Resilient Aaron Long, U.S. MNT Battle for Top Spot in Gold Cup Group - This Week in MLS
June 25, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
Top Things to Know about MLS This Week
Galaxy 21-year-old is key to Mexico's success: A late add to Mexico's roster, Uriel Antuna has four goals in three Concacaf Gold Cup games, ranking him No. 2 in the tournament's Golden Boot race.
ICYMI: MLS announced the 26-man All-Star roster, and players were surprised:
Watch: Commissioner's pick Paxton Pomykal was "so shook" when FC Dallas owner Dan Hunt told him after training.MLS stars shining in Gold Cup: The U.S. Men's National Team claimed sweet revenge over Trinidad & Tobago after MLS players scored five of six goals in a shutout victory.
MLS players met Monday in Gold Cup Group B: Haiti's Derrick Etienne, Jr. (New York Red Bulls) and Zachary Herivaux (New England Revolution) defeated Costa Rica's contingent of five MLS players, led by Ronald Matarrita (NYCFC) and Kendall Waston (FC Cincinnati).
Portland's Fernandez has found his finishing form: Timbers forward Brian Fernandez may be brand new to MLS, but he has six goals in only his first four games.
Starring U.S. MNT role not such a 'Long' shot after all
New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long is making his resilient presence known for the U.S. Men's National Team after scoring two goals in Concacaf Gold Cup action, including this diving header in a 6-0 defeat of Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday.
The 2018 MLS Defender of the Year and a Best XI selection has missed his past six straight regular season games while on the mend from a hamstring injury. However, Long has never been one to cower to adversity.
A product of the University of California, Riverside and drafted by the Portland Timbers in 2014, Long experienced stints with Seattle Sounders FC II and the New York Red Bulls II of the United Soccer League before earning his way to 30 MLS starts in 2017 and 31 in 2018. The stalwart defender has since remained a mainstay on the Red Bulls backline that last season achieved 14 shutouts, with four of those coming in the team's last five regular season games, leading to an Eastern Conference championship.
Long solidified his position on the U.S. MNT defense in 2018, and he approaches Wednesday's match against Panama after captaining the U.S. in the last meeting of these teams in January.
MLS stars impacting Africa, Concacaf, CONMEBOL international tournaments
Players across MLS continue to make a crucial impact for their respective national teams across regional tournaments in Africa, North America and South America this summer. Ranging from youngsters such as 21-year-old Uriel Antuna (Mexico) making their first major impact on the national team or World Cup veterans like Nicolás Lodeiro (Uruguay), MLS players have made their marks felt on these international tournaments this summer.
Despite coming on as a last-minute injury replacement, Antuna (LA Galaxy) has rewarded Mexico coach Tata Martino with four goals scored, second most in the entire tournament.
Columbus Crew SC forward Gyasi Zardes is right on his tail with three goals scored for the United States, who will next play Panama at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City tomorrow for the final group stage match (9 p.m. ET, FS1 / UniMás / UDN / FOX Sports Go).
A pair of 2019 MLS All-Stars have their teams onto the quarterfinals of 2019 Copa América, as Lodeiro has a goal and an assist for Uruguay in three matches played. Fellow All-Star Josef Martínez also scored in Venezuela's victory over Bolivia, helping his nation to advance to the quarterfinals where they will face Argentina on Friday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
Minnesota United FC defender and recently named 2019 MLS All-Star Romain Métanire helped Madagascar secure its first ever points in the Africa Cup of Nations, playing a full 90 minutes in the nation's 2-2 draw against Guinea on Saturday. Columbus Crew SC defender Jonathan Mensah meanwhile could feature in Ghana's first match of the tournament today against Benin (4 p.m. ET). Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Lass Bangoura (Guinea) is also one of three MLS players participating in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Rapids put six-game unbeaten run on the line against West-leading LAFC
The Colorado Rapids, one of the hottest teams in MLS, could make a heavy statement this weekend when they host Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Football Club on Friday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (10 p.m. ET / UniMás, Twitter).
Since former Rapids striker and interim head coach Conor Casey took the helm, Colorado has posted a robust 4-0-2 record, a valiant effort to overcome a 0-9-2 start to the year. A key to the Rapids' recent success has been a multitude of attacking contributions beyond star striker Kei Kamara. During this six-game stretch, 22-year-old Brazilian forward Andre Shinyashiki has posted three goals and an assist, and 27-year-old Uruguayan Nicolás Mezquida has two goals and two assists to his name.
The Rapids still enter Week 17 last in the West, but the gap has tightened to the point where they could realistically move up a position or two in the standings. Will Casey's troops extend their unbeaten run, or will LAFC head coach Bob Bradley and his arsenal of MLS All-Stars Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi prove too much for Colorado?
