MLS Week 7 rewind
There were goals galore in Week 7 – an average of three per game. The LA Galaxy handed Seattle Sounders FC their worst home loss in club history, and the San Jose Earthquakes handed New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe his worst MLS loss, in a pair of 4-0 results. Toronto FC also tallied four goals in a victory against the Chicago Fire, while the Columbus Crew snatched victory against New England in a five-goal thriller to remain undefeated. Real Salt Lake won at home as usual, and the Houston Dynamo continued their hex over Chivas USA. FC Dallas won for the second time in the week, defeating D.C. United. For all the highlights of Week 7, click here.
World Cup roster roll out
With Bob Bradley’s 30-man preliminary U.S. roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup set to be announced today, there was never a question Landon Donovan would be included. But the LA Galaxy attacker is hitting his stride at the right time, setting a career-high with three assists in the 4-0 win against Seattle on Saturday to move his league-leading total to nine. It was the fifth time Donovan – who was named MLS Player of the Week – had played a part in four goals in a single MLS game.
But others are making their case for inclusion as well. Donovan’s Galaxy teammate, Edson Buddle set up one of Donovan’s goals for his second assist to go with a league-leading nine goals. And San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Bobby Convey matched a career-high with three assists in the 4-0 win against New York. Another fringe World Cup hopeful, Brad Davis, had a spectacular goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory for Houston, while Heath Pearce offered two more solid outings for FC Dallas.
With some countries announcing their final 23-man World Cup rosters yesterday, New York defender Andrew Boyens (New Zealand) and Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza (Honduras) received the honor of wearing their national team shirt in South Africa.
Two goalkeepers set age records
Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who recorded his third shutout of the season on Saturday, became the oldest player to play in an MLS game. At 42 years, 115 days, Onstad passed current Toronto FC head coach Preki, who 42 years, 113 days when he played his final game for the Kansas City Wizards in 2005.
During the week, D.C. United’s Bill Hamid became the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history to record a victory, in his club’s 2-1 win against Kansas City. A D.C. United youth academy product, Hamid was four days younger (19 years, 161 days) than Tim Howard when he recorded his first MLS win for the MetroStars in 2001. Hamid was the second-youngest goalkeeper ever to start a game in MLS.
“We got hammered on the field, and they should feel hammered in the locker room.”
— Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid, to The Seattle Times
“(Landon) sees me day in and day out and his words speak volumes. I think everyone in America … respects his opinion. We’ll see what happens from there.”
— LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, on Landon Donovan’s recommendation he be included in the U.S. World Cup squad
“(Wayne) Rooney does that. It is something I used to do in Chicago and I’d like to do it a lot more, which means I get a lot more goals and everyone would be happy.”
— Toronto FC forward Chad Barrett, after scoring two goals Saturday against his former club and celebrating by sliding on his knees
“For 91, 92 minutes, we stuck to our game plan and we did our job. To be honest, this hurts a lot more than getting blown out. We deserved a point.”
— New England Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan, after his club’s last-minute loss in Columbus
Previewing Week 8: May 13-15, 2010 (all times ET)
Thursday, May 13
Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / ESPN360.com)
* The teams are meeting for the second time this season. On April 1 in Houston, Houston notched a 2-1 win.
* The Dynamo have a eight-game unbeaten streak against RSL; the last Salt Lake victory came Aug. 4, 2007 (0-5-3 since).
* The 3-0 win against Philadelphia extended RSL’s league home winning streak to 13 games, but coach Jason Kreis wasn’t completely pleased.
* Brian Ching returned to the substitutes’ bench, but did not play on Saturday. Ching hopes to return from an April 1 hamstring injury in time to make U.S. World Cup roster.
Saturday, May 15
FC Dallas at Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m. (TeleFutura)
* Union return home after four consecutive road matches – all losses. Their lone home game was a 3-2 victory against D.C. United; Saturday’s visit by Chivas USA will be the last game at Lincoln Financial Field before the opening of PPL Park on June 27.
* The Golden Boot winner a year ago, Jeff Cunningham scored his fourth goal of the season in the 1-0 win against D.C. United, to move into a tie for third in MLS this year. It was his first from open play after three penalty kicks.
* Kevin Hartman recorded consecutive shutouts after taking over as FC Dallas goalkeeper last week. Hartman now has 86 career shutouts and 148 victories – both all-time MLS records.
