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August 10, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Major League Soccer release weekly preview and notes

MLS signs Salgado, loans U.S. U-20 forward to Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Major League Soccer announced today that forward Omar Salgado, one of the top young players in the United States, has signed a Generation adidas contract and will be selected by an MLS club in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. For the next three months, MLS will loan Salgado to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of USSF Division 2. Salgado, 16, recently scored in his debut for the U.S. Under-20 National Team and the El Paso, Texas product spent 18 months with Chivas de Guadalajara prior to signing with MLS.

“We are excited to sign Omar Salgado, a player with great potential who drew interest from several international clubs,” said Todd Durbin, MLS Executive Vice President of Competition and Player Relations. “Whenever we sign young players, an important consideration is the timing of their transition to MLS. In Omar’s case, the player’s family, his representatives, and the League agreed that joining an MLS club at the beginning of the season will give him the best opportunity to be successful long term. He will participate in the 2011 MLS adidas Player Combine and be assigned to an MLS club through the 2011 SuperDraft.”

From January 2009 to June 2010, Salgado scored seven goals in 10 appearances with the Chivas reserves side, and also saw time with the club’s U-17s. In January 2010, the striker was named Player of the Tournament in the U-17 Copa Libertadores.

After having trained and traveled with the Mexican U-20 side in March and April of 2010, Salgado opted to represent the U.S. U-20 men’s national team at the 2010 Milk Cup Elite Section in Northern Ireland. As a 16 year-old, Salgado appeared in all three of the team’s matches, helping them claim the prestigious tournament championship. On Jul. 26, 2010, Salgado scored his first international goal in his debut with the American U-20s, as they defeated China 1-0 in their tournament opener.

Internationals on parade

U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley has called in five MLS players for Tuesday’s friendly against Brazil at the New Meadowlands Stadium (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2 and Univision), kicking off the midweek FIFA international date. Bradley has called in Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), and Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy). Gonzalez was called in to replace Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew).

Four MLS players — Donovan Ricketts (LA Galaxy), Shavar Thomas (Kansas City Wizards), Ryan Johnson (San Jose Earthquakes) and Dane Richards (New York Red Bulls) – are in Jamaica’s team for their friendly against Trinidad & Tobago in Macoya, Trinidad. Cornell Glen (San Jose Earthquakes) was originally called into the T&T team, but has asked out due to other commitments.

Costa Rica will feature three MLS performers for its friendly at Paraguay on Wednesday: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake), Michael Umana (Chivas USA) and Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls). Chivas USA forward Giancarlo Maldonado was called in for Venezuela’s friendly against Panama.

In all, five New York Red Bulls will be away for the midweek date – which also coincides with their home league match against Toronto FC. Highlighting the group is Rafael Marquez, called in by Mexico for their friendly against World Cup champion Spain. Also called in were Estonia’s Joel Lindpere (vs. Faroe Islands) and Senegal’s Bouna Coundoul (vs. Cape Verde Islands).

MLS playoff race begins to heat up

With a third of the season still to be played, the race for the eight spots in the MLS Cup Playoffs is beginning to take shape. The Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy both enjoy healthy margins atop the respective conferences, but every game will be important down the stretch.

The top two teams in each conference will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs and gain the top two seeds in each. The next four teams in the overall standings, regardless of conference, will receive wildcard berths.

MLS Week 19 rewind

With a record five Designated Players appearing in the game, the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls played to a scoreless draw in front of a record crowd of 21,868 at Toyota Park on Sunday. FC Dallas extended their unbeaten streak to nine games, getting two late goals from MLS Player of the Week Jeff Cunningham for a 3-1 win against Philadelphia Union. Toronto FC coach Preki saw his new team defeat his old club in a 2-1 win against Chivas USA. The streaking New England Revolution spoiled Ben Olsen’s debut as D.C. United head coach in a 1-0 victory. For all the highlights of Week 19, click here.

MLS quotables

“We’ve said all along — if we can score multiple goals in any game our defense is good enough to hold the other team off the scoresheet.”

