Diego Fagundez

MLS Week in Review

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Most shocking result: What says “shocker” like someone putting a five-spot on the two-time defending champs? Congrats to Jay Heaps and his New England Revolution, who took the LA Galaxy apart Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Diego Fagundez had a goal and two assists in the Revs’ 5-0 win.

Goals pouring in at Gillette: The last time New England scored five goals or more? A 6-1 result over Colorado back in 2004. Fagundez was 9 years old then!

League’s hottest player: Fagundez was simply outstanding, especially in the second half, alert, creative and supplier of a well-taken goal. Is an MLS Player off the Week honor ahead for the 18-year-old Revolution attacker? Could be, but either way he’s either the league’s hottest attacker, or at very least co-hottest along with Jack McInerney. Fagundez (pictured) has scored in four consecutive matches.

Best match: Montreal won at a place where it’s painfully hard to go get any points, much less all three, tamping down an under-strength Kansas City at Sporting Park – and this match had a lot going on. There was drama to the end, a coach sent off, a player sent off, lots of shots as the home team tried to close the gap late, etc.  Oh, and there may be a suspension or two coming for the little dust-up between Montreal Alessando Nesta (who was ejected) and KC’s Claudio Bieler (who wasn’t … but may be fined or suspended anyway). The highlights are here.

Woe is D.C. United: A 2-0 loss to Chicago drove Ben Olsen’s club further off the cliff; that was a franchise-record 11th consecutive match without a win. As the Washington Post’s Steven Goff said: “MLS’s greatest embarrassment, Chivas USA, has earned six more points than United this season.”  The personnel collection has been badly miscalculated; It seems inconceivable that someone, whether it is general manager Dave Kasper or Olsen, won’t soon be held accountable.

The woeful streak that no one is talking about: Toronto FC is also winless in 11, just like D.C. United. Unfortunately, considering  this team’s history, that’s every bit as surprising as syrup poured over pancakes.

The missing men: It would be impossible not to think that Sporting KC and the Galaxy missed their top center backs, both of whom were starting for Jurgen Klinsmann U.S. national team on Sunday. Both of Montreal’s goals came after KC clearances that just weren’t good enough. SKC was without Matt Besler.

And the Galaxy allowing five? Sounds impossible … until you consider that Omar Gonzalez wasn’t around.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes clearly missed dominating center back Victor Bernardez in falling hard at Real Salt Lake, 3-0.

More from Morales: Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales is presumably slowing down, now 33. But he had was The Man in RSL’s 3-0 win over San Jose, and that came after playing three full matches over a week. (In fact, since the RSL playmaker went 120 minutes, including overtime, in the mid-week Open Cup triumph, make that “three matches and change” in a week.

Jack McInerney scores again: There is just no stopping this kid in 2013, as the Philadelphia Union’s 20-year-old striker struck for yet another goal – and another important one. We keep saying it, but so many of his league-leading 10 goals are either match-winners or equalizers. Saturday, his stoppage-time grass-cutter through traffic was the late, late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Toronto.

Best goal: Watch the shape on Kelyn Rowe’s goal, the final tally in New England’s spirit-crusher over the Galaxy. It’s a fine piece of work:

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Morgan, USWNT cruise past Costa Rica 5-0 behind early flurry of goals

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The U.S. Women got off to a flying start in Olympic qualification Group A play by torching Costa Rica 5-0, including goals from Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Crystal Dunn.

Morgan led the way with a double, including one in the opening 12 seconds – only six passes off the opening kick – that set the record for quickest goal in U.S. Soccer history. Lloyd and Dunn both struck in the opening 15 minutes to make it 3-0 before Costa Rica even had time to blink. Lloyd’s came on a penalty after Dunn was felled for the captain’s 83rd international goal, and then the latter bagged one of her own minutes later on a rebound off a shot by Morgan.

[ VIDEO: Alex Morgan caps off a 12-second, six-pass goal ]

The visitors were able to make it Morgan scored her second after the hour mark to cap the goal tally. Jill Ellis completed her trio of substitutions after the fourth goal and the U.S. saw the game out easily.

The fifth came late on a cross from Tobin Heath that fell to Christen Press in the box. With her back to the goal, the 27-year-old produced a simply stunning first touch, back-heeling the ball down before whipping around the opposite direction to lose her defender and firing home the fifth goal.

With the final whistle, the United States improved their record against Costa Rica to a perfect 13-0. The U.S. will play Mexico next on Saturday before finishing out Group A play against Puerto Rico on Monday, February 15.

VIDEO: Alex Morgan scores goal against Costa Rica in 12 seconds

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The United States got off to a historically roaring start in Olympic qualifying. Taking on Costa Rica in Frisco, Texas to begin Group A play, Alex Morgan opened the scoring in just 12 seconds, taking just six passes to complete the masterpiece.

According to the USWNT twitter account, the goal is the fastest in U.S. Soccer history.

According to CONCACAF, the goal is also the quickest in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, breaking Abby Wambach’s of 35 seconds in a 14-0 domination of the Dominican Republic in 2012.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

The United States scored three goals in the first 15 minutes against Costa Rica tonight. They will take on Mexico and Puerto Rico across the next five days.

Watch Live: USWNT vs Costa Rica in Olympic qualifying

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States is congratulated by teammate Alex Morgan #13 after a goal against Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium on January 23, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
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The United States women are set to begin Group A play in Olympic qualification, taking on 36th ranked Costa Rica at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The game takes place after a 17-day camp at the national training camp in Carson, California.

[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs Costa Rica live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]

Other teams in the group include Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Mexicans dominated Puerto Rico 6-0 in the first game.

LINEUP

United States: Solo; Krieger, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg; Brian, Horan, Dunn, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan.

Columbus, NYCFC release new kits to mixed results

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New York City FC
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Two Major League Soccer clubs have put their kits out there for the 2016 season. They’ve received a mediocre welcome at best.

Columbus was the first, and their kit makes a bold statement moving away from the traditional yellow and black that so often adorns their regular shirts. Instead, the kit incorporates the Columbus flag onto it. The release has seen quite a negative reaction on social media.

The kit was unveiled at the Columbus City Hall on Wednesday, featuring the traditional adidas stripes, although instead of the usual placement on the shoulders, the stripes come down the side of the torso. Recently, adidas has the tendency to copy general jersey patterns across its multiple properties, so look for this design with other clubs in the near future.

The negative reaction to the Columbus release isn’t terribly surprising considering fans often enjoy sticking to tradition, and backlash is common when clubs deviate from the norm. As an additional hurdle, the color contrast between red and yellow is somewhat stark, lending to the difficult reception. Add in the bright pastel blue shorts and…yikes.

While the club didn’t describe how they will utilize this kit during the season, it’s likely to be the primary (at least for now) as the club release says the kit portfolio also includes last year’s black kit, which is traditionally the away kit.

NYCFC’s release of their secondary kit was more positive, receiving a mixed response on social media.

As you can see, adidas again copied their general outline with the stripes down the side of the torso. However, the German clothing manufacturer did much better with the general design of these kits than the Columbus ones. I will give a bit of personal opinion here: I absolutely love these kits. The ripple effect accentuates the crest with a near-3D effect, and the colors mesh perfectly which serves to assuage the eye from being overwhelmed by a busy design. If there’s any criticism, it’s that without an outline, the Etihad logo tends to get in the way a bit, but that’s nitpicking. Well done NYCFC. Columbus…I’ll leave that one to you all.