MLS Cup winner Atlanta, runner-up Portland still in hunt for U.S. Open Cup
Last year's 2018 MLS Cup participants - eventual champions Atlanta United and runners-up the Portland Timbers - are still in the hunt for another domestic trophy. Last week, both sides advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with Portland topping the LA Galaxy (4-0) and Atlanta edging Columbus Crew SC (3-2) in the Round of 16. Six of the eight remaining teams competing in the July 10 quarterfinals hail from MLS, while Saint Louis FC and New Mexico United are carrying the torch for the USL Championship.
Quarterfinal matchups (July 10):
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
Atlanta United FC vs. Saint Louis FC (USLC)
Minnesota United FC vs. New Mexico United (USLC)
Los Angeles Football Club vs. Portland Timbers
More on MLSsoccer.com: Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
MLS Regular Season Schedule: Week 17
Wednesday, June 26
- New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.
- Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m., TVA Sports
- D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC, 8 p.m.
- Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United, 8 p.m., TSN
- FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 p.m., TSN
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, June 28
- New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m., UniMas, Twitter
- Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 10 p.m., UniMas, Twitter
Saturday, June 29
- Minnesota United FC vs. FC Cincinnati, 4 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes
- Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact, 6 p.m., TVA Sports
- New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.
- Columbus Crew SC vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
- New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.
- D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m., TSN
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m.
- Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10 p.m.
- Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m., TSN
Sunday, June 23
- Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 11 p.m., UniMas, Twitter
Concacaf Gold Cup
Wednesday, June 26
- Panama vs. U.S. Men's National Team, 9 p.m., FS1, UniMas, UDN
Saturday, June 29
- Haiti vs. Canada, 7 p.m., FS1, Univision, UDN
- Mexico vs. Costa Rica, 9:30 p.m., FS1, Univision, UDN
MLS Regular Season: Week 17 Notes
Wednesday, June 26
New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m. ET
The Revolution return to league play for the first time since June 2, extending their undefeated streak to four games last time out in a 2-1 win vs. the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park. Carles Gil assisted on both Revolution goals, his first multiple-assist game in MLS.
The Union made it two wins in a row in their last league match, a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium on June 8. Ilsinho netted a pair of goals, including the 72nd-minute game-winner, his third multiple-goal game in his four MLS seasons.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. All three Union substitutes scored - just the second time in MLS history that occurred - as they equaled their club record in a 6-1 win on May 4 at Talen Energy Stadium.
The Union have won seven of the past eight meetings between the clubs, outscoring New England 22-3 in those victories. The only Revolution win in the series since 2015 came on July 29, 2017, at Gillette Stadium, a 3-0 victory. The Revolution's last win in Chester, Pa., came in 2015, when they won both meetings there.
Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m. ET (TVA Sports)
The Impact return to action after winning for a second time in three games in their last match, a 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC at Stade Saputo on June 5. Saphir Taïder netted both goals, now with seven goals this season, equaling his total from last year, his first in MLS.
The Timbers returned to league play and won for the first time in their return to Providence Park this season, rolling to a 4-0 win against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening.
Brian Fernández scored for a fourth consecutive game since joining the Timbers, tying the league record for consecutive games with a goal from the start of an MLS career, set previously by Alex Pineda Chacon (2001), Carlos Ruiz (2002), and Charlie Davies (2011).
The teams played to a 2-2 draw in their lone meeting a season ago, July 21 at Providence Park. The Impact have come away with points on all three visits to Providence Park, with draws on the last two trips after a 2-1 win on March 9, 2013, in the first meeting in Portland.
The Impact won the last meeting between the teams at Stade Saputo, a 4-1 victory on May 20, 2017. The Timbers had won on their previous two trips to Montréal; the only home win by either team in the series came in 2012 by the Impact at Olympic Stadium, the first meeting between the teams.
D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC, 8 p.m. ET
D.C. United reached a third consecutive draw while seeing their winless streak reach five games last time out in league play, playing to a 1-1 result with the San Jose Earthquakes at Audi Field on June 1. Luciano Acosta scored for a second consecutive game, now with five goals this season.
Orlando City SC return to league play for the first time since June 1, winning for a second time in three games in their last MLS match, a 3-0 win at the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on June 1.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Wayne Rooney set up one goal then scored directly from a free kick, leading D.C. United to a 2-1 win on March 31 in Orlando.
D.C. United have won the last two meetings in the series, taking a 3-2 victory last Aug. 12 in the first matchup at Audi Field, ending a four-game undefeated streak for Orlando City SC in the series. Orlando City have won once in D.C., ending their RFK Stadium history with a 2-1 win on Sept. 9, 2017.
