All 20 MLS teams are playing again this weekend. Here is the schedule for this weekend's games:
Friday May 29th
Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas, 9:00 p.m.
Saturday May 30th
Toronto FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 5:00 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake, 6:00 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:00 p.m.
New York City F.C. vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:00 p.m.
Orlando City SC vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact, 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers 9 p.m.
Sunday May 31st
Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls, 5:00 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. LA Galaxy, 7:00 p.m.
Here are some quick notes about each game:
Sporting Kansas City (4-2-6) vs. FC Dallas (6-3-3)
Sporting KC look to continue their good run of games after managing to play Seattle to a 0-0 draw on Saturday. The entire team has been solid lately, with three players making the MLS Team of the Week for Week 12. FC Dallas have also been playing well even though they are coming off a tough loss to Montreal. They are currently in the middle of a five game road trip over 42 days, the longest such trip without a home game in franchise history.
Toronto FC (4-5-1) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-3)
San Jose is coming off a hard fought draw in primetime on Sunday against an in-form Orlando City team. Chris Wondolowski continued to put the ball into the back of the net, scoring his team’s only goal and his 100th goal in his MLS career, making him only the ninth player ever to do so. For Toronto this is their second home game in a row, winning last week against the Portland Timbers. Without injured forward Jozy Altidore the past two weeks, their other designated players, Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco, have stepped up and scored the goals for the team.
Vancouver Whitecaps (6-5-2) vs. Real Salt Lake (4-4-5)
With six wins through 13 games, the Whitecaps are off to a great start, and are currently sitting in third in the Western Conference, one point behind FC Dallas. They are coming off a 1-0 loss against the best defensive team in the MLS, the Colorado Rapids. Real Salt Lake is coming off a 2-0 home win against NYCFC, a game where midfielder John Stertzer scored his first MLS goal and goalkeeper Nick Rimando kept another clean sheet.
New York City FC (1-7-4) vs. Houston Dynamo (4-5-4)
Though New York City are coming off a loss to Real Salt Lake, it is only their twelfth game as a franchise and are still trying to move pieces around. With players like Mix Diskerud, David Villa, and soon-to-be-joining Frank Lampard, the club can only improve. Houston are coming off a late loss to an LA Galaxy team that used Robbie Keane as a sub in the second half. The Dynamo have been tough on the defensive end lately, only conceding one goal in each of their last four games.
Orlando City SC (3-5-4) vs. Columbus Crew (4-4-3)
Orlando City are coming off a gutsy draw against San Jose, playing with only 10 men for a majority of the second half. Kaka seems to be rounding into form at just the right time, scoring in consecutive games for the first time this season. The Crew arrive in Orlando on the heels of a 2-2 draw against Chicago. Kei Kamara had a first half brace, the third time he has scored a brace this season.
Chicago Fire (3-5-2) vs. Montreal Impact (2-3-2)
Chicago comes into the game off of a strong performance against the Crew. Down 2-0, they managed to fight back to get the draw as Jason Johnson headed in a goal in the dying embers of stoppage time. Montreal is also coming off a good performance, a 2-1 home win against FC Dallas. Ignacio Piatti and Jack McInerney both scored their second goals of the season to secure three points for the Impact.
Colorado Rapids (2-3-7) vs. Portland Timbers (4-5-4)
The Rapids are one of the toughest teams to play against in the MLS despite not having a stellar record. They have only allowed 10 goals in 12 games and are coming off an away loss to Seattle, the best team in the Western Conference. The Timbers are a team that has put together a nice string of games, including a 1-0 against a very good D.C. United team on Wednesday night. With rising star Darlington Nagbe, they are a dangerous team when in possession of the ball.
Seattle Sounders (7-3-2) vs. New York Red Bulls (4-2-5)
The match-up between the Sounders and the Red Bulls have a lot of soccer fans salivating, as both teams are strong offensively. The Sounders have the best record in the MLS and have also scored the most goals with 18, while only conceding nine. The Red Bulls are coming off a loss to the Union and look to get their high pressure game back on track in Seattle.
