Season Preview - 2019 - Top 10 Stars

Week 1 News & Notes: 24th season kicks off with 12 matches this weekend

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER’S 24TH SEASON KICKS OFF WITH 12 MATCHES THIS WEEKEND
 
The new MLS season kicks off Saturday, March 2, as the quest begins to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy as MLS Cup champions in November.
 
The most successful MLS club in season openers heading into 2019 is Sporting Kansas City. Sporting have won 13 times to begin the year in their 23 MLS seasons, the most of any club in league history. On the reverse side, the Colorado Rapids and the New England Revolution have each opened the campaign with a defeat on 13 occasions in their 23 seasons, leading the league.
 
Here is a look at the all-time records for MLS teams, in their overall season openers, as well as their first home games and first away matches in a season:
 
                                                              ALL OPENERS           HOME OPENERS         ROAD OPENERS
Team
W
L
T
W
L
T
W
L
T
Atlanta United
0
2
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
Chicago Fire
5
9
7
10
7
4
4
8
9
Colorado Rapids
6
13
4
14
3
6
3
16
4
Columbus Crew SC
9
9
5
12
3
8
8
12
3
D.C. United
8
11
4
9
7
7
5
15
3
FC Dallas
12
4
7
13
4
6
6
10
7
Houston Dynamo
7
2
4
8
1
4
1
8
4
Sporting Kansas City
13
6
4
13
3
7
8
11
4
LA Galaxy
12
8
3
14
7
2
7
8
8
Los Angeles Football Club
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
Minnesota United FC
0
2
0
1
1
0
0
2
0
Montreal Impact
2
5
0
3
1
3
2
5
0
New England Revolution
5
13
5
14
5
4
4
14
5
New York City FC
2
1
1
3
0
1
2
1
1
New York Red Bulls
9
9
5
14
4
5
7
10
6
Orlando City SC
1
0
3
1
0
3
2
2
0
Philadelphia Union
2
4
3
5
2
2
2
4
3
Portland Timbers
3
2
3
5
0
3
1
4
3
Real Salt Lake
5
2
7
5
1
8
5
5
4
San Jose Earthquakes
9
10
2
9
8
4
7
13
1
Seattle Sounders FC
5
5
0
6
4
0
2
5
3
Toronto FC
4
7
1
6
5
1
4
7
1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
5
2
1
5
2
1
3
4
1
 
Credit: Elias Sports Bureau
 
 
A look at season openers around MLS Opening Weekend:
 
PHI-TOR: The Union put an end to a six-game winless streak in season openers last year, with a 2-0 win against New England. It was the first time in the club’s history it opened the season with a win at home. … TFC last year opened their season at home for the first time in the club’s 12 seasons, suffering a 2-0 loss to Columbus. The defeat ended a four-game undefeated in season openers.
 
ORL-NYC: Orlando City have never opened the season with a loss, now with one win and three draws to kick off the campaign, following a 1-1 draw with D.C. United last year. Orlando City has opened each of their four MLS seasons at home. … NYCFC won for the second time in four season openers last year, a 2-0 win at Sporting KC. NYCFC has started off each of its four seasons on the road, including the opening match in club history, the 1-1 draw at Orlando City on March 8, 2015.
 
CLB-NYR: Crew SC put an end to a three-game winless streak in season openers last season with a 2-0 win at Toronto FC. Columbus has a five-game undefeated streak when kicking off a season at home, its last home loss in a season opener coming in 2004 (3-1 vs. MetroStars). … The Red Bulls have won their past two season openers, after a 4-0 win vs. Portland at Red Bull Arena to start off 2018. The Red Bulls won 2-1 at Atlanta United to begin the 2017 campaign.
 
DAL-NE: FC Dallas have a nine-game undefeated streak alive in season openers. FCD had won six season-opening matches in a row, before reaching a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at Toyota Stadium to kick off 2018. FCD’s last season-opening defeat came in 2009 in Frisco (3-1 vs. Chicago); this year will mark the 22nd time in 24 seasons FCD starts the season at home. … The Revolution have not won their season opener since 2013, suffering a loss to start the campaign for a second successive year last year in a 2-0 defeat at Philadelphia. The Revs have opened a season at home just once in club history (2008).
 
VAN-MIN: Whitecaps FC won on opening day for the first time since 2014 last year, a 2-1 win vs. the Montréal Impact at BC Place. The ‘Caps have started each of their eight MLS seasons at BC Place; they faced a Canadian foe seven times. … MNUFC has gone down to defeat in each of its two MLS season openers – a 5-1 loss in Portland in 2017, and a 3-2 loss at San Jose last year.
 
COL-POR: The Rapids have won their past five games at home when starting the season, last in a 1-0 victory vs. New England in 2017 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids have gone winless in their past five season openers on the road, last year suffering a 2-1 defeat at New England. … The Timbers had a two-game winning streak in season openers put to an end last year, falling 2-1 at the LA Galaxy. This is the second consecutive year the Timbers start the season on the road, after opening at home six consecutive years.
 