D.C. United's win in the first meeting ended a four-game home undefeated streak for Orlando City in the series, United winning for the first time in Orlando in the first meeting ever between the clubs in 2015.
Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)
Toronto FC saw their winless streak extended to eight games in a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on June 22.
Atlanta United return to league play for the first time since June 1, winning a second consecutive match last time out in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The win was a fifth in a row for Atlanta United by shutout at home, now 455 minutes since their last goal allowed on their home ground (since April 20).
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Hector Villalba and Julian Gressel scored on either side of halftime as Atlanta United took a 2-0 win on May 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The teams have now split their last two meetings; Toronto FC won the final meeting between the teams last season, a 4-1 win at BMO Field on Decision Day (Oct. 28), the first win by either team in the all-time series.
The teams reached 2-2 draws in each of their first three meetings, two of those at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 9 p.m. ET (TSN)
FC Dallas extended their undefeated streak to three games with a second win in that time, defeating Toronto FC 3-0 at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. Dominique Badji netted a pair of goals, while Jesús Ferreira collected a pair of assists, his second career two-assist game (his first coming March 30 of this season).
Whitecaps FC stretched their undefeated streak to five games with a fourth draw in that time, reaching a 2-2 result with the Colorado Rapids at BC Place on Saturday evening.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Ali Adnan and Lucas Veneto scored before halftime as Whitecaps FC took a 2-1 win on May 25 at BC Place.
The Whitecaps FC win in the first meeting was the first for the home team in the series since 2016. FCD won 2-1 in Vancouver last year, ending a seven-game home undefeated streak for Whitecaps FC in the series, who were 3-0-4 over the span.
Whitecaps FC have come away with points on their last two trips to Toyota Stadium. Their 4-0 win there in 2017 was the club's first ever in Frisco, Texas; FC Dallas had won the first seven meetings at home, outscoring Vancouver 14-2.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo, 10:30 p.m. ET
The Quakes extended their undefeated run to four games with a second consecutive draw last time out, reaching a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas at Avaya Stadium on June 8.
Chris Wondolowski scored his eighth goal of the season - all coming over a four-game span since May 18. Wondolowski had netted each of the Quakes' last eight goals, equaling the third-longest streak of team goals scored by an individual player in MLS history.
The Dynamo saw their winless run reach three games with a second loss in that time, falling 4-0 to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Saturday evening.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Alberth Elis and Tomás Martínez netted goals eight minutes apart after the break to bring the Dynamo back for a 2-1 win on April 13 at BBVA Stadium.
The Dynamo have won two of the five meetings between the teams (with one draw) at Avaya Stadium, the last meeting there a 2-2 draw last April 14. The Quakes have won once at BBVA Stadium in eight meetings, a 1-0 win in 2015.
The two teams have shared a pitched rivalry since the Earthquakes returned to the league in 2008, after the Dynamo moved to Houston from San Jose in 2006. The Dynamo have won 13 meetings and the Quakes eight, with three draws.
Friday, June 28
New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire, 8 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter)
The Red Bulls return to league play after having a two-game winning run put to an end last time out, falling 3-2 to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on June 8. Kaku scored his second goal of the season, both coming in the last three games.
The Fire reached a third draw in four games, playing to a 1-1 result with Real Salt Lake at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday evening. Aleksandar Katai scored the lone Fire goal, directly from a free kick.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. An own goal was the only score as the Fire took the victory, March 30 at SeatGeek Stadium.
The Fire have won two of the last three meetings in the series, winning the last matchup at Red Bull Arena, a 2-1 win last year on April 21. The win ended a three-game winning streak in the series for the Red Bulls in Harrison, N.J., their first win overall vs. the Red Bulls since Aug. 26, 2015.
The Fire win in the first meeting ended a four-game winless streak in the series on their home ground (0-2-2). When the Red Bulls started the streak with a win Oct. 25, 2015, it was their first win ever in Bridgeview. The Red Bulls' last away win against Chicago had come May 14, 2005, a 3-0 win at Soldier Field; in between, the Fire were unbeaten in 14 home games in the league series (9-0-5).
Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles Football Club, 10 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter)
The Rapids extended their undefeated streak to six games in a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Saturday evening. Rookie Andre Shinyashiki scored his fourth goal of the season, his third over the last six games.
LAFC return to MLS play after winning a second game in a row and extending their undefeated streak to eight games in their last league match, a 3-2 win against the Portland Timbers in the reopening of Providence Park on June 1.
