Brian Fernandez, Portland Timbers Channeling D.C. United's Magical 2018 Run - This Week in MLS
September 10, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
Top Things to Know in MLS This Week:
LAFC's new 19-year-old starting for Uruguay: With two recent goals in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, summer signing Brian Rodriguez started in the Uruguay National Team's win over Costa Rica. He's set to face LAFC teammate Walker Zimmerman and the U.S. Men's National Team tonight.
Watch: LAFC GM John Thorrington, head coach Bob Bradley discuss new signingNYCFC owns longest active winning streak: NYCFC's club-record five straight wins matches the longest winning streak of any team this season; it's the best active run in MLS right now.
Win, (maybe) lose or draw, LAFC could conquer West: Anticipation is peaking for the Los Angeles Football Club to lock up the top spot in the Western Conference this weekend, but the job could already be done by a midweek Minnesota loss or tie in Houston.
MLS-France partnership provides invaluable coaching opportunity: In collaboration with the World-Cup winning French Football Federation, 20 prominent academy coaches will begin a rigorous, world-class coaching course in Clairefontaine to earn an Elite Formation Coaching License.
Austin FC breaks ground on $242 million stadium: 2021 expansion side Austin FC is kicking up the dirt for their 20,500-seat stadium on 24 acres in North Austin. Stadium rendering, as well as photos and videos from the groundbreaking ceremony are available here.
Fernandez, Portland channeling D.C. United's magical 2018 run
The 2019 Portland Timbers are writing a sequel quite similar to D.C. United's 2018 MLS script. Thanks to the midseason spark of 24-year-old forward Brian Fernandez, the Argentine is producing at a level that Wayne Rooney showcased last year to lift D.C. into the postseason picture a year ago.
These two sides square off Sunday when the Timbers host United at Providence Park (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN / ESPN Deportes).
Portland began 2018 with a 3-6-1 record (all games on the road) before Fernandez's arrival out of Liga MX. Since making his May 15 debut, Fernandez has tallied a team-leading 11 goals and has led Portland to 10 wins in 18 games. He most recently overcame a stomach virus to net a late second-half goal to lead the Timbers to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 7.
Can Fernandez and Co. maintain their momentum at home, or will D.C. United be primed to spoil this year's comeback tale?
MIDSEASON SPARK Year Player Team Record before Record after Individual statistics
2019 Brian Fernandez* POR 3-6-1, 10 pts, 10th in West 10-5-3, 33 pts, 6th in West 16GP, 11G, 1A
2018 Wayne Rooney DC 2-7-5, 11 pts, 11th in East 12-4-4, 40 pts, 4th in East 20GP, 12G, 7A (finalist for MVP)
*Through Week 27
Tight races feature in both conferences as spots remain wide open for Audi MLS Cup Playoffs
One of the tightest postseason races in MLS history is moving to the homestretch as every week sees teams moving up and down the conference tables, jockeying for position and berths in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
In the Western Conference, just four points separate second place and eighth place, behind the Los Angeles Football Club, the only team to punch its ticket thus far. The LA Galaxy are currently below the playoff line at 42 points - four points adrift of second-place Seattle Sounders FC - but with a pair of wins this week and the right results elsewhere could find themselves right back near the top of the conference.
It's a big week in particular for Minnesota United FC, the San Jose Earthquakes, Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy, all of which face two games in the week, their games in hand on most of the rest of the West.
In the Eastern Conference, just five points separate fourth place and eighth place. Two berths have already been clinched by New York City FC and the Philadelphia Union, and Atlanta United are on the verge of booking their place - but nothing else is settled. The Montréal Impact (vs. FC Cincinnati), Orlando City SC (vs. New England Revolution) and the Chicago Fire (vs. FC Dallas) all face crunch matches at home this weekend, all three clubs currently below the playoff line with just four games remaining for each.
