2017 mls season

Major League Soccer

How FC Dallas changed the MLS offseason forever

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Feb 15, 2018) US Soccer Players - There's a well-worn assumption that the key to becoming a successful soccer team lies in spending months, even years, training together and forming a core starting lineup. Sometimes, this comes in the form of off-field team building, like Huddersfield Town's David Wagner leading the then-Championship side to a remote Swedish island for three nights without electricity.

How Sacha Kljestan Would Fit in Orlando

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 28, 2017) US Soccer Players - Few teams have had a busier first month of the MLS offseason than Orlando City. Desperate to make the postseason in their fourth year, the Lions were bound to see a massive change in personal.

Original face of the franchise Kaka hung up his boots, regulars like Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, and Dillon Powers were shown the door.

The Galaxy’s goalkeeper issue

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Over the years, the LA Galaxy have had numerous standouts at many positions, from play makers to goal scorers to tough-as-nails defenders. It's been awhile since goalkeeper was in that category. Not surprisingly, it was the goalkeeping that let the team down on many occasions during the tumultuous 2017 season.

Toronto tells their story

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - When Toronto FC joined Major League Soccer more than a decade ago, the league was only just launching into something that could be called the "modern era". 2007 was the first year of the Designated Player rule, a groundbreaking step by MLS leadership that allowed clubs to sign high-priced players with famous pedigrees.

The 2017 MLS season in review

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Dec 11, 2017) US Soccer Players – Are they the best team in MLS history? That's the question many are asking following Toronto FC shutting out Seattle for the 2017 MLS Cup. Winners of the 2017 MLS Supporters' Shield and the Canadian Championship, Toronto has the treble.

2017 MLS Cup: Toronto FC 2 – Seattle Sounders 0

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Toronto FC won the 2017 MLS Cup on Saturday, beating the Seattle Sounders 2-0 at BMO Field. Once again, Jozy Altidore made the difference for Toronto, scoring in the 67th minute. Victor Vazquez doubled the lead four minutes into stoppage time. Alex Bono made two saves to keep the clean sheet.

MLS Half-Day Trade Window Live Blog!

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The 2017 MLS season is over. And that means the 2018 offseason is beginning in earnest.

The offseason will formally kick off bright and early at 6:00 a.m. PT on Sunday when the MLS half-day trade window opens before closing at 10:00 a.m. in anticipation of Tueaday's Expansion Draft.

Two factors make this four-hour trade window likely to be especially active.

Don Garber doubles down on MLS ways in State of the League address

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 8, 2017) US Soccer Players - Do you hate Major League Soccer's single-entity system? Driven to rage and heartbreak by the Columbus Crew's investor/operator's flirtation with Austin, Texas? Frustrated and confused by the league's gratuitously complicated and confusing roster and salary rules?

Portland’s coaching search

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Dec 7, 2017) US Soccer Players - The Portland Timbers seem to be a team on the cusp of reaching their potential. Joining MLS in 2011, Portland seemed poised to tap into the success their northern neighbors were already having. Promising early returns showed up in fits and starts through their first two seasons.

The Galaxy reconsiders player development

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By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Dec 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - This season was a disaster for the LA Galaxy on many levels. The Galaxy was the worst team in the league, fired their head coach in July, and won a paltry three home games. Bad loss followed bad loss. In a season centered on player development, the Galaxy ended up horribly exposed.

Diego Valeri made picking an MLS MVP easy in 2017

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 6, 2017) US Soccer Players - There's something extra to Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri winning the 2017 MLS MVP award. It's not just his excellent season with 21 goals and 11 assists while playing in all 34 regular season games.

Portland’s Diego Valeri is the 2017 MLS MVP

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Portland's Diego Valeri won the 2017 MLS Most Valuable Player award, the league announced on Monday. Valeri scored 21 goals and had 11 assists in a season that saw the Timbers finish top of the Western Conference in the regular season. Valeri set the new record for goals by a midfielder.

Is MLS a selling league?

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov 30, 2017) US Soccer Players - On Wednesday, MLS commissioner Don Garber spoke as part of the Sports Business Journal's Dealmakers conference. He covered a wide range of topics. That included confirming a potential, SUM-organized tournament next summer for non-World Cup participants.