Carlos Vela scored his league-leading 16th goal of the season for LAFC, his fifth consecutive game with a goal, and also added his league-leading 10th assist, his third over the last two games and fifth in the last five.
The teams met twice in LAFC's inaugural season, and the expansion club won both, without conceding a goal. LAFC took a 2-0 win on Aug. 19 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, then claimed a 3-0 victory on Oct. 6 at Banc of California Stadium.
Saturday, June 29
Minnesota United FC vs. FC Cincinnati, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
The teams are meeting for the first time in their histories, the only league meeting this season.
MNUFC return to league play after suffering a third consecutive loss, falling 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 8.
FC Cincinnati had their losing slide extended to five games in their last match, a 2-0 loss to the LA Galaxy at Nippert Stadium on Saturday evening.
Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact, 6 p.m. ET (TVA Sports)
Josef Martínez netted both Atlanta United goals in their last match, a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 1. It was a second consecutive two-goal game for Martínez, who now has 10 goals on the season, netting each of ATLUTD's last four goals. He has five goals over the last three games.
Saphir Taïder netted both goals in the Impact's last match, a 2-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC, his second career two-goal in MLS. Taïder has scored each of the Impact's last three goals.
Atlanta United won both meetings between the teams a year ago, one at each ground. Kevin Kratz netted twice - both directly from free kicks - as Atlanta United took a 4-1 win on April 28 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, then Josef Martínez scored both goals as ATLUTD claimed a 2-1 win on July 28 at Stade Saputo.
Atlanta United have won the last three meetings in the series. The teams split their two meetings in Atlanta United's inaugural season in MLS. The Impact took a 2-1 win on April 15 at Stade Saputo; Atlanta United returned the favor with a 2-0 victory on Sept. 24 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m. ET
NYCFC extended their club-record undefeated streak to 10 games in their last league match, a 5-2 win against FC Cincinnati on June 6.
Maximiliano Moralez collected three assists in the FC Cincinnati win, tying the NYCFC club record, and he also scored a goal, the first time in the club's five MLS seasons a player has been involved in four goals and assists in a single game. Héber also netted a pair of goals and added an assist, now with three goals over the last two games.
Jamiro Monteiro and Ilsinho kick-started the Union's comeback from two goals down in their last match, a 3-2 win against the New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium on June 8, netting goals in consecutive minutes in the 60th and 61st minutes. It was the first time the Union have scored goals in consecutive minutes in their MLS history.
The teams met twice during the regular season last year, splitting the two matches, each winning at home. The Union took a 2-0 win on Aug. 18 at Talen Energy Stadium, then NYCFC rolled to a 3-1 win on Decision Day at Yankee Stadium, their third consecutive win in the Bronx in league play in the series.
The teams also then met in the Knockout Round just three days after the regular-season finale, NYCFC cruising to a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Columbus Crew SC vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. ET
Nani scored his eighth goal of the season in Orlando City SC's 3-0 win at the Montréal Impact in their last league match; he has scored half of Orlando City's goals since the start of April.
Crew SC saw their winless skid reach five matches, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Mapfre Stadium on Sunday evening.
The teams split their two meetings a season ago, each winning on their home ground. Crew SC got a dramatic game-winner from Wil Trapp in a 3-2 win on July 21 at Mapfre Stadium, then Sacha Kljestan scored the match-winner from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time as OCSC took a 2-1 win at home on Oct. 21.
The Orlando City win in the second meeting snapped a six-game Crew SC undefeated streak in the series, including four wins. The last OCSC victory in the series had come Aug. 1, 2015.
Crew SC have not lost to Orlando City in four meetings on their home ground, with three wins, including two in a row. Crew SC have two wins and a draw in their past four visits to Orlando City Stadium.
New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m. ET
Cristian Penilla netted his third goal of the season in the Revolution's last league match, a 2-1 win at the LA Galaxy on June 2. Penilla has a goal and an assist over the last two league games; he has been involved in four of New England's last six goals in MLS play, since May 11 (two goals, two assists).
The Revolution have a six-game undefeated streak alive in the all-time series, extending it with a 2-0 win last March 31 at BBVA Stadium in the only meeting between the teams a year ago.
The Revs have won the last three matches between the clubs in Foxborough, including a 2-0 win in the last meeting there, April 8, 2017. The Revolution have come away with points on their last trips to Houston, with a pair of wins.
D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m. ET (TSN)
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. TFC took 36 total attempts toward goal - tied for the second-most in a single game in MLS history, and the most ever from a team without scoring a goal - as the teams reached a goalless draw May 15 at BMO Field.
