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MLS Media Resources: Week 1 News & Notes

MLS MEDIA RESOURCES: WEEK 1 NEWS & NOTES
News and notes and statistical trends from around Major League Soccer
 
25th SEASON OF MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER KICKS OFF WITH 13 MATCHES THIS WEEKEND
 
The new MLS season kicks off Saturday, Feb. 29 as the quest begins to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy as MLS Cup champions in November.
 
The LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City have won 13 times to begin the year in their 24 MLS seasons, the most of any club in league history. Both Orlando City SC (1-0-4) and Los Angeles Football Club (2-0-0) have yet to lose in their season openers in club history.
 
Here’s 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
  W L T W L T W L T
Atlanta United 0 3 0 1 1 1 1 2 0
Chicago Fire 5 10 7 10 7 5 4 9 9
FC Cincinnati 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Colorado Rapids 6 13 5 14 3 7 3 17 4
Columbus Crew SC 9 9 6 12 3 9 9 12 3
D.C. United 9 11 4 10 7 7 5 15 4
FC Dallas 12 4 8 13 4 7 6 11 7
Houston Dynamo 7 2 5 8 1 5 2 8 4
Sporting Kansas City 13 7 4 14 3 7 8 12 4
Los Angeles FC 2 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1
LA Galaxy 13 8 3 15 7 2 7 9 8
Minnesota United 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 2 0
Montreal Impact 3 5 0 4 1 3 3 5 0
New England Revolution 5 13 6 14 6 4 4 14 6
New York Red Bulls 9 9 6 15 4 5 7 10 7
New York City FC 2 1 2 3 0 2 2 1 2
Orlando City SC 1 0 4 1 0 4 2 2 1
Philadelphia Union 2 5 3 5 3 2 2 5 3
Portland Timbers 3 2 4 5 1 3 1 4 4
Real Salt Lake 5 2 8 6 1 8 5 5 5
San Jose Earthquakes 9 11 2 9 9 4 7 14 1
Seattle Sounders FC 6 5 0 7 4 0 3 5 3
Toronto FC 5 7 1 7 5 1 5 7 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5 3 1 5 3 1 3 5 1
 
 
 
MLS WELL-REPRESENTED IN WORLD’S TOP GOALSCORERS OVER 2019 YEAR
 
The 2019 season was treated to one of the greatest Golden Boot races in Major League Soccer history, as three players scored more than 27 goals – and two scored more than 30 – both for the first time in league annals.
 
The trio all figured in the top 15 goalscorers worldwide for the 2019 calendar year, Carlos Vela finished tied for second-most on the globe with his 34 goals (along with Lionel Messi), while Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted 30 goals over the entirety of the year, seventh-most in world football. Josef Martínez was tied for 12th overall, with 27 goals.
 
This MLS season will see another top performer in the 2019 goal charts join the league, as Erik Sorga has come to D.C. United from FC Flora in Estonia, where he scored 31 goals in 2019 (tied for fourth-most in the world). Another long-time MLS campaigner also figured on the chart: Alváro Saborío (Real Salt Lake, 2010-15; D.C. United, 2015-16), who netted 25 goals for AD San Carlos of Costa Rica, tied for 21st-most.
 
LEADING GOALSCORERS WORLDWIDE (2019 CALENDAR YEAR)
 
 
GP
GLS
Abderazak Hamdallah
Al-Nassr FC (KSA)
25
35
Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona (ESP)
32
34
Carlos Vela
Los Angeles FC (MLS)
31
34
Kylian Mbappé
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
29
31
Erik Sorga *
FC Flora (EST)
34
31
Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munchen FC (GER)
34
31
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
LA Galaxy (MLS)/AC Milan (ITA)
29
30
Eran Zahavi
Guangzhou R&F (CHN)
28
29
Germán Cano
CR Vasco da Gama (BRA)
32
29
Jamie Vardy
Leicester City FC (ENG)
37
29
Marko Simic
Persija Jakarta (IDN)
32
28
Juanfri
St. Joseph's FC (GIB)
26
27
Josef Martínez
Atlanta United (MLS)
29
27
Tomislav Kis
Seongnam FC (KOR)
31
27
Karim Benzema
CF Real Madrid (ESP)
37
27
Klaemint Olsen
NSÍ Runavík (FAR)
27
26
Bernardo Cuesta
Buriram United (THA)
27
26
Dusan Tadic
Ajax Amsterdam (NED)
35
26
Sebastián Tagliabúe
Al-Wahda FC Abu Dhabi (UAE)
24
25
Gabriel Barbosa
CR Flamengo (BRA)
29
25
Álvaro Saborío
AD San Carlos (CRC)
45
25
 
 
* signed with D.C. United for 2020 season
 
 
NASHVILLE, INTER MIAMI AIM TO ADD TO RARE EXPANSION TEAM WINS IN OPENERS
 
Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF play their first-ever matches in Major League Soccer when the 25th and 26th clubs in the league open the 25th season in 2020 in Week 1. Just four 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 Lockhart Stadium (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.
  • Los Angeles FC opened their history in 2018 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, the only coach in MLS history to lead two different teams to wins in their first league matches.
 