HOU-RSL: The Dynamo have a seven-game undefeated streak alive in season openers, winning the past two, last year a 4-0 win against Atlanta United at BBVA Compass Stadium. … Real Salt Lake have a nine-game undefeated streak alive in season openers, reaching a draw for a fourth consecutive season last year in a 1-1 result at FC Dallas. Real won the five previous season openers before the four draws in a row.
 
LA-CHI: The Galaxy opened the season in Carson for a seventh consecutive season last year, defeating the Portland Timbers 2-1. … The Fire last won a season opener in 2009, losing for the sixth time in the last nine years to kick off the 2018 season in a 4-3 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
 
SJ-MTL: The Quakes have won their past three season openers, last year defeating Minnesota United FC 3-2 at Avaya Stadium. … The Impact have opened their past two seasons with a defeat, last year falling 2-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Impact have never started an MLS season at home.
 
SEA-CIN: Sounders FC have suffered defeats to kick off each of their past three seasons, last year falling 1-0 at the Los Angeles Football Club. Sounders FC have opened the season away from home just once in their MLS history, a 2-1 loss at Houston in 2017. … FC Cincinnati are looking to become the fourth MLS expansion team to win the club’s inaugural match.
 
 
 
DC-ATL: D.C. United have opened the season with a draw each of the past two years, last year in a 1-1 draw at Orlando City SC. United have come away with points in each of the past two occasions when they have opened the season at home. … Atlanta United have suffered defeats in each of their first two season-opening matches, a 2-1 home loss to the New York Red Bulls in 2017, and a 4-0 reversal at Houston last year.
 
LFC-SKC: The Los Angeles Football Club kicked off their history on the right foot last year, defeating Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 at CenturyLink Field to open the 2018 season. … Sporting start the season on the road for the seventh time in the last nine seasons; they have won four of those road openers, last in a 1-0 win at Seattle in 2016.
 
 
FC CINCINNATI BEGIN HISTORY AIMING TO BE FOURTH EXPANSION TEAM TO WIN OPENER
 
FC Cincinnati play their first-ever match in Major League Soccer when the league’s 24th club kicks off the league’s 24th season in 2019 in Week 1. Just three expansion teams have won their first game ever in Major League Soccer:
  • The Chicago Fire started their MLS history with a victory on March 21, 1998 – defeating fellow expansion club Miami Fusion 2-0 at Soldier Field (the Fusion had lost their first match ever the week before to D.C. United).
  • Seattle Sounders FC defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on March 19, 2009 at Qwest (now CenturyLink) Field in their first-ever league match.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC knocked off Toronto FC to open the 2011 campaign, at BC Place.
  • The Los Angeles Football Club opened their history last year with a 1-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field, as head coach Bob Bradley guided an expansion team to an inaugural win for the second time as just the second coach in MLS history to lead an expansion team in its opening match.
 
INAUGURAL MATCHES – MLS EXPANSION TEAMS
DATE         VISITOR              HOME             RESULT    ATT.     GOALS
3/15/1998    D.C. United          Miami              DC  2-0     20,450  DC: Williams (16) Sanneh (37)
3/21/1998    Chicago               Miami              CHI 2-0     14,653  CHI: Kosecki (76) Kotschau (87)
4/2/2005      D.C. United          Chivas USA     DC  2-0     18,493  DC: Gros (32) Gomez (76)
4/2/2005      Real Salt Lake      MetroStars      0-0            12,657 
4/7/2007      Toronto FC          Chivas USA     CHV 2-0    14,351  CHV: Razov (35) Kljestan (88)
4/3/2008      San Jose             Los Angeles    LA  2-0      27,000  LA: Beckham (9) Donovan (37)
3/19/2009    NY Red Bulls       Seattle            SEA 3-0     32,608  SEA: Montero (11,75) Evans (25)
3/25/2010    Philadelphia         Seattle            SEA 2-0     36,241  SEA: Evans (12) Montero (43)
3/19/2011    Toronto FC          Vancouver       VAN 4-2    22,592  VAN: Hassli (14,71) Dunfield (25) Harris (62);
                                                                                                TOR: De Rosario (19) dos Santos (73)
3/19/2011    Portland               Colorado         COL 3-1    17,139  COL: Larentowicz (7) Cummings (28)
                                                                                                         Smith (29); POR: Cooper (79)
3/10/2012    Montreal              Vancouver       VAN 2-0    21,000  VAN: Le Toux (3) Sanvezzo (53)
3/8/2015      NYCFC                Orlando City    1-1            62,510  ORL: Kaka (90); NYC: Diskerud (75)
3/3/2017      Minnesota            Portland          POR 5-1    21,144  POR: Olum (13) Valeri (46,81) Adi (90,92);
                                                                                                 MIN: Ramirez (78)
3/5/2017      NY Red Bulls       Atlanta            NYR 2-1    55,297  NYR: Royer (75) own goal (81); ATL: Asad (24)
3/4/2018      Los Angeles FC    Seattle            LFC 1-0     40,070  LFC: Rossi (11)
 
 
WONDOLOWSKI RENEWS CHASE TOWARD MLS ALL-TIME GOALSCORING CROWN
 
All eyes will be on Avaya Stadium this weekend as San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski aims to become the league’s all-time goalscoring leader. Wondolowski heads into the season opener vs. the Montréal Impact just one goal from equaling Landon Donovan’s record total of 145 career goals in MLS play.
 
