Jordan Morris and Bressan - Seattle Sounders FC Dallas - MLS Cup Playoffs
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Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs kick off with display of record scoring

MLS MEDIA RESOURCES: CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL NEWS & NOTES

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AUDI 2019 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS KICK OFF WITH DISPLAY OF RECORD SCORING

It was a feast of goals as the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs kicked off last weekend. Over the six Round 1 matches played, a total of 27 goals was scored – an average of 4.5 goals per game.
 
That pace, if maintained, would not only outstrip the 2019 regular season average of 3.04 goals per game, it would be the largest goals-per-game average for any postseason in Major League Soccer history (the current record was 3.14 goals per game, set during the 1998 MLS Cup Playoffs).
 
Over the previous 23 editions of the MLS postseason, a game had featured seven goals or more on just six occasions. That total was increased by two in just two days, as Seattle Sounders FC and FC Dallas on Saturday, and the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls on Sunday, each played to gripping 4-3 encounters decided in extra time.
 
MOST GOALS, ONE GAME (BOTH TEAMS) [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
8
MET-CLB
9/30/1998
MET  3 at CLB  5
7
DAL-LA
10/1/1998
DAL  1 at LA   6
7
TB-LA
9/20/2000
TB   2 at LA   5
7
KC-LA
10/2/2002
KC   2 at LA   5
7
LA-SJ
11/9/2003
LA   2 at SJ   5 (OT)
7
MTL-TOR
11/30/2016
MTL  2 at TOR  5 (OT)
7
DAL-SEA
10/19/2019
DAL  3 at SEA  4 (OT)
7
NYR-PHI
10/20/2019
NYR  3 at PHI  4 (OT)
 
 
In addition, just twice over the history of the MLS playoffs had both teams in a match scored three goals or more – a feat then doubled over the weekend after the Sounders FC-FC Dallas and Union-Red Bulls matches.
 
BOTH TEAMS, 3+ GOALS, SINGLE GAME [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
9/30/1998
CLB  5 vs MET  3
11/6/2004
DC   3 vs NE   3 (OT)
10/19/2019
SEA  4 vs DAL  3 (OT)
10/20/2019
PHI  4 vs NYR  3 (OT)
 
 
In overcoming a 3-1 deficit over the second half plus extra time, the Philadelphia Union also matched the largest deficit overcome for a victory in a single game in MLS postseason history, performing the feat for the first time in a decade.
 
 
LARGEST DEFICIT OVERCOME [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
2
DC
10/20/1996
DC   3 at LA   2 (OT)
2
LA
10/4/1998
LA   3 at DAL  2
2
DAL
10/27/1999
DAL  3 vs CHI  2
2
SJ
11/9/2003
SJ   5 vs LA   2 (OT)
2
RSL
11/5/2009
RSL  3 at CLB  2
2
PHI
10/20/2019
PHI 4 vs NYR 3 (OT)
 
 

SOUNDERS FC’S JORDAN MORRIS JOINS POSTSEASON HAT TRICK HEROES

Seattle Sounders FC winger Jordan Morris added to his already burgeoning legacy when he became just the fifth player in MLS history to score a hat trick in a game in the MLS Cup Playoffs, when he hit for the triple vs. FC Dallas. Morris netted the second, third and fourth goals for Sounders FC – including the match-winner in extra time – to lead his club to victory.
 
The last player to hit for a hat trick was Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto FC in 2016, the only player to score three goals in a road game in the playoffs.
 
MOST GOALS, INDIVIDUAL, ONE GAME [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
3
Raul Diaz Arce, DC
10/10/1996
vs. TB   W 4-1
3
Stern John, CLB
11/7/1999
vs. DC   W 5-1
3
Landon Donovan, LA
11/9/2014
vs. RSL  W 5-0
3
Sebastian Giovinco, TOR
11/6/2016
at  NYC  W 5-0
3
Jordan Morris, SEA
10/19/2019
vs. DAL  W 4-3 (OT)
 
 

SOUNDERS FC CLOSE IN ON HOME WINNING STREAK RECORD

With their victory in the Round 1 match vs. FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders FC won for a 10th consecutive match in the MLS Cup Playoffs at CenturyLink Field. That streak is now tied for the second-longest in MLS history, behind D.C. United, who won the first 12 home playoff games in the club’s history at RFK Stadium, covering the entirety of the first four postseasons in league history.
 
