MLS Snapshot: FC Dallas 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

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One game, 100 words (or less): Two goals from Blas Perez, a full one of them on purpose, have FC Dallas back in the win column, with a resilient performance from Vancouver thwarted when the chaos after a late set piece left the Dallas striker with an open goal. Blasting his shot home from 14 yards out, Perez snapped Dallas’s two-game losing streak, his seventh and eight goals of the season giving the home side a 2-1 win.

Goals

Dallas: Blas Perez 20′, 78′
Vancouver: Hurtado 67′

Three moments that mattered:

20′ – Your latest goal of the season – There’s no way Blas Perez was trying to score, but goals don’t have to be planned to count. With a ball that could have been confused for a gridiron punt, the Panamanian international scored one of the goals of the season, arcing a shot from against the sideline, eight yards from the goal line, into David Ousted’s far side-netting.

67′ – The Rosales pay-off – Mauro Rosales was one of the night’s best players from the get go, but just after the hour mark, his influence finally found its way to the scoresheet. Attacking a Dallas defense adjusting after Matt Hedges’s foray into midfield, Rosales found the seem between right back Jair Benitez and Hedges’s partner, Zach Loyd. In for Darren Mattocks, Erik Hurtado powered his first touch past Raul Fernandez, giving Vancouver hope of a result.

78′ – On purpose – Perez may  have lucked into his first goal, but his second was finished with too much authority to leave any doubt. After a set piece won by Vancouver’s Kendall Waston deflected into the left of the penalty area, Perez first-timed a rocket into an abandoned goal, with Ousted leftf in no one’s land after indecision on the initial ball.

With his second goal of the night, Perez matched his total for Panama at the Copa Centroamericana. He also put his team back in the win column.

Lineups

Dallas: Fernandez; Watson, Loyd, Hedges, Hernandez (Benitez 45′); Castillo, Michel, Ulloa, Escobar (Dias 57′); Akindele (Acosta 82′), Perez
Vancouver: Ousted; Sampson, Waston, Dean, Harvey; Teibert, Laba, Ballouchy (P. Morales 57′); Rosales (Manneh 81′); Fernandez, Mattocks (Hurtado 62′)

Three lessons going forward:

1. Neither team is back – Returning at home, Dallas had a chance to jump back into the win column after two straight losses on the road (Chicago, RSL). Likewise, Vancouver had a chance to carry over momentum from Wednesday night, when they broke a long scoreless drought while notching a much-needed win.

To a small extent, both of those things happened at Toyota Stadium, but Dallas didn’t look as impressive as it had before its momentum was blunted in Chicago. And Vancouver, while now capable of scoring goals, still doesn’t look like the team that played so well this spring.

If Dallas is going to be a contender in the West, it needs to show its summer surge was more than an isolated hot streak. And Vancouver may need to play closer to its talent level to hold off Portland.

2. Waston is impossible on set pieces – A header off a Vancouver corner in the 92nd minute generated a moment of controversy, with a redirection finding Loyd’s outstretched arm. Most of the time, that infraction’s a foul, but on Saturday, the Whitecaps saw no mercy.

Amid the controversy was a detail that will have a more lasting significance: Kendall Waston was again doing damage on set pieces. Coming into the night, the Costa Rican was averaging 4.5 aerial duels won per game, a number that puts him above the likes of Eddie Johnson, David Horst, Aurelien Collin, Chad Marshall, and Omar Gonzalez (one-through-five in MLS in duels won). Though one of Waston’s wins on Saturday ended up working against his team, the 26-year-old has been unstoppable on dead balls since arriving last month.

Had the whistle blown on Saturday, unstoppable would have meant a point in Frisco.

3. That Mauro Rosales trade’s working out okay – Granted, it gave Carl Robinson an excuse to shake things up again, and this Vancouver team needs to pick a plan and go with it, att some point …

But damn if Mauro Rosales isn’t a good soccerer (TM). Started at the tip of the Whitecaps’ midfield diamond, Rosales out-Moralesed Pedro Morales, supplying the Chilean’s playmaking while adding a defensive intensity Vancouver’s typically lacked.

When he arrived, it was unclear where he’d play. All we knew was (a.) Rosales was very talented, (b.) he only cost Nigel Reo-Coker, and (c.) the Whitecaps still seemed stacked.

Now, it looks like Rosales will be a key part of Vancouver’s stretch run – if not the key part.

Where this leaves them:

  • The win moves Dallas within one point of RSL for third in the West. Catch them, and FCD avoids that four-five, play-in game.
  • Vancouver re-opened the door for Portland, but with the Timbers graciously ended Colorado’s seven-game losing streak, the Whitecaps stay in fifth place, one point up on their rivals.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

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, MLSSoccer.com 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 MLSSoccer.com 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.