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July 7, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Major League Soccer weekly preview and team notes

Last Day to Vote for MLS All-Stars

Voting concludes Tuesday for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star First XI. One-fourth of the total vote will come from fan balloting, with another 25 percent coming from players, one quarter from coaches and general managers, and the final 25 percent from media voting.

The 15th annual midsummer showcase will match the MLS All-Stars against 2009 English Premier League champion Manchester United at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and TeleFutura).

MLS Week 14 rewind

Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle made their return to MLS and the LA Galaxy a triumphant one in a 3-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC. Real Salt Lake continued their record-setting ways, a ninth game without a loss in a 5-0 thumping of the New England Revolution behind two goals from MLS Player of the Week Alvaro Saborio. The Columbus Crew won for a second consecutive week, defeating Chicago, but the New York Red Bulls maintained contact in the Eastern Conference with a draw in Colorado. FC Dallas also showed signs of another second-half charge, winning a third game in a row in a 1-0 home win vs. Kansas City. For all the highlights of Week 14, click here.

U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals

Two all-MLS matchups highlight the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal round, with three of the matches set to take place this week. The Houston Dynamo host Chivas USA on Tuesday, and the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC meet for the second time in four days on Wednesday. The Columbus Crew and D.C. United face opponents from USL-2. The full quarterfinal schedule:

* Charleston Battery (USL-2) at Columbus Crew; July 6, 7:30 p.m. ET; Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

* Chivas USA at Houston Dynamo; July 6, 7:30 p.m. CT; Robertson Stadium, Houston, Texas

* Harrisburg City Islanders (USL-2) at D.C. United; July 21, 7:30 p.m. ET; Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, Md.

* Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC; July 7, 7 p.m. PT; Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, Wash.

World Cup campaigners return

Five of the six active Major League Soccer participants in the 2010 FIFA World Cup saw significant action for their clubs in their return to league play this past weekend:

* Edson Buddle scored his league-leading 10th goal of the season, the LA Galaxy’s first in their 3-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC. Buddle played 62 minutes.

* Landon Donovan set up the Buddle goal with his league-leading 10th assist. He played the entire 90 minutes.

* Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein played 85 minutes in a left-sided midfield role as his team ended a six-game losing skid in a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union.

* Roger Espinoza returned to the Kansas City Wizards back four and played the entire match in a 1-0 loss at FC Dallas.

* Swiss forward Blaise Nkufo is set to join Seattle Sounders FC on July 13 and is expected to be eligible to play in MLS starting July 15.

* Robbie Findley, who started three games for the USMNT, played 45 minutes and scored in a goal in his return to Real Salt Lake.

MLS quotables

“He’s a little run down and it showed, but if Landon was going to play his first game back from the World Cup, it’s going to be in Los Angeles.”

— Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena on the return of Landon Donovan

“That was like a fluke year. We played amazingly and we have to be realists — sometimes that that’s how it is.”

— Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, to the Kitsap Sun

“It’s not something to brag about. But it’s a plus because of the results we got in the last few games.”

— Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez after his team’s 1-1 draw with Philadelphia

“For me, [the game] was very, very emotional, to play against my friends like that. But we were able to get three points out of it, giving us nine points for the last three games. That’s huge for us.”

— FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman after the 1-0 win vs. Kansas City, to the Dallas Morning News

“That 0-0 tie last week, that literally felt like one of the worse feelings this locker room has had since I’ve been here. And that was only 0-0. I think that’s where this team is at right now.”

— Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy to the Deseret News

“I’ll tell you what I told Frank: Looking at the entire year, looking at the goalkeeping situation everywhere else [in MLS], I felt guys have made a lot bigger mistakes than I have and still kept their jobs. That was my only rebuttal.”

— San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who lost his starting spot to Jon Busch

Previewing Week 15: July 8-11, 2010 (all times ET)

Thursday, July 8

Real Salt Lake at Chicago Fire, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2 / ESPN Deportes /

* RSL has not defeated Chicago since June 3, 2006, a 3-1 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium that is the club’s only win in 10 all-time league meetings.

* Real Salt Lake extended their league home unbeaten streak to 18 games in the win against New England, matching the second-longest in MLS history (San Jose, Sept. 2004-Oct. 2005). The league record is 22 games, held by the Columbus Crew.

* RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was credited with his 100th victory- the fifth goalkeeper in MLS history to reach the total. He also extended his and the club’s shutout streak to 408 minutes, also a club record and the longest in MLS this season.

* The Fire saw their five-game unbeaten streak – dating back to May 15 – come to an end in the loss at Columbus on Saturday.

* The game is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Championship, won in a penalty shootout by Real Salt Lake after a scoreless draw over 120 minutes.