Wondolowski comes into 2019 having scored 10 goals or more in each of the past nine seasons – a record unmatched in MLS history.
 
MLS ALL-TIME INDIVIDUAL LEADERS – GOALS SCORED
PLAYER
TEAMS
GP
GOALS
Landon Donovan
SJ/LA
340
145
Chris Wondolowski
SJ/HOU
327
144
Jeff Cunningham
CLB/COL/RSL/TOR/DAL
365
134
Jaime Moreno
DC/NY
340
133
Ante Razov
LA/CHI/CLB/MET/CHV
262
114
Kei Kamara
CLB/SJ/HOU/KC/NE/VAN
314
112
Jason Kreis
DAL/RSL
305
108
Bradley Wright-Phillips
NYR
171
106
Dwayne De Rosario
SJ/HOU/TOR/NY/DC
343
104
Taylor Twellman
NE
174
101
 
 
 
MLS WEEK 1 – LOOK AHEAD
 
Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #1)
Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
1 p.m. ET (TSN 1 / 4; WPVI-abc6)
 
REFEREE: Nima Saghafi. AR1 (bench): Logan Brown; AR2 (opposite): Jose da Silva; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira; VAR: Alan Kelly; AVAR: Craig Lowry
MLS Career: 36 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 4.4; R: 6; pens: 12
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Union 6 wins, 26 goals … Toronto FC 9 wins, 30 goals … Ties 6
AT UNION: Union 4 wins, 12 goals … Toronto FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Ties 3
 
  • Toronto FC have a three-game winning streak alive in the series – all by shutout. TFC won both meetings a year ago – a 3-0 win on May 4 at BMO Field, and a 2-0 win on June 8 at Talen Energy Stadium. The Union have not scored in their past 287 minutes played vs. Toronto FC.
  • TFC’s undefeated streak in the series is even longer – now four years long. The last Union victory vs. Toronto FC came on Sept. 6, 2014, a 2-0 win at BMO Field. TFC has won seven of the nine matches since, with two draws.
  • Toronto FC were eliminated from the Concacaf Champions League at the round-of-16 stage, falling 5-1 on aggregate to CA Independiente of La Chorrera in Panamá. TFC drew the return leg 1-1 at BMO Field on Tuesday, the lone goal coming from Jordan Hamilton, after crashing to a 4-0 defeat away in the first leg.
  • The Union completed their preseason preparations on Saturday with a 2-1 win against Ottawa Fury FC in Florida. The Union also defeated D.C. United 2-1, and lost to the Montréal Impact 1-0, in preseason contests vs. MLS opponents.
 
UNION: Andre Blake recorded 10 shutouts in 2018, tied for third-most in MLS, setting his single-season career-high. … Fafa Picault and Cory Burke each scored 10 goals for the Union in 2018, just the second time in club history the Union had two 10-goal scorers in the same season (2013, Jack McInerney, 12; Conor Casey, 10).
 
TFC: Jozy Altidore scored seven goals in league play last season, ending a three-year stretch of scoring in double-figures. … New signing Laurent Ciman scored three goals in 2018 with the Los Angeles Football Club – all directly from free kicks. The total is the most ever by a defender in MLS history (since records available in 2003), equaling the fourth-most by any player in a single season in league annals.
 
 
ORLANDO CITY vs. NEW YORK CITY FC
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #2)
Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
2:30 p.m. ET (Univision)
 
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Kyle Atkins; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Malik Badawi; VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero; AVAR: Peter Balciunas
MLS Career: 268 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 96; pens: 102
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Orlando City 5 wins, 14 goals … NYCFC 5 wins, 21 goals … Ties 2
AT ORLANDO: Orlando City 3 wins, 6 goals … NYCFC 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1
  • NYCFC have a four-game winning streak alive in the series – all by shutout. NYCFC won all three meetings a season ago: wins by 2-0 and 3-0 at Yankee Stadium on March 17 and June 2, and a 2-0 win July 26 at Orlando City Stadium. Orlando City have not scored a goal in their last 399 minutes played vs. New York City FC.
  • NYCFC have won the last two meetings in Orlando, outscoring Orlando City 5-0 in the matches.
  • OCSC claimed the inaugural preseason Orlando City Invitational, winning the tournament on goal differential following a 2-1 win vs. New York City FC, and a 6-2 triumph against the New England Revolution.
  • NYCFC completed their preseason with a 2-0 win against USL Championship side Nashville SC in Nashville, the goals coming from Designated Players Alexandru Mitriţă and Maxi Moralez. NYCFC suffered a pair of losses to MLS opposition in the preseason Orlando City Invitational, falling 1-0 to Minnesota United FC after opening with a 2-1 defeat by host Orlando City. NYCFC also traveled to Abu Dhabi during preseason, where they lost 2-0 to FC Copenhagen (Denmark) and drew 1-1 with AIK (Sweden).
OCSC: Sacha Kljestan comes into the season ninth all-time in MLS with 90 career assists. With two assists he will pass Cobi Jones for eighth on the list. … Kljestan recorded 6 assists in 2018, his first season with Orlando City SC, ending a string of three consecutive seasons with 10 or more assists. … Dom Dwyer scored 13 goals in 2018, tied for 13th in the MLS Golden Boot standings, his fourth season (in eight years in MLS) with double digits in goals.
 
