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Conference Semifinals News & Notes

November 27, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

The Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs have already been quite notable for the contribution by the youngest players in Major League Soccer's 25-year history. Just as during the regular season, records have been set throughout the opening rounds of this year's competition - with more likely to come.

The Round One matches have already seen three of the four youngest players who have scored a goal in MLS Cup Playoffs history. Caden Clark of the New York Red Bulls became the second-youngest - behind only current Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore - when he opened the scoring vs. Columbus Crew SC last Saturday. Then the following day, Gianluca Busio of Sporting Kansas City became the third-youngest when he scored the dramatic go-ahead goal vs. San Jose - only to be supplanted by FC Dallas youngster Ricardo Pepi when he netted an equally dramatic equalizer at Portland.


Jozy Altidore 16 years, 357 days 10/29/2006 NY at DC

Caden Clark 17 years, 178 days 11/21/2020 NYR at CLB

Ricardo Pepi 17 years, 317 days 11/22/2020 DAL at POR

Gianluca Busio 18 years, 178 days 11/22/2020 KC vs SJ

DaMarcus Beasley 19 years, 146 days 10/17/2001 CHI vs LA

Anatole Abang 19 years, 146 days 11/29/2015 NYR vs CLB

Busio also contributed an assist in his club's penalty shootout win vs. San Jose, becoming the youngest in MLS Cup Playoffs history to score a goal and add an assist in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Gianluca Busio 18 years, 178 days 11/22/2020 KC vs SJ

Landon Donovan 19 years, 206 days 9/26/2001 SJ vs CLB

Landon Donovan 19 years, 224 days 10/14/2001 SJ vs MIA

DeAndre Yedlin 20 years, 121 days 11/7/2013 SEA at POR

Edson Buddle 21 years, 127 days 9/25/2002 CLB at SJ

*Credit: Elias Sports Bureau

On the final night of the Round One matches, Christian Torres of Los Angeles Football Club became the youngest player in MLS postseason history, when he was in the first XI vs. Seattle at age 16 years, 223 days. Earlier, Caden Clark was the fifth-youngest - but the third-youngest in MetroStars/Red Bulls history - to start a playoff game when he opened vs. Columbus.


Christian Torres 16 years, 223 days 11/24/2020 LFC at SEA

Jozy Altidore 16 years, 349 days 10/21/2006 NY vs DC

Eddie Gaven 17 years, 15 days 11/09/2003 MET at NE

Freddy Adu 17 years, 141 days 10/21/2006 DC at NY

Caden Clark 17 years, 178 days 11/21/2020 NYR at CLB

Torres became the second-youngest in Major League Soccer history to play in a game in the MLS Cup Playoffs, behind only Freddy Adu, who was aged 15 years, 150 days when he saw action in 2004 for D.C. United.


Freddy Adu 15 years, 150 days 10/30/2004 DC at MET

Christian Torres 16 years, 223 days 11/24/2020 LFC at SEA

Jozy Altidore 16 years, 349 days 10/21/2006 NY vs DC

Alphonso Davies 17 years, 0 days 11/02/2017 VAN at SEA

Eddie Gaven 17 years, 7 days 11/01/2003 MET at NE

*Credit: Elias Sports Bureau

-- #MLSCupPlayoffs -


Not to be outdone, Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes equaled an MLS record when they fielded seven Homegrown Players during their Round One match on Sunday. Four of the Homegrowns were in the starting lineup, two for each team (Jaylin Lindsey, Gianluca Busio, KC; JT Marcinkowski, Nick Lima, SJ), then the Quakes brought on Cade Cowell and Tommy Thompson as substitutes, and Sporting introduced Felipe Hernandez.

The total of seven equaled the mark set in the Seattle Sounders FC-FC Dallas game in last year's MLS Cup Playoffs, when FC Dallas fielded a record six Homegrown Players in one game (Jesse Gonzalez, Jesus Ferreira, Brandon Servania, Reggie Cannon, Edwin Cerrillo, Paxton Pomykal), and Sounders FC with Jordan Morris in their team.


11/22/2020 KC vs SJ KC 4 SJ 3

10/19/2019 DAL at SEA SEA 1 DAL 6

*Credit: Elias Sports Bureau

-- #MLSCupPlayoffs -


The Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs have not been short of dramatics, with a single-year record four games already going into extra time, and three matches decided in penalty shootouts, which equaled the most in a postseason first set in 2006.

This year's postseason got off to a thrilling start when Gustavo Bou gave the New England Revolution a 2-1 win against the Montréal Impact in the Play-In Round with a goal five minutes deep into stoppage time - the second-latest game-winning goal as part of the regulation 90 minutes in MLS Cup Playoffs history.


