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MLS (afternoon) roundup: NYCFC come back vs. NE; FCD, POR stalemate

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Ismael Tajouri scored two goals and Sean Johnson had five saves to help New York City FC play the New England Revolution to a 2-2 draw Saturday.

The 23-year-old Tajouri, who has appeared in four MLS games, has three goals in the last two matches while filling in for the injured David Villa.

Yangel Herrera threaded a pass between two defenders to Tajouri, who turned and blasted a rising left-footer into the net to cap the scoring in the 76th minute.

Diego Fagundez bent a shot from well outside the box off the post to give New England (1-1-1) a 1-0 lead in the 11th. Tajouri tied it early in the second half, first-timing a cross from Saad Abdul-Salaam past a diving Matt Turner from near the penalty spot and Juan Agudelo’s header in the 63rd put the Revolution back in front. Cristian Penilla played a perfect cross from the left side to Agudelo who finished from the top of the 6-yard box.

NYCFC (4-0-0) is off to its best start in history and has won a franchise-record five in a row, dating to the 2017 playoffs.


FRISCO, Texas (AP) Roland Lamah scored his third goal in two games and Jimmy Maurer had a career-high five saves in FC Dallas’ 1-1 tie with the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Lamah, who had two goals and an assists in FC Dallas’ 3-0 win over Seattle on Sunday, opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Jacori Hayes evaded two defenders and then tapped it to Lamah, who rolled a left-footer past a diving Jake Gleeson into the net from the top of the penalty arc.

Sebastian Blanco side-netted a left-footer from the top of the box to tie it in the 47th.

FC Dallas (1-0-2) is unbeaten in its last nine home matches.

Lawrence Olum, who was shown a yellow card for unsporting behavior in the 44th minute, drew a red for a hand ball in the 75th for Portland (0-2-1).

CCL wrap: FC Dallas disappoints; Club America struts (video)

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The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas

Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.

Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.

Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America

Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.

Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET

Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.

FC Dallas blocks USMNT call-ups amid CCL prep

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According to a number of US Soccer writers, including Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep and Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Major League Soccer club FC Dallas has blocked any of its players from attending the USMNT January Camp despite US Soccer initially calling in a number of the club’s players.

The players called in were not named, but midfielder Kellyn Acosta is likely one of them, a player who despite seemingly cementing his position as a repeat call-in, has struggled in his recent international appearances and at just 22 years old, could use all the time he can get in the national setup.

Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez is another young player who would find time in the January camp invaluable. The 22-year-old won the starting job at FC Dallas and is considered to be a significant challenger to take over long-term for Tim Howard, having committed to the United States over Mexico. 27-year-old defender Matt Hedges is a player on the fringes of the national setup and someone who would find the time in January camp particularly useful.

FC Dallas released a statement alluding to the reports, backing up the claims and providing reasoning for their decision. “Our sole focus right now is preparing for the 2018 MLS season and our CONACAF Champions League matches in February,” said FC Dallas VP of Media and Communications Gina Miller via email to members of the media.  “We will have a number of new players to integrate into the club. It’s important for our coaches and technical staff to have the full roster of players available to do that.”

MLS clubs are not allowed to begin official training until January 22nd per the collective bargaining agreement, but reports say Hedges is leading unofficial team workouts. FC Dallas begins its CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage journey  January 20th on the road at Panamanian club Tauro FC, with the second leg at home seven days later. They begin the MLS season on March 3rd at home against Real Salt Lake.

Galarcep pointed out that all four other Major League Soccer teams in the CONCACAF Champions League – Colorado, Toronto, Seattle Sounders, and the New York Red Bulls – have players taking part in the January camp, including Tyler Adams (RBNY), Cristian Roldan (Seattle), Jordan Morris (Seattle), and Marlon Hairston (Colorado).

Kamara, Zimmerman move in half-day MLS trade window

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One of the quirks of Major League Soccer is on full display Sunday.

Hours after Toronto FC won its first MLS Cup, the league saw its half-day trade window unleash a variety of deals on the league.

Kei Kamara leaving New England is going to steal the headlines, but LAFC may have made the top move of the day.

[ MORE: Liverpool 1-1 Everton ]

The first-year club reportedly sent $500,000 in combined GAM and TAM plus the top spot in the allocation order to FC Dallas for center back Walker Zimmerman. The 24-year-old big back will be a horse for Bob Bradley in California.

Kamara has been sent to Vancouver as a Designated Player in exchange for the ‘Caps’ “2019 natural first round SuperDraft pick and a conditional 2020 second round SuperDraft selection.”

Sporting KC shook things up as well, collecting Kenwyne Jones — who’s announced his retirement — Alexander Tambakis, and a fourth round pick from Atlanta United for Tyler Pasher, Kevin Oliveira, and a second round pick.

Oh, and this:

New York City FC has acquired $75,000 of General Allocation Money and a 2018 international slot in exchange for French back Frederic Brillant, who has signed a two-year deal with DC United. DC also acquired an attacking piece in the negotiating rights to Jamaican winger Darren Mattocks from Portland for an international roster spot.

Minnesota coach Adrian Heath has acquired his son, Harrison Heath, from Orlando City for a fourth-round draft pick. Heath will count as a Homegrown Player for the Loons.

FC Dallas owner: Pay-to-play not an issue within U.S. Soccer

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The upcoming U.S. Soccer presidential election has brought up plenty of flaws within the American soccer community following the U.S. Men’s National Team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Which cities are the favorite in the latest MLS expansion rankings? ]

However, one Major League Soccer owner has made his feelings clear on one particular issue, which many seem to disagree upon.

FC Dallas owner and president Dan Hunt has suggested that pay-to-play isn’t a problem within the U.S. soccer youth community, a stance he says he’s maintained throughout the years.

During a Facebook Live session on Friday, seen on FC Dallas’ Facebook page, Hunt relayed his thoughts on pay-to-play and other topics.

“I’ve said it before in multiple interviews, we’ve got to cast our net wider to continue to make sure we get quality players,” Hunt said. “I’ve heard allegations [that] pay-to-play limits – it does not. That is, I think, farcical at best. And the reason I say that is because these kids that are the top talent, they’re identified and they have different opportunities than other players…. I think that’s just wrong. But I do think we have to cast broader nets.”

“We’re losing a huge demographic,” Martino told GotSoccer. “An enormous portion of the soccer landscape is priced out of the game, or through lack of access, is not getting into the system.”