MLS Homegrowns power U.S. to victories over Netherlands, Mexico in final prep for U-17 World Cup
The United States U-17 Men's National Team garnered a pair of victories over the Netherlands and Mexico in the 4 Nations Tournament, the team's final international matches ahead of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup beginning in October. Powered by MLS academy products throughout the three matches, the United States had 18 MLS academy products on the 23-man roster, including seven players currently signed to MLS Homegrown contracts. The next competitive match for the U.S. will be the World Cup in Brazil, where it will face Senegal, Nigeria and the Netherlands in group play beginning on Oct. 27.
At the 4 Nations Tournament in the Netherlands, forward Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) got the U.S. off to a fast start, scoring a late game-winning goal in the tournament opener to defeat Mexico 2-1. Forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez (Seattle Sounders FC) also notched an assist on the opening goal of the match to lift the U.S.
In the second match of the tournament, the United States defeated the Netherlands 3-1, a promising result for the Americans who will face the Dutch once again on November 2 in the final group stage match at the World Cup. Midfielder Gilbert Fuentes (San Jose Earthquakes), defender Kobe Hernandez-Foster (LA Galaxy academy) and forward Andres Jasson (NYCFC academy) all scored for the U.S. in the victory. The U.S. closed the tournament with a 2-1-0 record after falling to Denmark in the finale.
United States Schedule - FIFA U-17 World Cup
Date Matchup Kickoff (ET) Venue
Oct. 27, 2019 U-17 MNT vs. Senegal 4 p.m. Estádio Kléber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil
Oct. 30, 2019 U-17 MNT vs. Japan 7 p.m. Estádio Kléber Andrade; Cariacica, Brazil
Nov. 2, 2019 U-17 MNT vs. Netherlands 7 p.m. Estádio da Serrinha; Goiânia, Brazil
Toronto-area natives Osorio, Laryea play big roles for Canada in Nations League
Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio and converted defender Richie Laryea - both natives of nearby Brampton, Ontario - played big roles in Canada's dominating 6-0 victory against Cuba on Saturday to open Group A play in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League at BMO Field. Canada will follow up that performance with a rematch against Cuba in the Cayman Islands tonight (7:15 p.m. ET, OneSoccer.ca).
The 24-year-old Laryea earned his first international cap and start on Saturday, in large part to his breakout campaign with Toronto FC this year. With TFC head coach Greg Vanney moving Laryea to the defense, Laryea has posted MLS career highs in games (18), games started (14) and minutes (1,288) while notching a goal and assist, following three limited seasons in Orlando.
Osorio has shown some promising signs of late, including a 52nd-minute goal against Cuba this past weekend. With additional international action, the upcoming Canadian Championship and a heated race for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, both club and country are banking on the 27-year-old Osorio returning to the 2018 form that led to a Concacaf Champions League Golden Boot and CCL Best XI honors.
Tuesday, Sept. 10
- Cuba vs. Canada, 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 11
- U.S. Men's National Team vs. Uruguay, 8 p.m., FS1, Univision, TUDN
MLS Regular Season Schedule: Week 28
Wednesday, Sept. 11
- New York City FC vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m., TSN
- Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC, 8:30 p.m.
- Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy, 9 p.m., TSN
- Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14
- New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 12:30 p.m.
- Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas, 3:30 p.m., Univision, TUDN, Twitter
- Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m.
- Montreal Impact vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m., TVA Sports
- Orlando City SC vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
- Philadelphia Union vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 7:30 p.m.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 10 p.m., TSN
Sunday, Sept. 15
- Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes
- Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m., TSN
- Minnesota United FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 5:30 p.m.
- Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 6 p.m.
- LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10 p.m., FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN
MLS Regular Season: Week 28 Notes
Wednesday, Sept. 11 New York City FC vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m. ET (TSN4/5)
New York City FC won a club-record fifth consecutive match, defeating the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening. Jesús Medina scored both NYCFC goals, the first multiple-goal game of his MLS career, converting a penalty kick deep in stoppage time for the game-winner.