NYCFC: Maxi Moralez had 16 assists in 2018 in his second season in MLS, tied for third place in the MLS assist standings. … Ismael Tajouri-Shradi netted 11 goals in 2018, his first season in the league. … Sean Johnson was tied for eighth in MLS with a 1.28 goals against average, tied for third in the league with 10 shutouts, his single-season career-high.
 
 
COLUMBUS CREW SC vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #3)
Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
4:30 p.m. ET (ST Ohio; MSG)
 
REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): Brian Dunn; 4th: Matthew Franz; VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.; AVAR: Cory Richardson
MLS Career: 78 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 28; pens: 45
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Crew SC 28 wins, 87 goals … Red Bulls 30 wins, 100 goals … Ties 11
AT COLUMBUS: Crew SC 17 wins, 48 goals … Red Bulls 12 wins, 46 goals … Ties 6
  • Crew SC have a three-game undefeated streak in the series in league play, winning 3-2 at Red Bull Arena on July 28 after the teams reached a 1-1 draw June 9 at Mapfre Stadium. The Red Bulls have not won in Columbus since March 28, 2015, a span of four games; Crew SC have won two of those, with two draws.
  • The teams also met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals a year ago. Crew SC won the first leg 1-0 at home, but the Red Bulls took the second leg 3-0 at Red Bull Arena, winning the series 3-1 on aggregate.
  • Crew SC concluded their preseason in impressive fashion, rolling to a 3-0 win against expansion side FC Cincinnati in the finale of the Carolina Challenge Cup. Gyasi Zardes scored twice in the first competitive meeting of the Ohio rivals in MLS. Crew SC recorded two 1-1 draws previously in the event, vs. host Charleston Battery and the Chicago Fire, going undefeated through six preseason matches, including a 4-2 win at Los Angeles FC.
  • The Red Bulls opened their Concacaf Champions League campaign on the right foot, defeating Atlético Pantoja of the Dominican Republic 2-0 in the first leg of their round-of-16 series in Santo Domingo. An own goal and a Daniel Royer tally gave the Red Bulls the margin; the return match is Wednesday at Red Bull Arena.
CREW SC: Gyasi Zardes finished tied for fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 19 goals, his single-season career-high. … Zardes scored 17 of his 19 goals at Mapfre Stadium, the most home goals for any player in MLS in 2018. … Zack Steffen was tied for eighth in MLS with a 1.28 goals against average and tied for third in the league with 10 shutouts, on his way to winning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2018. … Federico Higuaín scored 6 goals and added 9 assists in 2018, now with 54 goals and 58 assists for his MLS career, one of 21 players to have reached the 50-50 mark in goals and assists. … The Crew ended the 2018 season with a seven-game undefeated streak.
 
RED BULLS: Bradley Wright-Phillips scored 20 goals in 2018, the first player in MLS history to score 20 goals in three different campaigns. Wright-Phillips now has 106 goals for his MLS league career, becoming the fastest player ever to reach 100 goals scored (in 159 games, when he scored last July 25). Wright-Phillips is also the only player in MLS history to score 15 goals or more in five consecutive seasons. … Kaku recorded 14 assists in 2018 in his first season in MLS, tied for seventh in the MLS assist standings. … Luis Robles led MLS with 14 shutouts (in 31 appearances), recording a 0.97 goals against average,
 
 
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. REAL SALT LAKE
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #5)
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
5 p.m. CT (KUBE 57; KMYU-12)
 
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: David Gantar; VAR: Jorge Gonzalez; AVAR: Jeff Muschik
MLS Career: 114 games; FC/gm: 22.4; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 25; pens: 26
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dynamo 12 wins, 39 goals … Real 10 wins, 40 goals … Ties 6
AT HOUSTON: Dynamo 10 wins, 32 goals … Real 3 wins, 25 goals … Ties 1
  • Real won both meetings a season ago, both by 2-1 scorelines, winning May 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium, then coming from a goal down with two goals in stoppage time for the victory Aug. 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The two RSL wins last year ended a four-game Dynamo undefeated streak in the series. Real have won three of the last five meetings in Houston, their first wins ever there; RSL suffered eight defeats and one draw in its first nine road games against the Dynamo.
  • The Dynamo started their competitive campaign with a big success in the Concacaf Champions League, advancing past CD Guastatoya of Guatemala 3-1 on aggregate in the round-of-16. The Dynamo won the return leg on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium in a 2-1 win, getting a pair of late goals from Mauro Manotas for the win. DaMarcus Beasley scored the game’s only goal as the Dynamo took the first leg in Guatemala. The Dynamo will now face Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals.
  • Real closed their preseason preparations with a 3-0 loss against the Portland Timbers at the Mobile Mini Sun Cup in Tucson, Ariz. The tournament also included a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas in their only other competition against MLS opposition. RSL’s preseason began with a trip to Hawai’i for the Pacific Rim Cup, defeating Iwaki FC of Japan 2-1, but falling 3-1 to V-Varen Nagasaki.
DYNAMO: Mauro Manotas scored 19 goals in 2018, tied for fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, his second consecutive season with 10 or more goals. … Tomás Martínez recorded 13 assists in 2018, tied for 10th-most in the league. … The Dynamo had three players with 10 or more assists (Tomás Martínez, 13; Romell Quioto, 12; Alberth Elis, 10), the 10th team in MLS history with three or more 10-plus assist men in the same season.
 
