Archive for the ‘MLS’ Category

Decision Day was chock full of history for Los Angeles FC.

In addition to captain Carlos Vela establishing a new single-season MLS scoring record with a superb hat-trick, the club also set a new benchmark for points in the regular season.

A 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids gave Bob Bradley’s side 72 points on the campaign, eclipsing the New York Red Bulls‘ 71-point haul from last season.

The Supporters’ Shield winners will now sit back and wait to learn their playoff opponent for the conference semifinals; Vela and Co. secured a first-round bye after clinching the top spot in the Western Conference last month.

The single-season points record has now fallen in three consecutive years. Toronto FC racked up a then-record 69 points in 2017, before the Red Bulls’ aforementioned campaign.

Orlando City SC has agreed to part ways with Head Coach James O’Connor, effective immediately.

“On behalf of Orlando City we want to thank James for all of his efforts during his coaching tenure at Orlando,” Orlando City SC EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said. “We wish James the best of luck in the next phase of his coaching career.”

O’Connor joined Orlando City halfway through the 2018 campaign on June 29. Under O’Connor the Lions finished the 2018 season with a record of 2-12-3 in MLS competition finishing in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.

Overall under O’Connor’s leadership, City had an 11-27-13 record in MLS matches and finished the 2019 season in 11th place.

New York City FC will host matches at Citi Field if their MLS postseason schedule clashes with the New York Yankees‘ pursuit of a 28th World Series crown, the MLS club confirmed Tuesday.

NYCFC share Yankee Stadium with Major League Baseball’s most successful franchise and the heavy-hitting Yankees may be competing in the American League Championship Series and the World Series during NYCFC’s playoff run. Domenec Torrent’s side secured home advantage in the Conference semifinals and, should the club reach it, the final through its first-place standing in the East.

No information was provided on where NYCFC would play if they reached and hosted the MLS Cup final Nov. 10. Dartmouth and Princeton are scheduled to play a college football game at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9, while The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio understands there’s a “Stadiumlinks” golf event at Citi Field that weekend.

NYCFC played at the New York Mets‘ Citi Field for their final regular-season match in 2017 and drew 2-2 with the Columbus Crew.

Los Angeles FC captured the MLS Supporters’ Shield on Wednesday after Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Eduard Atuesta all scored in a 3-1 shunning of the Houston Dynamo.

Bob Bradley’s side is now on 66 points and can trump the New York Red Bulls’ 2018 record of 71 regular-season points with two wins to conclude the campaign. The distinction of MLS’ best pre-playoff team is far from a guarantee of postseason success, though: Only seven Supporters’ Shield winners have gone on to win the MLS Cup in 23 seasons.

Vela slotted home a 23rd-minute spot-kick to move within one goal of Atlanta United marksman Josef Martinez‘s single-season scoring record (31), but Houston hit back quickly when some penalty-box pinball led to an own goal by goalkeeper Tyler Miller.

LAFC’s near-constant pressure told midway through the second stanza. Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa was fortunate to see his clumsy swing at a cross cannon back off his own crossbar, but Rossi was lurking at the back stick and intelligently stooped to head it past Joe Willis.

The three points were put beyond doubt when Vela stepped aside to allow Atuesta to pocket a sublime free-kick.

LAFC travel to face Minnesota United on Sunday before signing off on the regular term with a visit from the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 6. Vela and Co. will then enjoy home advantage for the duration of their playoff run.

Both D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls are officially headed to the MLS playoffs after the Montreal Impact dropped their match against the LA Galaxy 2-1 on Saturday night.

Wayne Rooney and the rest of United sit fifth in the Eastern Conference, boasting a 12-10-9 record. Their next fixture will come Sunday evening against the Seattle Sounders, who are currently second in the Western Conference and looking to clinch a playoff spot of their own.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls, led by Luis Robles and Daniel Royer, are stationed at sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a 13-13-5 record. Their next fixture is Sunday evening against the Philadelphia Union, who have already clinched their spot in the postseason.

Toronto FC are headed back to the playoffs for the first time since the club claimed the MLS title in 2017, and for the fourth time in five years.

TFC midfielder Tsubasa Endoh scored the opening tally in the 19th minute on Saturday against LAFC. Then MLS goal leader Carlos Vela netted the equalizer on a penalty after Chris Mavinga committed a reckless foul during the waning moments of the match, making it 1-1 in stoppage time.

Moments later, the Montreal Impact lost 2-1 to the LA Galaxy, giving TFC a playoff spot.

TFC currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 12-10-10. Greg Vanney’s squad hasn’t lost since Aug. 3, going 3-5-0 over its last eight contests.

Longtime Chicago Fire Soccer Club Chairman and Owner, Andrew Hauptman, today announced the sale of his controlling interest in the Club to Joe Mansueto. Effective immediately, Mansueto will take on the role of Chairman as sole owner of the Fire. Under Hauptman’s leadership, the Club also concluded an agreement with the Village of Bridgeview that allows the Fire to move back into the city of Chicago, and received approval from the Chicago Park District board to move toward an agreement that will enable the team to play its 2020 season at Soldier Field.

Hauptman’s term as owner ends after 12 years of impressive growth, expanded reach and development for the Club across Chicagoland. Throughout his ownership tenure, Hauptman led a strategy of expansive soccer programming and deep community engagement in addition to investment in infrastructure, management talent and world-class players. 

“What the Fire has achieved has been transformational for the Club and the city of Chicago. We’ve significantly increased soccer’s presence and built an ecosystem that rivals any club across North America,” said Hauptman. “I’m extremely proud of the positioning of the Club at this historic juncture. I know that the next step of returning to Soldier Field will make Chicago proud and I look forward to cheering on Joe, the Club and its supporters as they continue this legacy.”

“I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous platform for continued soccer growth across Chicago and beyond. He and the entire organization have worked tirelessly to dramatically increase the profile of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, MLS and the game overall and have left a wonderful legacy for our city,” said Mansueto. “The timing of this transaction couldn’t be better as we return the world’s game to the city I love. Andrew and his family will always be part of the Fire family that he cares so very much about.”

In 2011, the Club drew a near-capacity crowd at Soldier Field when they hosted Manchester United, and in 2017, Hauptman was instrumental in bringing the sold-out MLS All-Star Game to Chicago against legendary Spanish club Real Madrid.

Since acquiring the Chicago Fire in 2007, Hauptman has made extensive investments in the first team, while also establishing deep roots across the Chicagoland community. Under his leadership, the Club built the CIBC Fire Pitch, a north side community center which serves 300,000 visitors annually and introduced Chicago Fire Rec Soccer programming for adults, which now has 20,000 participants. Additionally, the Club formed the Chicago Fire Academy, a full scholarship program for Chicago’s elite youth players and expanded the Chicago Fire Juniors program, with 11 Clubs across six states, and 16,000 players participating year-round. For its commitment and ambitious stewardship, the Club has repeatedly been recognized for its community work, having most recently won the 2019 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award.

In 2017, Hauptman was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame as Sports Advocate of the Year.