99+ 2018 WCC 11/29/2018 POR 3 at KC 2 Diego Valeri

95+ 2020 PIR 11/20/2020 NE 2 vs MTL 1 Gustavo Bou

94+ 2018 ECC 11/29/2018 NYR 1 vs ATL 0 Tim Parker

94+ 2012 WCSF 11/4/2012 SJ 1 at LA 0 Victor Bernardez

Then in Round One, two of the latest game-tying goals in stoppage time in MLS Cup Playoffs history were netted, the latest from Chris Wondolowski, seven minutes deep into added time for his club's 3-3 result at Sporting Kansas City. Just a few hours later, Ricardo Pepi hit for the leveler three minutes into added time for FC Dallas in his club's 1-1 result with the Portland Timbers.


97+ 2020 WR1 11/22/2020 KC 3 vs SJ 3 Chris Wondolowski

95+ 2015 WCC 11/29/2015 POR 2 at DAL 2 Lucas Melano

93+ 2020 WR1 11/22/2020 DAL 1 at POR 1 Ricardo Pepi

-- #MLSCupPlayoffs -


Seattle Sounders FC have continued to roll on in defense of their MLS Cup title, opening this year's postseason with a 3-1 win against Los Angeles Football Club in Round One. It was the sixth victory in a row in the MLS Cup Playoffs for Sounders FC - now the second-longest winning streak in playoff history, and the longest since the end of the MLS Shootout era. D.C. United won 13 playoff games in a row from 1996-98, three of those coming via shootout, and the longest streak of wins in the regulation 90 minutes was six.



13 D.C. United 9/27/1996 10/11/1998

6 Seattle Sounders FC 11/8/2018

5 Chicago Fire 10/1/1998 10/25/1998

5 LA Galaxy 10/2/2002 11/1/2003

5 LA Galaxy 10/30/2011 11/1/2012

5 Toronto FC 11/29/2017 10/30/2019

In the win, Nicolás Lodeiro contributed an assist for a fifth consecutive match, having collected one in each of Sounders FC's four victories on their way to the title a year ago. The assists in five consecutive games matches the all-time record in the MLS Cup Playoffs - first set by David Beckham, during the LA Galaxy's run to back-to-back MLS Cup victories in 2011 and '12.



5 David Beckham LA 10/30/2011 11/1/2012

5 Nicolas Lodeiro SEA 10/19/2019

-- #MLSCupPlayoffs -





Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.

3 p.m. ET (ABC / ESPN Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports)

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Orlando City 2 wins, 22 goals ... Revolution 4 wins, 27 goals ... Ties 5

AT ORLANDO: Orlando City 2 wins, 19 goals ... Revolution 0 wins, 12 goals ... Ties 4

2019 (MLS):

7/27: NE 4, ORL 1 (Bou 3; Penilla 47; Gil 60; Fagundez 75 -- Akindele 77)

9/14: ORL 3, NE 3 (Nani 22, 54; Dwyer 47 -- own goal 15; Penilla 35; Bou 41)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: First meeting.

Orlando City took the victory in the club's first-ever game in the MLS Cup Playoffs in remarkable circumstances, winning on a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw on Nov. 21 at Exploria Stadium.

Rodrigo Schlegel was the hero, stopping one of two penalty kicks he saved after he took over between the posts following the red card issued to starting goalkeeper Pedro Gallese during the penalty shootout. It was the 12th time in MLS history a field player took over in goal during a match, the first time in the MLS Cup Playoffs (and the first time during a penalty shootout).

The Revolution won their second successive match in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, defeating the Supporters' Shield holders Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Subaru Park on Tuesday evening. It's the first time the Revolution have won matches in the postseason since 2014, when they went to MLS Cup.

Carles Gil set up both Revolution goals, the first by Adam Buksa in the 26th minute, the second from Tajon Buchanan in the 30th, becoming the third player in the Revolution's MLS Cup Playoffs history to record two assists in a game.

The teams met last in 2019. In the first meeting, Carles Gil scored one goal and set up another as the Revolution cruised to a 4-1 win on July 27 at Gillette Stadium. Then in the second meeting on Sept. 14 in Orlando, Nani scored a pair of goals as Orlando City overcame a two-goal halftime deficit to leave the teams in a 3-3 draw.

The away team has never won in the all-time series, in 11 meetings. The last two meetings in Orlando have ended in 3-3 draws; Orlando City has outscored New England 12-7 in the last three matchups in Florida. The Revolution have won four of the five meetings at Gillette Stadium, including each of the past three years.

The teams also met last year in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup, Tesho Akindele and Benji Michel each scoring in extra time to give Orlando City the 2-1 victory at home.

OCSC: Nani scored the first goal in Orlando City's playoff history, converting a penalty kick after just five minutes. Nani has scored goals in each of his last two appearances, including the regular season.