Saturday, July 10

Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC, 12 noon (MLS Direct Kick package)

* The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Colorado claimed a 3-1 victory on April 18 in Commerce City, as Conor Casey converted a pair of penalty kicks.

* The Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to six games, but were still frustrated after a third consecutive draw, in Sunday’s 1-1 tie with New York.

* Dan Gargan’s first professional goal gave Toronto FC a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Houston on Thursday, keeping TFC unbeaten at BMO Field in seven league games this season.

* The game will feature players on both teams who traded places and have made an impact. Marvell Wynne has started every game in the back for Colorado after being obtained for Nick LaBrocca the day before the season opener; LaBrocca has started every game but the opener in the midfield for TFC. Jacob Peterson, signed by TFC from Colorado in the offseason, has started six of the last seven games.

San Jose Earthquakes at Philadelphia Union, 6 p.m. (FSC / FSE)

* Union kick off a four-game homestand with the match against San Jose, after the triumphant opening of PPL Park on June 27. Philadelphia’s next road game does not come again until Aug. 8 at FC Dallas.

* The Earthquakes saw their winless run extended to five games in the 1-1 home draw with D.C. United, but might have suffered a bigger loss as influential midfielder Bobby Convey suffered a rib injury.

* The game will mark the return of Convey to his hometown. Named the 1998 Philadelphia high school player of the year as a freshman, Convey was selected in the first round of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United out of William Penn Charter H.S.

* Union midfielder Shea Salinas has latched onto a spot in Peter Nowak’s team, starting seven of the last nine games, both in the midfield and at fullback. Salinas played in 46 games for San Jose before being taken in last November’s expansion draft.

LA Galaxy at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* It took Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle just 19 minutes to make their mark in their return to the Galaxy, combining on the opening goal in the 3-1 win against Seattle.

* Despite missing five games while with the U.S. World Cup team, Buddle still leads the Budweiser Golden Boot race, with 10 goals in 10 games. New York’s Juan Pablo Angel had pulled even – for about an hour – after his goal earlier Sunday in Colorado.

* In their last two visits to Salt Lake, the Revolution have conceded 11 goals in a pair of losses. The 5-0 loss on Friday had coach Steve Nicol questioning the club’s professionalism.

* The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Edson Buddle’s goal after just six minutes in the season opener was all the Galaxy needed for a 1-0 win at The Home Depot Center.

D.C. United at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* On Sunday, Juan Pablo Angel scored his fifth goal in the last five games. His equalizing goal against Colorado on Saturday gave him a share – briefly – of the MLS Golden Boot lead.

* The 1-1 tie at Colorado was the first of the season for the Red Bulls, after eight wins and five losses in their opening 13 league games.

* 17-year-old D.C. United academy product Andy Najar scored his second MLS goal in the 1-1 draw against San Jose, both coming in the last five games. He has four goals in all competitions.

* It’s the second and final regular season meeting this season between the teams. New York took a 2-0 victory on May 1, their first win at RFK Stadium since 2005.

Columbus Crew at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* The Crew won for the second consecutive weekend after the World Cup recess, defeating Chicago 2-1 at home. “We outclassed them a little bit,” said Frankie Hejduk.

* The Dynamo faced three games in six days, but still came away undefeated – wrapping a pair of draws in league play around a win in the U.S. Open Cup.

* The Crew have never won at Robertson Stadium. The teams have played to 1-1 draws in three of the four meetings there all-time; the Dynamo posted a 2-0 victory Aug. 2, 2008.

Chivas USA at Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* Chivas USA were able to build upon a win in the U.S. Open Cup at midweek by putting an end to their six-game league losing streak in the 1-1 draw vs. Philadelphia.

* The Wizards lost for the second consecutive game since the resumption of play following the World Cup recess, both coming in shutouts, after the 1-0 loss at FC Dallas over the weekend.

* The Wizards have never lost at home to Chivas USA. Kansas City won each of the first five meetings on their home ground – four in league play and one in the MLS Cup Playoffs – before the teams played to a 1-1 draw at CommunityAmerica Ballpark last year.

Sunday, July 11

FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC, 10:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* For the second consecutive week, David Ferreira converted a second-half penalty kick to give FC Dallas the victory. All three of Ferreira’s league goals have come in the last four games.

* It was a third consecutive victory for FCD, the club’s longest winning streak since the end of last season – when it saw a four-game winning streak come to a halt in the season finale at Seattle and the club’s playoff hopes end with it.

* Sounders FC lost their third consecutive game, a first in club history, in the loss at the LA Galaxy. It was the fifth defeat in six games

* The teams played to a 2-2 draw April 22 at Pizza Hut Park, with Jeff Cunningham’s second penalty kick of the game – four minutes into second-half stoppage time – providing the dramatic equalizer.


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