MLS News
MLS Power Rankings: Whitecaps Still No. 1, Sounders Continue to Fall
MLS News
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 11:55

MLS' Rivalry Week lived up to its billing after some monumental results. The Portland Timbers capped off the weekend with an emphatic 4-1 home win over the depleted Seattle Sounders.

The victory came just four days after the Timbers were embarrassed 5-0 by the L.A. Galaxy, who lost 3-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clasico. 

Elsewhere, Toronto FC earned four more points with a victory over their Canadian rivals, the Montreal Impact, and a draw versus D.C. United.

The Vancouver Whitecaps recorded their third away win in a row after a narrow 2-1 triumph over the 10-man New England Revolution on Saturday. As a result, the Whitecaps sit alone at the top of the Western Conference.

Due to these results, the power rankings have been significantly altered and may contain a few surprises this week.

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MLS Player Rankings: Kamara, Giovinco Fight for Top Spot, Finlay Rises
MLS News
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 00:01

With a plethora of attacking stars shining on a weekly basis in Major League Soccer, choosing the top player in our weekly MLS Player Rankings is no easy task. 

After Week 17, two worthy contenders had reasonable cases to claim the No. 1 position. The closest race for the top spot this season was eventually determined by production in front of the net over the last seven days.

On top of the battle for No. 1, a few rising stars of the league surged up the rankings based on their recent production, while a few guys finally made their worthy debuts on the list of the top 20 players in MLS for their body of work and great play this week.

Continue reading to see who earned spots in the latest MLS Player Rankings.

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MLS Team of the Week: Nagbe, Adi Hand Portland a Boost During Rivalry Week
MLS News
Sunday, 28 June 2015 22:21

Week 17 in Major League Soccer was billed as Rivalry Week. In the five major clashes between rivals this week, the stars of the league rose to the occasion and delivered brilliant performances.

One of the top showings of the week, which began on Wednesday, came from the final match as Portland bested Seattle 4-1 in a Cascadia Cup showdown. Thanks to the play of Darlington Nagbe and Fanendo Adi, the Timbers were able to take three points from the Sounders. 

Elsewhere in the league, a young center back handed the New York Red Bulls a magnificent 90-minute shift. and the San Jose Earthquakes received plenty of quality from one of their designated players. 

Because a majority of the teams played in two matches in Week 17, we judged some players on their cumulative performance. 

Continue reading to see who earned spots in our latest MLS Team of the Week. 

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Real Salt Lake Players Combine for Incredible Set-Piece Goal vs. Columbus Crew
MLS News
Saturday, 27 June 2015 21:50

Real Salt Lake scored what arguably might the best set-piece goal of the year against the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. 

In the 35th minute, Salt Lake's Luke Mulholland passed the free-kick to his teammate in the box, who then flicked it to the another teammate, who then headed to the final teammate, who tapped it in.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

[Streamable]

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Sprinklers Turn on Mid-Game During Sporting Kansas City-Colorado Rapids Match
MLS News
Saturday, 27 June 2015 20:45

It was in the high 80s at Sporting Park on Saturday night for Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids-Sporting Kansas City match. What better way to cool off than getting sprayed by water?

During the 47th minute, the match was paused when the sprinklers came on, and it didn't resume until they were turned off—and not until the players got nice and soaked.

Each team's Twitter account had some fun with the situation:

Sporting Kansas City went on to win, 2-0. 


[Twitter, Vine, h/t SB Nation]

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Daily Fantasy Soccer 2015: DraftKings Top MLS Player Picks for June 27
MLS News
Saturday, 27 June 2015 06:00

A majority of Major League Soccer just recently wrapped up a midweek slate of games on Wednesday, but the schedule isn't slowing down with a six-match slate flooding DraftKings with Saturday MLS action.

One local derby graces the schedule as the Los Angeles Galaxy host the nearby San Jose Earthquakes, but there are also two inter-conference matchups to up the intrigue even further. For DraftKings prominence, take a close look at these value picks.

