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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

May 18, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Major League Soccer releases weekly preview and notes

Who should face ManU? Fans can vote now

Fan voting for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star First XI is now live. Fans may vote online at http://www.mlssoccer.com/all-star. For the first time in League history, fans may also vote by texting a last name from the ballot to “22442.” Additionally, fans can text an MLS club name to “22442” to vote for all nominees from that team. Fan voting will comprise one quarter of the total vote for the First XI selections, with MLS players, coaches & GM’s, and media each accounting for one of the other three quarters.

The MLS All-Stars will take on Manchester United in the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Reliant Stadium, in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 28 (live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura at 8:30 p.m. ET).

What’s Sir Alex Ferguson’s take? Find out today in New York

In advance of their summer tour that will include an appearance in the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and club chief executive David Gill will participate in a press conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the W Hotel at Union Square in New York City. Prior to taking on the best of MLS, Manchester United will also face Scotland’s Celtic FC and Philadelphia Union and the Kansas City Wizards on its North American tour. This event will not be streamed online.

MLS Week 8 rewind

The Columbus Crew closed the gap atop the Eastern Conference, remaining undefeated thanks to a late penalty kick against Chivas USA. There were also late goals giving the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders road victories against Eastern opponents. The Los Angeles Galaxy are still unbeaten after a scoreless draw with Toronto FC. Defending champion Real Salt Lake rolled over Houston to kick off the week, behind a pair of goals from MLS Player of the Week Alvaro Saborio. For all the highlights of Week 8, click here.

World Cup preparations kick off

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley welcomed nine current MLS players – including the league’s leading scorer in Edson Buddle and assist leader Landon Donovan, both of the LA Galaxy – to its preliminary camp in Princeton, N.J. Among the 30 players vying for places on the final 23-man roster are 14 players who formerly played in MLS. Donovan will address media after training today.

Also heading off to join their national teams are Roger Espinoza of the Kansas City Wizards, part of Honduras’ final 23-man squad, as is New York Red Bulls defender Andrew Boyens, with New Zealand. Blaise Nkufo, who will join Seattle Sounders FC after the World Cup, is part of Switzerland’s squad.

Two teams remain unbeaten

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Columbus Crew will both put their season-opening undefeated streaks on the line Thursday. Unbeaten in six games, the Crew will meet the New York Red Bulls in a battle for Eastern Conference supremacy (ESPN2; 8 p.m. ET), while the Galaxy will put their nine-game undefeated run on the line when they travel to FC Dallas.

The only other time two teams have been undefeated this late into the same season was in 2000, when the Kansas City Wizards were unbeaten in their first 12 (10-0-2) and the Galaxy in their first 11 (6-0-5).

MLS quotables

“We hate them. We felt that they didn’t deserve to beat us [earlier in the season], and we wanted to show that we’re an elite team in this conference and league.”

— Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson, after the 3-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo

“It’s nice to see that they stuck around and saluted us. It was a first time for me and wonderful experience. I didn’t expect it. It probably always happens for Landon that way and, I don’t know, it was great to see and I’m glad to be a part of that.”

— LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle after his final MLS game before joining the U.S. pre-World Cup camp

“The goal was such a good feeling. Coming out of college, I knew this was a different level compared to where I was playing. I was coming in, working hard every day to make the adjustment and help the team. And scoring my first professional goal, at a time we needed a goal … it feels great.”

— Philadelphia Union forward Danny Mwanga, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, who scored in the 94th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw at home for his team

“I told him yesterday: ‘You’re not starting, but the minutes you do play are going to be the most important minutes of the game, and you can impact the game. And he said ‘Hey, I want to make a difference when I come in the game.’ And he did.”

— Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid on the decision not to start Fredy Montero

“It’s kind of a blessing to really have that do-over not even a month apart.”

— Kansas City Wizards forward Kei Kamara, who converted an 89th-minute tap-in equalizer against the Chicago Fire; Kamara spectacularly missed a similar chance on April 24

Previewing Week 9: May 20-23, 2010 (all times ET)

Thursday, May 20

Columbus Crew at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / ESPN360.com)

  • The top two teams in the Eastern Conference clash. The Crew are still undefeated, trailing New York by just one point with two games in hand.
  • The Red Bulls are coming off consecutive losses and their first loss at Red Bull Arena. They have been shut out in each of their three losses this year, but they say it is not a trend.
  • The home team has won the past eight meetings between the clubs. The most recent road win in the series was New York’s 2-0 victory at Crew Stadium July 19, 2006.
  • The Crew will be happy not to have to visit Giants Stadium – they finished with an 11-game winless streak at the Meadowlands. Their last victory in New Jersey came April 12, 2003, 1-0.

