MLS Week 9 rewind
The Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy both won to set up their clash of the undefeated. The Crew notched road victories over the New York Red Bulls and Kansas City Wizards; the Galaxy knocked off FC Dallas. Real Salt Lake, Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes all maintained undefeated runs, while the Houston Dynamo continued D.C. United’s misery. For all the highlights of Week 9, click here.
Unbeaten clubs clash Saturday
The Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy put their unbeaten records on the line Saturday when the clubs meet at Crew Stadium in the biggest game of the first half of the MLS season (7:30 p.m; MLS Direct Kick). Leaders of their respective conferences, the Galaxy are undefeated in 10 games (8-0-2) while the Crew are unbeaten through seven (5-0-2). Which is the best team in MLS?
- This is the second time in league history two teams have gone this late into a season undefeated. In 2000, the Kansas City Wizards were unbeaten in their first 12 (10-0-2), while the Galaxy were undefeated in 11 (6-0-5). The teams even met during those streaks: On May 5, 2000, the teams played to a scoreless draw in the eighth game for each.
- The teams have made their mark defensively. The Galaxy have allowed just two goals this season and are currently riding a 366-minute shutout streak, the third-longest in club history. They are the first team in MLS history to allow just two goals over the opening 10 games of a season, and have won three games by a 1-0 scoreline. The Crew have conceded just six goals after their third 1-0 win of the campaign, Sunday in Kansas City.
The result of this game could prove pivotal in determining the coach who will lead the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United on July 29 in Houston. The MLS coach whose team has the best points-per-game average upon the conclusion of all games on June 27 will earn that honor. Based on current records it appears LA has the tougher road ahead of the two:
LA Galaxy Upcoming Games Columbus Crew Upcoming Games
Sat. May 29 - at Columbus Crew (20 pts) Sat. May 29 - vs. LA Galaxy (27 pts)
Sat. Jun 5 - vs. Houston Dynamo (16) Wed. June 2 - at San Jose Earthquakes (16)
Wed. June 9 - at Real Salt Lake (16) Sat. June 5 - at Colorado Rapids (13)
Sat. June 26 - at Toronto FC (13) Sat. June 26 - vs. D.C. United (3)
“We’ve been together for three years now. And we’ve been the best team for the last three years. Obviously, Los Angeles is doing well, but in terms of the squad, we’ve got the pedigree. We’re still undefeated and we’re still very confident in our abilities.”
— Columbus Crew defender Andy Iro to the Columbus Dispatch
“During the national anthem I was getting goose bumps. Looking around, listening to the crowd, it was unreal. It made me want to come out firing. I think that first 20 minutes, their crowd really helped us.”
— San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski to the Seattle Times after Saturday’s game at Qwest Field.
“I think every team comes in here and is excited to play here. It’s different for them. This is not the atmosphere they have at home. For them, it’s a thrilling, exciting experience that sometimes works against us.”
— Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid
“For me, obviously, the goal was special for me, and hopefully for the guys. It was important that I celebrated with everyone because I truly felt like everyone contributed to me getting to where I am today and hopefully where I can go in the future. And I’m looking forward to it.”
— Houston Dynamo defender Danny Cruz about his first professional goal to the Houston Chronicle
“I just came from college and playing against Diego and [Alessandro] Del Piero, I’ve been watching those guys since I was little. In the beginning I was so nervous. But when I saw these guys I said this is going to be a good game.”
— New York Red Bulls rookie midfielder Tony Tchani on the Juventus friendly to the New York Post
“When you come to the U.S., you are trying to mold and improve the game as much as possible. Players like myself, Marco Etcheverry, [Carlos] Valderrama and Jaime Moreno realized that they aren’t just here to better their team but to help raise the profile of the sport. Mr. Pires is supposed to come here and promote soccer, not worrying about being in a vacation resort in some ‘beautiful’ city.”
— Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak to the Philadelphia Daily News
Previewing Week 10: May 27-29, 2010 (all times ET)
Thursday, May 27
FC Dallas at Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / ESPN360.com)
- FC Dallas have never lost at Toyota Park, winning on each of their four visits there since 2006.
- Chicago has one victory in the last eight meetings between the teams – that coming March 21 of last year in Frisco.
- FC Dallas got shut out for the first time all season in their 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on May 20 at Pizza Hut Park, leaving the Columbus Crew as the only team yet to be shut out in MLS this season.
- While FCD had its five-game unbeaten streak put to an end with the loss to LA, a bright spot was the professional debut of Bryan Leyva, the club’s first youth academy product to make the senior team.
- FC Dallas striker Peri Marosevic was a member of Chicago Fire Juniors of the Premier Development League during his college days at the University of Michigan.
- While the Fire had the week off from league play, they hosted the Sister Cities tournament, losing 1-0 to Paris Saint-Germain of France and 3-0 to Poland’s Legia Warsaw.
Saturday, May 29
LA Galaxy at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
- The Galaxy have won just once all-time at Crew Stadium – a 2-1 win against Columbus on Sept. 30, 2007. That also includes a loss to the Crew in the 2002 U.S. Open Cup final, and loss in MLS Cup 2001 to San Jose.
