2017 mls season

News Update

Comeback in Liga MX, win for Chicago

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Friday's soccer news starts with the scores. The Liga MX Clausura final opened with Tigres coming back against Chivas to draw 2-2. Tigres fell behind at home to an Alan Pulido goal in the 23rd minute. Rodolfo Pizarro doubled Chivas's lead in the 42nd. Andre Pierre Gignac scored for Tigres in the 85th and equalized three minutes later.

Philadelphia turns it around

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The Philadelphia Union is on a five-game undefeated streak with three wins in a row, enough to turnaround an MLS season by week 12. The Union was the poster child for troubled clubs early on, with predictions of a coaching change and questions over the scope of the team. Fair enough considering the results.

Pressure in MLS

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Two views on the MLS experience starts Wednesday's soccer news. The Mirror's Alex Smith has Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger's comments about quality of play in MLS. FC Yahoo's Leander Schaerlaeckens talks to Atlanta United coach Tata Martino about lower pressure in MLS.

Wins for Toronto and Sporting KC

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Thursday's soccer news starts with last night's MLS action. At BMO Field, Toronto beat Orlando City 2-1. Seb Giovinco put Toronto up in the 9th minute with Jozy Altidore assisting and doubled the lead in the 38th. Kaka pulled a goal back for Orlando in first-half stoppage time.

"First and foremost we are really disappointed with the loss," Orlando coach Jason Kreis said.

Changes in CONCACAF

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Friday's soccer news starts with CONCACAF following UEFA's lead. Like their European counterparts, CONCACAF wants it's own Nations League. Like their European counterparts, that Nations League would block out most friendly dates on the international calendar.

Reuters' Simon Evans reports that the CONCACAF Nations League is a done deal, with approval coming this weekend.

Major League Soccer

MLS looks for help in development

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2017) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer faces a myriad of challenges if it is going to reach its self-stated goal of becoming one of the top leagues in the world anytime soon. Without thinking too hard, things like television ratings and national relevance stand out as problems that have no easy solutions but are crucial to any progress.

MLS Week 12: Dallas loses, Philadelphia wins

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After a run of Wednesday games, week 12 of the 2017 MLS season resumed on Friday. New York and Toronto drew 1-1 at Red Bull Arena. Bradley Wright-Phillips put New York up in the 38th minute with Benoit Cheyrou equalizing in the 70th.

"Obviously, it's positive we didn't lose the game," Toronto forward Jozy Altidore said.

Playing the transfer game in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 19, 2017) US Soccer Players - The international transfer market is, ostensibly, a an exercise in economics. Buying a player means exchanging capital for talent you believe will help your team win more games. Selling a player brings about the opposite result. You may lose someone who could help you on the field, but the financial return strengthens the club.

Gio Dos Santos for club not country

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (May 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - Earlier this week, Mexico released its roster for upcoming friendly matches against Croatia in Los Angeles on May 27 and Ireland in New Jersey five days later. One name not on the list was the LA Galaxy's Giovani Dos Santos. Perhaps that was not surprising.

MLS Week 11: Philadelphia causes DC United problems

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The Philadelphia Union flipped the script in week 11 of the 2017 MLS season, beating DC United 4-0 at RFK Stadium. Haris Medunjanin opened the scoring in the 39th with DC going a man down with a red card to Luciano Acosta for a serious foul in the 55th. Medunjanin assisted on Oguchi Onyewu's goal in the 64th.

The return of the SuperLiga?

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 12, 2017) US Soccer Players - According to reports out of Mexico, the owners of Liga MX are set to ratify plans for a new cup competition at meetings later this month ahead of the Clausura Liguilla final. Atlas president Gustavo Guzman tipped off reporters about development on Tuesday, saying it was "very good news" that a new outlet for Mexican soccer was coming into existence just as the country's clubs pulled out of the Copa Libertadores.

Things change for Atlanta and Minnesota

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 10, 2017) US Soccer Players - This is, as they say, why they play the games. During the buildup to the 2017 MLS season, when 19 teams were still reviewing what went wrong while Seattle celebrated, two expansion clubs plotted their debuts. Though the new Uniteds shared a moniker, they each went about building their organizations in decidedly different ways.

Being a backup goalkeeper in MLS

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 8, 2017) US Soccer Players – It's every team's nightmare. Your starting goalkeeper picks up an injury during a game. He's subsequently stretchered off. Following a few tense moments, your backup goalie quickly takes off his tracksuit, sprints towards the goal, and takes his place on the field.

