Tim Howard

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MLS Snapshot: Union storm back vs. Rapids, Whitecaps defeat Sporting KC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): In a battle of two of the league’s weakest sides to this point, it was the Philadelphia Union that emerged victorious after a strange sequence of events late in the match ended up benefitting the hosts. Caleb Calvert had a dream start for the Colorado Rapids with his first career MLS goal after a quarter hour, but the 20-year-old’s night came to an abrupt end in the second half after the striker re-entered the match without the referee’s permission. This resulted in a second yellow card. End of his evening. From there, Haris Medunjanin’s stunning free kick beat Tim Howard six minutes later and gave the Union their fourth win of the season.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS (afternoon) roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

15′ — Calvert stuns Union for first MLS goal — Andre Blake stood no chance on this one. Just watch below and you’ll understand why. So pretty.

23′ — Howard denies Union equalizer with kick save — Two words: Tim Howard.

69′ — Stranger things happening in Philly — The Rapids were reduced to 10 when Calvert re-entered the pitch without the referee waving the forward back on, and just like that the visitors were at a tremendous disadvantage.

75′ — Union take the lead — Oh boy, that’s some strike from Haris Medunjanin. Wow!

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: C.J. Sapong

Goalscorers: Caleb Calvert (15′), C.J. Sapong (67′ — PK), Haris Medunjanin (75′)

The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps are picked up a bit of steam in the Western Conference after a slow start to the season, and Christian Bolanos is proving to be a key playmaker for the Canadian side. The Costa Rican recorded two assists on Saturday, helping pace the Whitecaps to their fifth win of the season at BC Place against Sporting KC. Meanwhile, it was an off night for the West leaders, who posted just two shots on target. Goalkeeper Tim Melia impressed once against though for SKC, making five stops in net, two of which came off a second-half penalty double-save.

Three moments that mattered

40′ — Techera volley gives Whitecaps lead — This might be the best team goal you see all season… and Cristian Techera’s finish was pretty darn good too.

67′ — Parker heads home for Whitecaps’ second — The U.S. Men’s National Team defender knocked him his first of the season after the hour mark to ensure the points for the home side.

‘ — Melia makes crazy double-save — It wasn’t Sporting KC’s evening but Tim Melia continues to show us why he’s one of the top up-and-coming keepers in MLS.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Christian Bolanos

Goalscorers: Cristian Techera (40′), Tim Parker (67′)

Real Madrid named opponent for 2017 All-Star Game in Chicago

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We already knew Real Madrid would be making their way to North America this summer, as the first-ever meeting between the 42-time Spanish first-division champions and arch rival Barcelona, 24-time winners themselves, on non-European soil was announced last month.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Another date on Los Blancos‘ preseason has been officially added and formally announced, as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and the rest of Zinedine Zidane’s superstar-laden squad will take on the MLS All-Stars at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., on Aug. 2.

Madrid will be the first Spanish side to face the MLS All-Stars, who have previously taken on various clubs from the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX.

[ MORE: David Villa scores from midfield | Tim Howard suspended 3 games ]

“It is an honor to represent Major League Soccer and to work with our League’s great players in a match against one of the top clubs in the word,” said Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “I know how special it is to compete against Real Madrid and I think our players and fans will also enjoy the experience.”

Tim Howard suspended three matches for fan incidents

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Tim Howard has been suspended by MLS for three matches.

Howard, who’d later have an encounter with KC’s Dom Dwyer, was filmed swearing at fans in Colorado’s loss to Sporting KC last week.

That incident alone wasn’t what earned Howard his suspension, as the goalkeeper was reportedly involved in a separate fan incident in the tunnel that involved physical contact.

[ MORE: Handicapping the PL Player of the Year ]

MLSSoccer.com says Howard will also be fined. Howard will miss matches at Real Salt Lake and Orlando, as well as a visit from Minnesota United. The club still has Zac MacMath.

Colorado issued a statement referencing MLS’ “Don’t Cross The Line” campaign, a project which almost certainly amplified the penalty.

MLS Snapshot: Goals (finally) arrive for SKC in demolition of Rapids

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The game in 100 words (or less): As it turns out, there are plenty of goals in this Sporting Kansas City side, who entered Sunday’s clash with the Colorado Rapids with the league’s worst goals total (two goals from four games). What transpired against last season’s stingiest defensive side (32 goals conceded in 34 games) defied all logic. Seth Sinovic, Gerso Fernandes and Dom Dwyer each scored their first goal of 2017, as Tim Melia, Matt Besler, Ike Opara (who was exceptional with his one-on-one defending all game long) and Co. kept their fourth clean sheet in five games came within 90 seconds of their fourth clean sheet in five games, only to be undone by a stoppage-time penalty converted by Kevin Doyle. Alas, they’ve now conceded two goals in five games, and look a genuine contender in the Western Conference. Sporting KC remain one of three teams still undefeated (FC Dallas and Toronto FC) on the season. Decent company, that is.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS (afternoon) roundup | Late-night ]

Three Four moments that mattered

6′ — Sinovic slams home from close range — Gerso Fernandes played the wicked ball across the face of goal, and Colorado dealt with the initial threat. Problem is: Sinovic was crashing the back post as a secondary target.

44′ — Badji climbs over Zusi, but Melia makes a stunning save — Dominique Badji pulled off what’s affectionately known as “the Darren Mattocks,” but Tim Melia was all over it, rushing across the face of goal to make the stop at the back post.

58′ — Gerso slots past Howard for 2-0 — The build-up was quick and smooth in midfield, from Dom Dwyer to Roger Espinoza, and the through ball was perfect. Tim Howard will update his scouting report on Fernandes: “Don’t let him have that shot with his left foot.”

85′ — Dwyer finishes another quick counter for 3-0 — Much like Sporting’s second goal, Dwyer’s clincher was equally easy on the eyes, as three passes unlocked the entire Rapids team and covered the entire field.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ike Opara

Goalscorers: Sinovic (6′), Fernandes (58′), Dwyer (85′), Doyle (90+4′)

Jermaine Jones says his critics are like those who hate Tom Brady

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Whether you love him, loathe him, or exist somewhere in between, it’s difficult to call Jermaine Jones anything but interesting.

The LA Galaxy and USMNT man spoke out again on Monday, largely because some asked him. Jones was a guest on an ESPN podcast and spilled his guts on his American soccer perception.

[ MORE: Gabriel Jesus back in training ]

The comments were colorful, as usual for Jones, with the midfielder harboring hopes for a 2018 World Cup spot and wondering why American fans don’t his strong European record with the same respect proffered to Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey.

Part of that could be down to Howard and Dempsey thriving in the Premier League while Jones got less U.S. TV time operating in Germany aside from short spells at Blackburn and Besiktas.

Debate those thoughts all you like, but we gravitated to his self-comparison to NFL star Tom Brady. Jones is fine with being hated like the Super Bowl-winning QB.

“That is normal. I respect that it is the kind of sport, you know. You have to get hated. If I look in football, look how many people hate Tom Brady, but he is out there and he balling, he gets the championship year for year.

“End of the day, if somebody hates you, that is what i learned from one coach. If they hate you, end of the day, they hate you because they are scared of you.”