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LA Galaxy & Seattle Sounders FC in Critical CCL Semifinals - This Week in MLS

April 9, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS)

Can Donovan Give Galaxy a Timely Lift?

Many eyes will be on Landon Donovan this week as the LA Galaxy star continues his return to soccer during in a busy and important week for his team.

Donovan delayed the start of his MLS season while taking a three-month sabbatical from the game and its spotlight. His first competitive action since MLS Cup last December came in Toronto March 30, when he came off the bench and played 29 minutes in a 2-2 draw. Last Wednesday he played 27 minutes as a substitute in the Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Monterrey in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League semifinal.

The Galaxy tackle a daunting task in the second leg of their CCL series Wednesday night in Monterrey before traveling again to take on League-leading FC Dallas this Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Is Donovan ready to start one or both of these big contests? Can he notch his first goal or assist of the year? Wednesday and Saturday will tell ...

Seattle, LA Confront Steep Odds in Mexico

The road to a CONCACAF Champions League title got a lot tougher for the Seattle Sounders FC and Los Angeles Galaxy last week when both suffered defeats in the home legs of their semifinal series against Mexican rivals.

The Sounders fell 1-0 to Santos Laguna at CenturyLink Field while the Galaxy surrendered a pair of late goals in a 2-1 defeat to Monterrey at the Home Depot Center.

Seattle and Los Angeles now have to win their away legs by two or more goals in order to advance to the final of a competition that has eluded MLS teams since the Galaxy captured the title (then known as CONCACAF Champions Cup) in January of 2001.

On Tuesday the Sounders return to the site of their 6-1 drubbing last year to face Santos (8 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer), while the Monterrey vs. LA Galaxy match will be on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer.

Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini says his team should "not be afraid of anything" and go for the win.

Week 7 National Broadcasts

Saturday, April 13

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew, 2:00 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS2)

Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution, 4:00 p.m. ET (Univision Deportes)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 4:00 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS2)

FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC SN)

Sunday, April 14

Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire, 5:00 p.m. ET (UniMas)

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes (NBC SN)

Quotables

"...the Seattle organization are top notch - even back then when they were A league it was impressive. I'm proud of how far they have come, I'm proud of what they have established ... I was proud to be a Seattle Sounder."

Hercules Gomez on being a former Sounder

"It's important to get results for the players to realize what they're capable of doing and realize how powerful this way of playing can be."

Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter on their first win of the season

"This is, I think, my last go-around, and I'm taking every camp, every step as an honor. It's something I take dearly to heart to represent your country and be involved, hopefully, with a World Cup. If it's playing, on the bench, I want to be involved, and I'm doing all I can to be there."

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando on playing with the USMNT

"I've always wanted to play here. The soccer is growing a lot and it's changing a lot, and that's what interested me the most. With my career and what I have done over the years, it is a good thing to come here. When Philadelphia first contacted me, I was very happy and I had only one thing on my mind, to come over here."

Brazilian midfielder Kleberson on joining the Philadelphia Union and MLS

"They have the same passion. I can see in my club this passion is coming to America, being part of Seattle Sounders fans is great. We have 40,000 every game in Seattle. This is something I don't miss from Argentina in that respect because we have it in our team."

Seattle Sounders FC's Mauro Rosales on the growing passion for soccer in the US

Sweet Tweets

‏@CBarrett19 - April 8, 2013

Please follow and show your love and support for my boy @KAlston30! Diagnosed with treatable leukemia, great teammate and better person.

@D_Barnes25 - April 8, 2013

In absolute awe of all the love and support that the soccer community and everyone are showing for my brother @KAlston30 #GetWellKA

@JoeCannonGK1 - April 8, 2013

talked to my in-laws.....found out a couple @Southsiders drove to San Jose from Canada 4 the game. LOVE the passion! #respect #WhitecapsFC

‏@eGehrig16 - April 7, 2013

Tremendous feat by @ChadMarshall14 and a very big congrats on the 20,000 min. Best player ive ever played with. Continue to learn from him.

@odea_darren - April 8, 2013

@DarelRussell goal is @MLS goal of the week 100%! It's the best goal but especially to do it when he did makes it clearly the best!

MLS Week 7 Previews

(Home team listed first; all times Eastern)

Saturday, April 13

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew, 2 p.m. (TSN, RDS2)

- The Impact return to action following a weekend off; their four-game winning streak to open the season came to an end in their last match, a 2-0 loss at Sporting KC on March 30.

- The Impact will not have Marco Schällibaum on the touchline for the first game this season at Stade Saputo, after the first-year head coach was sent off in Kansas City.

- Remaining in the starting lineup as the lone striker for a second consecutive match, Dominic Oduro scored his second goal of the season for Columbus to salvage a 1-1 home draw with Philadelphia on Saturday, extending the Crew's home undefeated streak to 11 games dating back to last season.

- Each team held serve at home in Montréal's first MLS season a year ago. The Crew won twice, both in Columbus, while the Impact won their lone home game, a 2-1 win on July 8 at Stade Saputo.

Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, 4 p.m.

- For the second time in as many matches, Toronto FC recorded a 2-2 home draw with a high-flying Western Conference outfit, getting late goals from Justin Braun and Darel Russell in their tie with FC Dallas on Saturday.

- Union's Jack McInerney scored his third goal in five games this season in the 1-1 draw in Columbus on Saturday. Dating back to last Sept. 29, McInerney has seven goals in his last 11 games.