The Sounders FC winning streak started on Nov. 30, 2014, with a Western Conference Championship second leg victory vs. the LA Galaxy. It matches the run of the Chicago Fire, who won the first 10 home playoff games in their history, at Soldier Field from 1998-2001.
 
LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
D.C. United
12
9/27/1996
11/13/1999
Chicago Fire
10
10/1/1998
9/29/2001
Seattle Sounders FC
10
11/30/2014
 
LA Galaxy
8
9/25/2002
11/13/2009
LA Galaxy
8
11/11/2012
 
 
Sounders FC saw their undefeated streak at home begin a game earlier in 2014, in the Western Conference Semifinals with a goalless draw vs. FC Dallas. Sounders FC are now in a position to tie the all-time league record if they advance to the Western Conference Final following Wednesday’s match vs. Real Salt Lake.
 
LONGEST HOME UNDEFEATED STREAK [MLS CUP PLAYOFFS]
D.C. United
12
9/27/1996
11/13/1999
Seattle Sounders FC
11
11/10/2014
 
Chicago Fire
11
10/1/1998
10/10/2001
Sporting Kansas City
10
9/16/2000
11/5/2004
LA Galaxy
10
9/25/2002
11/7/2010
 
 

WILL A FIRST-ROUND BYE LEAD TO REACHING MLS CUP?

Since the MLS Cup Playoffs were expanded beginning with the 2011 season, 10 teams that have received a first-round bye have reached MLS Cup.
 
This year, the Los Angeles Football Club will aim to add to that list and become the eighth winner of the Supporters’ Shield to win MLS Cup – done just twice since 2011, when the LA Galaxy did it, along with Toronto FC in 2017.
 
The top two seeds in the MLS Cup Playoffs have reached the championship game 10 times out of 16 possible occasions since 2011, but the two top seeds in each conference have not met in the championship game since 2003, when the Chicago Fire faced the San Jose Earthquakes.
 
Seed
# of MLS Cup appearances since 2011
1
2 (2011 LA, 2017 TOR)
2
8 (2011 HOU, 2013 SKC, 2013 RSL, 2014 LA, 2014 NE, 2015 CLB, 2017 SEA, 2018 ATL)
3
2 (2015 POR, 2016 TOR)
4
2 (2012 LA, 2016 SEA)
5
2 (2012 HOU, 2018 POR)
6
0
 
 
 

CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS – LOOK AHEAD

E#1 NEW YORK CITY FC vs. E#4 TORONTO FC
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, Citi Field, Queens, N.Y.
7 p.m. ET (FS1 / FOX Deportes; TSN 1/4, TVA Sports)
 
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Logan Brown; AR2 (opposite): Jose da Silva; 4th: Robert Sibiga; VAR: Geoff Gamble; AVAR: Peter Manikowski
MLS Career: 257 games; FC/gm: 23.0; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 42; pens: 82
MLS Cup Playoffs: 22 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 3; pens: 3
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: NYCFC 4 wins, 19 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 21 goals … Ties 5
AT NYCFC: NYCFC 2 wins, 13 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 10 goals … Ties 4
 
2019 (MLS):
3/29: TOR 4, NYC 0 (Altidore 29; Pozuelo 58, 78; Chapman 83)
9/11: NYC 1, TOR 1 (Mitrita 6 -- Pozuelo 40)
 
