Atlanta Silences Doubters with MLS Record-Tying Shutout Streak - This Week in MLS
May 14, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
Week 12 Notes
Top Things to Know about MLS This Week
1. World Cup-bound MLS Teens: The U.S. and Canada have qualified for U-17 World Cup with 18 MLS academy products on each country's roster.
2. New coaches with new wins: Two out of three new coaches won their first games last week. Of the 62 occasions all-time in which teams made midseason coaching changes, 17 made the postseason.
3. Chicago's gains with Nicolás Gaitán: The Fire have posted back-to-back shutout wins and are unbeaten in seven of their past 10 since Argentine midfielder Gaitán's first appearance.
4. Teetering on the playoff line: A tight race has 20 of 23 teams in the running to finish above the playoff line by week's end with five teams in the East separated by three points or less and four teams in the West separated by four points or less.
5. A legend scarves a legend: Legendary Dallas Mavericks player and 14-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki participated in the FC Dallas ceremonial Lamar Hunt statue scarfing at Toyota Stadium.
Atlanta silences doubters with MLS record-tying shutout streak
For the first time this season, Atlanta United are experiencing life above the playoff line with results and a playing style reminiscent of their familiar fast-paced past. With an MLS record-tying four consecutive shutout wins, this club has rapidly ascended from last in the Eastern Conference to firmly footed in fifth place.
It took some time for the Five Stripes to gel, but their remarkable turnaround was led by Atlanta's superstars outscoring opponents 7-0 over a 15-day span.
On the season as a whole, 2018 Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez and 20-year-old midfielder Ezequiel Barco are pacing the scoring with four goals apiece, while Julian Gressel has hit a pair of crucial finishes in recent weeks, and the much anticipated first MLS goal from Argentine superstar Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez was a game-winner that did not disappoint.
Fresh off a pair of confidence-building home victories, Atlanta will look to maintain its steam on the road this Wednesday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10 p.m. ET, TSN / ESPN+) before the reigning MLS Cup champions take on the reigning Supporters' Shield winners the New York Red Bulls this Sunday (5 p.m. ET, FS1) in a rematch of last season's top-rated clubs.
U.S., Canada qualify for U-17 World Cup berth, face off in Concacaf semifinals
Behind the strength of 18 MLS academy products on each team, both the United States and Canada have clinched spots at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. With the pair of nations taking up half the available spots available to Concacaf in the World Cup, they'll now shift their focus to a semifinal matchup tonight in Bradenton, Fla. (5:30 p.m. ET; UDN, Concacaf Facebook). Regional bragging rights and a spot in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship final will be on the line when the array of talented MLS academy stars face off tonight.
Powered by the scoring prowess of Toronto FC academy forward Jayden Nelson, Canada has booked its first appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup since 2013. Nelson has scored five goals at the Concacaf U-17 Championship, tied for second most in the tournament, including the team's only goal in a quarterfinal victory over Costa Rica. Nelson is one of 18 MLS academy products on Canada's U-17 roster, including five from Toronto FC.
The same Toronto FC squad led by Nelson performed well at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, capturing wins over Liga MX side Club America and Uruguayan power Peñarol. Canada will look for revenge against the United States after falling to their southern neighbors 3-2 in the first match of group play.
The United States has also clinched a spot in September's 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil and will look to advance to the Concacaf title match for the second consecutive season. Led by Sporting Kansas City 16-year-old midfielder Gianluca Busio's five goals in the tournament, the U.S. has scored a tournament-high 23 goals. Along with Busio, fellow MLS homegrown players leading the goalscoring charge include Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC) with four goals and Griffin Yow (D.C. United) with three goals.
LA Galaxy 16-year-old midfielder Efraín Álvarez, meanwhile has two goals scored in helping Mexico to clinch a berth at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Mexico will face Haiti in the semifinals on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET), and if victorious, would play the winner of U.S.-Canada in the final on Thursday.
'Everybody is better' since NYCFC's addition of Brazilian striker Héber
New York City FC needed a stalwart attacker following four seasons with FIFA World Cup winner David Villa, and the club found the answer to its wishes in 27-year-old Brazilian forward Héber.
Since Héber's debut on April 6, NYCFC has posted a 4-0-3 record, compared to 0-1-3 prior to his arrival. During NYCFC's current 4-0-1 stretch (since April 21), Héber has played a role in contributing toward five of the club's eight goals (3 goals, 2 assists).
"He has the quality to keep the ball [and to] create spaces," NYCFC head coach Domènec Torrent said following the club's 2-1 road win against the LA Galaxy on Saturday. "He is a good player for us, and everybody is better when he is playing."