MLS Week 10: Toronto wins MLS Cup rematch

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Week 10 of the 2017 MLS season saw Toronto get the better of Seattle at CenturyLink Field. In a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup, Toronto won 1-0 on the road. Jozy Altidore converted a 23rd minute penalty for the game's only goal. Clint Irwin kept the clean sheet with two saves.

"Two weeks ago, a lot of people were concerned because we weren't necessarily turning some of those games into wins," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said.

Why do the LA MLS teams insist on a Mexico connection?

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (May 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - In the early days of MLS, the league pandered quite a bit. The strategy in the mid-1990s seemed simple. Bring in players from certain countries and fans/citizens of those countries residing in MLS towns would turn out en masse to watch them play.

Coaches under pressure in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (May 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - The peculiarities of MLS can make simple questions difficult to answer. Like which club's coach faces the most pressure?

MLS is still a young team with many younger clubs, making it tougher than it would be in other leagues and other sports.

5 things so far from the 2017 MLS season

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2017) US Soccer Players – We're far enough into the 2017 MLS season to start taking the standings seriously. Although the league's unpredictable nature can turn even a mid-table team into a contender once the playoffs roll around, there are some things we can glean.

MLS Week 9: Altidore and Giovinco

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Week 9 of the 2017 MLS season opened with Toronto shutting out Houston at BMO Field. Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 16th minute. In the 32nd, Serb Giovinco found Altidore to double the lead. Alexander Bono kept the clean sheet.

"We've talked about establishing BMO field as a hard place for visiting teams to come and I think the games we've played at home so far should have by and large been good," Toronto's Michael Bradley said.

Portland plays the new MLS stadium game

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 28, 2017) US Soccer Players - On Wednesday, the Portland Timbers announced an audacious $50 million upgrade to their stadium, Providence Park. The proposed renovation would add 4,000 seats to the venue, pushing capacity close to 25,000. The plan would add four new levels to the east side of the building, including one for enclosed club seating and a top level for group seating.

Why does the MLS Players Union release salary information? A Q&A with Bob Foose

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 27, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's become something of a biannual holiday among hardcore fans and other MLS observers, and it arrived this week: The MLS Players Union's public release of its members' salary information.

"The salary drop," as it's informally dubbed, spawns a litany of chatter and media content.

Is patience a Galaxy virtue?

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Apr 26, 2017) US Soccer Players - When Bruce Arena's long and successful career with the LA Galaxy ended at the end of 2016, a coveted job vacancy emerged. Guiding the league's most successful club seems like the job to have in MLS. Sure, the Galaxy struggled in 2016 but with a slew of new players heading to the club, deep finances and the wonderful setting that is Los Angeles, what's not to love?

Old problems are new again for the Red Bulls

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By Clemente Lisi – HARRISON, NY (Apr 17, 2017) US Soccer Players – The New York Red Bulls, despite strides made in recent years transforming into an MLS Cup contender, is a team always seemingly in crisis mode. That normally starts early in the season. They usually go on to finish among the top in the Eastern Conference, but the old problem persists of crashing out in the playoffs.

MLS Week 8: Nagbe’s show for Portland

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Week 8 of the 2017 MLS season saw USMNT player Darlington Nagbe take a starring role in Portland's 2-1 win over Vancouver. Nagbe opened the scoring in the 18th minute at Providence Park, assisting on Darren Mattocks's goal in the 40th. Fredy Montero pulled a goal back for Vancouver in the 59th minute.

Atlanta United’s stadium issue

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - By almost any fair measure, the start to Atlanta United's inaugural season has been a rousing success. On the field and in the stands, Arthur Blank's new MLS entry has met the lofty aspirations they set for themselves in the build-up to 2017.

It’s hard to forget Chivas USA

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Apr 19, 2017) US Soccer Players - When Dan Kennedy retired last week, a link between MLS and Chivas USA's history died. After all, nobody embodied the defunct club more than Kennedy.

Earlier this decade, Kennedy was one of the top goalkeepers in the league. When the lights shut off on the failure that was Chivas USA, it was Kennedy who could say that no one else did as much as he had done for that club.

MLS Week 7: Villa hits from distance

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Week 7 of the 2017 MLS season saw a packed Friday and Saturday schedule due to the Easter holiday. The weekend opened with a goal of the year candidate from NYCFC's David Villa. With NYCFC up 1-0 at Philadelphia from a 52nd minute Jack Harrison goal, Villa found the back of the net from 50 yards in stoppage time.

Soccer TV: Philadelphia Union vs NYCFC

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Friday's soccer TV schedule has MLS action with NYCFC visiting the Philadelphia Union. Also on the MLS week 7 schedule, San Jose plays Dallas on UniMas. Earlier in the day, there are games from the Championship, Scottish Premier League, Ligue 1, and La Liga.