Toronto FC extended their undefeated streak to five matches with a second win in that time, defeating FC Cincinnati 5-1 at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening. Marky Delgado scored one goal and set up another, while Alejandro Pozuelo collected two assists, now with 11 assists for the campaign, the fifth-most in a season in TFC club history.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alejandro Pozuelo scored a pair of goals and set up a third as Toronto FC rolled to a 4-0 win on March 29 at BMO Field.
The win in the first meeting for TFC ended a two-game NYCFC winning streak in the series, their second victory in 10 meetings all-time in the series. Both TFC league wins have come by 4-0 scorelines at BMO Field.
The teams did also meet in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2016 - and Toronto FC won 7-0 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at BMO Field, then 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC, 8:30 p.m. ET
The Dynamo had their winless run extended to seven games in their last match, a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park on Aug. 31.
Minnesota United FC grabbed a famous road victory in their last match, defeating the Los Angeles Football Club 2-0 at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 31. Mason Toye scored both MNUFC goals for the victory.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Romain Métanire scored the game's only goal in the first half as Minnesota United took the victory on May 25 at Allianz Field.
The home team has won each of the past four meetings in the series. The teams split their two league meetings a year ago. Minnesota United took a come-from-behind 2-1 win on April 28 at TCF Bank Stadium, their first victory vs. the Dynamo. Then, the Dynamo captured a 3-0 victory July 7 at BBVA Stadium.
The teams met three times in MNUFC's inaugural MLS season, and the Dynamo claimed the only win, a 2-1 victory on Sept. 30 at Houston. The teams played to draws in the first two meetings, once at each ground - a 2-2 result on April 15 at BBVA Stadium, and a goalless match July 19 at TCF Bank Stadium.
Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy, 9 p.m. ET (TSN5)
The Rapids won for a second consecutive match, defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening. Andre Shinyashiki scored both Rapids goals, his first professional two-goal game; Shinyashiki leads all MLS rookies with seven goals this season.
The Galaxy saw their three-game undefeated run put to an end last time out, falling 4-3 to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a goal and added an assist, his 23rd goal of the season, tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Andre Shinyashiki netted the game's only goal in the 82nd minute as the Rapids took the victory on May 19 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The Rapids have come away with points in the last three meetings between the teams, with two victories. The Rapids' victory in the first meeting last year, a 2-1 win on Aug. 4 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, snapped a four-game winless streak, and two-game losing streak, in league play in the series, their first vs. the Galaxy since March 12, 2016.
The Rapids win in the first meeting this year snapped a six-game Galaxy undefeated streak in Carson, Calif., in the series, with two wins and four draws over the span, their first win there since Sept. 7, 2013, a 1-0 victory.
Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9:30 p.m. ET
Real had a two-game undefeated streak on the road put to an end last time out, falling by the game's only goal to Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Aug. 31.
The Quakes won for a second consecutive match in their last outing, a 3-0 win against Orlando City SC at Avaya Stadium. Chris Wondolowski netted a pair of goals, now with 13 for the league campaign, 157 for his MLS league career.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Danny Hoesen netted the game's only goal in stoppage time, giving the Quakes the victory July 6 at Avaya Stadium.
The Quakes now own a five-game undefeated streak in the series in San Jose, with four wins in that span, the last RSL win there a 1-0 triumph on April 5, 2015.
Real are undefeated in their past five home meetings with the Quakes, with two wins and three draws in that time, the last San Jose victory in Sandy, Utah, coming in 2013.
Saturday, Sept. 14
New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 12:30 p.m. ET
NYCFC have never lost to the Quakes in four meetings all-time, winning three, including victories each of the last two years. NYCFC won the lone meeting a year ago, a 2-1 victory on March 31 at Avaya Stadium.
NYCFC have won both meetings all-time at Yankee Stadium, including a 2-1 win there on April 7, 2017, in the last matchup in the Bronx.
Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas, 3:30 p.m. ET (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
The Fire concluded a two-game road run in their last match, with a 1-1 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium. Przemyslaw Frankowski netted his second goal of the season for the Fire goal.
