Blog menu

MLS Regular Season

03 June 10:32 pm

Emanuel Pogatetz heads the ball past Phildelphia Union's Andrew Wenger in Crew SC's 3-0 loss at PPL Park.

Philadelphia’s May schedule featured five matches against four of the League’s premier teams. Playing better teams can result in a higher level of play, regardless of the outcome, and that effort carried into Wednesday night’s match against Columbus Crew SC (4-5-4.)

Goals from Vincent Noguiera and Sebastien Le Toux came only six minutes apart from one another early in the second half. That put Philadelphia (4-8-3) up 3-0, where it would remain for the duration of the match.

Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said Philadelphia's performance was the best play he's seen from them.

"Well, I think the starting point is the Philadelphia Union played an outstanding game," said Berhalter. "When you look at how effective they were and how they were winning challenges and moving the ball, and the competitive desire to win the game, it was outstanding. I think that’s the best I have seen Philly play."

On paper, the clubs did not differ drastically. In stats such as possession, shots, crosses, tackles won, and clearances, the two sides were nearly identical. Columbus and Philadelphia generated only seven on-target shots cumulatively, not including a first half Ethan Finlay shot that missed the post by inches. But Philadelphia’s flurry within the middle 30 minutes of the match created the right opportunities and the Union executed well.

As for Crew SC, a slightly altered starting line-up, highlighted by the absence of captain Michael Parkhurst, proved to be a tough obstacle to overcome, especially with the club playing another road match just four days prior. Wednesday’s match marked the fourth match in 13 days, including last week’s international friendly against Valencia CF, making it difficult to find time for a new unit to mesh.

Chad Barson accepted the challenges, made several strong, defensive tackles throughout the match, and reflected on his team's performance afterward.

"Definitely not the result we wanted," said Barson. "Three games in a short amount of time all against eastern conference teams, so obviously very important games for us and it’s an opportunity, if you get results, to move up in the standings. I think overall it wasn’t terrible, but just a few plays that kind of dug us a hole and it was too difficult to dig ourselves out of."

Teammate Aaron Schoenfeld, made his first start of the season, playing up top and registering a shot on goal tonight. Defender Sergio Campbell also got his first taste of MLS action, starting in the place of the aforementioned Parkhurst. Schoenfeld agreed with Barson on their team's play.

"I think it just wasn’t our day today. We threw away a couple of chances early, so if we take one of those, it changes the game up," said Schoenfeld. "Once they score that goal, they have some confidence behind them and start moving the ball a lot better. On any given day in this league, any team can win, which is the good thing about this league – there’s very little disparity between the teams. So if you come out flat, you’re going to get punished."

Barson is also grateful for the opportunity to play five matches in 16 days. 

"That’s the good thing about having so many games in a short amount of time," said Barson. "You forget the previous result and move onto the next one and make sure that you recover physically and mentally and put everything towards the next game."

One of the bright spots for the Black & Gold tonight was Mohammed Saeid establishing himself as the League’s second-most accurate passer with a passing percentage of 89.5 percent. The ranking includes only players who have registered at least 200 passes.

Another quick turnaround lies ahead for Crew SC, but the scene will change to familiar surroundings when the Black & Gold welcome the Montreal Impact to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

01 June 12:59 pm

D.C. United– 25 pts. | 1-0 loss at Portland Timbers FC, 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia Union, this week: vs. Chicago Fire, vs. Toronto FC

After a 1-0 loss to Portland on Wednesday, D.C. United bounced back strong and snapped a three-game winless streak in a come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Union. An early goal from the Union’s Sebastian Le Toux was matched by D.C.’s 85th minute penalty kick from Chris Rolfe. This sealed a United victory at RFK Stadium and extended its lead in the Eastern Conference to four points.

New England Revolution – 21 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. LA Galaxy, this week: at Portland Timbers FC

In a rematch of last season’s MLS Cup Final, the New England Revolution came out of a hard-fought match with two goals and one point as they tied the LA Galaxy 2-2 in a rain-soaked match at Gillette Stadium. An offensive first half left the match tied at two goals apiece at the half, only to stay that way when the final whistle blew. Despite holding on to the majority of the possession in the second half, New England couldn’t find the back of the net for a third time.

New York Red Bulls – 17 pts. | 2-1 loss at Seattle Sounders FC, this week: at Houston Dynamo

Heartbreak struck the New York Red Bulls this weekend after a stoppage-time goal from Seattle’s Chad Barrett that sealed the deal for a 2-1 Sounders' victory. The Red Bulls started off strong with a goal in the 36th minute, as a free kick deflection gave New York's Lloyd Sam an easy sitter to finish in front of the net. But Seattle stood defiant, scoring two goals in the final 22 minutes to steal the win and take over the top spot in the Western Conference.

Toronto FC – 16 pts. | 3-1 win vs. San Jose Earthquakes, this week: at D.C. United

Toronto FC leaps into a tie for fourth place in the East thanks to a team effort offensively. Though trailing San Jose in possession and passing statistics, Toronto connected well as a team with three goals scored by three different players. Toronto extended its home win streak to two games.