REVOLUTION: Adam Buksa scored his first career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs. ... Tajon Buchanan netted his first career playoff goal. ... Matt Turner was credited with four saves in recording his first career postseason shutout, in his third appearance.


Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

8 p.m. ET (ESPN / ESPN Deportes, TVA Sports)

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Crew SC 1 win, 2 goals ... Nashville SC 0 wins, 0 goals ... Ties 0

AT COLUMBUS: Crew SC 1 win, 2 goals ... Nashville SC 0 wins, 0 goals ... Ties 0

2020 (MLS):

9/19: CLB 2, NSH 0 (Santos 50; Zardes 93+)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: First meeting.

Crew SC started off the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-2 win against the New York Red Bulls at Mapfre Stadium on Nov. 22. It was a fourth time in five meetings the Crew have gotten past the Red Bulls in the postseason.

Gyasi Zardes scored the third goal of the game which provided the final margin of victory, his fourth career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs in his 12th appearance. It was his second goal in the last three meetings with the Red Bulls, over the last three years.

Nashville SC continued their playoff run in their inaugural season, winning for a second consecutive match in a 1-0 win against Toronto FC in E. Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday evening.

Joe Willis was credited with three saves in recording a second consecutive shutout, the second in his postseason career in his seventh appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Willis has now not allowed a goal in his last 197 minutes in goal in the playoffs; Willis led Major League Soccer with nine shutouts this season.

The teams have met once during Nashville SC's inaugural season. Pedro Santos scored just after the halftime break and Gyasi Zardes netted a late insurance tally, as Crew SC took a 2-0 win Sept. 19 at Mapfre Stadium.

CREW SC: Darlington Nagbe scored the second goal of his career in the MLS Cup Playoffs, making his 21st appearance. His first came in his very first playoff match, on Nov. 2, 2013 for the Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC. ... Pedro Santos scored his first career playoff goal, making his ninth postseason appearance.

NASHVILLE SC: Daniel Ríos scored the Nashville SC goal, making his second appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs, both as a substitute.



Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, Lumen Field, Seattle, Wash.

6:30 p.m. PT (FS1 / FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports)

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sounders FC 12 wins, 42 goals ... FC Dallas 7 wins, 28 goals ... Ties 7

AT SEATTLE: Sounders FC 9 wins, 29 goals ... FC Dallas 1 win, 8 goals ... Ties 2

2019 (MLS):

6/1: DAL 2, SEA 1 (own goal 33, 38 -- Ruidiaz 65)

9/18: SEA 0, DAL 0

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals ... FC Dallas 2 wins, 9 goals ... Ties 2

Sounders FC started off defense of their MLS Cup crown with a quality victory, defeating Los Angeles Football Club 3-1 on Tuesday evening at Lumen Field. The win was a sixth in a row in the MLS Cup Playoffs for Sounders FC, dating back to 2018, the second-longest winning streak in the playoffs in MLS history.

The three Sounders FC players named to the 2020 MLS Best XI - Raúl Ruidíaz, Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordan Morris - all netted a goal and added at least one assist in the match (Ruidiáz with two assists).

FC Dallas advanced in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015, defeating the Portland Timbers in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw at Providence Park on Nov. 22. The penalty shootout saw 15 penalties converted (all in the first 15 attempts), the most in a penalty shootout in MLS history. The 16 rounds marked the third-longest in the league's 19 shootouts all-time.

Ricardo Pepi scored the FC Dallas goal in second half stoppage time, at age 17 years, 317 days, the third-youngest player to score a goal in MLS Cup Playoffs history.

The teams are meeting for the fifth time overall in the postseason, and for a second consecutive year. Last season, Jordan Morris became the fifth player in MLS Cup Playoffs history to score a hat trick, including the game-winner in extra time as Sounders FC took a 4-3 win in Round One in Seattle.

The clubs faced each other in three consecutive seasons from 2014-16. Sounders FC advanced on two of the three occasions, in 2014 and 2016, with FCD going through after penalty kicks in 2015. Sounders FC have won two of the three postseason meetings in Seattle, with one draw.

Sounders FC are undefeated in the last nine league meetings between the teams in Seattle, and have won 10 of the 13 meetings there all-time. The only FCD win at CenturyLink Field came in 2011, a 1-0 victory on May 25.

Over the past five seasons, Sounders FC have outscored FC Dallas 14-1 in four regular season meetings at CenturyLink Field. The FCD goal there last year ended a 460-minute goalless string over all competitions in Seattle.

The teams met twice during the regular season a year ago. FC Dallas benefited from a pair of own goals five minutes apart late in the first half, taking a 2-1 win on June 1 at Toyota Stadium; the teams then reached a goalless draw on Sept. 18 at CenturyLink Field.

