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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Apr 5, 2017) US Soccer Players - When the LA Galaxy hired Curt Onalfo as coach, the move seemed to be a reassuring one. The club valued stability. Having someone who knew the ins and outs of the LA Galaxy was seemingly a smart move.
The offseason coaching shakeup that led to Bruce Arena vacating the post and Onalfo's subsequent hire seemed to take the focus off some more deep-rooted issues.
By Clemente Lisi – HARRISON, NJ (Apr 3, 2017) US Soccer Players – The year was 2001 and the San Jose Earthquakes knocked out the Columbus Crew and Miami Fusion to reach MLS Cup. Standing between it and the trophy was the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Earthquakes, led by a young Landon Donovan, pulled off the upset against its Western Division rivals to win the championship.
Monday's soccer news starts with an uncomfortable Friday night for MLS. With the league schedule returning in full force following the international break, two games available nationally ended scoreless. It looked like the league of ties had already returned by week 5 of the 2017 MLS season. Instead, what happened was an entertaining weekend with several multi-goal games.
In a first for the MLS expansion team, Minnesota United got three points from a game. Minnesota came back to beat Real Salt Lake 4-2 at home in week 5. Luke Mulholland put RSL up in the 4th minute with Kevin Molino equalizing in the 16th. Molino assisted on Christian Ramirez's goal in the 52nd with Ramirez scoring again in the 62nd.
By Clemente Lisi – HARRISON, NJ (Mar 27, 2017) US Soccer Players – You may have spent the past few days enjoying the bevy of World Cup Qualifiers available during the international window. You may have even found your way to San Jose to witness the USA's 6-0 romp of Honduras Friday night.
It didn't get any better for Minnesota United in week 4 of the 2017 MLS season. With most of the league taking the international weekend off, Minnesota United didn't get a break. Instead, it was another lopsided loss, this time on the road at New England. The Revolution opened their home schedule with a 5-2 win.
By J Hutcherson (Mar 21, 2017) US Soccer Players - Real Salt Lake decided it was time for a coaching change three weeks into the 2017 MLS season. The international break had barely started when RSL announced the club had dismissed Jeff Cassar. Credit the management with using "dismisses" rather than "parted ways", since the scenario is almost always the club telling the coach it's time for him to go.
It was a busy Saturday for MLS in the weekend before the international break. 20 of the league's 22 teams were in action. It was also a busy day for referees across the league, with several red cards.
Atlanta United continued their scoring streak in MLS, shutting out Chicago 4-0 in front of almost 46,000 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 17, 2017) US Soccer Players - The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced their Week 2 decisions on Wednesday afternoon. The release, as is too often the case, was highly anticipated. This particular week it was the expectation that the DisCo would address a pair of high profile fouls in the match between the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers.
By Luis Bueno – RIVERSIDE, CA (Mar 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's not often that soccer serves up a historic, life-altering, history-making and possibly changing matchup. While soccer still has not served that one up quite yet in CONCACAF Champions League play, there may be just such a matchup waiting around the corner.
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 15, 2017) US Soccer Players - Andrea Pirlo is many things. Fashion icon. Wine connoisseur. New Yorker. Soccer legend. What he is not is an expert on the business of Major League Soccer, or how the way MLS operates affects its ability to compete in the larger soccer world.
Atlanta United's Josef Martinez is the MLS Player of the Week for week 2 of the 2017 season. Martinez scored a hat-trick in Atlanta's 6-1 win over fellow expansion club Minnesota United. Martinez started the scoring early, getting a goal in the 3rd minute at TCF Bank Stadium. Martinez made it 3-0 in the 27th, scoring Atlanta's fifth goal in the 75th minute.
By J Hutcherson (Mar 13, 2017) US Soccer Players - It's tough in professional club soccer, especially in North America. Nobody is turning off Major League Baseball because the Japanese, Korean, Mexican, or Dominican league is so much better. Nobody is choosing the Kontinental Hockey League over the National Hockey League.
The weather didn't help Minnesota United in week 2 of the 2017 MLS season. Minnesota lost its second MLS game and first home game 6-1 to Atlanta United. Josef Martinez had Atlanta up at TCF Bank Stadium in the 3rd minute. Miguel Almiron doubled the lead in the 13th with Martinez making it 3-0 in the 27th.
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 10, 2017) US Soccer Players - San Jose Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli wasn't a typical choice for the job when his new club hired him to replace John Doyle in January. Fioranelli joined the Quakes from Roma, where he was part of management team that oversaw player scouting, player development, match analysis, and recruitment.
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Mar 8, 2017) US Soccer Players - What a scene. A wall of soccer fanatics clad head-to-toe in purple, 4,000-strong, filled one end of stadium built purposely for the sport of soccer in the United States. They stood throughout the match, chanting, singing, and imploring for every second of the 90 minutes between the referee's blows of his whistle as their beloved Lions worked to deliver them the victory they so desperately wanted.
Portland Timbers midifelder Diego Valeri is the MLS Player of the week for Week 1 of the 2017 season. Valeri had two goals and an assist in Portland's 5-1 win over expansion club Minnesota United. Valeri had the second assist on Portland's 14th minute opener, heading in their second goal in the 47th.
By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Mar 6, 2017) US Soccer Players – There are many players around the world who have made playing for one club a hallmark of their careers. Scores of others have played for several clubs, but have become synonyms with one of them. Take Landon Donovan.
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 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.
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.
Plenty of games to choose from on the weekend soccer TV schedule. There's the Liverpool derby in the Premier League, the French Cup final, and the Revierderby from the Bundesliga. Courtesy of the Premier League schedule makers, Saturday's network TV slot goes to Southampton hosting Bournemouth with both teams firmly mid-table.
Week 5 in MLS starts on the Friday soccer TV schedule with two games on Fox Sports 1. There's also La Liga, the Championship and the Bundesliga with the European leagues resuming after the international break.
Seattle Sounders vs Atlanta United on Fox Sports 1 at 10pm. We already know that Clint Dempsey is all the way back for country and club, benefitting the defending MLS champions.
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.
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.
CONCACAF got what they've come to expect from the their Champions League. Pachuca will play Tigres in the 2016-17 final. Vancouver lost 2-1 at home to exit the tournament 4-1 on aggregate. Brek Shea scored for Vancouver in the 3rd minute, exiting in the 10th with an injury. Andre-Pierre Gignac equalized on the night in the 63rd and Damian Alvarez scored Tigres' winner in the 84th.
Bastian Schweinsteiger got in some training and met what passes for the media in Chicago. Some decided to go ahead and prove that there are such a thing as stupid questions, asking if the Fire could win the World Cup and whether or not the internationally retired Schweinsteiger hoped to regain his spot with Germany.
The soccer news starts with the European media announcing that Bastian Schweinsteiger is moving to Chicago before MLS and the team got the chance. That included Schweinsteiger himself releasing a video. Time zones took away Chicago's moment, signing a marquee player from a marquee club.
A World Cup winner moving from Manchester United to the Chicago Fire is never going to be a small thing.
Monday's soccer news starts with a simple point from San Jose Earthquakes assistant coach John Spencer. It was Spencer on the sideline for the Quakes in their 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City. Spencer stepped in with Dom Kinnear unable to coach due to an illness. What Spencer saw from his squad on Saturday night was an ability to control possession.
It's the Vancouver Whitecaps' turn to see if they can get past a Liga MX team in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Two weeks into the MLS season, Vancouver will once again switch focus to the regional tournament, at Tigres tonight (10pm ET - Facebook Live). Not losing in Mexico is another old and not exactly flattering story for MLS.
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.