Through 11 weeks, Héber's efforts have lifted NYCFC to 4-1-6 (18 points) and fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and the club is one of three MLS sides with only one defeat. With Héber leading the charge, NYCFC has restored order as one of the top contenders in the East.
MLS Regular Season Schedule: Week 12
Wednesday, May 15
- Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m., TSN
- Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers, 8:30 p.m.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Atlanta United, 10 p.m., TSN
- Seattle Sounders FC vs. Orlando City SC, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 16
- Los Angeles Football Club vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Saturday, May 18
- Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 1 p.m., TVA Sports
- Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC, 3 p.m., TSN, CTV
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire, 3:30 p.m., Univision, Twitter
- Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.
- Minnesota United FC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 8 p.m.
- Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 8:30 p.m.
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:30 p.m., TSN
Sunday, May 19
- FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 3 p.m.
- Orlando City SC vs. FC Cincinnati, 3 p.m.
- New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United, 5 p.m., FS1, FOX Deportes
- LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, May 15
- New England Revolution vs. Chelsea, 8 p.m., FS1
MLS Media Resources
MLS Press Releases
2019 MLS Fact and Record Book
MLS Regular Season: Week 12 Notes
Wednesday, May 15
Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)
Toronto FC have lost consecutive games for the first time this season, following their 2-1 defeat by the Philadelphia Union at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon. It was a second consecutive defeat at home for TFC, following a five-game undefeated run at BMO Field to start the season.
D.C. United have won back-to-back games for a second time this season, defeating Sporting Kansas City by the game's lone goal at Audi Field on Sunday evening. It was a second consecutive home victory, both over a five-day span, on the heels of a three-game winless skid in D.C.
The teams met twice a season ago. D.C. United won the inaugural meeting in the series at Audi Field, taking a 1-0 win on Oct. 17 through a Wayne Rooney goal. On June 13, each team scored in the 90th minute or later, leaving the clubs in a 4-4 draw on June 13 at BMO Field.
United have come away with points on four of their last six trips to BMO Field, over the past five seasons, including two victories. TFC ended their history at RFK Stadium by coming away with points on four of their final five visits there, before D.C. United's win in the Audi Field opener last year.
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers, 8:30 p.m. ET
The Dynamo had their two-game winning streak put to an end with a second consecutive home loss, falling to Seattle Sounders FC by the game's only goal at CenturyLink Field on Saturday evening.
The teams met twice a season ago, each winning on their home ground. The Timbers took a 2-1 win on July 28 at Providence Park, then the Dynamo captured a 4-1 victory on Sept. 15 at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dynamo have never lost to the Timbers at home. The Dynamo have won three of the six meetings all-time in Houston, with three draws, winning the last two there.
The Timbers have a six-game undefeated streak at Providence Park alive in the series, winning the past three. The Dynamo's lone league win there came in the first meeting between the teams in Portland in 2011.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Atlanta United, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)
Whitecaps FC have won back-to-back games for the first time in 2019, defeating the Portland Timbers by the game's only goal at BC Place on Friday evening. The 'Caps have two wins and a draw in their past three home games.
Atlanta United won a fourth consecutive game - all by shutout - defeating Orlando City SC 1-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The four consecutive wins by shutout tie the all-time MLS record, set eight times previously in league history.
The teams have split their two meetings over Atlanta United's first two seasons, each winning on their home ground. ATLUTD took a 4-1 win last March 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the lone meeting between the clubs; Whitecaps FC won the inaugural meeting between the teams, a 3-1 win June 3, 2017, at BC Place
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Orlando City SC, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sounders FC extended their undefeated streak to four games with a first win in that span, defeating the Houston Dynamo by the game's only goal at CenturyLink Field on Saturday evening. The win stretched Sounders FC's home undefeated streak to 10 games, dating back to last Sept. 29, the fourth-longest in the club's history.
Orlando City SC suffered their second consecutive defeat by shutout, falling 1-0 to Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday evening.
Sounders FC have never lost to Orlando City in four meetings in the all-time series. Sounders FC took a 2-1 win in their lone meeting last year, Oct. 17, 2018 at Orlando City Stadium - their second win in two visits to Orlando.
The teams reached a 1-1 draw in their last meeting at CenturyLink Field on June 21, 2017; Sounders FC won the inaugural matchup between the clubs there, a 4-0 victory in 2015.
Thursday, May 16
Los Angeles Football Club vs. FC Dallas, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
LAFC extended their undefeated run to four games with a second win in that time, defeating Columbus Crew SC 3-0 at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday evening.
Carlos Vela scored a goal, his league-leading 12th of the season (in 12 games), and also added an assist, his sixth of the season, having played a part now in 18 of LAFC's 29 goals this year.
