2017 mls season

Major League Soccer

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.

The 2017 MLS Playoff picture

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It's playoff time in MLS, starting with the knockout round on Wednesday. If those rumors prove true and one-game playoffs are set to become the new normal in MLS, it's this round that's already telling the story. One and done may not favor either team, further reducing the reward of hosting and the importance of the regular season.

Atlanta will host the 2018 MLS All-Star Game

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MLS will stage the 2018 All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia. The league made the announcement on Tuesday at a media event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"We're proud to bring our 2018 All-Star Game to Atlanta, a city and Club that have taken Major League Soccer by storm," Garber said in a press statement.

2017 MLS regular season average attendance finishes 2% higher than 2016

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Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Attendances at MLS games for the 2017 regular season grew by 1.95% compared to last year, according to reported (not actual) numbers.

The final average attendance for MLS 2017 regular season was 22,112.

In the final week of the 2017 MLS season on Sunday, Atlanta set the all time standalone match attendance, 71,874, beating its own record set earlier this season.

2017 MLS regular season average attendance finishes 2% higher than 2016

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Photo credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Attendances at MLS games for the 2017 regular season grew by 1.95% compared to last year, according to reported (not actual) numbers.

The final average attendance for MLS 2017 regular season was 22,112.

In the final week of the 2017 MLS season on Sunday, Atlanta set the all time standalone match attendance, 71,874, beating its own record set earlier this season.

2017 MLS Playoff Schedule

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Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs Schedule
*Subject to change. Canadian and international broadcast information to be announced at a later date.

Knockout Round
(Conference third seed vs. sixth seed, and fourth seed vs. fifth seed in a single-game elimination match)

Wednesday, Oct.

Decision Day looms in MLS

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - You can almost hear the strings swell and the drums boom. Decision Day is nearly upon us.

Major League Soccer's branding for the final day of the regular season works on most levels. Decisions are coming based on the results of the round of games all happening on Sunday at 4pm ET.

What MLS leaders keep missing

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By Charles Boehm – WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 20, 2017) US Soccer Players - Some readers will be familiar with my occasional tendency to sift through developments from seemingly disparate quarters of the American soccer scene in search of deeper meaning.

So far October has brought us stunning World Cup qualification heartbreak, and a resulting tidal wave of anger, recrimination and soul-searching.

Moving a Major League Soccer club

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By J Hutcherson (Oct 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - MLS has spent a lot of time over its existence blurring the line between clubs and franchises. It's an important distinction for soccer operation with international ambition, showing that a group of teams founded and allocated by a league and later added to through expansion is the same as a league of clubs.

Intrigue in the Western Conference

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - Unlike the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference of MLS possesses a bit of intrigue with two weeks to go in the regular season. In the East, the only thing left to learn is the seeding of the six teams who have already locked in their playoff position.

MLS Week 31: Shutout for the Red Bulls

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MLS went with a short schedule due to the international break, with only six teams in action. The New York Red Bulls shutout Vancouver 3-0 at home. Daniel Royer opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with Bradley Wright-Phillips doubling the lead in the 58th. Felipe finished off the goals in the 72nd minute.

With the MLS rulebook, optics always matter

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By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Oct 4, 2017) US Soccer Players - Major League Soccer has a problem on its hands, one that may lead to a resolution without precedent in the modern history of top level professional sports in America. How the league handles the problem could have a major impact on the playoff race in both conferences.

MLS avoids the tanking problem, but that doesn’t make it easier for clubs

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By J Hutcherson (Oct 3, 2017) US Soccer Players - At the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, the best player available by most metrics ended up selected late in the fourth round. Marcus Tracy chose Europe and it took 55 picks before an MLS team decided his MLS rights were worth it. That Tracy's career didn't play out as expected is irrelevant to the SuperDraft story.

5 MLS games to watch in October

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By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Oct 2, 2017) US Soccer Players – The start of October is when MLS teams go into overdrive. After spending the summer laying the groundwork for a playoff push, the Fall is when some teams either surge and clinch a postseason berth or totally collapse and start rebuilding for next season.

News Update

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.

Montreal makes a coaching decision

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The Montreal Impact became the first MLS team to fire their coach Mauro Biello and his staff following the completion of the 2017 regular season. The Impact finished 9th in the Eastern Conference, 11 points out of the final playoff spot and seven points ahead of bottom club DC United.

"Mauro spend his whole career here," Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said in a press statement.

Pushing back against the business of Major League Soccer

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What to make of how the Columbus story is playing out? The Crew faithful started the week worrying about playoff position. They spent most of it dealing with the news that their club might be leaving at the end of next season. Making things worse, reports followed that the club processed season ticket renewals prior to any announcement of the intent to leave for Austin.

The MLS playoff picture

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Monday's soccer news starts with the MLS table. Major League Soccer's normally unbalanced schedule is now locked in at 33 games played across both conferences with one game left in the 2017 regular season.

In the Eastern Conference, 1st-place and 3rd-place are called for. Toronto has the top spot a dozen points ahead of 2nd-place.

Win for Houston and Kaka says goodbye in Orlando

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Thursday's soccer news starts with MLS action. Houston came back to beat Sporting KC 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Jimmy Medranda put Sporting up in the 33rd minute. Tomas Martinez equalized for Houston in the 63rd with an own-goal proving the difference in the 77th.

"The game had a playoff feel," Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark said.

union

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.

soccer tv

Soccer TV: Everton vs Arsenal

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The weekend soccer TV has Everton trying to shake off a Europa League disappointment but the schedule isn't helping. The Premier League on NBC has Southampton vs West Brom on Saturday. At the U-17 World Cup, the USMNT plays England in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Everton vs Arsenal on Sunday at 8:30am on NBCSN.

Soccer TV: Liverpool vs Manchester United

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The weekend soccer TV schedule makes the case against Premier League scheduling. The highlight game of the weekend is Liverpool hosting Manchester United and it starts at 7:30am ET. That means the national broadcast window on NBC gets Watford hosting Arsenal. Also on the schedule, Borussia Dortmund is home against RB Leipzig.

Soccer TV: New York Red Bulls vs Vancouver Whitecaps

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Though most of the league is taking the international break off, there are still MLS games on the weekend soccer TV schedule. New York plays Vancouver on UniMas. The rest of the weekend schedule is all about World Cup qualifying and the U-17 World Cup.

New York Red Bulls vs Vancouver Whitecaps at 5pm on Saturday on UniMas.