New England Revolution (5-3-5) vs. LA Galaxy (5-4-5)
In another game where it’s East vs. West, the Galaxy visit the Revolution, four days after coming off a 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. Robbie Keane looks to be healthy again as the team preps for the arrival of Steven Gerrard. New England are coming off a 1-1 draw with D.C. United last Saturday. The game saw them go down to nine men with Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen both being sent off early in the second half, meaning both players will be suspended for the game on Sunday.
Today was another hot day for practice, with the sun mercilessly beating down on the field. The weather seemed to reflect the mood of the players who were having a very good time, laughing and joking amongst each other.
That does not mean, however, that the team was goofing around or slacking off, as their intensity in practice was as high as it has been all season. Realizing that they can very possibly win the game against D.C. United on Saturday, the team practiced with upmost efficiency, talking and making crisp passes, while also calling out other players when they made a mistake.
The team worked a lot on keeping possession in transition, as well as winning it back in transition, with the team having to make ten passes against a high press before they could proceed.
Practice ended with practicing corner kicks, with Richie Marquez putting in a particularly good shift, as well as regular shootng practice and free kicks to round it all off.
Brian Sylvestre was back in goal today, preparing for the game this weekend, a welcome sight for the team as Sylvestre has posted back-to-back shutouts in the last two wins.
- September 19th 2015
- 10:00AM Union Ownership Game
- 11:30AM RiverCup match
- 3:00PM Delaware River Craft Brewfest
Right knee menisectomy recovery
Right Quad Strain
Left hamstring strain
Left ankle sprain
Left ankle sprain
Left quad strain
Left hamstring strain
On another gorgeous day for practice, the players once again could be seen training very hard. There were some faces missing, including starting goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, and starting centerback Ethan White.
The Carolina RailHawks recalled Sylvestre yesterday so he could start in goal for the team in their U.S. Open Cup game that is being held tonight. While he will return Thursday, by playing for the RailHawks in the Open Cup means that he is “cup tied”. Being cup tied to the RailHawks prohibits him from playing for the Union in any U.S. Open Cup games.
White was inside working on his knee, doing some light workouts with the trainers.
As far as practice itself, Ray Gaddis was, for the most part, a full participant, along with Kyle Morton, a goalkeeper who was temporarily brought up from Reading United.
Most of practice involved different variations of 5-on-5 and 7-on-7, with a special emphasis on shooting. In between each of the team drills, Curtin had players break into groups to practice shooting from distance on each of the goals.
Both Cristian Maidana and Fernando Aristeguieta looked to be in top form, with Chaco playing some great balls into the forwards, and Aristeguieta finishing well, showing that he has returned from Venezuela in top form.
Joining the team for practice today was Icelandic superstar Eiður Guðjohnsen. Guðjohnsen will be practicing with the team for the next week as he trains for Iceland’s upcoming Euro Qualifiers. In the past, Guðjohnsen has played for teams such as Chelsea, Barcelona, Monaco and Tottenham. He currently plays for the Bolton Wanderers.
Fabinho was getting the start in place of the injured Ray Gaddis and surpassed everyone’s expectations. In what Jim Curtin called his best game in a Union uniform, Fabinho had six interceptions and six clearances while providing an assist to C.J. Sapong after a great run done the left-hand side of the field. Fabinho was able to push forward while keeping the New York Red Bull’s Lloyd Sam from getting a shot on goal.
Sylvestre had another great game in goal, shutting out the Red Bulls for only the second time this season and the first time at home. He only had to make three saves but they were all key to the victory. His best save of the match came after Sacha Kljestan’s shot was deflected, making Sylvestre dive to his left, only for the ball to end up at Bradley Wright-Phillips feet. Wright-Phillips quickly shot towards the exposed half of goal but Sylvestre managed to kick his legs out and send the ball out of bounds instead.