REAL: Damir Kreilach scored 12 goals in 2018 in his first MLS season. … Nick Rimando enters the season 15 games away from becoming the first player in MLS history to reach 500 league games played. Rimando, along with teammate Kyle Beckerman, will be playing in their 20th MLS seasons in 2019. … According to Opta, Real averaged 52.9 percent possession on the road last season, third-most of any team in MLS.
 
 
FC DALLAS vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #4)
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
3:30 p.m. CT (FCDTV; NBCS-Bos)
 
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Eduardo Mariscal; AR2 (opposite): Kathryn Nesbitt; 4th: Jon Freemon; VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.; AVAR: Jonathan Johnson
MLS Career: 127 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 32; pens: 37
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: FC Dallas 18 wins (1 shootout), 60 goals … Revolution 23 wins (1 shootout), 68 goals … Ties 3
AT DALLAS: FC Dallas 10 wins (0 shootout), 30 goals … Revolution 11 wins (0 shootout), 29 goals … Ties 2
  • FC Dallas have won the last seven meetings between the teams, including a 1-0 victory last April 14 at Gillette Stadium in the only encounter between the clubs.
  • The Revolution have not won in Frisco since 2008; FCD has taken five consecutive home wins vs. New England. The Revolution goal there in the last meeting in 2017 was their first in Frisco in 394 minutes, their first at Toyota Stadium since 2010.
  • FCD has won the last three meetings at Gillette Stadium, their first wins in Foxborough since 2003. The Revolution last won at home vs. FC Dallas in 2011; they have scored one goal in the three home meetings since.
  • FC Dallas concluded their preseason preparations with a 2-1 win vs. the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at the Mobile Mini Sun Cup in Tucson, Ariz, behind a pair of goals from tournament MVP Jesús Ferreira. FCD also claimed preseason wins against MLS opposition with 2-1 wins against both Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC.
  • The Revolution completed their preseason with a 2-1 win vs. KR Reykjavik of Iceland on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla., with goals from Luis Caicedo and Cristian Penilla. The Revs also traveled to Marbella, Spain during their preparations, while also suffering a pair of losses to MLS sides in the Orlando City Invitational, falling 1-0 to Minnesota United FC and 6-2 to host Orlando City.
FCD: Dominique Badji ended 2018 with nine goals, equaling his single-season career-high, two of those coming after his arrival at FC Dallas from the Colorado Rapids.
 
REVOLUTION: Cristian Penilla scored 12 goals to lead the Revolution in 2018, in his first season in MLS. … Teal Bunbury scored a single-season career-high 11 goals in 2018, in his ninth MLS campaign. … Diego Fagundez collected 10 assists in 2018, his single-season career-high in his eighth MLS season.
 
 
LA GALAXY vs. CHICAGO FIRE
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #8)
Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, Calif.
5 p.m. PT (FS1 / FOX Deportes)
 
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeremy Hanson; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Kieso; 4th: Timothy Ford; VAR: Kevin Stott; AVAR: Ian Anderson
MLS Career: 134 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 31; pens: 62
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Galaxy 21 wins (0 shootout), 58 goals … Fire 15 wins (1 shootout), 49 goals … Ties 7
AT CARSON: Galaxy 11 wins (0 shootout), 31 goals … Fire 6 wins (1 shootout), 22 goals … Ties 4
  • The Galaxy have not lost to the Fire since 2010, a 3-2 Chicago victory in Carson on Aug. 1. In the 10 meetings since, the Galaxy have won six, with four draws. The Galaxy won the lone meeting between the teams last season, winning by the game’s lone goal April 14 in Bridgeview.
  • The Galaxy are undefeated in the last four meetings between the teams at Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center. The Fire have not defeated the Galaxy in Bridgeview since 2008, with three draws and four losses in seven home meetings since.
  • The Galaxy concluded their preseason with a 3-1 loss vs. the Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, the lone goal scored by Zlatan Ibrahimović. The Galaxy also reached draws with Toronto FC (1-1) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0-0) in matches vs. MLS opposition.
  • The Fire concluded their preseason with a 1-0 win against host Charleston Battery in the Carolina Challenge Cup, the game’s only goal coming from Fabian Herbers. The Fire ended the tournament undefeated, with 1-1 draws vs. FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC. The Fire’s preseason also included a stint in Spain, where they defeated second division side CF Fuenlabrada 1-0 and drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid B.
GALAXY: Zlatan Ibrahimović returns for his second MLS season, after scoring 22 goals (second in the MLS Golden Boot standings) and recording 10 assists. … Of Ibrahimović’s 32 goals plus assists, 20 came at home (15 goals, 5 assists), the second-highest total of any player in MLS. … Ola Kamara scored 14 goals in 2018, tied for eighth in the MLS Golden Boot standings. Kamara has hit for double figures in each of his three MLS seasons. … Romain Alessandrini netted 11 goals, the Galaxy one of four teams in MLS with three players in double digits in goalscoring.
 