Anthony Hudson named coach of the Colorado Rapids

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The Colorado Rapids made it official on Wednesday, naming Anthony Hudson as the MLS club's new head coach. Hudson previously coached the New Zealand national team and was strongly linked with the Rapids job. New Zealand failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, losing an intercontinental playoff to Peru.

10 years to now in MLS

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 27, 2017) US Soccer Players – Major League Soccer has had its ups and downs over the years. From national TV ratings that have struggled to grow to stadium attendance that has, MLS can point to many failures and successes.

Greg Vanney wins 2017 MLS Coach of the Year

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Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney is the 2017 MLS Coach of the Year. It's an announcement that shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody paying attention to the 2017 MLS season. Vanney improved on an already impactful Toronto club that came close to winning the 2016 MLS Cup. During the 2017 MLS regular season, Vanney's squad set a new MLS record for points en route to the Supporters' Shield and the top seed in the playoffs.

Three things for the 2017 MLS conference finals

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 20, 2017) US Soccer Players – The MLS playoffs version of the Final Four finally kicks off Tuesday. We're used to the upset story in the MLS playoffs, a competition where the tag of "favorite" seldom counts for much. From the Houston Dynamo knocking out the Portland Timbers and the Columbus Crew getting past NYCFC, 2017 is showing once again that anything can happen.

Atlanta United designated player Miguel Almiron wins 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year

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MLS award season continued on Monday with Miguel Almiron winning the 2017 MLS Newcomer of the Year. Almiron, a member of Paraguay's national team, joined the expansion Atlanta United squad in 2017 as a designated player. He has nine goals and 14 assists over 30 games in a season where Atlanta qualified for the MLS playoffs.

Preview: The 2017 MLS Eastern and Western Conference finals

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - The 2017 MLS playoffs lurch back into action on Tuesday. Columbus hosts Toronto and the Seattle Sounders visit Houston in the first-legs of the two conference finals. It will be 16 days since the last playoff game.

Official: Porter resigns as Portland Timbers coach

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The Portland Timbers announced on Friday that Caleb Porter is no longer the club's head coach. Porter leaves after winning the Western Conference in 2017 and the 2015 MLS Cup. He was also the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year.

"I would like to begin by giving special thanks to my owner and friend Merritt Paulson for providing me with the opportunity to lead the Portland Timbers these past five seasons," Porter said in a press statement.

Tim Melia wins 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

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Sporting Kansas City's Tim Melia is the winner of the 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award. Melia started 31 games making 91 saves and recording ten shutouts. Those numbers had him well ahead across all voting categories, taking 50.29% of the total vote. Philadelphia's Andre Blake finished in 2nd-place with 10.

Atlanta United players win 2017 MLS Goal and Save of the Year

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Atlanta United swept the Goal of the Year and Save of the Year categories as the 2017 MLS award season continues. Tito Villalba won the 2017 MLS Goal of the Year and Brad Guzan won Save of the Year. Villalba's award winner came on July 21st against Orlando City.

Guzan's save came against the New York Red Bulls on October 15.

Clint Dempsey wins 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award

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Clint Dempsey's return from a heart ailment that caused him to miss the end of the 2016 season won the Seattle Sounders forward the 2017 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award. Dempsey missed ten regular season games and the playoff run for Seattle, eventually working his way back for club and country.

Ike Opara wins 2017 MLS Defender of the Year

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Sporting Kansas City's Ike Opara is the 2017 MLS Defender of the Year, the league announced on Thursday. When Opara was on the field, Sporting Kansas City gave up 23 goals in 30 games and recorded 11 shutouts. He led the voting across all categories, taking the Player Vote with 31.

Who helped their MLS stocks most on eliminated teams?

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By Jeff Rueter – SAINT PAUL, MN (Nov 9, 2017) US Soccer Players - This international break is always a bit of a strange one for Major League Soccer. The two-week layoff occurs right in the thick of the postseason, as we've pared the field down to the final four teams. There are plenty of questions to ask moving forward.

New England hires Brad Friedel as coach

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Former USMNT goalkeeper and TV pundit Brad Friedel is now the coach of the New England Revolution. Friedel holds a UEFA Pro license and coached the USMNT U-19 squad. New England announced the hire on Thursday. Friedel brings with him assistant coaches Mike Lapper and Marcelo Neveleff.