Jim Curtin also recieved an honor this week, being selected as the MLS Coach of the Week for Week 12.
After the loss two weeks ago to the Vancouver Whitecaps, fans were calling for Jim Curtin’s head. Now, after the Union's first win at Red Bull Arena, they’re praising him.
Two weeks, two wins against opponents who are thought to be the best that the Eastern Conference has to offer. The Union have now managed to get 12 points from 13 games, five points behind the Red Bulls, who are in third.
As I mentioned in my thoughts at halftime, the Union seemed to be perfectly fine with the Red Bulls dictating the play, waiting for the chance to strike on the counter attack.
The first goal came when Andrew Wenger did a nice bit of dribbling on the left wing to set the ball up for Cristian Maidana, who hit it first time to Vincent Nogueira. Nogueira provided the goal with a nifty finish, hitting it in with the inside of his boot while facing the other direction.
The second goal came from more great wing play on the break, with Fabinho making a great run and an even better pass across the face of the goal to a streaking C.J. Sapong, who knocked it in for the second goal in 10 minutes.
“As a forward you just want to be near the goal, and [Fabinho] played the perfect ball, I really didn’t have much to do,” Sapong said after the game.
The assist marks the second in two games for Fabinho, who was starting at left back for the injured Ray Gaddis.
At the end of the day, the Union played the kind of game that they needed to play to win by not trying to possess the ball against the high press from the Red Bulls. Brian Sylvestre and the rest of the defense came up big, posting another shutout in the second consecutive win.
The team now gets Memorial Day off before they regroup and get ready to face D.C. United away at RFK Stadium next Saturday.
Here are a couple of other stats that may be of some interest:
Possession: New York Red Bulls: 66%, Union 34%
Clearances: NYRB 12, Union 27
Total passes: NYRB 542, Union 285
Total shots: NYRB 15, Union 7
Shots on goal: NYRB 3, Union 3
Crosses: NYRB 33, Union 14
The Union are definitely playing a defensive game, allowing the Red Bulls to dictate the amount of time they have on the ball. This, combined with the high pressure style of the Red Bulls, leaves them open for the counter attack, something that the Union have taken advantage of.
Though the Union only have 35% of the possession, they have more corners than the Red Bulls (2-1) and they have the same amount of shots on goal (1-1).
Going into the second half, the Union have the advantage due to the Red Bulls already using one of their substitutions for an injury to Kemar Lawrence at the 30 minute mark. They have allowed the Red Bulls to play their style and now are in prime position to start to put a bigger influence on the game.
They have to be careful not to get lazy, however, as the Red Bulls have already seen two shots hit off the posts and bounce out.
Philadelphia Union Starting XI against the New York Red Bulls
ST: #6 Conor Casey-MLS Start No. 146, Union Start No. 45
LAM: #11 Andrew Wenger-MLS Start No. 49, Union Start No. 31
CAM: #10 Cristian “Chaco” Maidana-MLS Start No. 30, Union Start No. 30
RAM: #9 Sebastien Le Toux-MLS Start No. 163, Union Start No. 121
LDM: #5 Vincent Nogueira-MLS Start No. 36, Union Start No. 36
RDM: #7 Brian Carroll-MLS Start No. 305, Union Start No. 116
LB: #33 Fabinho-MLS Start No. 33, Union Start No. 33
LCB: #16 Richie Marquez-MLS Start No. 2, Union Start No. 2
RCB: #15 Ethan White-MLS Start No. 54, Union Start No. 20
RB: #25 Sheanon Williams-MLS Start No. 133, Union Start No. 133
GK: #49 Brian Sylvestre-MLS Start No. 3, Union Start No. 3
Williams has two career game-winning assists versus the NYRB…Casey has nine goals and three assists in 11 games against the NYRB…Le Toux played for the Red Bulls in 2012 and had three goals in three games against them last year…The Union have never won in Red Bulls Arena
This weekend is a busy one for the MLS with all 20 teams in action. Here is the schedule for this weekend’s games.