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)
3/2/2019 Cincinnati Seattle SEA 4-1 39,011 SEA: Leerdam (27) Morris (33, 43) Ruidiaz (87);
          CIN: Bertone (13)
 
 
D.C. UNITED CARRY RECORD SHUTOUT STREAK INTO NEW SEASON
 
D.C. United concluded the 2019 season with five consecutive shutouts in league play, ending the regular season campaign with a 504-minute shutout streak, the longest in the club’s first 24 seasons.
 
United open the new season looking to add to the mark, which is the 11th-longest shutout streak of any sort in MLS history. With a shutout in their season-opening match vs. the Colorado Rapids at Audi Field on Saturday, D.C. would move to No. 4 on the all-time list.
 
CONSECUTIVE MINUTES WITHOUT ALLOWING A GOAL
Houston Dynamo
727
6/10/2007
7/22/2007
Kansas City Wizards
681
4/19/2000
5/27/2000
LA Galaxy
612
9/26/2009
4/17/2010
Real Salt Lake
568
8/11/2010
9/25/2010
Real Salt Lake
567
5/29/2010
7/17/2010
Sporting Kansas City
546
3/9/2013
4/20/2013
FC Dallas
531
5/1/2011
5/28/2011
Los Angeles Galaxy
521
6/17/2006
7/22/2006
Atlanta United
521
4/20/2019
5/19/2019
Columbus Crew SC
512
4/28/2018
6/2/2018
D.C. United
504
8/24/2019
current
 
 
 
MLS WEEK 1 – LOOK AHEAD
 
D.C. UNITED vs. COLORADO RAPIDS
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #1)
Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
1 p.m. ET (WJLA 7; Altitude)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: D.C. United 21 wins (2 shootout), 73 goals … Rapids 13 wins (1 shootout), 55 goals … Ties 10
AT D.C.: D.C. United 13 wins (1 shootout), 45 goals … Rapids 3 wins (1 shootout), 20 goals … Ties 6
 
REFEREE: Nima Saghafi. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): Adam Wienckowski; 4th: Fotis Bazakos; VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.; AVAR: Craig Lowry
MLS Career: 61 games; FC/gm: 26.8; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 9; pens: 21
  • D.C. United concluded their preseason with a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday in Clearwater, Fla. Ola Kamara scored a pair of goals, with the third coming from Ulises Segura. United completed their preparatory campaign with a 3-2-1 record, 2-2-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • The Rapids saw their preseason campaign come to an end in a rain-shortened 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday. Andre Shinyashiki scored the Rapids’ goal on three minutes, after TFC had opened the scoring in the first minute, but the match was halted at halftime. The Rapids concluded their preseason with a 2-3-2 record, 1-3-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • D.C. United has a nine-game undefeated streak, and a three-game winning streak, alive in the all-time series, including a 3-2 win last April 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the only meeting between the clubs. The Rapids’ last win in the series came April 3, 2011, a 4-1 in Commerce City.
  • D.C. United has a five-game home undefeated streak in the series, dating back to 2010, with three wins in that span, including a 2-1 win in the last meeting in D.C., July 28, 2018 in the first encounter at Audi Field.
  • D.C. United won their season opener a year ago, a 2-0 win vs. Atlanta United, now undefeated in their last three season openers. The Rapids are 1-3-3 since 2013 in season openers, last year reaching a 3-3 draw with Portland at home.
UNITED: Bill Hamid tied for the MLS league lead with 14 shutouts and recorded a 1.12 goals against average, third in the league. … New acquisition Julian Gressel recorded 12 assists with Atlanta United in 2019, tied for seventh-most in MLS, his second consecutive season with double digits in assists. … Yamil Asad returns in 2020; he recorded 16 goals and 21 assists in his first two MLS seasons with Atlanta (2017) and D.C. (2018).
 
RAPIDS: Kei Kamara led the Rapids with 14 goals in 2019, his seventh season with 10+ goals, tied for third-most in MLS history. Kamara has 126 career league goals, fifth on the all-time league table. … Diego Rubio scored 11 goals in 2019, second on the Rapids, his single-season career-high in his fourth MLS campaign. The 11 goals were tied for 17th in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
 
 
MONTREAL IMPACT vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #2)
Olympic Stadium, Montréal, Qué.
3 p.m. ET (TSN 4 / TVA Sports; NBCS-Bos)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Impact 9 wins, 29 goals … Revolution 9 wins, 28 goals … Ties 3
AT MONTRÉAL: Impact 5 wins, 19 goals … Revolution 4 wins, 15 goals … Ties 2
 
REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Nick Uranga; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Pierre-Luc Lauziere; VAR: Malik Badawi; AVAR: Robert Schaap
MLS Career: 168 games; FC/gm: 23.7; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 51; pens: 65
  • The Impact claimed a stunning result in their first competitive match of the year, reaching a 2-2 draw with Deportivo Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica on Wednesday evening. The Impact were up by two goals after just 22 minutes on goals from Orji Okwonkwo and Romell Quioto, but Saprissa netted two goals in the final 10 minutes to pull level. The Impact advanced to the quarterfinals after holding on to a 0-0 draw in Montréal, advancing on away goals.
  • The Revolution concluded their preseason campaign with a 3-1 win against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday evening. Gustavo Bou netted two goals for the Revs, the third coming from new acquisition Adam Buksa. The Revolution ended their preparations with a 2-2-1 record, all vs. MLS sides.
  • The Impact gained points from both meetings between the clubs a season ago, a 3-0 win April 24 at Gillette Stadium, and a goalless draw May 18 at Stade Saputo.
  • The Impact have taken points from the last two home encounters in the series, after the Revolution had won the previous two matchups in Montréal, in 2016 and 2017. The teams are meeting for the first time at Olympic Stadium.
  • The Impact opened the season a year ago with a 2-1 win at San Jose, snapping a two-game losing skid in season openers. The 2020 opener at Olympic Stadium is the first time in the Impact’s nine-year history in MLS they have opened a season at home.
  • The Revolution started their season last year with a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas; they last won to open the season in 2013. This is the 12th consecutive season the Revolution have opened the MLS season on the road; they have hosted one season opener in their 25 MLS seasons (March 29, 2008 vs. Houston).
IMPACT: Saphir Taïder led the Impact in both goals (9) and assists (7) in 2019, his second season in MLS (after recording 7 goals, 8 assists in 2018). … Lassi Lappalainen scored 5 goals in 11 games after his midseason arrival to MLS. … Bojan Krkic netted 3 goals in 8 league appearances after his arrival midway through the year.
 
REVOLUTION: Carles Gil was named MLS Newcomer of the Year after scoring 10 goals and adding 14 assists (fifth-most in MLS) in 2019, one of four players in the league in double figures in both goals and assists. … Gustavo Bou scored 9 goals in 14 league appearances after his arrival to the club at midseason. … Cristian Penilla scored 6 goals and added 8 assists, after a 12-goal, 7-assist campaign in his first MLS season in 2018.
 
 
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. LA GALAXY
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #3)
BBVA Stadium, Houston, Texas
2:30 p.m. CT (Univision / TUDN)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dynamo 12 wins, 42 goals … Galaxy 11 wins, 39 goals … Ties 7
AT HOUSTON: Dynamo 8 wins, 26 goals … Galaxy 5 wins, 20 goals … Ties 3
 
REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Frank Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Michael Barwegen; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal; VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero; AVAR: Ian Anderson
MLS Career: 257 games; FC/gm: 23.0; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 42; pens: 81
  • The Dynamo saw their preseason schedule come to an end in a 4-1 loss to Columbus Crew SC in Tucson, Ariz. Tommy McNamara scored the lone Dynamo goal, who completed their preparations with a 3-1-1 record, 1-1-1 vs. MLS competition.
  • The Galaxy ended their preseason campaign with a 1-1 draw vs. Chicago Fire FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday evening. The Galaxy’s lone goal came from Sacha Kljestan, his first of the preseason since coming to the club in the offseason. The Galaxy ended their preseason with a 3-1-1 record, all vs. MLS competition.
  • The teams split their two encounters a season ago, each winning on their home ground. The Galaxy claimed a 2-1 victory April 19 at Dignity Health Sports Park, then the Dynamo took a 4-2 victory Oct. 6 at BBVA Stadium.
  • The Dynamo have won the last two meetings between the clubs in Houston; the Galaxy’s last victory there came Oct. 16, 2016, a 1-0 victory.
  • The Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake at home to open the season a year ago; they are undefeated in their last eight home openers (6-0-2), since 2012. The Galaxy won their season opener for a second consecutive year in 2019, defeating the Chicago Fire in Carson.
DYNAMO: Mauro Manotas led the Dynamo with 13 goals in 2019, tied for ninth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, his third consecutive season with double figures in goals (after a career-high 19 goals in 2018). … Alberth Elis led the Dynamo with 10 assists and also scored 9 goals, a third consecutive year (in his three MLS seasons) where he’s had double digits in either goals or assists (with 11 goals and 10 assists in 2018). … Darwin Quintero has arrived from Minnesota United FC, where he scored in double figures in goals in his first two MLS seasons (21 goals, 20 assists in total).
 
GALAXY: Cristian Pavón recorded 8 assists in 11 matches after his arrival late in the season – 7 of the assists came in consecutive games from Aug. 25-Sept. 29, one game shy of the all-time MLS record. … Sebastian Lletget (3 goals, 6 assists in 2019) and Jonathan dos Santos (2 goals, 3 assists in 2019) return to power the Galaxy midfield.
 