Philadelphia Union vs NYCFC at 7pm on ESPN.

MLS Week 6: Shutouts, snow, and a win for the Galaxy

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Week 6 of the 2017 MLS season started with the LA Galaxy getting back on track with a 2-0 shutout of Montreal. Romain Alessandrini scored in the 15th minute with Jermaine Jones doubling the lead in the 74th. Montreal played a man down from the 44th minute with a red card to Marco Donadel.

"It was great," LA coach Curt Onalfo said.

Lessons from another MLS failure in the Champion League

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - After Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph, much analysis centered on the program's long, methodical climb. It started after their humiliating three-and-out performance at Euro 2000. One cycle removed from winning the 1996 edition of the tournament, a proud soccer nation got a stinging slap.

Ibrahimovic in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Apr 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - Let's start with what we know. Nothing indicates an imminent MLS arrival for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Despite a few sporadic reports to the contrary, the solid reporting says that the striker's future remains uncertain. Maybe Ibrahimovic will sign a new contract with Manchester United.

English Premier League

MLS, Europe, and that summer soccer schedule

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Tuesday's soccer news decides to play nice with the idea that MLS is a growing league with only bright days ahead. That makes it easier to overlook the kind of things that don't play nice with the better examples from professional soccer leagues in the rest of the world.

As the European and Mexican seasons come to a close, it's tough to downplay the kind of things that are still works in progress in good old Major League Soccer.

Soccer TV: Spurs vs Manchester United

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Somehow, Manchester United is still in contention for a top four finish in the Premier League. They'll need three points against 2nd-place Spurs on the weekend soccer TV schedule. The first round of the Liga MX playoffs conclude and there are several options from MLS.

Spurs vs Manchester United on Sunday at 11:30am on NBCSN.

Soccer TV: Arsenal vs Manchester United

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Manchester United already letting everybody know that their focus is on the Europa League takes a bit of a gloss off of the biggest matchup on the weekend soccer TV schedule. Still, a slip by Arsenal at home on Sunday might have United reconsidering the Premier League path to next season's Champions League.

Soccer TV: Rangers vs Celtic

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The Old Firm derby is on Fox Sports 1 on the weekend soccer TV schedule. There are nationally available games on Saturday with the Premier League's Crystal Palace vs Burnley on NBC and the Bundesliga's Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich on Fox. Sunday has the Rome derby on beIN Sport and the North London derby on NBCSN.

Soccer TV: Real Madrid vs Barcelona

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It's the El Clasico on the weekend soccer TV schedule. Real Madrid plays Barcelona on Sunday. There's also the FA Cup semifinals with Saturday's Chelsea vs Spurs game available nationally on Fox. In MLS, the LA Galaxy plays Seattle on Sunday on ESPN.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona at 2:45pm on Sunday on beIN Sport.

MLS plays its All-Star Game

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MLS announced its opponent for the 2017 All-Star Game. Real Madrid headlining Chicago surprises no one, with MLS tipping their hand by already announcing Soldier Field as the venue.

There's certainly the feeling that the only thing likely to change the All-Star Game format is an inability to get people to show up to watch the opponent.

Soccer TV: Orlando City vs LA Galaxy

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MLS gets a network TV game with Fox opting for the Bundesliga - MLS doubleheader on Saturday. The fun starts with Bayer Leverkusen playing Bayern Munich in an attempt to see if there's a bigger audience for the Bundesliga in the United States. Following that, it's Major League Soccer's turn to try for the same thing.

Soccer TV: Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund

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It's the biggest game in the Bundesliga on the weekend soccer TV schedule. Bayern Munich hosts Christian Pulisic's Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. Also on the schedule, Leicester City tries to continue their impressive Premier League turnaround at Everton on Sunday.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund on Saturday at 9:30am on Fox Sports 1.

The Rest

Soccer TV: Arsenal vs Chelsea

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It's the FA Cup final on the weekend soccer TV schedule with Arsenal playing Chelsea on Saturday. The FA Cup final gets national TV coverage on Fox along with the Seattle vs Portland MLS game. Also on the schedule, the Scottish Cup final, the DFB Pokal final, the Copa del Rey final, the French Cup final, and the Portuguese Cup final.

Bastian Schweinsteiger in the new era of the MLS Designated Player

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Apr 10, 2017) US Soccer Players – It was a decade ago that David Beckham left Real Madrid and signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy, ushering in the era of the Designated Player for MLS. The move shown a global spotlight on Major League Soccer at the time, while sparking a surge in jersey sales and unprecedented growth in attendance.