Friday May 22nd
Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire 8:00 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo 10:30 p.m.
Saturday May 23rd
Toronto FC vs. Portland Timbers 5:00 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. D.C. United 7:30 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. FC Dallas 8:00 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 9:00 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City 10:00 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. New York City FC 10:00 p.m.
Sunday May 24th
New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union 5:00 p.m.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Orlando City SC 7:00 p.m.
Here are some quick notes about each game:
Columbus Crew (4-4-2) vs. Chicago Fire (3-5-1)
In an Eastern Conference match-up, Chicago visits Columbus with both teams coming off losses last week. The Fire have struggled lately but have superstars in the making in Harry Shipp and Sean Johnson. Columbus was on a tear up until they lost their last game against San Jose, with Kei Kamara sharing the league lead for goals, with seven on the season.
LA Galaxy (3-4-5) vs. Houston Dynamo (4-4-4)
The Galaxy were put in a tough spot last week, losing Omar Gonzalez before kickoff, and it showed in a poor outing against Orlando City. Gonzalez is set to return against the Dynamo and star forward Robbie Keane may also be in line to return this weekend. Houston have been playing well the past two weeks, with veteran forward Will Bruin scoring three goals in his past two games.
Toronto FC (3-5-1) vs. Portland Timbers (3-4-4)
Jozy Altidore suffered another setback last week, injuring his right hamstring, putting Toronto in a tough position. In the long run this could hurt both Toronto and the U.S. Men’s National Team, especially with the Gold Cup happening this summer. Portland, on the other hand, have their stars returning, with Diego Valeri already back from an injury and captain Will Johnson working his way back to the first team sometime in the next week.
New England Revolution (5-3-4) vs. D.C. United (6-2-3)
This is a battle between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, with D.C. United holding a two-point lead in the standings over New England. United have gotten a chance to rest and recover, allowing stars such as Chris Pontius and Sean Franklin time to get ready in order to play a full game. The Revolution had a mid-week game against Sporting KC so they will most likely rest some of their starters, giving some bench players valuable minutes.
Montreal Impact (1-3-2) vs. FC Dallas (6-2-3)
Montreal is a team in-form, coming off a good home win against Real Salt Lake. The Impact are seem to finally be fully fit after their long run to the CONCACAF Champions League final. FC Dallas are coming off a hard fought draw against the New York Red Bulls. Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz are the players to watch for this Dallas, with each of them playing a hand in at least five goals for their team.
Colorado Rapids (1-2-7) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (6-4-2)
Colorado is a tough team to play against, despite only having one win. They have a goal differential of zero and have allowed only nine goals in 10 games. The Whitecaps are currently sitting in second in the Western Conference. Goalkeeper David Ousted, who has allowed 11 goals in 12 games, and forwards Darren Mattocks and Octavio Rivero, set the pace for the team.
Seattle Sounders (6-3-1) vs. Sporting Kansas City (4-2-5)
Seattle is playing like they’re the best team in the MLS right now, which they very well might be. The combination of Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey dictate the attack for the team, with Dempsey having a goal or an assist in his last 10 regular season starts. Sporting KC is a gritty group of players, held together by forward Dominic Dywer at the front and Matt Besler on defense.
Real Salt Lake (3-3-5) vs. New York City FC (1-6-4)
NYCFC are another team that is better than their record shows, constantly fighting the opposing team for a full 90 minutes. David Villa has been on fire lately, tallying two assists in his last game. Real Salt Lake have been playing well, winning three of their last four games. They hope to have their attacking trio of Javier Morales, Joao Plata, and Sebastian Jaime back for Saturday’s game.
San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-2) vs. Orlando City SC (3-5-3)
San Jose is coming off a solid win against a good Columbus team, getting the shutout while Chris Wondolowski scored his 99th goal for the club. Orlando City is going into the game coming off their first home win of the season, with Brazilian superstar Kaka leading his team with four goals and two assists.