SOUNDERS FC: Raúl Ruidíaz scored his eighth goal in seven career appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He has scored in three consecutive playoff games, and has a goal in six of his seven career postseason matches. ... Ruidíaz also collected a pair of assists, now with six assists in his playoff career. It was his second two-assist game in the MLS Cup Playoffs (also: vs. FC Dallas, Oct. 19, 2019). ... Nicolás Lodeiro netted his eighth goal in his 18th career playoff appearance, his fourth goal over the last six games in the postseason. ... Lodeiro also recorded his eighth career playoff assist, a fifth consecutive game with an assist, tying the all-time MLS Cup Playoffs record set by David Beckham in 2011-12. ... Jordan Morris scored his sixth playoff goal in his 18th match. He also collected a third playoff assist, his second in the last three postseason matches.

FCD: Jimmy Maurer saved the final attempt during the post-match penalty shootout, coming in his first career appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. ... FC Dallas became the first team in MLS Cup Playoffs history to convert eight attempts during a penalty kick shootout; the previous record was 7, set twice (KC, 2013 MLS Cup; POR, 2015 Knockout Round).


Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kan.

8 p.m. CT (FS1 / FOX Deportes, TSN, TVA Sports)

LEAGUE HEAD-TO-HEAD: Sporting 6 wins, 16 goals ... MNUFC 3 wins, 10 goals ... Ties 2

AT KC: Sporting 5 wins, 11 goals ... MNUFC 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 0

2020 (MLS):

7/12: MIN 2, KC 1 (own goal 92+; Molino 97+ -- Shelton 43)

8/21: MIN 1, KC 2 (own goal 32 -- Kinda 12; own goal 55)

9/13: KC 1, MIN 0 (Russell 80)

MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: First meeting.

Sporting Kansas City advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals in dramatic fashion, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes in a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw at Children's Mercy Park on Nov. 21. It was the second advancement in three penalty shootouts for Sporting (the first in MLS Cup 2013).

Tim Melia saved all three shootout attempts by the Earthquakes, the first time in 19 penalty shootouts in the MLS Cup Playoffs a goalkeeper saved all three attempts he faced. Melia is now undefeated in six penalty shootouts in knockout competitions in his professional career - four have come with Sporting (also: 2020 MLS is Back Tournament round-of-16 vs. Vancouver; 2017 U.S. Open Cup semifinal vs. San Jose; 2015 U.S. Open Cup final vs. Philadelphia); the other two came with the Charleston Battery (2010 U.S. Open Cup third round) and Rochester Rhinos (2009 U.S. Open Cup third round).

Gianluca Busio scored the go-ahead goal in second-half stoppage time, now the fourth-youngest player to score a goal in MLS Cup Playoffs history. Busio also added an assist, the youngest player in league annals to record a goal and an assist in the same game in the postseason.

Minnesota United FC won a game in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history, defeating the Colorado Rapids at Allianz Field on Nov. 21.

Kevin Molino scored a pair of goals, his second appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Molino has scored two goals now in his last two games, also netting a brace in the 3-0 victory vs. FC Dallas on Decision Day (Nov. 8).

The teams met three times during the regular season, and Sporting won twice. In the last matchup, Johnny Russell netted the game's only goal in the 80th minute for the SKC win at Children's Mercy Park on Sept. 13. Each team scored through an own goal and Gadi Kinda also hit the back of the net as Sporting took a 2-1 win Aug. 21 at Allianz Field. The teams also met in group play during the MLS is Back Tournament, as Kevin Molino scored the game-winner seven minutes deep into second-half stoppage time to give Minnesota United FC a 2-1 win on July 12.

SKC has won all six matchups at home over all competitions, five in league play and one in the U.S. Open Cup, including a 1-0 win there last Aug. 22 in the last meeting at Children's Mercy Park. Sporting's win at Allianz Field this year was their first in six visits to Minnesota all-time in all competitions.

SPORTING: Tim Melia has saved 10 out of 28 total attempts in penalty shootouts in his career; in his MLS league career, he has made 11 saves from 26 total penalties faced, tied for third-most all-time (the 42 percent rate the best in MLS history). ... Roger Espinoza scored the first goal of his MLS Cup Playoffs career, coming in his 15th career postseason match, the first in 2008. ... Ilie Sánchez scored his second career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs, in his sixth career postseason game. ... Johnny Russell collected a second assist in five appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs. ... Gerso Fernandes had an assist, with one goal and one assist in four career postseason games.

MNUFC: Emanuel Reynoso recorded assists on all three Minnesota United goals, becoming the 12th player in MLS history to record three assists or more in one postseason game. ... Robin Lod scored his first career goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs in his second appearance. ... Jan Gregus collected an assist; he scored the first goal in MNUFC's playoff history last year. ... Dayne St. Clair was credited with six saves in his MLS Cup Playoffs debut.

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