FC Dallas suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 3-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Toyota Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Jesús Ferreira scored his fourth goal of the season, his third in the past five games, netting FCD's lone tally vs. the Red Bulls.
The teams met twice a year ago in LAFC's inaugural MLS campaign. The teams reached a 1-1 draw on May 5 at Banc of California Stadium; FC Dallas then took a 2-1 win on June 2 at Toyota Stadium.
Saturday, May 18
Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution, 1 p.m. ET (TVA Sports)
The Impact have alternated wins and losses for a fourth consecutive match, falling 2-1 to FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Orji Okwonkwo scored the Montréal goal from a Maximiliano Urruti assist; Urruti has played a part in each of the Impact's past three goals, with a goal and two assists.
The Revolution put an end to a four-game winless streak in Mike Lapper's head coaching debut, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 at Gillette Stadium. Carles Gil scored his fourth goal of the season.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Anthony Jackson-Hamel netted a pair of goals late as the Impact eased to a 3-0 victory on April 24 at Gillette Stadium.
The Impact win in the first meeting ended a four-game Revolution winning streak in the series at Gillette Stadium, dating back to 2016. The Impact won the last matchup at Stade Saputo, a 4-2 victory last May 5, which ended a two-game Revolution winning streak in Montréal.
Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC, 3 p.m. ET (TSN, CTV)
Real put an end to a two-game losing slide, defeating the Colorado Rapids 3-2 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening. Sam Johnson scored his fourth goal of the season, all coming over the last five games.
Alejandro Pozuelo scored his fifth goal of the season in TFC's 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, whipping home a free kick. Pozuelo has played a part in half of TFC's 22 goals on the season, with five goals and six assists.
The teams met once a season ago, Toronto FC claiming a 3-1 win at BMO Field on March 30. TFC have come away with two wins and a draw in the last three meetings between the teams; RSL had won four consecutive meetings between the teams prior.
RSL has never lost to TFC at Rio Tinto Stadium, and have lost at home to TFC just once in nine meetings - a 2-1 Toronto FC victory on July 4, 2007 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the first meeting ever between the clubs. Real had won six consecutive meetings in Sandy before the teams reached a goalless draw in the last meeting there on March 4, 2017
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univision, Twitter)
The Quakes saw their four-game undefeated streak come to an end, falling 3-1 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. Vako Qazaishvili scored the lone San Jose goal, his first of the season.
The Fire have won back-to-back games for the first time this season, recording a third consecutive shutout in a 2-0 win against Minnesota United FC at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Fire have won consecutive games for the first time since June 10-July 1, 2017, when they won four games in a row.
The Fire won the lone meeting between the teams last season, a 2-1 victory on June 2 in Bridgeview, Ill., their third consecutive victory in the series.
The Fire won on their last trip to San Jose, a 4-1 victory at Avaya Stadium on Sept. 27, 2017, the first victory for the road team in the series since 2010, when each team won away in the two meetings that year.
The Fire have won the past three encounters between the clubs at Toyota Park; the Quakes have not won on their last four trips to Bridgeview.
Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
The Union won a third consecutive game in extending their undefeated to five matches, defeating Toronto FC 2-1 at BMO Field on Saturday evening. Jamiro Monteiro scored the game-winning goal from an assist by Kacper Przybylko, who now has a goal or an assist in four consecutive games (his first four MLS starts).
Cristian Roldan scored for a second consecutive win, his third goal of the season, netting the only Sounders FC goal for a second game in a row in the 1-0 win vs. the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field.
The Union won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 1-0 victory at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 19, their second consecutive victory in the series. It was the Union's second win ever in Seattle in six trips, their first since 2011.
The Union have never lost to Sounders FC in Chester, Pa. After a 3-1 Philadelphia win vs. Seattle in the grand opening of the new stadium in 2010, the teams played to draws there in their next two meetings, before the Union claimed wins in the last two matchups there, including a 2-0 win in 2017 in the last matchup at Talen Energy Stadium.
Minnesota United FC vs. Columbus Crew SC, 8 p.m. ET
Minnesota United FC had their three-game undefeated streak put to an end, falling 2-0 to the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Crew SC suffered a sixth loss in their last seven matches, falling 3-0 to the Los Angeles Football Club at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday evening.
Crew SC have won both meetings between the teams all-time, over Minnesota United FC's first two MLS seasons. Crew SC took a 1-0 win the inaugural meeting, July 4, 2017, at TCF Bank Stadium; they also took a 3-1 win on Decision Day last year (Oct. 28) at Mapfre Stadium in the lone meeting between the teams.
Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United, 8:30 p.m. ET
The Dynamo come into the week riding a five-game home winning streak at BBVA Compass Stadium, matching their club record set four times previously, last over the end of the 2012 season and the start of 2013.
Paul Arriola netted a goal for a second consecutive game in D.C. United's 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City at Audi Field on Sunday evening, his third goal of the year. Wayne Rooney provided the assist, his fourth of the year; he's played a part 10 of United's 17 goals this season (with 6 goals).
The teams met once a season ago, reaching a 2-2 draw in a match played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md., on March 17.
D.C. United last won in the series in 2014, a 3-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium, the teams reaching draws in three of the last four meetings.
The home team has not won in the last five matches in the series. The last home wins came in the first two meetings in 2014, United winning 2-0 at RFK Stadium on May 21, and the Dynamo winning 1-0 Aug. 3 in Houston.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8:30 p.m. ET (TSN)
Sporting suffered a second consecutive loss, both by shutout, falling 1-0 to D.C. United at Audi Field on Sunday evening. SKC saw their overall winless streak extended to six games, dating back to the start of April.
Fredy Montero scored for a second consecutive game, now with three goals on the season, netting the lone goal in Whitecaps FC's 1-0 win vs. the Portland Timbers at BC Place on Friday evening. Montero scored in double digits in goals in each of his first five MLS seasons.
Sporting rolled to a pair of victories in the two meetings between the clubs last year. Johnny Russell netted a hat trick in the opening 48 minutes as Sporting cruised to a 6-0 victory on April 20 at Children's Mercy Park, then SKC took a 4-1 win Oct. 17 at BC Place behind two goals from Daniel Salloí.
Whitecaps FC had won the previous two meetings between the teams, both coming in 2017, once at each ground. The win at Children's Mercy Park was their first ever for Whitecaps FC in Kansas City in league play. Sporting had won four of the first five meetings there in MLS play (with one draw), though Vancouver did win there in group play in the Concacaf Champions League in 2016.
Sporting have won on three of their seven visits all-time to Vancouver, with two draws.
Sunday, May 19
FC Dallas vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 3 p.m. ET
The teams are meeting on the back end of a home-and-home series over four days, after having played Thursday at Banc of California Stadium.
Orlando City SC vs. FC Cincinnati, 3 p.m. ET
FC Cincinnati put an end to a five-game losing streak and a seven-game winless slide overall, defeating the Montréal Impact 2-1 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Allan Cruz and Fatai Alashe scored the FCC goals, the opening strike snapping the club's goalless streak at 528 minutes, the sixth-longest in MLS history.
FCC interim head coach Yoann Damet won the game in his debut, the youngest head coach ever in MLS history (at 29 years, 53 days for the match).
The teams are meeting for the first time in their histories, the first of two meetings this season. Their return match is set for Sept. 29 at Nippert Stadium.
New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United, 5 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)
The Red Bulls won a third match in their past four games, defeating FC Dallas 3-1 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was the first away win of the season for the Red Bulls.
Pity Martínez scored his first MLS goal, netting the game's only goal in Atlanta United's win vs. Orlando City FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Bulls have never lost to Atlanta United in four meetings all-time, winning three. The Red Bulls won both matchups a year ago: Bradley Wright-Phillips scored a pair of goals four minutes apart in the second half to propel the Red Bulls to a 3-1 win on May 20, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium - their second victory in two visits to Atlanta - then New York took a 2-0 win on Sept. 30 in Harrison, N.J.
The teams met twice in Atlanta United's inaugural MLS season - and the Red Bulls came away with points from both. The Red Bulls won 2-1 on March 5 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta United's first league match; the teams played to a scoreless draw Oct. 15 at Red Bull Arena.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. ET
The Galaxy suffered a third consecutive loss on the heels of a seven-game undefeated run, dropping a 2-0 decision to New York City FC at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday evening.
The Rapids remained winless to start the season, now 0-9-2 following their 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening. The 11-game start to a season without a win matches the longest in MLS history (previously set by Real Salt Lake, 0-5-6, in 2007).
The teams met twice a season ago, both matches coming in a 10-day span. The Rapids got the game-winner in the 90th minute for a 2-1 win on Aug. 4 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park; they then reached a 2-2 draw on Aug. 14 in Carson, Calif.
The Rapids' victory last year snapped a four-game winless streak, and two-game losing streak, in league play in the series, their first vs. the Galaxy since a 1-0 win at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, on March 12, 2016.
The Galaxy have a six-game undefeated streak in Carson in the series, with two wins and four draws over the span. The last Rapids victory there was on Sept. 7, 2013, a 1-0 victory.
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