Columbus Crew SC – 16 pts. | 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC, this week: at Philadelphia Union, vs. Montreal Impact

Despite conceding a late-game goal, the Black & Gold can hold their heads high after their 2-2 draw at Orlando. Tony Tchani gave the visiting squad the early go-ahead goal thanks to a cross from Hector Jimenez. It gave Tchani the opportunity to capitalize on a header from eight yards out, and that he did. After a far-post penalty shot from Kaká, the Lions leveled the match at 1-1 and resumed to play up a man. Columbus, meanwhile, held well defensively and managed to retake the lead. A counterattacking cross from Waylon Francis found the head of Kei Kamara for his 10th goal of the season. In the end, Columbus fared well despite playing down a man. A powerful low-bearing strike from Pedro Ribeiro evened the match and sent Columbus home with a hard-earned road point.

Chicago Fire – 14 pts. | 3-0 win vs. Montreal Impact, this week: at D.C. United, vs. Orlando City SC

The Chicago Fire ended a four-match winless streak over a Montreal Impact squad that played with only 10 men for a majority of the match. With possession (64.8%), shots on target (11), and crossing opportunities (22) all favoring Chicago, it would have been disappointing for the hometown team not to have reached a winning result. Despite a rain-soaked pitch, the Fire’s high-paced offense remained intact. Goals from defender Jeff Larentowicz, midfielder Harrison Shipp and forward Kennedy Igboananike continues Chicago’s potent offensive play, having scored five goals in the club’s last two matches.

Orlando City SC – 14 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC, this week: at Chicago Fire

An 89th minute goal from Orlando City’s Pedro Ribeiro salvaged a point for the home team. A successful penalty kick from Kaká, his fourth of the season, left the game at a 1-1 tie until Kei Kamara’s 61st minute header gave the visiting squad the lead. After struggling to conjure up any threatening offensive opportunities, Ribeiro-turned-savior provided the missing link, blasting a low driven ball past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark for Orlando City’s game-tying goal.

Philadelphia Union – 12 pts. | 2-1 loss at D.C. United, this week: vs. Columbus Crew SC, vs. NYC FC

The Union witnessed their two-game win streak snapped at the hands of an 85th minute penalty kick, completing a come-from-behind victory for D.C. United. Philadelphia trailed significantly in possession (39.6%) and rarely were the first to fifty-fifty balls, trailing in duels won 41-53. But the road team held it together defensively in the final third until a mishandled cross in the Union’s own box resulted in a hand ball being called. A successful penalty kick from United’s Chris Rolfe translated to D.C.’s game-winning goal.

Montreal Impact – 8 pts. | 3-0 loss at Chicago Fire, this week: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at Columbus Crew SC

Though only having played eight regular season games this season, after a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, Montreal sits in the bottom of the East. After a second yellow card was shown to midfielder Marco Donadel, Montreal became the fifth team to play down a man against the Chicago Fire this season. In the end, Chicago’s speed gave them the possession advantage (64.8%) and the hometown team outshot Montreal by a tally of 20-3, with zero shots on target for Montreal.

NYC FC – 8 pts. | 1-1 vs. Houston Dynamo, this week: at Philadelphia Union

After trading first-half goals, New York City FC and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium. For New York it was a David Villa penalty kick in first half stoppage-time that kept the home team afloat. However, New York City remains winless in its last 11 games, sitting tied for last in the East with only eight points in 13 regular season games played.

28 May 4:39 pm
Brian McBride fights off San Jose's defensive efforts in 1996.

 
We’re going on a road trip this weekend to face first-year club, Orlando City. Although we’re over a thousand miles away from central Florida and sit two spots ahead of the Lions in the Eastern Conference standings, our clubs share common ground. We can relate to experiencing recent changes and our beginnings are congruent.
 
Established as the first MLS Club in 1994, we kicked off our inaugural season less than two years later against D.C. United. At Ohio Stadium, Brian McBride scored a brace to lead our club to a 4-0 victory.
 
That same year, USA Today voted our club’s supporters the “best fans in the League.” Not long after, the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS was constructed.
 
Today, supporters fill the stands at MAPFRE Stadium to cheer on our beloved team built on a pioneering vision mixed with tradition.
 
Launching an MLS team takes time and devotion—a feat our next opponent has recently conquered.
 
After Phil Rawlins moved the Austin Aztex organization in 2010 and proved central Florida’s market could support Major League Soccer, Flávio Augusto da Silva, invested in the club and became majority owner.
 
Orlando City Soccer Club developed the blueprint for a new stadium downtown, and a few years later, ideas became a reality. Commencing its inaugural season with a record of 3-5-4, we compare the Lions to our club’s first 12 games.
 
The records may look different, but notice that four of our losses were results of shootouts. Had today’s League rules been consistent with those in 1996, we would’ve had the exact same record.
 
The 21st MLS franchise will host the League’s first franchise for the first time in history this Saturday.

 

       CREW SC

1996: 3-9 (4 Losses in Shoot Outs)

 

Date

Opponent

Result

Score

4/13

D.C.

W

4-0

4/20

TAMPA BAY

L

2-1

4/27

at New York

W

2-0

5/2

at Kansas City

L

6-4

5/5

at Dallas

L (SO)

1-0 (3-1)

5/11

NEW ENGLAND

W

3-2

5/15

at D.C.

L

5-2

5/19

COLORADO

L

4-2

5/26

at Los Angeles

L

3-2

6/1

at San Jose

L (SO)

3-2 (2-1)

6/8

KANSAS CITY

L (SO)

4-3 (4-1)

6/19

COLORADO

L (SO)

3-2 (4-1)

 

       ORLANDO CITY SC

2015: 3-5-4

 

Date

Opponent

Result

Score

3/8

NEW YORK CITY

D

1-1

3/13

at Houston

W

1-0

3/21

VANCOUVER

L

1-0

3/28

at Montreal

D

2-2

4/3

D.C.

L

1-0

4/12

at Portland

W

2-0

4/18

at Columbus

L

3-0

4/26

TORONTO

L

2-0

5/8

NEW ENGLAND

D

2-2

5/13

at D.C.

L

2-1

5/17

LOS ANGELES

W

4-0

5/24

at San Jose

D

1-1

 

Mutual opponents: 

New York: CCSC 1-0, OCSC 0-0-1

D.C. (twice): CCSC 1-1, OCSC 0-2

New England: CCSC 1-0, OCSC 0-1

Los Angeles: CCSC 1-0, OCSC 1-0

San Jose: CCSC 0-1, OCSC 0-0-1

 

Mutual opponents records: CCSC: 4-2, OCSC 1-3-2

 

Goals for and goals against totals:

CCSC: 27 GF, 33 GA

OCSC: 14 GF, 15 GA

26 May 2:58 pm

By: David Cath

When Columbus Crew SC hosts La Liga’s Valencia CF this Wednesday as part of the LFP World Challenge, the Black & Gold will be going toe-to-toe with a 2015-16 UEFA Champions League Playoff Stage entrant that fields two players from this season's “La Liga Team of the Season.” Only FC Barcelona and Real Madrid fielded more. Needless to say, it’s going to be a fun match to watch.

In case you’re not up-to-date on your Valencia knowledge, we’ve done the work for you. Here’s a list of players to watch for when one of La Liga’s best comes to town.

Forward Francisco “Paco” Alcacer

At only 21 years old, the Spanish striker has already cemented himself as one of the League’s top goal scorers. In La Liga play, Alcacer scored 10 goals and dished out five assists in 25 appearances for the fourth-ranked club.

Though Alcacer’s professional career is just blooming, his international accolades are already starting to mount. In May 2010, Alcacer led Spain to the UEFA Under-17 European Championship match where he earned top-scorer honors with six goals throughout the tournament. In June 2011, the striker led his home country to an Under-19 European Championship title thanks to his three-goal performance. Alcacer continued his goal scoring run into the 2012 Under-19 European Championship match, scoring two goals and leading Spain to another trophy ceremony.

Midfielder Dani Parejo

A product of Real Madrid’s development academy, Parejo earned his stripes elsewhere. After his stint as a youth member for one of Spain’s perennial powerhouses, Parejo transferred to Queens Park Rangers in 2008, then to Getafe in 2009, where the Madrid-native played until his signing with Valencia in 2011.

Parejo is a central midfielder who combines defensive substance with keen offensive vision, rightly earning him top goal-scoring honors for Valencia (11) and a spot on UEFA’s “Best Eleven Players of La Liga in 2014-15.” For a team that is aggressive and prefers to attack through the middle, Parejo is a valuable asset to Valencia’s style of play and a fun player to watch for any soccer fan.

Defender Nicolás Otamendi

As one of the best center backs in the world, it’s a no-brainer as to UEFA named Otamendi as one of La Liga’s “Best Eleven Players for the 2014-15 season.” For a defender, the 27-year-old is known for his positioning and great anticipation, and with six goals on the season, the Argentine international has the gift of quality touch with the ball at his feet.

Defender Jose Gaya

Jose Guya is the definition of a homegrown jewel. The attacking fullback for Valencia has been with the club since the beginning, playing in its development academies, and he has sprouted into one of the club’s most promising young players.

Guya’s 2015 campaign served as a showcase for the young defender’s potential and his play did not go unnoticed, as Guya was recently chosen in the “Once de Oro” in Futbol Draft 2015, which names the best Spanish players born after January 1, 1994. Guya’s specific recognition comes in the form as the best young left back in 2015.

Forward Alvaro Negredo Sanchez

As the second-most expensive transfer in club history, Alvaro Negredo tallied five goals in 33 appearances this season. On loan from Manchester City FC, although his offensive capabilities haven’t been on display as much this year, Negredo’s knack for finding the back of the net has earned him a spot as a full member of the Spanish National Team, with which he won the 2012 European Championship.