Julian Gressel is the 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year

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Atlanta United's Julian Gressel is the 2017 MLS Rookie of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday. Gressel received 48.97% of the player vote, 55.67% of the media vote, and 55.95% of the club vote. No other candidate received more than 18% of the vote in any category.

"It's a great honor," Gressel said.

Robbie Rogers announces retirement

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LA Galaxy and USMNT midfielder Robbie Rogers announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 30-year-old joined the Galaxy in 2013 after returning from England where he was a member of Leeds United. Rogers was part of the 2008 MLS Cup winning Columbus Crew, lifting the trophy again with the Galaxy in 2014.

DaMarcus Beasley wins 2017 MLS Fair Play Award

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Houston Dynamo and USMNT defender DaMarcus Beasley won the 2017 MLS Fair Play Award, the league announced on Tuesday. Beasley made it through the 2017 season with the league's lowest fouls per game mark at .54 over 1.985 minutes played. Over 24 games, Beasley never saw a card. Those stats go along with sportsmanship to determine a winner, with Beasley getting the nod over the San Jose Earthquakes Jahmir Hyka and the LA Galaxy's Dave Romney.

2017 MLS Conference finals are set

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The Eastern and Western conference semifinals concluded in the MLS playoffs on Sunday. The schedule started in Toronto with the home side advancing on goal difference 2-2 on aggregate over the New York Red Bulls. Both teams played a man down in the second-half. Toronto's Jozy Altidore and the Red Bulls' Sacha Kljestan carried an on-field disagreement into the tunnel at halftime that resulted in a skirmish involving multiple players.

The players that could make a difference in the Knockout Round

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - The first round of the MLS Cup playoffs is a pressure packed exercise in knockout tournament soccer. There is no second-leg, no opportunity to overcome a poor performance, a missed chance, or a lapse in concentration.

Four teams will see their seasons come to a crashing end on Wednesday and Thursday night, putting a significant burden on the star players for each team to perform at their highest levels to prevent their team from being the one going out.

union

Newcomer of the Year: Jack Elliott

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He deserved to win Rookie of the Year, but we didn't have a say in that matter.

Season review: Andre Blake

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The Union's No. 1 has been nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year again, so clearly his season went well. But it's less clear what lies ahead for the Jamaican international.

Season Review: The missteps

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The Union made more than a few mistakes this year, but a handful stand out as specific moments where things went wrong.

News Update

Toronto’s trophy and the challenge for the rest of MLS

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The soccer news starts with a new MLS Cup champion. Toronto FC took the title and made it about a team coming together to makeup for almost getting there the year before. 2016 loomed large for Toronto throughout 2017. They knew what that felt like, and not revisiting that disappointment became the driving push behind their 2017 success.

Portland’s MVP

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The one thing that could make Diego Valeri's 2017 MLS story even better is if the Portland Timbers were still playing. Valeri won the 2017 MLS MVP award by setting a new standard for an MLS midfielder. As many pointed out before and after the award, Valeri also sets a standard as a person.

Caleb Porter leaves Portland

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The Portland Timbers unexpectedly landed on the list of MLS teams in search of a coach. The news broke on Thursday night that Caleb Porter is leaving the club. Porter's next stop is an open question, alongside whom the Timbers might hire to replace him. FourFourTwo's Paul Tenorio broke the news of Porter's exit.

MLS is a soccer business

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Major League Soccer isn't likely to make the future of the Columbus Crew clear on anybody's schedule but their own. What the league is willing to do is remind everyone that this is a soccer business operating in a soccer nation and not anything else. That's a single-entity business model reminder to fans that comes at a tough time.

Chicago and San Jose’s seasons

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Wednesday's soccer news starts with the problem scenario for MLS teams in the knockout round. It's already an issue when making the playoffs ends up meaning just one extra game. Even more so when that extra game turns into a lopsided loss. Step up Chicago, 4-0 losers at home to the Red Bulls, and San Jose who lost 5-0 at Vancouver.

The Rest

Brotherly Game Daily Links 12/9/17

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Weekend links on MLS Cup weekend.

Philadelphia Union News

Assessing Philadelphia Union's inconsistent 2017 campaign
The Philadelphia Union had an inconsistent 2017. There were many problems; the players, coaches and front office failed. Here's PSN's assessment.