, now leading MLS with 15 assists on the season.
  • The Union won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 2-0 victory at Talen Energy Stadium on Oct. 1, ending a three-game Sounders FC winning streak in the series.
  • Sounders FC have won the past three meetings between the teams at CenturyLink Field. The Union have won once in Seattle in five trips – a 2-0 victory in 2011.
  • 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 wins in the last two matchups there.
 
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Atlanta United, 11 p.m. ET (UniMás, UDN, Twitter)
  • The Quakes suffered a second consecutive loss, falling 5-1 to Sporting Kansas City at Avaya Stadium on Saturday evening. The five goals allowed matched the most in a game in club history, set six times previously.
  • Atlanta United came off a first defeat in eight matches with a victory, defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday afternoon.
  • It was the ninth away win of the season for Atlanta United, tied for fifth-most in a season in MLS history, equaling the most of any team since the end of the shootout era (since 2000).
  • The teams met once in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, the expansion team taking a 4-2 win on July 4 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
 
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Los Angeles Football Club vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univisión, UDN, Twitter)
  • LAFC extended their undefeated streak to five games, reaching a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Diego Rossi collected his eighth assist of the season, to go with nine goals; he has a goal and two assists over the past two games.
  • The teams have met once in LAFC’s inaugural season. Chris Wondolowski scored twice to give the Quakes a lead, but Adama Diomande scored on the stroke of full time, then Joao Moutinho scored seven minutes into stoppage time to give LAFC a wild 4-3 win on June 9 at Avaya Stadium.
 
New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC, 5 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips scored all three Red Bulls goals, as they came back from a goal down three times before reaching a 3-3 draw with D.C. United at Audi Field on Sunday afternoon. Wright-Phillips now has 105 career league goals, No. 8 all-time in MLS history; it was his fifth career hat trick, tied for second-most in league history.
  • TFC put an end to a brief two-game losing slide, coming back for a 5-3 win against the LA Galaxy at BMO Field on Saturday evening. Jonathan Osorio netted his 10th goal of the season, also adding an assist.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Kemar Lawrence netted the game’s lone goal as the Red Bulls took the victory July 1 at BMO Field.
  • The win in the first meeting was the first for the Red Bulls in Toronto since 2013, ending a five-game home undefeated streak for TFC in the series.
  • The Red Bulls are 10-2-2 all-time in home matches vs. Toronto FC. When Toronto took a 2-0 win on March 6, 2016, it was its first win ever at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls were 5-0-1 all-time in Harrison before the TFC win; the triumph also snapped an eight-game home undefeated streak for the Red Bulls vs. TFC (7-0-1), which began Oct. 25, 2009.
 
Atlanta United vs. Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
  • RSL saw their winning streak snapped at three games but still extended their undefeated run, reaching a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United FC at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • Damir Kreilach scored the lone Real goal, his 11th of the season, his fifth in the last three matches.
  • Miguel Almíron scored two goals and added one assist in ATLUTD’s 3-0 win vs. Colorado over the weekend, now with 11 goals and 12 assists this season; he has 20 goals and 26 assists in 58 appearances in his MLS career.
  • The teams met once in Atlanta United’s inaugural season, the expansion team taking a 3-1 win on April 22 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
 
Columbus Crew SC vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Zack Steffen recorded two saves in Crew SC’s goalless draw with FC Dallas, his ninth shutout of the season, tied for third-most in MLS this season.
  • The Rapids suffered their third consecutive defeat – all by shutout – falling 3-0 to Atlanta United at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Rapids won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 2-1 win on June 3 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, their first victory in the series since 2013, ending a three-game winless run.
  • The Rapids have come away with points on their past two trips to Columbus; their 2-0 win there in 2013 was their first victory in the Ohio state capital since 2000.
  • Crew SC won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Aug. 8, 2015. Crew SC have now scored goals on their past three trips to Commerce City, Colo., after going from 2009-12 without scoring there, a span of 396 minutes between goals.
 
Montreal Impact vs. New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. (TVA Sports, ESPN+)
  • The Impact won a second consecutive game, defeating the Philadelphia Union 4-1 at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday evening. Alejandro Silva scored two goals, while Ignacio Piatti recorded two assists, now with 11 on the season, to go with his 13 goals scored.
  • NYCFC return to action after a week off, their winless streak extended to five games last time out in a 1-1 draw with D.C. United at Audi Field on Sept. 8. David Villa scored his 11th goal of the season, directly from a free kick.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jesús Medina and Ronald Matarrita each scored a goal and had an assist as NYCFC took a 3-0 win on July 11 at Yankee Stadium.
  • NYCFC have not lost to the Impact in two seasons, now with a five-game undefeated streak alive in the series. But the win in the first meeting ended a three-game winless streak for NYCFC in the series in the Bronx; Montréal’s win there on Aug. 1, 2015, is their only win in eight meetings all-time.
  • NYCFC have won all three meetings lifetime at Stade Saputo, once in each of the club’s three MLS seasons, including a 1-0 win last Sept. 27.
 