FIRE: Nemanja Nikolic scored 15 goals in 2018, now with 39 goals through his two seasons in MLS. … Aleksandar Katai netted 12 goals for the Fire in 2018, his first year in MLS.
 
 
COLORADO RAPIDS vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #6)
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
4 p.m. MT (Altitude; ROOT-NW)
 
REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Alex Chilowicz; VAR: Silviu Petrescu; AVAR: TJ Zablocki
MLS Career: 101 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 15; pens: 25
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Rapids 7 wins, 25 goals … Timbers 10 wins, 27 goals … Ties 3
AT COLORADO: Rapids 6 wins, 21 goals … Timbers 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 3
  • The Timbers have won the last three meetings between the teams, including both matchups a season ago – a 3-2 win on May 26 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and a 2-0 win Sept. 8 at Providence Park.
  • The visiting team has won just three times in the all-time series, the Timbers winning twice in Commerce City over the last four seasons. The Timbers have an eight-game home winning streak alive vs. Colorado; the Rapids’ lone win in Portland came June 11, 2011.
  • The Rapids completed their preseason with a 3-1 win vs. the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park over the weekend, getting a pair of goals from Diego Rubio and one from Kei Kamara. The Rapids also faced MLS opposition in a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati, and a 2-0 win vs. Toronto FC.
  • The Timbers concluded their preseason preparations with a 3-0 win vs. Real Salt Lake in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, getting goals from Jeremy Ebobisse, Andy Polo and Sebastian Blanco. The Timbers started preseason with a trip to Costa Rica which featured wins vs. Deportivo Saprissa (4-0) and CS Herediano (3-1), and also saw a 2-1 win vs. Seattle Sounders FC and a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls in Tucson.
RAPIDS: New acquisition Kei Kamara netted 14 goals for Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2018, his fourth consecutive season with 10 or more goals. … Another new signing, Diego Rubio, was third on Sporting Kansas City with eight goals.
 
TIMBERS: Diego Valeri scored 10 goals and added 12 assists in 2018, just the third player in MLS history to hit the 10-10 plateau four separate times in their MLS careers (along with Jaime Moreno and Preki). … Sebastian Blanco also reached the 10-10 mark, with 10 goals and 11 assists. It’s the fifth time in MLS history a team had multiple players with at least 10 goals and 10 assists. … Diego Chara has eight yellow cards vs. Colorado, the most of any player vs. a single opponent over the past decade.
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs. MONTREAL IMPACT
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #9)
Avaya Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
7 p.m. PT (TVA Sports; NBCS-CA)
 
REFEREE: Joseph Dickerson. AR1 (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; AR2 (opposite): Apolinar Mariscal; 4th: Ramy Touchan; VAR: Geoff Gamble; AVAR: Fabio Tovar
MLS Career: 9 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 3; pens: 3
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Earthquakes 1 win, 6 goals … Impact 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 2
AT SAN JOSE: Earthquakes 1 win, 4 goals … Impact 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2
  • The Impact won the lone meeting the teams a year ago, a 2-0 win on July 14 at Stade Saputo. The Impact have won all four meetings all-time at Stade Saputo.
  • The Earthquakes won the last meeting between the teams at Avaya Stadium, a 1-0 victory in the season opener in 2017, their only win ever vs. the Impact in league play (in seven meetings all-time). The Impact were undefeated vs. the Earthquakes in the first five league meetings.
  • The Quakes finished their preseason preparations with a 2-2 draw vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday at Avaya Stadium, as Chris Wondolowski scored a pair of goals (both from the penalty spot). The Quakes also defeated Los Angeles FC 3-0 in their only other preseason match vs. MLS opposition.
  • The Impact ended their preseason training camp with a 3-0 win vs. D.C. United on Saturday in the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational in Tampa, getting goals from Ignacio Piatti, Maxi Urruti and Mathieu Choinière. The Impact also defeated the Philadelphia Union 1-0 during the event, also drawing 1-1 with FC Cincinnati earlier in other matches vs. MLS opposition.
QUAKES: Chris Wondolowski comes into 2019 with 144 career goals, one away from tying the all-time MLS mark held by Landon Donovan. Wondolowski scored 10 goals in 2018, his MLS record ninth season with 10 or more goals – all of those over the last nine seasons. … Danny Hoesen led the Quakes with 12 goals and Vako Qazaishvili scored 10 goals, San Jose one of four teams in MLS with three scorers in double figures.
 