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: NYCFC 0 wins, 0 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 0
  • The teams met twice during the regular season. On Sept. 11 at Yankee Stadium, Alejandru Mitrita drove home a free kick after just six minutes, but Alejandro Pozuelo converted a penalty kick just before halftime, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw. In the first meeting, Pozuelo had an MLS debut for the ages, scoring a pair of goals and setting up one from Jozy Altidore, as TFC cruised to a 4-0 win on March 29 at BMO Field.
  • The win in the first meeting for TFC ended a two-game NYCFC winning streak in the series, their second victory in 10 meetings all-time in the series. Both TFC league wins have come by 4-0 scorelines at BMO Field.
  • NYCFC has never lost to Toronto FC at home in league play, now in six meetings all-time, with two victories and four draws.
  • The teams met in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, in the Eastern Conference Semifinals – and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
  • NYCFC return to action for the first time since their 2-1 win at the Philadelphia Union on Decision Day (Oct. 6). Roland Matarrita netted his first goal of the season, his fourth in his four seasons in MLS, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi added the second.
  • While NYCFC enter the postseason with an eight-game home undefeated streak alive in league play, the game will be the second MLS match played at Citi Field in Queens. NYCFC and Columbus Crew SC played to a 2-2 draw there on Oct. 22, 2017.
  • NYCFC has reached the postseason for a fourth consecutive season, reaching the conference semifinal stage on each occasion. A year ago, NYCFC defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-1 in a Knockout Round matchup, before falling to eventual champions Atlanta United 4-1 on aggregate in the Eastern semifinals, dropping a 1-0 decision at Yankee Stadium, then a 3-1 loss at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Toronto FC made a triumphant return to the MLS Cup Playoffs after a one-year absence, defeating D.C. United 5-1 at BMO Field in their Round 1 encounter on Saturday evening. TFC has now won its last three postseason matches, the last coming in a 2-0 win in MLS Cup 2017 vs. Seattle Sounders FC.
  • Jonathan Osorio scored two goals and set up another, while Nick DeLeon netted a goal and added an assist – all in extra time – for the TFC win. The four goals in extra time were an all-time MLS record, both for a single game and for one team.
NYCFC: Valentin Castellanos had two assists in the Decision Day finale, his first career multiple-assist game in MLS.
 
TFC: Jonathan Osorio recorded his first multiple-goal game in the MLS Cup Playoffs, his first postseason goals since 2016. … Nick DeLeon scored his fifth career playoff goal, his first with TFC. He had a goal and an assist in a playoff game for the second time. … Richie Laryea scored in his MLS Cup Playoffs debut. … Michael Bradley recorded his first assist in 15 MLS Cup Playoffs appearances. … Marky Delgado scored his first goal in the postseason, in his eighth career appearance.
 
 
W#2 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs. W#3 REAL SALT LAKE
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
7 p.m. PT (FS1 / FOX Deportes; TSN 1/4, TVA Sports)
 
REFEREE: Alan Kelly. AR1 (bench): Nick Uranga; AR2 (opposite): Kathryn Nesbitt; 4th: Rubiel Vasquez; VAR: Jon Freemon; AVAR: Jonathan Johnson
MLS Career: 126 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 17; pens: 48
MLS Cup Playoffs: 7 games; FC/gm: 23.3; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 3; pens: 1
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sounders FC 10 wins, 28 goals … Real 12 wins, 30 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE: Sounders FC 9 wins, 21 goals … Real 3 wins, 9 goals … Ties 2
 
2019 (MLS):
4/6: SEA 1, RSL 0 (Lodeiro 18)
8/14: RSL 3, SEA 0 (Johnson 25; Rusnak 71; Baird 87)
 