D.C. United won the inaugural meeting in the series at Audi Field, taking a 1-0 win last Oct. 17 through a Wayne Rooney goal, their first win in the series since 2016. TFC ended their history at RFK Stadium by coming away with points on four of their final five visits there. United have come away with points on five of their last seven trips to BMO Field, over the past five seasons, including two victories.
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10 p.m. ET
Real snapped a brief two-game losing skid with a result, gaining a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at SeatGeek Stadium on Saturday evening. Albert Rusnák scored his sixth goal of the season, his fourth from the penalty spot.
Sporting extended their undefeated streak to three games, defeating Columbus Crew SC by the game's only goal at Mapfre Stadium on Sunday evening. Felipe Gutiérrez scored his seventh goal of the season, his third in the last two games.
The teams met twice a season ago. Real got goals from four different goalscorers in a 4-2 triumph against Sporting, July 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium; the teams then reached a 1-1 draw Sept. 30 at Children's Mercy Park.
Real are undefeated in their past six home meetings with Sporting in league play (4-0-2), dating back to 2015. RSL have come away with points on five of their last six trips to Kansas City; Sporting's 3-0 win there April 29, 2017 snapped a seven-game winless streak in league play in the all-time series vs. RSL (0-4-3), their first victory since 2013.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m. ET
The Galaxy won for a third time in the last four matches on Saturday evening, a 2-0 win against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. Favio Alvarez netted his second goal in MLS, both coming in the last three games, and also collected his first league assist.
The teams met twice a season ago. Romain Alessandrini scored the game's only goal in a Galaxy win May 25 in Carson; then on June 30 at Stanford Stadium, Chris Wondolowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic each netted a brace as the teams ended up in a 3-3 draw.
The Quakes have won once in Carson since 2012 - a 3-0 win on Aug. 27, 2017. The Galaxy won 4-2 on May 27, 2017 at Avaya Stadium in the last match there - just their second victory in the last 17 regular season games in northern California, across four stadiums.
Known as the California Clásico, the Galaxy and Earthquakes have met 84 times in all competitions. In regular season play, the Galaxy have won 31 times and the Quakes 22, with 15 draws, since their first meeting April 28, 1996.
The teams have met each of the last seven years at Stanford Stadium, and the game has drawn crowds in excess of 50,000 fans on each occasion, drawing 50,743 last year, with an average of 50,424 for the seven contests.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. ET (TSN)
Sounders FC return to league play after falling to a third consecutive loss last time out, a 2-1 defeat by the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo on June 5. Victor Rodríguez scored his second goal of the season for the Seattle tally.
Fredy Montero scored his sixth goal of the season in Whitecaps FC's 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids on June 22 at BC Place, his second consecutive game with a goal, and his third in the last four games. Montero has a goal or an assist in each of his last four games.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. They reached a goalless draw March 30 at BC Place.
Sounders FC have won the past three meetings in Seattle, over the last three seasons. Sounders FC have come away with points on six of their last seven visits to BC Place, over the last five seasons.
The teams have met the most times of any rivalry in soccer history in the USA and Canada. Since the clubs first met at Empire Stadium on June 9, 1974, in the old North American Soccer League, they have played 135 times over all competitions. The Sounders have won 65, the Whitecaps 49, and there have been 22 draws.
Sunday, June 30
Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, 11 p.m. ET (UniMás, Twitter)
Diego Valeri scored one goal and set up three others in the Timbers' 4-0 win against the Houston Dynamo on June 22. The three assists equaled the Timbers' MLS club record, set five times previously (four by Valeri himself), and Valeri is the first player in Portland's MLS history to be involved in four goals and assists in the same game.
Ricardo Pepi made his MLS debut for FC Dallas just hours after signing a Homegrown contract with the club, in the club's 3-0 win against Toronto FC at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening. At age 16 years, 164 days, Pepi became the sixth-youngest player to appear in an MLS league game.
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Jesús Ferreira and Reto Ziegler netted goals as FC Dallas took a 2-1 win on April 13 at Toyota Stadium. The win in the first meeting ended a four-game undefeated streak for the Timbers in the league series, which followed a four-game FCD winning streak in the series.
When FC Dallas won 3-1 at Portland on April 13, 2016, it was their first victory ever at Providence Park; the Timbers had won four of the first six league meetings there with two draws. The Timbers have won once in 12 league visits all-time to Toyota Stadium, in 2014.
The teams also met in the Knockout Round of the MLS Cup Playoffs last year, with the Timbers taking a 2-1 win at Toyota Stadium on their way to an eventual appearance in MLS Cup.
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- Resilient Aaron Long, U.S. MNT Battle for Top Spot in Gold Cup Group - This Week in MLS - MLS
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