- The Galaxy took a break from league play over the weekend, registering a familiar result – a 1-0 victory – against Argentine power Boca Juniors on Sunday afternoon at The Home Depot Center.
- William Hesmer was able to play both games in the four-day span for Columbus, despite pain flaring up from chronic disk problems in his back. Still, Sunday he became the club’s all-time leader with 26 shutouts.
- The Galaxy’s Tristan Bowen made his first professional start in the game against FC Dallas and logged his first career assist. Then against Boca Juniors, Bowen – the first product of a MLS youth academy to be signed to a senior contract – scored the game’s lone goal.
- Each side probably will miss two players to the U.S. national team’s pre-World Cup camp, the Galaxy without Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan, while the Crew are missing Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall. However, if the final 23-man roster takes shape during the week, players released could join their clubs for weekend games.
Chivas USA at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
- D.C. United defender Carey Talley will host his former teammates. Talley, who was waived by Chivas USA at the beginning of this season, appeared in 45 matches for Chivas USA from 2008-09 – and within a month of rejoining United, where he started his pro career (1998-2001), he was wearing the captain’s armband.
- In the first five meetings all-time between the clubs, Chivas USA failed to take a single point. In the five meetings since, Chivas has not lost, winning three – including the last two visits to RFK Stadium.
- D.C. United have now gone three complete games without scoring a goal. Their current 326-minute goalless drought is the third-longest in club history; the second-longest is 375 minutes, set in 2008.
- Chivas USA conceded a last-minute goal for the second consecutive match to suffer a loss. Fabian Espindola scored in the 89th minute of the 2-1 RSL win Saturday, after Guillermo Barros Schelotto converted a 90th-minute penalty the week before for Columbus.
New York Red Bulls at New England Revolution, 8 p.m. (Galavision)
- The teams met in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match May 12, when the Red Bulls claimed a 3-0 victory, but this is their first league encounter.
- Shalrie Joseph made his return for New England against Toronto FC, playing for the first time since April 10 after taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.
- Although just the second league game in 11 days for the Red Bulls, it’s still a very busy stretch for the club. After losing at home to Columbus on Thursday, they defeated Juventus of Italy 3-1 on Sunday at Red Bull Arena; this Wednesday they face Colorado in a U.S. Open Cup match.
- Red Bulls defender Chris Albright made his 2010 debut last weekend, just in time to meet his former club. Albright was acquired over the winter from New England, where he spent 2008 and 2009.
Philadelphia Union at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. (FSC / FSE)
- The Dynamo have alternated wins with losses for nine straight games, beginning with a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake on April 1.
- Union kick off a three-game road swing with the trip to Houston, still looking for their first point away from Philadelphia. They have come away with a win and a draw from their two games.
- 20-year-old Danny Cruz and goalkeeper Tally Hall made their first MLS starts for Houston, making real impacts in the win against D.C. United. Cruz scored his first professional goal and also added an assist, while Hall recorded his first MLS shutout.
- Houston Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell and Philadelphia Union team coordinator Josh Gros were together at D.C. United from 2005-2007 at D.C. United, where they helped D.C. to two Supporters’ Shields.
Kansas City Wizards at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
- The road teams won both meetings a year ago, including a 2-0 Kansas City victory in the first encounter at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Real Salt Lake have won four games in a row, matching the club record winning streak, set July 29-Aug. 19, 2006. They also have a chance to match their club-record home winning streak with a win against Kansas City.
- The Wizards saw their winless streak extended to six games with Sunday’s loss to Columbus. “Very frustrated,” the Wizards now head on the road for back-to-back games at RSL and Toronto FC – where they’ve lost all three games this season.
- Teammates in UCLA’s run to the NCAA College Cup final in 2006, Real Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran and Kansas City’s Chance Myers have both made impacts this season. Beltran has started four games as a fullback, while Myers has made five appearances.
Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
- Sounders FC were shut out for the second consecutive home game – and third time this season – in their loss to San Jose. Seattle has scored just two goals in the last five games.
- Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was not happy with his team’s start to the game against San Jose, saying “we need to ask ourselves why we can’t do it better.”
- While having last weekend off, the Rapids return to action on Wednesday with a trip to New York for a U.S. Open Cup play-in game, with a spot in the tournament’s final 16 available. Rapids coach Gary Smith is looking for better form from his team at home.
- Sounders FC also have a midweek game, as they host to Boca Juniors in the second game of the Argentinean club’s U.S. tour.
Toronto FC at San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
- Toronto FC won 3-1 on their trip to Buck Shaw Stadium last season, the only time in four lifetime meetings they’ve defeated the Earthquakes.
- The Earthquakes extended their undefeated run to four games – all by shutout. The Quakes have not allowed a goal in 363 minutes (second only to the LA Galaxy’s current 366-minute run as tops in MLS this season).
- The four consecutive shutouts are the most for San Jose since the end of the 2004 season. Of the last eight wins for the Quakes, four have come by 1-0 scorelines.
- TFC now has four consecutive shutouts in all competitions – two in MLS play, and two in the Canadian Championship. They last conceded a goal May 8 against Chicago, a span of 410 competitive minutes.
- With Dwayne De Rosario out of the lineup on national team duty, Chad Barrett scored his third goal in the last three games for Toronto FC.