New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • The Revolution extended their undefeated streak to three games with a second draw in that time, reaching a 1-1 result with the Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The Fire put an end to their nine-game winless run in emphatic fashion, defeating Orlando City SC 4-0 at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon. Nemanja Nikolic scored a pair of goals, his third consecutive game with a goal, now with 14 for the season.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Teal Bunbury traded goals in the second half as the teams reached a 1-1 draw on June 9 at Toyota Park.
  • The Fire victory in last year’s meeting in Foxborough, a 2-1 win on June 17, ended a four-game Revolution winning streak in league play between the teams at Gillette Stadium. When the Fire had last won there on July 12, 2014, it was their first victory at New England since 2010.
  • The Fire now have an eight-game undefeated streak alive in the series at Toyota Park, though a four-game winning streak was ended in the first meeting this year. The Revolution have won just twice all-time at Toyota Park – a 2-1 win in 2006, then a 1-0 victory March 9, 2013.
 
Orlando City SC vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • Orlando City saw their winless streak extended to nine matches, falling 4-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on Sunday afternoon. The nine-game streak without a win matches the club record set earlier this year from May 13-July 7.
  • The Dynamo put an end to their 10-game winless streak in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-1 win against the Portland Timbers at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday evening. Mauro Manotas scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season, equaling the single-season Dynamo club record set last year by Erick Torres.
  • The Dynamo won the lone meeting between the teams last year, a 4-0 win on May 6 at BBVA Compass Stadium, their first-ever win vs. Orlando City, and their first goals scored in the series.
  • OCSC won the first encounter between the clubs, a 1-0 victory in 2015 in Houston. The teams reached a goalless draw in their only match in Orlando, on July 8, 2016, at Orlando City Stadium.
 
Minnesota United FC vs. Portland Timbers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
  • MNUFC put an end to a three-game losing skid but still saw their winless streak extended to seven games, reaching a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alvas Powell and Diego Valeri each contributed a goal and an assist as the Timbers took a 3-2 win on April 14 at Providence Park.
  • 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.
 
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Sporting won for the sixth time in seven games, rolling to a 5-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday evening. Gerso Fernandes scored two goals and added two assists.
  • The teams reached a 1-1 draw in their lone meeting a year ago, July 6 at Children’s Mercy Park. The Union have taken points on four of their past five trips to face SKC, with two wins and two draws.
  • The Union have won the past two meetings at Talen Energy Stadium, including a 2-0 win on Aug. 27, 2016, in the last matchup there. The wins ended a two-game Sporting winning streak in Chester, Pa.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m. ET (TSN, ESPN+)
  • Whitecaps FC had their two-game winning run put to an end, falling 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place on Saturday evening. Kei Kamara scored his 12th goal of the season, the 110th league goal of his MLS career.
  • FC Dallas gained a point in a scoreless draw with Columbus Crew SC at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. The Caps’ Kei Kamara converted a penalty kick in the 100th minute – equaling the latest goal scored in regulation time in an MLS match – as the teams reached a 2-2 draw May 19 at Toyota Stadium.
  • Whitecaps FC are undefeated in their past seven home matches with FC Dallas, with three wins and four draws, including a 1-1 draw in the only meeting last year at BC Place on June 17.
  • Whitecaps FC have come away with points on their last two trips to Toyota Stadium. Their win in 2017 was the club’s first ever in Frisco; FC Dallas had won the first seven meetings at home, outscoring Vancouver 14-2.
 
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the third active player to score 500 goals for his senior professional career for both club and country, but the Galaxy saw their winless streak extended to seven games with a second consecutive loss in a 5-3 defeat to Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday evening.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Sounders FC claimed a 5-0 victory on Aug. 18 at CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC equaling the club’s record for margin of victory over its 10 MLS seasons, and the Galaxy equaling the biggest margin of defeat in their 23-year history (set twice previously).
  • The win in the first meeting was the first for Sounders FC against the Galaxy at CenturyLink Field in league play since 2014 (though Sounders FC did win twice at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs over that timeframe).
  • Sounders FC have come away with points on their past three trips to StubHub Center, with wins in two, over each of the past two years. The win in Carson in the final meeting in 2016 was their first victory at the Galaxy since 2009, ending an 11-game winless streak there in league and MLS Cup play.
  • The teams have met four times in the past eight seasons in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the Galaxy advancing on three occasions before Sounders FC won in the Knockout Round in 2015.
Series: 
Topics: