MLS Week 4 rewind
Edson Buddle became the first player in MLS history to score a team’s first seven goals of the season as the LA Galaxy remain undefeated and untied after a win in an MLS Cup Final rematch. The New York Red Bulls lead the Eastern Conference after converting a late penalty kick to win, while the Colorado Rapids got a pair of spot kicks in a victory over Toronto FC. Late drama in Seattle saw Sounders FC notch a stoppage-time winner. Houston and San Jose each posted home shutout victories. For all the highlights of Week 4, click here.
Edson Buddle’s hot start
Edson Buddle’s seven goals are the most any player has had after four games in MLS history. Three players scored six in their first four games of a year – Raul Diaz Arce (D.C. United, 1997), Ante Razov (Chicago Fire, 1999) and Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy, 2002).
Buddle joins Ruiz – who did it twice (2002 and 2004) – by scoring goals in each of the opening four games of the season. The MLS record is five, set by Brian McBride in 1998 with the Columbus Crew.
Other hot – and not-so-hot – starts
The LA Galaxy are the fourth team in MLS history to win each of their first four games. The Galaxy now has done it three times in club history – the 1996 and 1998 Galaxy teams also won their first four games. D.C. United opened with four wins in 1997. The 1996 Galaxy set the MLS record with 12 consecutive wins to start the season; the ’98 team won its first nine.
D.C. United have become the sixth club to lose each of its first four games. United lost the first four games in 1996 before eventually rebounding to win MLS Cup. The MLS record for losses to start a season is seven, set in 1999 by the Kansas City Wizards; other teams to lose their first four games were: Tampa Bay Mutiny, 1999; New England Revolution, 2001; Toronto FC, 2007.
“The first [reason’s] got two names: Edson Buddle. That’s two fantastic goals by him, that second goal especially. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player in this league be this on fire. Opponents beware.”
— RSL coach Jason Kreis, speaking to Fox Soccer Channel after his team’s 2-1 loss to the Galaxy.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. The goals are going in, but there’s other chances in the game where he’s just missing. He’s getting pulled around like people wouldn’t believe. He’s getting fouled and hammered and he keeps going.”
— LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan on Buddle, to the Daily Breeze
“If the players had taken a vote on who we wanted to score that goal, we would’ve voted for Michael, because of the way he busts his butt in practice.”
— Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Peter Vagenas on Michael Fucito, to the Tacoma News Tribune
“My shoes are hot. It’s going to be hot from now on. It’s a goal, and the shoes are hot.”
— Houston Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro, to the Houston Chronicle, explaining his goal celebration, in which he removed his shoe and juggled it with his hands.
“This is ridiculous. We work all week, and we work hard for 75 minutes, and then there the game goes again. It’s getting old.”
— D.C. United midfielder Santino Quaranta, on the team’s fourth consecutive loss.
“Had I been given the chance to choose [one of the two penalty kicks he faced], I would have saved the second one. At the 65-minute mark we still had a chance to make a comeback but at minute 90 we didn’t.”
— FC Dallas goalkeeper Dario Sala to The Dallas Morning News
Previewing Week 5: April 22-25, 2010 (all times ET)
Thursday, April 22
Seattle Sounders FC at FC Dallas,8 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / ESPN360.com)
* A year ago, FC Dallas went to Seattle on the season’s final day, with a chance to claim a playoff spot. But Sounders FC ended FCD’s season by defeating them, 2-1. The teams drew in their 2009 meeting in Frisco.
* On Saturday, Seattle scored its first home goal in 227 minutes. A season ago, Sounders went 465 minutes without a goal at Qwest Field from July 11-Oct. 24.
* The winning goal came from Michael Fucito, who did not make an appearance last year after being selected in the 2009 SuperDraft. He got his degree in psychology at Harvard and then was waived, But the club re-signed him before the season and he made his professional debut in the season opener.
* After losing his starting spot and coming in as a substitute, Brad Evans set up the goal with a quick throw-in. “It has been a tough week for Brad,” Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said. “He takes things pretty personal and pretty deep. He was still carrying a lot of responsibility in the early part of the week.”
* Last year a slow start (one win and five points after 10 games) ultimately doomed FCD’s playoff bid. This year, Dallas is already at the foot of the Western Conference with no wins and two points from three games.
Saturday, April 24
Philadelphia Union at New York Red Bulls, 4 p.m. (TeleFutura)
* With a chance to give the Red Bulls the lead against FC Dallas, Juan Pablo Angel did not convert a penalty kick in the 65th minute. But when Sinisa Ubiparipovic was tripped up in the 90th minute, Angel took the resulting spot kick and gave New York a third win. “He looked confident and went for the penalty spot,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. “There were no thoughts about getting another player [to take it].”
* The Red Bulls were outshot 17-8 by FC Dallas, with 14 shots coming after the break. New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul made seven saves in the second half, a week after a bizarre own goal off his hands led to a Chivas USA victory. “He was absolutely top class. His saves on the line, deflected shots. You can’t do it better,” Backe said. Coundoul has made a league-high 23 saves through four games.
* Union will be without a starting center back for the second time this season after a red card. Captain Dan Califf was sent off in the 34th minute of the 2-1 loss at Toronto FC.
* Jordan Harvey became the second Union player to score a goal – after Sebastien Le Toux – when he scored against Toronto off a nice feed from Roger Torres.
Real Salt Lake at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Real Salt Lake began their remarkable run to the MLS Cup title against Columbus a year ago, defeating the Supporters’ Shield winners 3-2 in Columbus after a 1-0 home win in the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series.
* Columbus had won the four previous home matches against RSL, three in league play and one in the U.S. Open Cup, dating back to Aug. 16, 2006.
* The trip to Columbus will be RSL’s fourth road game in the first five matches of the season. They won the first (a season-opening 3-0 win at San Jose); RSL has won just 11 road games in club history.
* The Crew return to action after having two of the past three weeks off from league play. They last played in a 2-2 draw at FC Dallas on April 10.
Colorado Rapids at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* The teams have played to 1-1 draws in each of their last three meetings. The Rapids were the last team to win in the series, a 1-0 win April 12, 2008.
* New England last won in Colorado on June 15, 2002. The Rapids have won five of the eight home meetings since, with three draws.
* The Revolution were without influential midfielder Shalrie Joseph for the third time in four games due to a hip flexor strain. Marko Perovic made his MLS debut Saturday in a withdrawn forward role.
* The last six goals scored by Conor Casey have all come on penalty kicks. All three he has this season, plus the final three tallies of his 16-goal campaign last year.
Houston Dynamo at Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* The Dynamo are riding a five-game winning streak vs. Chicago. The Fire’s last win in the series came April 29. 2007, a 1-0 win at Robertson Stadium; the Dynamo have outscored Chicago 12-4 since.
* The Dynamo recorded their first shutout of the season against Chivas USA, a year after posting 10 clean sheets in allowing less than a goal per game.
* Due to absences at forward, the Dynamo started Brian Mullan in attack vs. Chivas USA. The first two goals came from midfielders, before forward Dominic Oduro sealed the win.
* On the road at D.C. United, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos left striker Brian McBride on the bench and went with a lone striker. But McBride entered the match in the 76th minute, set up Marco Pappa’s opening goal, and headed home a free kick for the clincher.
LA Galaxy at Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Kansas City has defeated the LA Galaxy just once in the last five seasons – a 2-0 home win Sept. 13, 2008. The Galaxy have won five of the 10 meetings in that span.
* The Wizards have not won during their last six trips to face the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. K.C.’s last win in Carson against LA came June 5, 2004.
* The Galaxy’s season-opening shutout streak ended at 310 minutes on Saturday. Center back Leonardo was held out with a thigh strain, and second-year man A.J. DeLaGarza slotted into central defense. Rookie Michael Stephens made his first MLS start.
* The Wizards conceded their first goal of the season in second-half stoppage time in the loss to Seattle, with Jimmy Nielsen allowing his first goal in MLS after 270 minutes.
* Center back Jimmy Conrad left the field after 32 minutes in Seattle with a calf strain.
San Jose Earthquakes at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m. (FSC / FSE)
* Since returning to the league for the 2008 season, the Earthquakes have not defeated Chivas USA. Chivas has won three of the five meetings, including both meetings at Buck Shaw Stadium.
* For the second consecutive week, rookie Ike Opara headed home a Bobby Convey service (this time from a corner kick) for a goal. “We can make a good living off of that,” Opara said.
* The Earthquakes are 2-1-0 this season – the first time they’ve been above the .500 mark since the club returned to the league for the 2008 season.
* Chivas USA were shut out for the third time in four games this season in the loss to Houston. Chivas hasn’t scored a goal at Robertson Stadium in 802 minutes.
Sunday, April 25
Seattle Sounders FC at Toronto FC, 2 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Toronto FC has yet to score a goal against Seattle. Sounders FC won the first meeting between the teams last year, 2-0 at Qwest Field, then the teams played to a late-season scoreless draw.
* Facing a second game in 72 hours and coming off a dramatic late-game victory in their home opener, Toronto FC fell 3-1 to Colorado with the final two goals scored in the last 20 minutes.
* Dwayne De Rosario has scored all four of Toronto FC’s goals this season – the last two coming on penalty kicks.
* At 1,815 feet, Toronto’s CN Tower is three times as tall as Seattle’s Space Needle (605 feet).