 
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs. TORONTO FC
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #4)
Avaya Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
2:30 p.m. PT (TSN 4/5; NBCS-BA)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Earthquakes 6 wins, 21 goals … Toronto FC 5 wins, 23 goals … Ties 5
AT SAN JOSE: Earthquakes 3 wins, 10 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 2
 
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Jeffrey Greeson; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Greg Dopka; VAR: Younes Marrakchi; AVAR: Michael Kampmeinert
MLS Career: 135 games; FC/gm: 22.1; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 27; pens: 32
  • The Quakes concluded their preseason preparations with a 3-1 loss in a closed-door scrimmage vs. Sacramento Republic of the USL on Friday. The lone San Jose goal came through Andy Rios in the first half. The Quakes recorded a 2-2-1 record in their preseason matches, one vs. an MLS side (a 4-1 loss to Columbus Crew SC on Feb. 3).
  • Toronto FC had their preseason campaign come to a conclusion with a rain-shortened 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday. Tsubasa Endoh scored the TFC goal after just 33 seconds, before the match was eventually abandoned at halftime. TFC concluded their preseason with a 3-2-1 record, 2-2-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • The Quakes won the lone meeting between the teams a season ago, a 2-1 win May 26 at BMO Field, their first win in Toronto in four matches (since 2012).
  • The Quakes have a four-game home undefeated streak alive in the series, dating back to 2010, when TFC claimed a 3-1 win at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara. The Quakes have never lost to TFC at Avaya Stadium in two meetings all-time (one win, one draw).
  • The Quakes saw a three-game winning streak in season openers put to an end last year, dropping a 2-1 decision to Montréal at home. Toronto FC won for the fourth time in their last six season openers in 2019, winning 3-1 at Philadelphia.
QUAKES: Chris Wondolowski scored 15 goals in 2019, tied for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. The all-time leading goalscorer in MLS history with 159 career league goals, Wondolowski has now scored in double digits in 10 consecutive seasons. … Magnus Eriksson led San Jose with 10 assists in 2019, his second in MLS. … Cristian Espinoza was sixth in MLS with 13 assists, to go with 2 goals, in his debut league season. … Vako Qazaishvili scored 8 goals and added 5 assists in 2019.
 
TFC: Alejandro Pozuelo led TFC with 12 goals and 12 assists in his debut season in MLS, then added 2 goals and 3 assists in the club’s run to the MLS Cup Final. … Jozy Altidore scored 11 goals in 2019, the fourth time in five seasons in Toronto he’s reached double figures in goals. … Nick DeLeon scored 6 goals in 2019, equaling his single-season career-high set in his rookie season of 2012 while with D.C. United.
 
 
ORLANDO CITY SC vs. REAL SALT LAKE
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #5)
Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
6 p.m. ET (FOX 35 Plus; KMYU-12)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Orlando City 2 wins, 8 goals … Real 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 2
AT ORLANDO: Orlando City 1 win, 5 goals … Real 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
 
REFEREE: Rubiel Vazquez. AR1 (bench): Andrew Bigelow; AR2 (opposite): Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein; 4th: Marcos de Oliveira; VAR: Sorin Stoica; AVAR: Kyle Longville
MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 21.2; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 6; pens: 5
  • Orlando City concluded their preseason preparations with a 2-1 win against USL Championship side San Antonio FC at Exploria Stadium on Friday evening. Chris Mueller netted the game-winner for OCSC after Tesho Akindele gave the side a first-half lead. Orlando City ended their preseason with a 6-1-0 record, 1-1-0 vs. MLS competition.
  • Real had their preseason preparations come to an end with a 3-2 loss to USL side Phoenix Rising FC in the final match of the Visit Tucson Sun Cup in Arizona on Saturday evening. Damir Kreilach and Justin Meram scored the RSL goals, who ended their preseason schedule with a 1-2-0 record, 1-1-0 vs. MLS teams.
  • Real Salt Lake won the lone meeting between the clubs a season ago, a 2-1 win April 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium, their first win ever vs. Orlando City SC in five meetings all-time. OCSC had won two of the first four meetings, with two draws.
  • Orlando City won the last meeting between the clubs in Orlando, a 3-1 win May 6, 2018. The first meeting between the teams in Orlando, in 2016, ended in a 2-2 draw.
  • Orlando City have never lost to open the season in their MLS history, last year reaching a 1-1 draw with New York City, their fourth draw in five MLS openers. OCSC has opened every season at home. Real Salt Lake reached a fifth consecutive draw in season openers – and extended their overall undefeated streak to 10 games to start seasons – in a 1-1 result at Houston to open 2019.
OCSC: Nani scored 12 goals and added 10 assists in 2019, one of four players in the league in both goals and assists, his first season in MLS. … Tesho Akindele scored a single-season career-high 10 goals in 2019, his first in Orlando after 5 years with FC Dallas. … Dom Dwyer scored 7 goals in 2019; he has 81 goals over his 8 MLS seasons.
 
REAL: Albert Rusnák scored 10 goals to lead RSL in 2019, his second consecutive season with 10 goals (in three MLS campaigns). … Damir Kreilach scored 6 goals and added 5 assists in 2019, after scoring 12 goals with 8 assists in his first MLS campaign in 2018. … Sam Johnson netted 9 goals in 24 appearances in his first MLS season. … Kyle Beckerman returns for his 21st season; he and Nick Rimando are the only players in MLS history to have played in 20 seasons.
 
 
FC DALLAS vs. PHILADELPHIA UNION
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #6)
Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
5 p.m. CT (FCDTV; PHL 17)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: FC Dallas 6 wins, 21 goals … Union 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 4
AT DALLAS: FC Dallas 5 wins, 12 goals … Union 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
 
REFEREE: Robert Sibiga. AR1 (bench): Jason White; AR2 (opposite): Eric Weisbrod; 4th: Elton Garcia; VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.; AVAR: Jonathan Johnson
MLS Career: 100 games; FC/gm: 21.8; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 24; pens: 28
  • FC Dallas ended their preseason with a closed-door scrimmage vs. Inter Miami CF on Saturday in Tampa, where results and team information were not disclosed. FCD had a 5-2-1 record in preseason matches, 1-1-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • The Union ended their preseason schedule with a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on Saturday afternoon in Clearwater, Fla., Jamiro Monteiro netting the lone Union goal. The Union completed their preseason campaign with a 3-4-0 mark, all vs. MLS competition.
  • The Union took a 2-1 win in the lone meeting between the clubs a season ago, April 6 in Chester. The home team has won each of the last four meetings, over the last four seasons.
  • FC Dallas is undefeated all-time at home vs. the Union, with five wins and one draw in league play, and victories in the last three meetings in Frisco dating back to 2014.
  • FC Dallas reached a 1-1 draw with New England at home to start the 2019 season, extending their undefeated streak in season openers to 10 games, dating back to 2010 (6-0-4). The Union suffered a 3-1 loss in Chester to start 2019, ending a brief two-game undefeated run in season openers.
FCD: 19-year-old Jesús Ferreira led FC Dallas with 8 goals and added 6 assists in 2019. … Michael Barrios was tied for third in the MLS assist standings in 2019 with 15, a career-high and his second year with 10+ assists in 5 MLS seasons. … Zdenek Ondrasek scored 7 goals in 17 matches in his first MLS season.
 
UNION: Kacper Przybylko scored 15 goals (tied for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings) and added 4 assists in his first season in MLS in 2019. … Jamiro Monteiro scored 4 goals and added 9 assists in his first season in MLS.
 
 
NASHVILLE SC vs. ATLANTA UNITED
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #7)
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tenn.
7 p.m. CT (FOX / FOX Deportes; TSN 4)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.
 
REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Kathryn Nesbitt; AR2 (opposite): Logan Brown; 4th: Rosendo Mendoza; VAR: Jon Freemon; AVAR: Jeff Muschik
MLS Career: 123 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 18; pens: 32
  • Nashville SC concluded their first MLS preseason with a 3-1-2 record, ending their preparatory campaign with a 1-1 draw with D.C. United in Clearwater, Fla. Nashville SC ended with a 2-1-1 mark vs. MLS sides.
  • Atlanta United gained a quality result from their competitive opener in 2020, reaching a 1-1 draw with FC Motagua in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Tuesday evening. The home side took the lead after 34 minutes, but Josef Martínez equalized barely a minute later to give ATLUTD a vital away goal ahead of the return leg.
  • Atlanta defeated Motagua 3-0 on Feb. 25 Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Atlanta to advance to the quarterfinals with an aggregate score of 4-1. Pity Martínez scored two goals and added an assist, while Josef Martínez recorded one goal and two assists in the victory.
  • Atlanta United have gone down to defeat in each of their three season openers in their Major League Soccer history, last year falling 2-0 at D.C. United.
NASHVILLE SC: David Accam had a combined 6 goals and 3 assists in 2019 with Philadelphia and Columbus; he has 40 goals in his 5 MLS seasons. … Dominique Badji scored 6 goals in 2019 with FC Dallas, with 32 goals in his 5-season MLS career. … Dax McCarty moves to Nashville for his 15th season, with 361 career league appearances; 21 players in MLS league history have played in 15 or more seasons.
 
ATLUTD: Josef Martínez finished third in the MLS Golden Boot standings in 2019 with 27 goals. Martínez has scored 77 goals in league play since 2017 – the most of any player over a three-year period in MLS history. … Pity Martínez scored 5 goals and added 9 assists in his first MLS season in 2019. … Brad Guzan was tied for the MLS league lead with 14 shutouts, tied for the third-most in a single season in MLS history.
 
 
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #8)
BC Place, Vancouver, B.C.
7:30 p.m. PT (TSN 1/4)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Whitecaps FC 3 wins, 18 goals … Sporting 9 wins, 33 goals … Ties 4
AT VANCOUVER: Whitecaps FC 2 wins, 10 goals … Sporting 4 wins, 15 goals … Ties 2
 
REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Michael Radchuk; VAR: Geoff Gamble; AVAR: Rene Parra
MLS Career: 96 games; FC/gm: 23.4; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 32; pens: 53
  • Whitecaps FC concluded their preseason preparations with a dramatic victory, Fredy Montero netting the game-winner in stoppage time for a 2-1 win vs. Minnesota United FC at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. Lucas Cavallini pulled Whitecaps FC level earlier in the second half, who finished their preparations with a 3-2-1 record, all vs. MLS competition.
  • Sporting saw their preseason come to a close in a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at the Visit Tucson Sun Cup in Arizona on Saturday. Gadi Kinda scored the lone goal for Sporting, who concluded their preparations with a 2-3-1 preseason record, 1-2-1 vs. MLS competition.
  • Sporting Kansas City have a four-game undefeated streak alive in the series, with three victories in that time, over the last two seasons. The teams met twice a season ago, first reaching a 1-1 draw May 18 at Children’s Mercy Park, then SKC claiming a 3-0 win July 13 at BC Place.
  • Sporting have won the last two meetings in Vancouver, also taking a 4-1 there in 2018. SKC has come away with points on six of their eight trips all-time to BC Place, with four wins and two draws.
  • Whitecaps FC suffered a 3-2 loss to Minnesota United FC to kick off the 2019 season, snapping a two-game undefeated run in season openers. Whitecaps FC have opened each of their 10 seasons in MLS at home. Sporting fell to a second consecutive season-opening loss in 2019 after a three-game undefeated run to start the year, dropping a 2-1 decision at Los Angeles FC.
WHITECAPS FC: Fredy Montero scored 8 goals and added 3 assists in 2019. Montero has scored in double figures in five of his six seasons in MLS, now with 68 career league goals. … Yordy Reyna scored an MLS single-season career-high 7 goals in 2019 (he had 6 in both 2017 and ’18). … Hwang Inbeom was tied for the ‘Caps team lead with 5 assists (along with 3 goals) in his debut season in 2019.
 
SPORTING: Felipe Gutiérrez scored 12 goals to lead Sporting in 2019, also adding three assists. … Johnny Russell scored 9 goals and added 9 assists in 2019. Over his two seasons in MLS, Russell has 19 goals and 19 assists.
 
 
COLUMBUS CREW SC vs. NEW YORK CITY FC
Sunday, March 1, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #9)
Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
12:30 p.m. ET (TSN 5; STOhio; YES)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Crew SC 3 wins, 19 goals … NYCFC 4 wins, 23 goals … Ties 4
AT COLUMBUS: Crew SC 2 wins, 14 goals … NYCFC 1 win, 13 goals … Ties 3
 
REFEREE: Ramy Touchan. AR1 (bench): Felisha Mariscal; AR2 (opposite): Chris Elliott; 4th: Lukasz Szpala; VAR: Hilario Grajeda; AVAR: Ian McKay
MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 1; pens: 3
  • Crew SC completed an undefeated preseason campaign with a 4-1 win against the Houston Dynamo in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday. Gyasi Zardes scored the first of his two goals in the opening minute – the second consecutive match Columbus scored in the opening minute – with Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan also scoring. The Crew ended their preparations with a 5-0-2 record, 3-0-2 vs. MLS sides.
  • NYCFC captured a massive victory in the first international match in the club’s history, defeating AD San Carlos in Costa Rica in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in the Concacaf Champions League on Wednesday. Héber netted a hat trick for NYCFC’s first three goals and then strikes by Alexander Callens and Alexandru Mitrita put the match away.
  • NYCFC defeated AD San Carlos 1-0 in the return match on Feb. 26 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. behind a goal from defender Alexander Callens. NYCFC advanced to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals on a 6-3 aggregate score.
  • The teams met twice in 2019, with NYCFC coming away with points in both. The teams reached a 2-2 draw June 1 at Mapfre Stadium, then NYCFC took the win by the game’s only goal Aug. 21 at Yankee Stadium.
  • NYCFC have won once all-time in Columbus, a 3-2 win there in 2017. Crew SC have won two of the six meetings at home in the series in league play; three have ended in draws.
  • Crew SC reached a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls to start 2019, now three season openers in a row with a result. NYCFC opened 2019 with a 1-1 draw at Orlando City SC; NYCFC have opened each of their six MLS seasons with an away match.
CREW SC: Gyasi Zardes scored 13 goals in 2019, leading Crew SC. He ended in a tie for ninth in the MLS Golden Boot standings, the third time in his eight MLS seasons netting 10 or more goals in a campaign. … Pedro Santos scored 11 goals and added 6 assists (leading the club) in his third season with Crew SC. … The Crew made two key veteran acquisitions in the offseason: Fanendo Adi (last with FC Cincinnati; 55 goals in 6 MLS seasons), and Darlington Nagbe (last with Atlanta United; 29 goals, 37 assists in 9 MLS seasons).
 