- Union are unbeaten all-time at home vs. Toronto FC. Philadelphia won 3-0 last July 8 at PPL Park, their second win vs. TFC in three home games.

Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution, 4 p.m. (UDN)

- Sounders FC return to league action still looking for their first victory of the season, coming off their third loss in four games, including their last league game, a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on March 30.

- The Revolution also return to action after a week off, their last match a 1-0 home loss to FC Dallas that extended their winless streak to three games following a season-opening win at Chicago.

- The Revolution have now gone 298 minutes without scoring a goal, since Jerry Bengtson netted the only tally of their win at Chicago.

- The Revolution last won in the series in 2010, a 3-1 win at Gillette Stadium. In three meetings since, Sounders FC have won twice, both during 2011; the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Foxborough in their lone meeting a season ago.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 4 p.m. (TSN, RDS2)

- Whitecaps FC have won both meetings all-time at BC Place, including a 2-1 win last Aug. 11. Real are unbeaten vs. Vancouver at Rio Tinto Stadium, with two wins in three all-time meetings there.

- Corey Hertzog scored his first goal in his first MLS start - in just his seventh career league appearance over three seasons - to give Whitecaps FC a 1-1 draw at San Jose on Saturday evening.

- Whitecaps FC have won both of their home games this season. They return home from a three-game road swing where they went 0-2-1, losing at Houston and Chivas USA before the draw with San Jose.

- For the first time in his MLS career, Álvaro Sabório had a penalty kick saved in RSL's 1-0 loss at Colorado on Saturday. Sabório had converted all eight of his spot kicks in four MLS seasons entering the match (and was 12-for-12 for Real in all competitions).

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m.

- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. In a rematch of their epic Eastern Conference Semifinal Series from a year ago, the teams played to a scoreless draw March 16 at Red Bull Arena.

- The teams have met 72 times in all competitions over the years. New York has won 22 and United have won 39, including a 6-1-2 record in the postseason.

- With his second goal of the season in an eventual 3-1 loss to Chicago on Sunday, center back Jamisón Olave tied Fabian Espíndola for the Red Bulls team lead.

- For the third time in three games away from RFK Stadium this season, D.C. United were held scoreless, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Friday evening. United have scored two goals this season, both coming in their two home games.

FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

- Blas Pérez scored for the second time in as many matches, but FC Dallas saw their three-game winning streak come to an end in a late 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday.

- The Galaxy return to league play after a weekend off; the defending MLS Cup champions are still undefeated on the season, following a 2-2 draw at Toronto FC on March 30.

- LA's Mike Magee still leads the MLS Golden Boot standings with five goals on the season, netting the opener in the draw with Toronto.

- The Galaxy have a four-game undefeated streak alive vs. FC Dallas, including back-to-back shutout wins in their final two meetings last year. FCD last defeated LA on May 1, 2001.

Chivas USA vs. Colorado Rapids, 10:30 p.m.

- Chivas USA return to action following an off week, having won two in a row and three of their last four including a 2-1 win against Vancouver at The Home Depot Center on March 30.

- The Rapids snapped their season-opening winless streak at five games with a 1-0 win against Rocky Mountain rival Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening, ending their run one game short of the worst start in club history.

- Making his third consecutive start in place of the injured Matt Pickens, goalkeeper Clint Irwin recorded his first shutout and first victory in the win against RSL - and saved a penalty from Álvaro Sabório along the way.

- The Rapids have not lost to Chivas USA since March 21, 2009. In the eight matches since, Colorado have won six, with two draws.

Sunday, April 14

Houston Dynamo vs. Chicago Fire, 5 p.m. (UniMas)

- With a goal and two assists in the Fire's 3-1 win against New York on Sunday, Daniel Paladini increased his career point production by 50 percent. In 48 league appearances entering the contest, he had three goals and three assists.

- Fire striker Maicon Santos scored two goals in a game for the fifth time in his MLS career, scoring the two late goals to give the Fire the club's first win of the season.

- The Dynamo can set the MLS record with a win or a tie, which would extend their home undefeated streak to 35 games in all competitions. The Dynamo also have the third-longest unbeaten run in league games in North American professional sports to open a new facility at 20 games, behind the NBA's Washington Capitols (27, at Uline Arena) and the WNBA's LA Sparks (22, Staples Center).

- The teams met a year ago in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Dynamo taking a 2-1 victory at Toyota Park on their way to an eventual appearance in MLS Cup 2012.

- In league play, the Dynamo last won in Bridgeview in 2009. The Fire won at Robertson Stadium in 2006 and 2007 in their first two trips ever to Houston - and have not won there since.

Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

- A week after Will Johnson had his first career two-goal game, Ryan Johnson performed the same feat, netting twice in the Timbers' 2-0 win against Houston on Saturday evening. Ryan Johnson has 30 goals in 157 games in his MLS career.

- The victory against the Dynamo made Caleb Porter a winner for the first time as a head coach in MLS. The Timbers are now undefeated in their last three games.

- Chris Wondolowski netted his third goal in five games in the 1-1 home draw with Vancouver on Saturday, a goal set up by striker partner Alan Gordon - who was making his first start of the season.

- The teams are undefeated at home in the all-time league series. The Timbers have won two of three matches in Portland, with one draw, while both encounters at Buck Shaw Stadium have ended in draws.

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Major League Soccer Stories from April 9, 2013


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