IMPACT: Ignacio Piatti scored 16 goals in 2018 – his third consecutive season with at least that many goals – and added a single-season career-best 13 assists, in his fifth season in MLS. … New signing Maxi Urruti had 8 goals and 11 assists for FC Dallas in 2018, the assists a single-season career-high in his sixth MLS season.
 
 
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs. MINNESOTA UNITED FC
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #7)
BC Place, Vancouver, B.C.
3 p.m. PT (TSN 1 / 4; FS-North)
 
REFEREE: Rubiel Vazquez. AR1 (bench): Mike Rottersman; AR2 (opposite): Andrew Bigelow; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal; VAR: Edvin Jurisevic; AVAR: Rene Parra
MLS Career: 8 games; FC/gm: 19.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 4; pens: 2
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 9 goals … MNUFC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER: Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 7 goals … MNUFC 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • The teams split their season series a year ago, each winning on their home ground. MNUFC won 1-0 on May 5 at TCF Bank Stadium, their first win ever against Vancouver. Whitecaps FC then won 4-2 on July 28 at BC Place, their second win in two home meetings vs. Minnesota United.
  • Whitecaps FC concluded their preseason preparations with a 1-0 loss vs. the Los Angeles Football Club on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium, a southern California trip that also included draws vs. the LA Galaxy (0-0) and Club Tijuana of Mexico (1-1). Whitecaps FC also played in the Pacific Rim Cup in Honolulu, suffering a pair of defeats by Japanese clubs in a 3-1 loss to V-Varen Nagasaki and a 1-0 defeat by Iwaki FC.
  • MNUFC completed their training camp following a closed-door scrimmage vs. Orlando City SC on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. Minnesota United also posted a pair of 1-0 wins against MLS sides in the preseason Orlando City Invitational, defeating New York City FC and the New England Revolution.
WHITECAPS FC: Fredy Montero returns to Vancouver after a season away; he has scored in double figures in each of his five MLS seasons, last in 2017 when he netted 13 goals for Whitecaps FC. … Yordy Reyna was tied for the Whitecaps FC team lead with 11 assists in 2018.
 
MNUFC: Darwin Quintero led Minnesota United FC with 11 goals and 15 assists in 2018, in 27 appearances. … MNUFC made a pair of veteran acquisitions in Osvaldo Alonso (277 appearances, 10 goals with Seattle) and Ike Opara (148 appearances, 15 goals with Kansas City). … According to Opta, Rasmus Schuller had 10 tackles on July 28 vs. Vancouver, tied for the most of any player in a single game last year.
 
 
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs. FC CINCINNATI
Saturday, March 2, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #10)
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
7 p.m. PT (FS1 / FOX Deportes)
 
REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Nick Uranga; 4th: Victor Rivas; VAR: Hilario Grajeda; AVAR: Eric Weisbrod
MLS Career: 142 games; FC/gm: 24.0; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 43; pens: 51
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.
  • For a second consecutive season, Sounders FC will provide the opposition for an expansion club making its MLS debut. Last year, the Los Angeles Football Club defeated Sounders FC 1-0 at CenturyLink Field on March 4 in their inaugural league match.
  • Since coming into MLS, Sounders FC have lost just twice in their first meeting with an expansion club, the loss to LAFC last year their first to a first-year club since a 4-1 defeat by the Montréal Impact in 2012. Sounders FC are now 4-2-3 in their first match vs. expansion sides
  • Sounders FC completed their preparations with a 2-2 draw vs. the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Avaya Stadium, getting both goals from Victor Rodríguez. Sounders FC suffered a 2-0 loss to Club Nacional de Football of Uruguay in a high-profile preparatory match at CenturyLink Field on Feb. 20; the preseason also saw losses to the Houston Dynamo (3-2), Portland Timbers (2-1) and FC Dallas (1-0) at the Mobile Mini Sun Cup in Tucson, Ariz.
  • FC Cincinnati ended their inaugural MLS preseason with a 3-0 defeat in their first competitive match against in-state rival Columbus Crew SC in the Carolina Challenge Cup. FCC suffered just one defeat in the first six preseason matches, which included a 1-0 win vs. the Colorado Rapids and 1-1 draws with the Montréal Impact and D.C. United in Bradenton, Fla.
SOUNDERS FC: Nicolas Lodeiro recorded 16 assists in 2018 for Sounders FC, tied for third in the MLS assist standings. … Lodeiro had 14 goals plus assists from Aug. 1 to the end of the season, third-most combined of any player in MLS. … Raúl Ruidíaz scored 10 goals in 2018 in his first MLS season.
 
FCC: Fanendo Adi has 54 goals in 126 MLS matches, all with the Portland Timbers (2014-18). … Adi has scored eight goals in 11 matches vs. Seattle, his highest total against any MLS opponent. … Roland Lamah had 19 goals and 9 assists over the last two MLS seasons, with FC Dallas. … Darren Mattocks has netted 34 goals in 161 career matches in MLS, scoring 10 for D.C. United last season. … Kekuta Manneh has 26 goals in 120 career outings in MLS.
 