— Toronto FC defender Nick Garcia after the 2-1 win against Chivas USA

“He scored two nice goals but that’s what he does. He was very anxious to get scoring again. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.”

— FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman after Jeff Cunningham’s two-goal night vs. Philadelphia Union

“If you start me, I don’t want to come out after. I’m a competitor. If the boss puts me on the pitch and I’m not fit … you have to drag me out. You have to make sure to bring someone to take me out of the field. I will not come out. That’s just the way I am.”

— New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry before coming out of Sunday’s game after 45 minutes

Previewing Week 20: August 11-14, 2010 (all times PT)

Wednesday, Aug. 11

Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* The scoreless draw in Chicago on Sunday was the fourth draw in the last five games for the Red Bulls, and their second since the arrival of Thierry Henry. Their last win was a 3-0 defeat of Kansas City on June 26.

* Henry was forced off in Chicago just before halftime with a minor groin injury, but said his early departure was just a precaution.

* The teams are meeting for the first time this year, and the first since last year’s season finale – when the Red Bulls defeated Toronto 5-0 for just their fifth win of the season and ended TFC’s hopes of a first playoff berth.

* Toronto’s Dan Gargan will miss the game through yellow card accumulation. He contributed his second assist of the season from a throw-in Saturday, his long throw from the right flank finding Nana Attakora’s head for the first TFC goal.

* Toronto FC scored more than one goal in a league game for the first time since a 3-1 win against San Jose on May 29, after scoring twice earlier in the week to secure passage into the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

Real Salt Lake at Philadelphia Union, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* Real could be without their starting strikers from last weekend, as both Robbie Findley and Alvaro Saborio will be on international duty. The USA (Findley) takes on Brazil on Tuesday, while Costa Rica (Saborio) faces Paraguay on Wednesday.

* Real Salt Lake wore their “Victory Gold” third uniform for the first time in the draw against Kansas City, a sartorial style they will continue in the game against Philadelphia.

* Against FC Dallas, Union allowed three goals in a game for the first time since May 8 – the 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake in the first meeting between the clubs.

* Brad Knighton made his Union debut in a league game in the loss to FC Dallas – but it lasted just 22 minutes as he was sent off for a foul in the box that led to FCD’s equalizing penalty kick.

Saturday, August 14

Colorado Rapids at Philadelphia Union, 1 p.m. (TeleFutura)

* The Union will take the field for their second League game of the week on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.

* With the Rapids not having won since June 5 and not having defeated San Jose in their last 12 meetings, Colorado head coach Gary Smith wore a dress shirt and tie for the first time in his coaching career. The result? The 1-0 Rapids victory.

* With Conor Casey sidelined for a second consecutive week with concussion-like symptoms, Quincy Amarikwa made his first league start for the Rapids, partnering Omar Cummings in attack as Smith returned to a two-striker system.

* The Rapids game ends a stretch of seven home league games out of nine for Philadelphia, since the opening of PPL Park on June 27. The Union will hit the road in the next two weeks for games at D.C. United and at New England.

* The teams are meeting for the first time ever. Their return meeting is set for Sept. 29 in Commerce City, a game rescheduled from July 21.

LA Galaxy at New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m. (FSC / FSE)

* After MLS history was made with five Designated Players all in the same game, it could have been matched in the Galaxy’s first visit to Red Bull Arena. David Beckham is still rehabilitating his Achilles tendon injury in March, though he said he could return as early as next month.

* The Galaxy return to league action after a weekend off – but still had a high-profile match. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice and Xabi Alonso hit for the game-winner as Real Madrid scored three goals in 19 minutes for a 3-2 victory before a crowd of 89,134 at the Rose Bowl.

* After allowing just four goals over their first 14 league games, the Galaxy have conceded nine in their last five – including a 3-2 home loss to Chicago in their last MLS game, Aug. 1 at The Home Depot Center.

* The Red Bulls should have all five of their international campaigners back, after missing the midweek contest against Toronto FC. Joel Lindpere (Estonia), Roy Miller (Costa Rica), Rafael Marquez (Mexico), Bouna Coundoul (Senegal) and Dane Richards (Jamaica) will all be on international duty.