NYCFC: Maximiliano Moralez led MLS with 20 assists in 2019, the third player in league history to record 20 or more assists in a single season. Moralez has 45 assists over his three MLS campaigns. … Héber scored 15 goals in 22 appearances in his debut MLS campaign, tied for fifth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. … Alexandru Mitrita was second on NYCFC with 12 goals and added 3 assists in his debut season in MLS.
 
 
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. FC CINCINNATI
Sunday, March 1, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #10)
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
1 p.m. ET (MSG; WSTR – Star 64)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Red Bulls 2 wins, 3 goals … FCC 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
AT RED BULLS: Red Bulls 1 win, 1 goal … FCC 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
 
REFEREE: David Gantar. AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Kevin Broadley; VAR: Jorge Gonzalez; AVAR: Thomas Supple
MLS Career: 85 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 34; pens: 18
  • The Red Bulls concluded their preseason schedule with a 2-1 win vs. Sporting Kansas City in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup in Arizona on Saturday. Cristian Casseres Jr. set up a goal by Florian Valot to give the Red Bulls the lead, then netted a penalty kick four minutes from time to seal the win. The Red Bulls concluded their preparations with a 4-2-2 record, 3-1-2 vs. MLS teams.
  • FC Cincinnati wrapped up their preseason with a 3-3 draw with Icelandic top flight side KR Reykjavik in Bradenton, Fla. on Saturday. Kendall Waston, Jimmy McLaughlin and Allan Cruz all netted goals for FCC, who concluded their preparatory campaign with a 3-2-1 record, 1-2-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • The Red Bulls won both meetings between the clubs in FCC’s inaugural season, without conceding a goal. The Red Bulls took a 1-0 win in the first meeting ever, April 27 at Red Bull Arena, then claimed a 2-0 win May 25 at Nippert Stadium. FC Cincinnati held the Red Bulls to a total of three attempts on target over the two matches – the Red Bulls scored on all three.
  • The Red Bulls stretched their season-opening undefeated streak to three games in 2019, reaching a 1-1 draw at Columbus Crew SC. FC Cincinnati opened their inaugural season with a 4-1 reversal in Seattle.
RED BULLS: Daniel Royer scored 11 goals in 2019, tied for 17th-most in MLS in 2019, Royer’s third consecutive season netting double figures in goals in MLS. … Kaku scored 5 goals and added 6 assists in 26 games in 2019 (he was tied for ninth in MLS with 13 assists in 2018). … Brian White scored 9 goals in 19 appearances in 2019, hs second professional season.
 
FCC: Allan Cruz was FC Cincinnati’s top scorer in the club’s inaugural MLS season, netting 7 goals. … Offseason acquisition Haris Medunjanin led Philadelphia Union with 10 assists in 2019.
 
 
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs. CHICAGO FIRE FC
Sunday, March 1, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #11)
CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
12 noon PT (ESPN / ESPN Deportes; TSN 5)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sounders FC 8 wins, 20 goals … Fire FC 2 wins, 15 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE: Sounders FC 4 wins, 8 goals … Fire FC 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 2
 
REFEREE: Alex Chilowicz. AR1 (bench): Jeremy Kieso; AR2 (opposite): Cory Richardson; 4th: Ismir Pekmic; VAR: Victor Rivas; AVAR: Fabio Tovar
MLS Career: 26 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 4; pens: 10
  • Sounders FC kicked off their competitive campaign with a solid result, gaining a 2-2 draw with CD Olimpia in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in the Concacaf Champions League on Thursday. Newcomer Joao Pinto gave Sounders FC and early lead and Jordan Morris doubled it shortly after the halftime break, but Olimpia scored two late goals to equalize. The return leg is set for Feb. 27 at CenturyLink Field.
  • Fire FC ended their preseason preparations with a 1-1 draw vs. the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park, Micheal Azira scoring a late equalizer for the Fire. Fire FC concluded their preseason schedule with a 3-2-1 record, 2-2-1 vs. MLS competition.
  • Sounders FC won the lone meeting between the clubs a season ago, a 4-2 victory at SeatGeek Stadium. It was Seattle’s fourth win in eight trips all-time to Chicago, including wins in three of the last five visits there, since 2012. The teams have never met at Soldier Field.
  • Sounders FC are undefeated in six meetings all-time with the Fire at CenturyLink Field, with a 4-0-2 record, last a 1-1 draw there in 2018.
  • Sounders FC started the 2019 season with a 4-1 home win vs. FC Cincinnati, ending a three-game losing skid in season openers. Fire FC started 2019 with a 2-1 loss at the LA Galaxy; they last won their season-opening match in 2009 (0-7-3 since).
SOUNDERS FC: Raúl Ruidíaz scored 11 goals in 22 games to lead Sounders FC in the regular season, then added another four in Seattle’s run to the MLS Cup title. Ruidíaz has 21 goals in his two seasons in MLS. … Jordan Morris scored 10 goals and added 7 assists in 2019, the second time in three seasons on the field where he’s scored double figures in goals. … Nicolas Lodeiro was tied for seventh in the MLS assist standings with 12 in 2019, the third consecutive season he’s recorded double digits in assists (with 40 in that span).
 