* Four alums of the U.S. U-20 squad reunite: Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Brian Perk teamed up with FC Dallas players Brek Shea, Peri Marosevic and Kyle Davies at the World Championships.
* FC Dallas rookie Jason Yeisley, who is from Hershey, Pa. and starred at Penn State, returns to his home state.
San Jose Earthquakes at New England Revolution, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Chris Wondolowski and Ike Opara scored second-half goals to give San Jose a 2-1 win over New England April 17 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
* With five assists this season, Bobby Convey is just two away from his MLS single-season high (set in 2001). Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop says Convey “is playing some of the best soccer of his career right now.”
* The Revolution traveled to Columbus with just 16 healthy players – and this week have a U.S. Open Cup match vs. New York preceding this game.
* Wondolowski scored in his fourth consecutive game for the Earthquakes, becoming the fourth player in San Jose club history to hit the back of the net in four games in a row. The last was Ronald Cerritos, back in 1997.
* Zak Boggs became the second rookie for the Revolution to show goalscoring prowess, hitting for both goals vs. Columbus. Zack Schilawski leads the Revs with four goals. Boggs scored his first professional goals in front of about 50 family members and friends; he hails from Vienna, W.Va. (about 2 hours from Columbus).
Seattle Sounders FC at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Both teams are coming off 4-0 defeats.
* On April 3 at Qwest Field, the Red Bulls claimed the first encounter with Seattle, making a first-half goal from Macoumba Kandji stand up for their first road win in two seasons.
* After the worst home loss in Sounders FC history – the club announced all season ticket holders will receive a refund on their tickets from the match as a credit toward next year’s renewal. “That wasn’t Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don’t deserve that,” said Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer.
* With Seattle’s winless streak now at four games and just two goals in the last three games, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has promised changes, saying his team doesn’t need “six playmakers.”
* This match will include five Colombian players: The Sounders’ Freddy Montero, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and newcomer Miguel Montano will take on countrymen Juan Pablo Angel and Juan Agudelo of the New York Red Bulls.
Chivas USA at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* In the past four years, the home team has not lost in this series. In that span, Chivas is 4-0-0 against Columbus at The Home Depot Center; the Crew are 2-0-2 against Chivas in Columbus.
* Coming off a successful two-game Eastern swing, Chivas USA fell flat on Saturday, against Houston.
* In the days leading up to the New England match, Robbie Rogers called his mother, Theresa, saying he would score a goal. He netted the stoppage-time winner to keep the Crew undefeated this season with a 3-2 win, the second time in three Mother’s Days he been the Crew scoring hero.
* Rogers and Chivas USA’s Sacha Kljestan grew up just miles away from each other in Huntington Beach, Calif., and train together in the offseason.
Colorado Rapids at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* Colorado hasn’t won at RFK Stadium since July 10, 1999. United have won seven of the 11 meetings since, with four draws.
* After making a number of lineup changes and ending a five-game losing streak against Kansas City, United boss Curt Onalfo maintained essentially the same team at FC Dallas.
* D.C. United have been shut out in five of seven games this season.
* The Rapids have lost three of their last five games by 1-0 shutouts.
Chicago Fire at Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m. (FSC / FSE)
* When the Fire won 2-0 at CommunityAmerica Ballpark last Aug. 16, it was their first win in Kansas City since Oct. 1, 2005.
* The Wizards are riding a four-game winless streak following two wins to open the season.
* Kei Kamara’s stoppage-time goal in D.C., his third goal of the season, ended the Wizards’ scoreless drought at 402 minutes.
* For the first time in three games, Fire coach Carlos de los Cobos went back to a two-striker scheme in Toronto, starting Brian McBride and Collins John together. But Chicago saw its three-game unbeaten run come to an end.
Toronto FC at LA Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* In 2008, Toronto FC won both meetings between the teams. Last year, the Galaxy returned the favor, winning 2-1 at BMO Field, then 2-0 at The Home Depot Center.
* The Galaxy last lost on Sept. 26, 2009 – a 2-0 defeat in Columbus. They went undefeated over the final three regular season games, then did not lose in regulation or extra time in four games during the MLS Cup Playoffs (losing MLS Cup 2009 in a penalty shootout), and have now started 2010 with an eight-game undefeated streak.
* Toronto FC won for the third time in three home games on Saturday, now having scored eight goals at BMO Field. But they must figure out a way to take it on the road – facing three away matches in the next two weeks, starting with the first of two Canadian Championship contests (at Montreal on Wednesday).