FC Dallas won a second consecutive match and extended their undefeated run to three matches, defeating FC Cincinnati 3-1 at Toyota Stadium on Aug. 31. Zdenek Ondrasek scored a goal and set up another, his third consecutive game with a goal.
FC Dallas won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 3-1 win on July 17 at Toyota Stadium, their second win in the last three matchups between the clubs. Both wins came in Frisco, FCD's first home victories in the series since 2010.
The Fire have won each of the last four meetings in Bridgeview, including a 2-1 win on May 25, 2017 in the last meeting there.
FC Dallas have won the Brimstone Cup two of the past three years - awarded by the two supporters' clubs of the two teams so named when it matched the Fire and the Burn. FCD had won the season series between the clubs every year from 2001-11, before the Fire won it the next four years in a row.
Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7 p.m. ET
Atlanta United saw their four-game winning streak come to an end last time out, falling 3-1 to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Aug. 31. Josef Martínez scored his 23rd goal of the season, tied for second place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, extending his league-record goalscoring streak to 13 games.
Crew SC extended their home undefeated streak to four games with a third consecutive draw there last time out, reaching a 1-1 result with the Chicago Fire on Aug. 31 at Mapfre Stadium. Pedro Santos netted his 10th goal of the season for the Columbus goal.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes scored first-half goals as Crew SC took a 2-0 win on March 30 at Mapfre Stadium.
The win was the first for Crew SC in five league meetings between the clubs, after Atlanta United won each of the first four. ATLUTD have won both league meetings in Atlanta, last a 3-1 win last Aug. 19. They had won the first two meetings in Columbus both by 2-0 scorelines.
The teams met in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2017, Crew SC advancing via a dramatic penalty kick shootout after the teams played to a scoreless draw over 120 minutes at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Montreal Impact vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. ET (TVA Sports)
The Impact weren't able to build upon a first victory in five games in their last match, suffering a 3-0 loss to D.C. United at Stade Saputo on Aug. 31.
FC Cincinnati had their winless run extended, falling 5-1 to Toronto FC at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening. Emmanuel Ledesma scored the FCC goal, his sixth of the season, a second consecutive game with a goal and a third in a row with a goal or an assist.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season, and the second time in their histories. Allan Cruz and Fatai Alashe scored goals on either side of halftime as FC Cincinnati took a 2-1 win on May 11 at Nippert Stadium.
Philadelphia Union vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 7:30 p.m. ET
The Union clinched a berth in the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in their last match, a 3-1 win against Atlanta United at Talen Energy Stadium on Aug. 31.
Kacper Przybylko scored a goal and added an assist, now with 13 goals for the season, tied for sixth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.
LAFC played to a second draw in three matches, reaching a 2-2 deadlock with Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday evening.
Diego Rossi netted his 15th goal of the season, making LAFC just the second team in MLS history to have a 20-goal scorer and a 15-goal scorer in the same season (Carlos Vela has 27 this season).
LAFC won the lone meeting between the teams in their inaugural season, a 4-1 win on June 30 at Banc of California Stadium.
Orlando City SC vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando City SC put an end to a two-game losing slide, reaching a 2-2 draw with the Los Angeles Football Club at Exploria Stadium on Saturday evening. Nani scored his 10th goal of the season, and Homegrown Player Benji Michel added his third.
The Revolution saw their four-game undefeated run come to an end, dropping a late 2-1 decision to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday evening. Juan Caicedo gave the Revolution the lead after two minutes with his fifth goal of the season.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Carles Gil scored one goal and set up another as the Revolution cruised to a 4-1 win on July 27 at Gillette Stadium.