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Sounders FC 2 wins, 3 goals … Real 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
  • The teams met twice during the regular season, each winning on their home ground. Nicolás Lodeiro scored the game’s only goal, as Sounders FC claimed the victory at CenturyLink Field on April 6. Then Sam Johnson and Albert Rusnák scored goals and Corey Baird added a goal and an assist, as Real eased to a 3-0 victory on Aug. 14 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Sounders FC have won eight of the past nine league meetings between the teams at CenturyLink Field, the lone RSL win coming on May 26, 2018, a 1-0 triumph. Real have won their past eight home games vs. Seattle.
  • The teams have met twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs, in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012. Real Salt Lake won the Western Conference Semifinal Series in 2011, 3-2 on aggregate, winning 3-0 at home before Sounders FC took a 2-0 win in Seattle. The following season, Sounders FC won the conference semifinal 1-0 on aggregate, winning the second leg by the game’s lone goal at Rio Tinto Stadium after the teams reached a goalless draw at CenturyLink Field.
  • Sounders FC opened the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs in dramatic fashion, defeating FC Dallas 4-3 in extra time at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon. The win was the 10th consecutive playoff victory for Sounders FC, matching the second-longest playoff home winning streak in MLS history.
  • Jordan Morris scored a hat trick, netting the game-winner in the 113th minute, the fifth hat trick in MLS Cup Playoffs history.
  • Real Salt Lake began their 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs campaign with a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Jefferson Savarino netted the match-winner in the 87th minute, after Damir Kreilach had given RSL the lead in the first half.
SOUNDERS FC: Raúl Ruidíaz scored his fourth career postseason goal, making his third appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He also added his first two career assists in the playoffs. … Nicolás Lodeiro collected an assist, now with 5 goals and 3 assists in 14 appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs. … Gustav Svensson recorded his first career in the postseason. … Joevin Jones notched his sixth career assist in the MLS Cup Playoffs, in his 12th appearance. … Cristian Roldan recorded his second career postseason assist.
 
REAL: Damir Kreilach now has four goals and one assist in four career appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs. … Corey Baird recorded an assist, his first in three appearances in the postseason.
 
 
E#2 ATLANTA UNITED vs. E#3 PHILADELPHIA UNION
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
8 p.m. ET (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes; TSN 4, TVA Sports)
 
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Kyle Atkins; 4th: Baldomero Toledo; VAR: Edvin Jurisevic; AVAR: Thomas Supple
MLS Career: 144 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 41; pens: 45
MLS Cup Playoffs: 9 games; FC/gm: 27.6; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 2; pens: 1
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: ATLUTD 3 wins, 12 goals … Union 1 wins, 7 goals … Ties 2
AT ATLANTA: ATLUTD 2 wins, 7 goals … Union 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
 
2019 (MLS):
3/17: ATL 1, PHI 1 (Barco 70 -- Aaronson 47)
8/31: PHI 3, ATL 1 (Aaronson 61; Przybylko 86; Santos 88 - J. Martinez 47+)
 
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: First meeting.
  • The teams met twice during the regular season. The Union won the latest meeting, a 3-1 victory on Aug. 31 at Talen Energy Stadium, as Kacper Przybylko scored one goal and set up a second. The teams also reached a 1-1 draw on March 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • The Union win in the last meeting was their first ever vs. Atlanta United, in six meetings all-time. ATLUTD had won three of the first five meetings, with two draws, since coming into MLS. Atlanta United won the first two meetings at Mercedes-Benz Stadium before the draw this year.
  • The teams have never before met outside of MLS regular season play.
  • Atlanta United opened defense of their MLS Cup title with a 1-0 win vs. the New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday afternoon. They have now won each of their past four postseason games at home.
  • Franco Escobar scored the game’s only goal – he has scored in each of the last two MLS Cup Playoffs games for ATLUTD, netting the opener in the 2018 MLS Cup win vs. the Portland Timbers. Escobar has scored three goals in six appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs; he has two goals in 47 appearances during the MLS regular season.
  • The Union won the first game in club history in the MLS Cup Playoffs, defeating the New York Red Bulls 4-3 in extra time at Talen Energy Stadium. The Union had dropped each of their four previous postseason matches.
  • Fafa Picault scored the game-tying goal in the 78th minute, then set up the game-winner from Marco Fabian in the 106th minute, as the Union overcame a 3-1 deficit in the second half for the historic win. The two-goal deficit overcome matched the largest in a playoff game in MLS history.
ATLUTD: Brad Guzan was credited with six saves, recording his sixth shutout in 11 appearances all-time in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The six shutouts are tied for 10th-most in the MLS Cup Playoffs in league history. … Ezequiel Barco recorded his first assist in six career appearances in the postseason.
 
