MLS Week 11 rewind
The LA Galaxy extended their undefeated streak to league-record proportions, dominating the Houston Dynamo, who went down to a rare third consecutive defeat. Real Salt Lake saw their club-record winning streak end but extended their club-record unbeaten streak to six games in a scoreless draw at D.C. United. The New York Red Bulls won two games in a week, squeaking out a sending Chivas USA to a sixth consecutive loss. The Columbus Crew lost for the second time in three games as the Colorado Rapids reached a record-setting 1-0 result yet again. For all the highlights of Week 11, click here.
World Cup recess
For the first time in its history, Major League Soccer will take a two-week recess, aligning with the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Thursday’s Seattle Sounders FC-D.C. United game (10 p.m. ET; ESPN2) will be the last league match until Friday, June 25, when Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes face off.
Into the record books
The LA Galaxy tied the MLS record for consecutive games unbeaten to start a season with their 4-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. Now with a 10-0-2 record, the Galaxy have equaled their own record of 12 wins in 12 games (two by shootout) to start the inaugural MLS season in 1996, later matched by the Kansas City Wizards’ 10-0-2 start to the 2000 season. The Galaxy will put the record on the line Wednesday when they meet Real Salt Lake in a rematch of MLS Cup 2009.
The Galaxy also matched their club-record 15-game undefeated streak, set Sept. 7, 1997-May 17, 1998. The MLS record undefeated streak is 19 games, set by the Columbus Crew from July 3, 2004 to April 2, 2005.
The youth shall lead
The Galaxy’s Tristan Bowen scored his second goal as a professional in as many league games on Saturday. The first player in league history to sign a contract directly from his team’s academy, Bowen has been in the starting lineup for each of LA’s last three games as Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle have been with the U.S. World Cup team.
Bowen is one of several academy products already making their marks in MLS:
* D.C. United’s Bill Hamid has been in goal for both of United’s league victories this season.
* D.C. United’s second academy product, Andy Najar, scored his third professional goal to give his club a spot in the U.S. Open Cup third round with a play-in victory last week against Real Salt Lake.
* Francisco Navas Cobo became the first product of the Houston Dynamo academy to make a league appearance when he played April 17.
* Bryan Leyva became the first product of the FC Dallas academy to make a league appearance when he made his debut May 20.
“They’re getting a little close to that record. I’d like them to take a loss this Wednesday; that would be a perfect game.”
— Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert, to the Deseret News, on the LA Galaxy’s unbeaten streak. Wingert played for the Columbus Crew in 2004 when they set the current MLS record.
“We have a deep squad. Look at our bench; we had Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein, guys that have played in international games and in Europe. We have good quality players.”
— LA Galaxy forward Jovan Kirovski after the club’s unbeaten streak was extended to 12 games
“It just puts in perspective how bad we were last year. To surpass our win total so early is great for this year, but it’s still embarrassing the kind of year we had last year. Fortunately that’s behind us. We’re headed in a different direction now.”
— New York Red Bulls midfielder Seth Stammler after his team’s seventh win, matching the club’s 2009 total
“I was confused. I don’t know if they’re planning on winning all their road games or what, but for me their tactics that they just sat there for 90 minutes is a little bit strange.” (Will Johnson)
“We were surprised from the minute the game started. The team that is supposed to play attractive soccer, attacking soccer at home played with 10 guys in the back, behind the ball … I believe that in our league this kind of stuff is not supposed to happen.” (Peter Nowak)
— Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson and Philadelphia Union team manager Peter Nowak, talking about the tactics they faced in road games at D.C. United and the Chicago Fire, respectively
Previewing Week 12: June 9-10, 2010 (all times ET)
Wednesday, June 9
LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* It’s the second and final meeting of the regular season for the 2009 MLS Cup finalists. On April 17 at The Home Depot Center, Edson Buddle scored his second goal of the game in the 76th minute to give the Galaxy a 2-1 victory.
* As the Galaxy won for the third time in three games without Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle, the club’s depth has shone through. Alex Cazumba became the 11th Galaxy player to score a goal, capping the 4-1 win against Houston, and 22 of 24 players on the roster have started a game.
* Real Salt Lake saw their club-record five-game league winning streak come to an end in the scoreless draw with D.C. United, three days after the club’s first loss since April 24 when they fell to United in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game.
Colorado Rapids at Chicago Fire, 9 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)
* The Rapids have become the first team in MLS history to play in five consecutive 1-0 games after their victory against Columbus. A third of the way through their season, the Rapids have played in seven 1-0 games – already half of their MLS record of 14 set in 2006.
* The Fire put an end to a seven-game winless streak – four games in league play and three international friendlies – with a “weird” win against Philadelphia.
* The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Conor Casey and Brian McBride converted penalty kicks to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, April 3 in Commerce City.
* The Rapids have never won at Toyota Park. In the four all-time meetings there, the Fire have won three with one draw. Colorado’s last win at Chicago came in 2004.
* The match will have a Fulham FC feel: Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith spent four years as a player with the club from southwest London, as did Fire forwards Brian McBride and Collins John.
Thursday, June 10
Philadelphia Union at Kansas City Wizards, 8 p.m.
* The Wizards saw their winless streak stretch to eight games and were shut out for six of those, but still took their scoreless draw at Toronto FC as “a positive.”
* Danny Mwanga scored for the third consecutive game in stoppage time in the Union’s 2-1 loss at Chicago, the first player in MLS history to score in added time in three straight games. Carlos Ruiz (9/14-21/2002) and Conor Casey (9/18-23/2009) had each scored twice previously.
* Kansas City Wizards defender Jonathan Leathers will try to keep his former Furman University teammate Shea Salinas from scoring; the pair played together all four years of college. Leathers has made appearances in three consecutive games for K.C., while Salinas has started four of the last six for Union.
D.C. United at Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes / ESPN360.com)
* Sounders FC say it’s “halftime” after their 3-0 win against New England on Saturday, looking to enter the World Cup break with six points from two home games after back-to-back losses.
* D.C. United recorded their first shutout of the season in a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday, leaving only expansion Philadelphia Union without a clean sheet this season.
* Less than two months after being traded to D.C. United, midfielder Stephen King makes his return to Seattle. King’s acquisition has had a real effect on United – they have won twice and tied once in the three games since he’s been installed in the starting lineup.
* D.C. United have never defeated Sounders FC. Last season, Seattle won in league play at RFK Stadium10 days after winning the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory in D.C. The teams played to a draw in the lone meeting at Qwest Field.