The away team has never won in the all-time series, in eight meetings. The Revolution have won four of the five meetings at Gillette Stadium, including each of the past three years. Orlando City had won their previous two home matches vs. New England, before last year's 3-3 draw.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)
Whitecaps FC fell to their third reversal on the trot in their last match, a 3-1 loss to New York City FC at BC Place. Yordy Reyna scored his seventh goal of the season, a second consecutive game with a defeat.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Memo Rodríguez scored a pair of goals, including the 73rd-minute game-winner, as the Dynamo claimed a 3-2 win on March 16 at BBVA Stadium.
The win in the first meeting for the Dynamo snapped a three-game Whitecaps FC undefeated streak in the series. The Dynamo have now won five of the seven encounters in Houston (with one draw).
Whitecaps FC have won six of the eight meetings all-time in Vancouver, with two draws, including a 2-2 result last year on May 11 in the last matchup there. The Whitecaps FC 2-1 victory in Houston last year was the first ever in the series by the visiting team.
Sunday, Sept. 15
Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
The Timbers won a second consecutive match in dramatic fashion, getting a pair of late goals for a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park on Saturday evening.
Jeremy Ebobisse put the Timbers level in the 83rd minute with his ninth goal of the season. Then, Brian Fernandez scored the winner in stoppage time with his 11th MLS goal (in 16 appearances), the assist coming from Diego Valeri, his 16th of the season (second-most in MLS this season).
United put an emphatic end to a three-game losing slide in their last match, a 3-0 win against the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on Aug. 31.
Ola Kamara netted a pair of goals for D.C., now with three goals in his three appearances since coming to the club.
D.C. United won the lone meeting between the teams last season, a 4-1 victory on Aug. 15 in the first meeting ever at Audi Field. It was their second consecutive home win in the series, the two wins United's first in the series since 2011.
The Timbers won the last meeting between the teams in Portland, a 4-0 win on Oct. 15, 2017, their third consecutive victory at home in the series.
Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m. ET (TSN4)
The Rapids won the lone meeting between the teams a year ago, a 2-0 victory on April 14 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. It was their third consecutive home win in the series.
The Rapids have come away with points on two of their past three trips to BMO Field, including a 1-1 draw in the last meeting there, July 22, 2017. TFC has won seven of nine meetings in Ontario; the Rapids win in 2014 in Toronto is their only league victory there against TFC (the Rapids did win MLS Cup 2010 there).
Minnesota United FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 5:30 p.m. ET
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Darwin Quintero gave MNUFC the lead in the 57th minute, but Marcelo Silva responded 13 minutes later for RSL, leaving the teams in a 1-1 draw on July 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Minnesota United FC have won both meetings between the clubs at home, a 3-2 victory last July 14, and a 4-2 win on April 1, 2017, in the first-ever matchup in the series. The teams have reached draws in the last two meetings in Sandy, after Real won the first matchup there in 2017.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 6 p.m. ET
Sounders FC had their two-game winning run come to a halt, falling 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday evening.
The Red Bulls had a two-game home undefeated run come to an end in their last match, a 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 31 at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls won the lone meeting between the teams a season ago, a 2-1 victory on June 13, extending their undefeated streak in the series at Red Bull Arena to five games, with four wins in that time.
Sounders FC have a four-game home undefeated streak in the series, with three wins in that time, including a 3-1 win on March 19, 2017, in the last matchup at CenturyLink Field.
LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10 p.m. ET (FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN)
Sporting saw their three-game winning run put to an end, falling to a late game-winner in a 2-1 defeat by the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday evening. Benny Feilhaber netted the SKC goal, his fourth of the season.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up a goal from Favio Alvarez then scored one himself, as the Galaxy took a 2-0 victory on May 29 at Children's Mercy Park.
The win for the Galaxy snapped an eight-game undefeated streak for Sporting KC in the series, their first win vs. SKC since April 18, 2015, a 2-1 victory in Carson, Calif.
The win was also the first for the Galaxy in Kansas City since 2007; Sporting won five of the 11 home games in between, with six draws. Sporting have won the past two meetings in Carson, coming away with points on their last three trips to face the Galaxy, including a 2-0 win last April 8 in their last visit.
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