 

F: Octavio Rivero, Vancouver ($9,100) and Krisztian Nemeth, Kansas City ($6,500)

Octavio Rivero is worth every penny of the $9,100 salary that should constitute your most expensive pick of Saturday's slate. His Vancouver side faces a New England Revolution squad that has conceded 14 goals in their last eight games—with just one win in that span. Rivero and Vancouver didn't play in the midweek, keeping him fresh for Saturday.

In his last 90-minute outing, Krisztian Nemeth dominated Dallas with a goal and an assist for 26 DK points. Having surpassed 14 points in five of his last 10 appearances and facing a Colorado squad with one win in its last eight matches, Nemeth should feast again.

 

M: Michael Bradley, Toronto ($6,300) and Diego Fagundez, New England ($5,500)

Michael Bradley is taking his ridiculous form for his United States national team and carrying it over to the MLS, coming off a goal and an assist performance Wednesday against Montreal. His dependability in the midfield promises to produce offensive numbers once again versus D.C. United.

Diego Fagundez has just one combined DK point in his last two appearances, but don't let that fool you—in each of his last two starts, he's produced a goal and at least 14 DK points. After starting both of New England's last two games on the bench, he's good for a start Saturday against Vancouver.

 

D: Waylon Francis, Columbus Crew ($4,400) and Fabinho, Philadelphia Union ($4,200)

The Columbus Crew are tied for the most goals conceded over the last eight games, but it's not because of Waylon Francis, who notched an assist on 16 DK points the last time out against New England. One of the Crew's most dependable offensive creators, Francis will produce much more than the average defender.

Fabinho hasn't exactly been lighting up the stat sheet for Philadelphia, with just two assists on the season. But he's proving consistent in DK play with more than six points per game and could have some chances against a Montreal side that has struggled defensively of late.

 

GK: Jaime Penedo, Los Angeles Galaxy ($4,700)

Any way you slice it, Jaime Penedo is in for a big performance in the Los Angeles Galaxy net Saturday. His individual form suggests prominence, as he's given up one goal in his last two games—both wins—along with five combined saves. Penedo also faces a San Jose Earthquakes side struggling to score goals, with just nine in their last eight contests.

DraftKings is hosting one-day MLS contests with thousands in prizes. Claim your free entry by clicking here and making a first-time deposit!

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Toronto FC Goalkeeper Chris Konopka Takes a Giant Swig of Fan's Beer After Win
MLS News
Thursday, 25 June 2015 15:42

Player-fan relations have never been better in Canada. 

A beer at a sporting event is hardly chump change to your everyday fan. 

That's why when a Toronto FC fan willingly gave up a huge chug of his pricey swill to Toronto goalkeeper Chris Konopka following their 3-1 win over rival Montreal Impact, the player-fan synergy was evident. 

With gestures like these, Major League Soccer is clearly on the right track to success. 

[Toronto FC, h/t Dirty Tackle]

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Clint Dempsey Suspended 6 US Open Cup Matches or 2 Years for Red Card
MLS News
Thursday, 25 June 2015 13:40

Six days after getting suspended three MLS matches for tearing up the referee's notebook during a U.S. Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey was suspended from U.S. Open Cup competition for either six matches or two years.

The U.S. Soccer Federation's U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel has ordered that the exact nature of the U.S. Open Cup ban will be determined according to which of the two punishments is ultimately more severe, per Brian Straus of SI.com.

While most would likely agree that Dempsey's conduct on the pitch was improper, FOX Sports' Alexi Lalas questioned the basis of his second suspension:

The 32-year-old star's status in international play remains unaffected, as he was named to Team USA's Gold Cup roster and will be permitted to play for the Stars and Stripes this summer.

Following the controversial incident, United States head soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann expressed his intention to discuss what transpired with his captain, according to USSoccer.com:

The situation with Clint Dempsey, obviously, is something that I saw basically on the internet. I was in Europe still after our games against Holland and Germany. It's something that nobody wants to see. It's a mistake, and mistakes happen. So, obviously when he comes in next week to Nashville in preparation for our friendly game with Guatemala, we'll sit down and talk through that and we'll go from there.