UNION: Alejandro Bedoya netted his second career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs, in his third career appearance. … Fafa Picault became the first player in Union history to be involved in multiple goals in a playoff game, with one goal and one assist.
 
 
W#1 LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL CLUB vs. W#5 LA GALAXY
Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
7:30 p.m. PT (ESPN / ESPN Deportes; TSN 4, TVA Sports)
 
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Andrew Bigelow; 4th: Chris Penso; VAR: David Gantar; AVAR: Joshua Patlak
MLS Career: 351 games; FC/gm: 24.6; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 82; pens: 95
MLS Cup Playoffs: 37 games; FC/gm: 28.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 4; pens: 4
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: LAFC 0 wins, 11 goals … Galaxy 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 3
AT BANC OF CALIFORNIA STADIUM: LAFC 0 wins, 8 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 2
 
2019 (MLS):
7/19: LA 3, LFC 2 (Ibrahimovic 8, 56, 70 -- Vela 4, 97+)
8/25: LFC 3, LA 3 (Blessing 12, 46+; Vela 53 -- Ibrahimovic 2, 15; Pavon 16)
 
MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: First meeting.
  • The teams met twice during the regular season. Zlatan Ibrahimović scored a hat trick, overcoming a pair of goals from Carlos Vela, as the Galaxy claimed a 3-2 win on July 19 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Then on Aug. 25 at Banc of California Stadium, Ibrahimović scored two more goals and Cristian Pavón had a goal and an assist – all within the opening 16 minutes – but Latif Blessing netted a brace before the halftime break and Vela scored the leveler early in the second half, leaving the teams in a 3-3 draw.
  • The teams have met five times in their histories, and the Galaxy have yet to lose to their crosstown rivals. The teams met three times in LAFC’s inaugural campaign. The Galaxy took a dramatic 4-3 victory in the first ever LA derby, coming back from a three-goal deficit behind a pair of goals from Ibrahimović, playing in his first MLS game, on March 31 at Banc of California Stadium. The teams played to draws in their final two meetings, a 2-2 result on July 26 at Banc of California Stadium, and a 1-1 match on Aug. 24 in Carson, Calif.
  • The teams have never before met outside of MLS regular season play.
  • LAFC comes into the match following a 3-1 win vs. the Colorado Rapids at Banc of California Stadium on Decision Day (Oct. 6). The win extended LAFC’s season-ending undefeated streak to six games.
  • Carlos Vela netted all three goals for his second career MLS hat trick, giving him 34 goals for the season, an all-time MLS record in winning the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. Vela ended the season with goals in his last nine games, with 12 goals in that span, dating back to Aug. 11, equaling the second-longest goalscoring streak in MLS history.
  • LAFC has played one game in the MLS Cup Playoffs in the club’s history, suffering a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at Banc of California Stadium in a Knockout Round matchup last year.
  • The Galaxy won their first playoff match since 2016 in Round 1, defeating Minnesota United 2-1 at Allianz Field on Sunday evening. Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos netted goals four minutes apart to send the Galaxy on their way, winning a game on the road in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012.
LAFC: Tristan Blackmon collected two assists in the Decision Day finale, the first multiple-assist game of his MLS career. … Eduard Atuesta recorded his 11th assist of the season, tied for 11th-most in MLS in 2019. … Latif Blessing notched his sixth assist of the season, equaling his MLS single-season career-high set last year with LAFC. … Walker Zimmerman recorded his first assist of the season, the third of his MLS career, with one assist in each of the last three seasons.
 
GALAXY: Sebastian Lletget scored his second career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs, making his fifth career appearance. … Romain Alessandrini collected his first career postseason assist in his MLS Cup Playoffs debut. … Jonathan dos Santos also scored on his MLS Cup Playoffs debut.
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