* Four Galaxy players – Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez (all USA) and Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica) will also be on international duty.

FC Dallas at D.C. United, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* In Ben Olsen’s first game in charge, United lost their fourth consecutive match and saw their winless streak reach seven games since a 3-2 victory at Seattle Sounders FC on June 26.

* The 1-0 shutout loss to New England was D.C. United’s 13th shutout of the season, a club record. The MLS record is 15 shutouts in a single season, set by Toronto FC in 2007.

* Jeff Cunningham returned to the scoresheet for the first since May 8, scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the season vs. Philadelphia. A year ago, Cunningham scored 16 of his 17 Golden Boot-winning goals in the second half of the season.

* FC Dallas midfielder Eric Avila and D.C. United forward Chris Pontius were teammates at UC Santa Barbara. In 2006, Avila and Pontius led the Gauchos to the NCAA College Cup final, where Avila scored the winning goal, as UCSB defeated UCLA 2-1.

Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* The Revolution extended their unbeaten streak to seven games in all competitions in the win against D.C. United, just three days after being extended to a penalty shootout in advancing to the SuperLiga final.

* Since conceding five goals in a loss to Real Salt Lake on July 2, New England has allowed just two goals in those seven games, including a pair of shutouts in three MLS games since.

* The Dynamo’s club-record winless streak has now reached nine games after the 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC – when they did not record a single shot on goal.

* Houston defender Mike Chabala will not be available as he serves a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

* Houston’s 2-0 victory at Gillette Stadium last May 3 was their first ever against New England in regular-season play. The Dynamo did of course defeat the Revolution in MLS Cup 2006 and 2007.

* Steve Ralston will be on an unfamiliar bench for the contest. The long-time Revolution standout and one of the last two MLS Originals retired earlier this year and is on the Dynamo staff as an assistant coach.

Columbus Crew at Real Salt Lake, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* It’s the second meeting of the season for the clubs, after a Guillermo Barros Schelotto penalty kick gave the Crew a 1-0 victory April 24 at Crew Stadium.

* Real Salt Lake have lost just once in league play since that defeat, the 2-0 loss at FC Dallas on July 17.

* RSL is looking to extend their unbeaten streak at Rio Tinto Stadium to 21 games in league play. The club’s last home loss was a 2-0 defeat by Kansas City on May 16, 2009 – the MLS record is 22 games, set by the Columbus Crew from June 2008 to Sept. 2009.

* Steven Lenhart has scored the last three Columbus goals, over the last two games. He recorded his first career multiple-goal game in the 2-1 win at Philadelphia last week. Lenhart’s goal on July 31 vs. Chivas USA was his first since May 8.

Kansas City Wizards at San Jose Earthquakes, 7 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* The Earthquakes have now lost back-to-back 1-0 games, after Jon Busch’s own goal led to a defeat to the Colorado Rapids Saturday.

* The Wizards extended their undefeated streak to four games with the 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake, but felt they should have come away with maximum points.

* Since Craig Rocastle’s return to a starting role in central midfield and Teal Bunbury assuming the central striker position, the Wizards have gone on a four-game undefeated run, with victories against Columbus and Toronto and draws against Colorado and Salt Lake.

Seattle Sounders FC at Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick package)

* Alvaro Fernandez scored his first MLS goal in the 2-0 victory against Houston on Sunday evening, and scored for the second game in a row for Sounders FC, after his goal in El Salvador at midweek sent the club into the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.

* Chivas USA saw their four-game unbeaten streak come to an end in a 2-1 loss at Toronto FC.

* Giancarlo Maldonado scored his first MLS goal for Chivas, converting a penalty kick. He had scored for the club during SuperLiga.

* Sounders FC have never scored a goal against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center, and have yet to defeat the rojiblancos. Chivas USA won 1-0 and 2-0 decisions at home a season ago; the teams played to a scoreless draw in the lone contest at Qwest Field.


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