 
D.C. UNITED vs. ATLANTA UNITED
Sunday, March 3, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #11)
Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
6 p.m. ET (ESPN / ESPN Deportes; TSN 1)
 
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Jeffrey Greeson; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira; VAR: Alan Kelly; AVAR: Thomas Supple
MLS Career: 239 games; FC/gm: 23.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 40; pens: 71
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: D.C. United 4 wins, 11 goals … ATLUTD 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 0
AT D.C.: D.C. United 3 wins, 6 goals … ATLUTD 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • Home form ruled in the 2018 series between the clubs, each winning by 3-1 scorelines on their own ground. Atlanta United won twice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on March 11 and July 21 – and D.C. United won Sept. 2 at Audi Field.
  • Atlanta’s wins were their first against D.C. United, who took all three meetings in ATLUTD’s expansion season, winning 3-1 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on April 30 before taking the next two at RFK Stadium.
  • Josef Martínez scored four goals vs. D.C. United last year, equaling the most of any player vs. a single opponent in 2018.
  • D.C. United ended their preseason camp with a 3-0 defeat vs. the Montréal Impact in the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational in Tampa. United also suffered a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union in the event, while drawing 1-1 with FC Cincinnati earlier in preseason in matches against MLS opposition.
  • Atlanta United suffered a 3-1 loss to CS Herediano in Costa Rica in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League round-of-16 tie on Thursday. The return leg is set for Thursday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. ATLUTD’s preparations also included draws vs. the Los Angeles Football Club and the LA Galaxy in southern California, along with a 7-1 win vs. Seattle Sounders FC in a 120-minute scrimmage.
DC UNITED: Wayne Rooney netted 12 goals and added 7 assists after his arrival in MLS – in just 20 games. … Luciano Acosta scored 10 goals and contributed 17 assists, good for second place in the MLS assist standings. … Acosta has scored four goals against Atlanta United, his most vs. any opponent since coming into the league in 2016.
 
ATLUTD: Josef Martínez scored 31 goals in 2019, the most by any player in a season in MLS history. Martínez scored three hat tricks, equaling the most in a season in league annals, and now holds the all-time league career mark with six. … Martínez scored goals in nine consecutive games, equaling the MLS record, and had a combined 37 goals and assists, the second-most in a season in league history. … Martínez was the first player in MLS league history to achieve, in the same season: Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player, MLS Golden Boot, MLS Cup Most Valuable Player, MLS All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, scoring a goal in MLS Cup, scoring a goal in MLS All-Star Game … Julian Gressel collected 14 assists in 2018, tied for seventh-most in MLS, now with 23 assists over his first two professional seasons.
 
 
LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL CLUB vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sunday, March 3, 2019 (Week 1, MLS Game #12)
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
5:30 p.m. PT (ESPN / ESPN Deportes)
 
REFEREE: Robert Sibiga. AR1 (bench): Jason White; AR2 (opposite): Ian Anderson; 4th: Timothy Ford; VAR: Kevin Stott; AVAR: Joshua Patlak
MLS Career: 73 games; FC/gm: 22.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 15; pens: 20
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: LAFC 0 wins, 1 goal … Sporting 2 wins, 4 goals … Ties 0
AT LAFC: LAFC 0 wins, 0 goals … Sporting 1 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
  • Sporting won the first two meetings ever between the clubs in 2018, a 2-0 win on Aug. 11 at Banc of California Stadium, and a 2-1 win on Decision Day (Oct. 28) at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • LAFC completed its preseason with a 1-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium, the game’s only goal coming from Carlos Vela. LAFC also faced MLS opposition in a 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, a 2-2 draw with Atlanta United and a 4-2 defeat by Columbus Crew SC during a preseason camp that also included a 4-1 win against Vissel Kobe of Japan in a nearly sold-out Banc of California Stadium on Jan. 31.
  • Sporting rolled to a 3-0 win vs. CD Toluca FC of Mexico on Thursday in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League round-of-16 tie at Children’s Mercy Park, behind goals from Krisztian Nemeth, Gerso Fernandes and Ilie Sánchez. Sporting concluded their preparations going undefeated in six games in Arizona, including a 4-1 win and 1-1 draw vs. the Houston Dynamo.
LAFC: Carlos Vela scored 14 goals and added 13 assists in his first season in MLS, the only player in the top 10 (with ties) in both goals and assists in MLS last season. … Vela was one of three players to score 10-plus road goals in 2018. One of those road goals came Oct. 28 against Sporting KC. … Diego Rossi scored 12 goals and added nine assists, equaling the all-time MLS record when five of those (two goals, three assists) came vs. Real Salt Lake on March 10. … Adama Diomande also added 12 goals, nine of those coming in his first seven appearances in his MLS and LAFC career.
 
SPORTING: Tim Melia recorded 13 shutouts, second-most in MLS; his 1.18 goals against average was fifth-best in the league. … According to Opta, Melia saved 67.1 percent of the shots he faced from inside the box in 2018, the second-best rate among ‘keepers with at least 20 starts. … Daniel Salloí led Sporting with 11 goals in 2018, also adding seven assists. … Johnny Russell scored 10 goals and added 10 assists, one of a record 11 players in the league to reach the 10-goal, 10-assist plateau.
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