FIRE FC: CJ Sapong netted 13 goals in his first season with the Fire, after moving from Philadelphia, where he netted a career-high 16 goals in 2017. … Przemyslaw Frankowski returns for a second season, scoring 5 goals and 9 assists in his MLS debut season.
 
 
LOS ANGELES FOOTBALL CLUB vs. INTER MIAMI CF
Sunday, March 1, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #12)
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
2:30 p.m. PT (ESPN / ESPN Deportes; TSN 5)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: First meeting.
 
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho; 4th: Baldomero Toledo; VAR: Ricardo Salazar; AVAR: Cameron Blanchard
MLS Career: 161 games; FC/gm: 22.0; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 41; pens: 71
  • LAFC kicked off the first international campaign in the club’s history with a 2-0 loss to Club León of Mexico in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie in the Concacaf Champions League on Tuesday. The return match will be played at Banc of California Stadium on Feb. 27.
  • Inter Miami CF ended their preseason preparations with a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship at Al Lang Stadium in Tampa on Saturday. The lone IMCF goal came from No. 1 overall pick Robbie Robinson. Inter Miami CF also played a closed-door scrimmage vs. FC Dallas, where no results or team information was released; Inter Miami played one open friendly vs. an MLS side, suffering a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Feb. 15.
  • LAFC have won both season openers in the club’s history, last year defeating Sporting KC 2-1 at home, after starting their history with a 1-0 win at Seattle in 2018.
LAFC: Carlos Vela is back after putting together the single greatest season in MLS history – 34 goals, 15 assists. … Diego Rossi scored 16 goals in 2019, good for fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings. The combined 50 goals for Vela and Rossi was the most by a pair of teammates in MLS history. … Eduard Atuesta was tied for 11th in MLS with 11 assists in 2019.
 
IMCF: Lee Nguyen has 54 goals and 58 assists in his eight seasons, the most league goals and assists of any player on the expansion side, facing his former club in the Inter Miami inaugural match. … Juan Agudelo has 46 goals in 9 MLS seasons, last with the New England Revolution.
 
 
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs. MINNESOTA UNITED FC
Sunday, March 1, 2020 (Week 1, MLS Game #13)
Providence Park, Portland, Ore.
4:30 p.m. PT (FOX / FOX Deportes; TSN 5)
 
LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Timbers 2 wins, 10 goals … MNUFC 3 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
AT PORTLAND: Timbers 2 wins, 8 goals … MNUFC 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
 
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Kyle Atkins; AR2 (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Joseph Dickerson; VAR: Edvin Jurisevic; AVAR: Joshua Patlak
MLS Career: 144 games; FC/gm: 25.4; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 41; pens: 45
  • Minnesota United FC concluded their preseason preparations with a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. on Saturday. Ethan Finlay netted the lone goal for MNUFC, who suffered their first preseason loss in the effort, ending their schedule with a 4-1-1 record, 1-1-1 vs. MLS teams.
  • The Timbers saw their preseason come to an end in a 3-1 defeat by the New England Revolution at Providence Park on Saturday evening. Diego Chara netted the Timbers’ lone goal, as the club ended its preseason schedule with a 4-2-0 record, 1-2-0 vs. MLS teams.
  • MNUFC came away with points in both league meetings between the clubs a season ago, without conceding a goal. Minnesota United won the first encounter by the game’s only goal, Aug. 4 at Allianz Field; the teams then reached a goalless draw Sept. 22 at Providence Park.
  • MNUFC are now undefeated over the last four meetings in all competitions vs. the Timbers. Portland’s last victory in the series came April 14, 2018, a 3-2 win at home.
  • The Timbers started 2019 with a 3-3 draw at Colorado, the seventh time in the last eight seasons they’ve taken points to start the campaign (3-1-4). MNUFC won for the first time to start a season in their MLS history in 2019, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-2 on the road.
TIMBERS: Diego Valeri was second in MLS with 16 assists, while also adding 8 goals, in 2019, his fifth season with 10 or more assists. Valeri became just the sixth player in MLS history to reach 75 goals and 75 assists for his career (76 goals, 81 assists in 7 MLS seasons). … Jeremy Ebobisse was tied for the Timbers team lead with 11 goals in 2019, a single-season career-high in his third MLS season. … Sebastian Blanco had 6 goals and 11 assists in 2019, equaling his single-season career-high assist total from 2018.
 
MNUFC: Ethan Finlay scored 7 goals and added 3 assists in 2019, his most since a 12-goal, 13-assist season with Columbus in 2015. … Mason Toye scored 6 goals with 3 assists in 2019, his second MLS season.
 
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