LA Galaxy at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

  • In recent encounters, the two teams have exploded for goals at the home of the other. A year ago, FC Dallas won 6-3 at The Home Depot Center – the most goals allowed in a single game in Galaxy history. But in 2008, the Galaxy won 5-1 at Pizza Hut Park (and that followed a 6-3 Galaxy win in SuperLiga in 2007).
  • Saturday’s scoreless draw with Toronto was the last game in Galaxy colors for Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan before joining the U.S. national team’s World Cup camp. The Galaxy had hoped to send them off with a victory; the pair has combined for 10 goals and 11 assists already.
  • FC Dallas has a five-game undefeated streak alive. Danny Mwanga’s goal for Union ended FCD’s shutout streak at 319 minutes – the longest in MLS so far this season.
  • Three FC Dallas players began their MLS careers with the Galaxy: Daniel Hernandez, Kevin Hartman and Ugo Ihemelu. Hartman, who has become FCD’s starting goalkeeper the last three games, spent 10 years with the Galaxy (1997-2006).
  • Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez returns to his hometown of Dallas, Texas. The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year was a three-time US Youth Soccer national champion with the Dallas Texans.

Saturday, May 22

New England Revolution at Toronto FC, 1 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

  • It’s the second meeting of the season between the clubs. The first was a 4-1 win for the Revolution at Gillette Stadium on April 20 behind three goals in nine minutes from Zack Schilawski. It was the third hat trick scored by an MLS rookie and equaled the third-quickest hat trick in MLS history.
  • Before returning home, Toronto FC complete their whirlwind three-game road trip with a contest at Vancouver on Wednesday in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. A victory against the Whitecaps will clinch the title for the second consecutive year for TFC, who won in Montreal last week.
  • Although the Revolution saw their winless streak reach six games against San Jose, they recorded their first shutout since April 3 – with usual central midfielder Pat Phelan making his first MLS start as a central defender.

San Jose Earthquakes at Seattle Sounders FC, 3 p.m. (FSC/FSE [tape delay, 6 p.m.)

  • Sounders FC put an end to their five-game winless run with the late victory in New York. After admitting he was “hurt” by his second-half substitution in the 4-0 loss to the LA Galaxy, Fredy Montero came off the bench to score his third goal of the season.
  • The Earthquakes have lost just once in their last six games, recording their third consecutive shutout in the weekend draw in New England.
  • Sounders FC won both meetings at Qwest Field last season; the Earthquakes won the lone game at Buck Shaw Stadium 4-0, the heaviest defeat in Seattle club history until the loss to LA two weeks ago.

D.C. United at Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. (Galavision)

  • United’s 1-0 victory at RFK Stadium last April 4 snapped a five-game winless streak against the Dynamo in all competitions, dating back to May 2007.
  • United were shut out for the sixth time in eight games in the loss to Colorado, their seventh loss of the campaign.
  • The Dynamo have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games, after opening the season with a draw.
  • In six all-time meetings as head coaches, Curt Onalfo has never been able to defeat former teammate Dominic Kinnear – from 2007-09, Kinnear’s Dynamo won four encounters (with two draws). The pair spent the 1997 season together with the San Jose Clash.

Real Salt Lake at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

  • Real Salt Lake are back on the road after winning three home games in a row. RSL has lost its past three road games.
  • Chivas were left with “an empty feeling” after Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s penalty kick sent them to a second consecutive defeat.
  • RSL striker Robbie Findley netted his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win against Houston, before joining the U.S. national team’s pre-World Cup camp.
  • Both teams won at home in their series a season ago. The teams faced each other in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs, RSL advancing following a 2-2 draw in Carson after a 1-0 home victory.
  • Real Salt Lake assistant coach Robin Fraser and Chivas USA assistant coach Carlos Llamosa represented the United States in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, featuring in the U.S.’s 2-1 win over New Zealand and a 1-0 loss against Brazil.

Sunday, May 23

Columbus Crew at Kansas City Wizards, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

  • The Crew have a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Wizards in league and cup play. Kansas City’s last victory against Columbus came Sept. 15, 2007. The Crew have never lost at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
  • The Wizards saw their winless streak reach five games after winning the opening two games of the season.
  • Kei Kamara was pleased to put his empty net miss against the Galaxy on April 24 behind him, scoring both goals against Chicago to give him three goals in the last two games. Kamara has five of the Wizards’ seven goals for the season.
  • Crew forward Sergio Herrera and Wizards defender Pablo Escobar are meeting up again after spending the 2009 season as teammates with Colombian club Deportivo Cali.

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