MLS Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United

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• With just two losses in its last 10 games, the Philadelphia Union is clinging to a playoff spot.

• Luis Silva has scored in every league game he has played for D.C. United since being traded by Toronto FC.

• Every time these two teams meet, it’s an explosive encounter.

Two teams fully engrained in youth movements, the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, also have a burgeoning rivalry from geographic and soccer-centric closeness. Despite the large gap in the standings between them, these are similar teams.

Both rely on young goalkeepers, with Bill Hamid and Joe Willis anchoring D.C. and Zac MacMath wearing Philadelphia’s No. 1 shirt. Recently, D.C. boss Ben Olsen has been starting Willis over Hamid, the United States international in line to possibly start for his country someday.

At the forward position, it’s much the same story: Jack McInerney paces the Union attack, although he has not scored in six games. A hot start to the season propelled McInerney to the top of the Golden Boot race and earned him two successive MLS Player of the Month awards in April and May.

Still, McInerney has been good enough recently to earn call-ups to the U.S.’s 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad and the MLS All-Star team.

Until signing Luis Silva (pictured) from Toronto FC, D.C. United had almost no attack of which to speak. With captain Dwayne De Rosario injured, Lionard Pajoy and Chris Pontius failed to pick up the scoring slack.

In three games, Silva has done just that. After scoring one goal in each of his first matches, Silva is already his club’s leading scorer in 2013. He seems to be at home in D.C. after never receiving much of an opportunity to succeed at Toronto FC.

Conor Doyle, on loan from Derby County in England, also scored in D.C.’s last league game, a 3-1 home win over the Montreal Impact. He assisted on Jared Jeffery’s stoppage-time sealer at the end of the game.

On Wednesday, D.C. booked its place in the club’s fifth U.S. Open Cup final with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire. The Philadelphia Union has a longer turnaround, having last played in a 2-1 loss to the same Fire on Aug. 3.

Both teams are fighting for their seasons, D.C. trying to make its Open Cup success carry over into league play and Philadelphia trying to maintain a playoff spot despite the Houston Dynamo being just one point behind and having two games in hand.

Last season, that fight turned literal during the teams’ 1-1 tie on Aug. 20. Three red cards capped off a game that the Union’s Amobi Okugo summed up by saying, “That’s what it feels like to be in a rivalry.”

With so much at stake for both teams, Saturday’s matchup could be just as fiery.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.

MLS at Week 8: Galaxy host Atlanta, NYCFC aims to stay unbeaten out west

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A full weekend of MLS action kicks off on Friday night with two of the Western Conference’s elite, while Saturday and Sunday feature a number of quality matchups.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy have been quite the attraction since the Swede made his move to MLS a few weeks ago, but Sigi Schmid’s side will be in for another early-season test on Saturday when they take on a red-hot Atlanta United.

[ MORE: Sweden not keen on Zlatan’s World Cup return ]

Both sides currently sit in second place in their respective conferences, while Atlanta boasts the second-highest goalscoring total in the league to this point, with 15 goals in six games.

Western Conference leaders Sporting KC have gone unbeaten in their last six matches since their opening day defeat to New York City FC, and Matt Besler and Co. will have another opportunity to put their stamp on the conference with a crucial match against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who sit third in the West.

NYCFC and FC Dallas remain on the only two unbeaten clubs left in 2018, although the latter has been far less convincing in its first five matches.

Patrick Vieira and NYCFC are coming off of a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Atlanta last weekend, and now head west to take on the Portland Timbers.

Meanwhile, Dallas plays host to the Philadelphia Union, who have taken just one win out of their first five games.

Here’s a look at the full slate of matches around MLS in Week 8.


Sporting KC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps — 9 p.m. ET


Montreal Impact vs. Los Angeles FC — 1 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC — 3 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire — 3:30 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution — 7:30 p.m. ET
Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes — 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union — 8 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids — 9 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. Atlanta United — 10:30 p.m. ET


Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 4 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC — 6 p.m. ET