MLS commissioner Don Garber spoke on the difficult nature of the decision, per Kyle McCarthy of Fox Sports:

Discipline is hard. You never can win. The league is always in a lose-lose because you have a multitude of constituencies. All we can do is interpret the rule. The rule very specifically said that assault required physical violence. We did not determine what Clint had done as physically violent. It was really bad. He shouldn't have done it. He apologized, the club apologized.

Dempsey is undoubtedly one of the faces of American soccer, and while he got caught up in the heat of the moment, he has an added responsibility to represent the sport and his country with dignity.

He is paying the price for not doing that, but he'll have an opportunity to redeem himself if he can help lead the Americans to a second consecutive Gold Cup title and a berth in the Confederations Cup. 

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Daily Fantasy Soccer 2015: DraftKings Top MLS Player Picks for June 24
MLS News
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 06:00

Daily fantasy soccer players are in for a rare treat with a midweek Major League Soccer matchday for Wednesday, filling the DraftKings slate with contests beginning at 6 p.m. ET with the kickoff of the Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders.

That's one of a whopping seven matches on tap for Wednesday, which makes it one of the best opportunities to cash in with 14 rosters to choose from. Take a look at the best picks for Week 18 below.

 

F: Chris Rolfe, D.C. United ($8,600) and Teal Bunbury, New England ($7,300)

While fellow D.C. United attacker Fabian Espindola has no goals since May 2, Chris Rolfe has netted four times in that span. His club should be on the front foot most of the contest against a Chicago Fire unit that has given up 15 goals in their last eight games, and he'll be intent on building off his brace from the weekend.

Begin stacking up your roster with New England talent by nabbing their best producer up top, Teal Bunbury. He's netted assists in each of his last two appearances, and has put up 20-point DK performances once in the months of April and May. You know what that could mean for Wednesday.

 

M: Felipe Martins, New York Red Bulls ($6,000) and Lee Nguyen, New England ($7,900)

Felipe Martins carved out his spot as a reliable DK contributor in New York's midfield over the course of May, averaging 9.5 points per contest in the month and averaging 2.4 shots per game in his last 10 outings. Against a Real Salt Lake team that is just 1-1-2 in their last four, Martins should have his usual impact hurling shots toward goal.

No team has had a tougher time stopping offenses of late than Columbus, who has conceded a league-worst 16 goals in their last eight games. Lee Nguyen is coming off a Sunday loss to D.C. United in which his assist created New England's only goal, and he could make a much bigger impact Wednesday.

 

D: Justin Morrow, Toronto FC (3,500) and Chris Tierney, New England ($5,200)

Justin Morrow will help to free up salary space without creating an imbalance in your lineup, as he has a touch of consistency and opportunistic goalscoring craved from the defender spot. He scored on May 30 against San Jose, and averages a solid five fantasy points per contest.

Some of that extra cash can be spent on New England's Chris Tierney, who has notched multiple shots in each of his last two outings. Facing a Columbus team that has been in the league cellar defensively this season, he'll have his chances.

 

GK: Tally Hall, Orlando City ($3,000)

Not only can Tally Hall serve as your biggest steal of the night for Wednesday, but he's also likely for a clean sheet. Colorado has scored a MLS-worst six goals over its last eight matches, with just one goal in MLS competition for the month of June. Hall has five saves in his last two outings despite being a DK afterthought.

DraftKings is hosting one-day MLS contests with thousands in prizes. Claim your free entry by clicking here and making a first-time deposit!

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MLS Power Rankings: Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United Rise
MLS News
Tuesday, 23 June 2015 16:56

A dramatic Week 16 in MLS produced more drama than usual.

The Vancouver Whitecaps edged the 10-man New York Red Bulls thanks to goalkeeper David Ousted, who saved two penalties. Real Salt Lake, D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids also picked up results thanks to some late heroics.

These decisive events have once again altered the MLS power rankings this week. Did Vancouver and D.C. do enough to pass the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City, who both lost?

Here are the latest MLS power rankings.

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