Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Without Rooney, DC United manages to outlast Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): D.C. United were without star Wayne Rooney, who recently announced he’ll be joining Derby County as a player-coach in January, but they managed to eek out three points, defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in front of a packed Audi Field. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, however, did feature in the matchup, and he was overwhelmingly occupied. The Swede posted 14 shots, setting a new MLS record for most shots in a match. When all was said and done, though, Zlatan failed to score, and the Galaxy suffered a third-straight loss. Surely, Guillermo Barros Schelotto was expecting more from new signing, Cristian Pavon. And maybe from his team’s finishing, too.

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Arriola as cool and composed as ever before —

Rooney-less, someone needed to step up for United. Arriola proved to be that someone early on with a simple, delicate finish.

48′ — Alvarez levels things out  —

What Zlatan and Pavon failed to do, Alvarez did: score. It was a well-placed ball, too.

73′ — Rodriguez saves the day for the Red-and-Black  —

The set of saves from David Bingham are a highlight in and of itself. Rodriguez’s finish, though, makes the sequence makes it all that much better, and earned D.C. United three points at home.

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Record crowd sees ATLUTD cruise past Zlatan-less Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): It’s tough to win on the road when you concede a pair of own goals before halftime, a lesson duly noted by the LA Galaxy as Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side was handily beaten by defending champions Atlanta United in front of a regular-season record crowd of 72,548 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The visitors were without superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspended) and managed just four shots on targets over 90 minutes (all four came inside the game’s opening 25 minutes). After starting the season slowly under new head coach Frank De Boer, have turned things around and summited the Eastern Conference standings. LA, meanwhile, have just three wins from their last eight games (five losses) and could tumble from third to fifth place in the Western Conference before the weekend is over.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Pity forces the own goal by Romney — Own goal no. 1.

43′ — Josef lurks and forces Gonzalez into a desperate situation — Own goal no. 2.

72′ — Martinez ties his own record with a penalty kick — Josef Martinez showed lingering effects of his tragic penalty attempt of two weeks ago.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Romney (23′ – OG), Gonzalez (43′ – OG), Martinez (72′ – PK)

MLS Weekend Preview: Prairie dog plague hits Rapids game

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Well, this is not where we believed we’d begin the Major League Soccer weekend preview, but such is life after the All-Star Game, we guess.

The Colorado Rapids had to cancel a fireworks display and restrict stadium parking for Saturday’s match against Montreal due to, wait for it, the plague.

[ MORE: Newcastle adds Ligue 1 stat star ]

Prairie dog colonies in the area are dealing with plague-infested fleas, and authorities think it’s wise to keep the tailgating on asphalt lots.

As for the fireworks, fleas love fireworks. Kidding, of course. Our best wishes to the people of Colorado for safety and health.

Atlanta United v. LA Galaxy – 5 p.m. ET Saturday

Already across the country, the Galaxy won’t have Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the fold due to yellow card accumulation against a Five Stripes team which hasn’t lost at home since April.

Atlanta is three points off the top of the East and is a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinalist. It also has the Campeones Cup against Club America later this month.

“We want to improve and want to be on top of every game and at the end also on top of the league, especially in our conference at the end of the season,” de Boer said, via AJC.com. “It’s our goal. It’s looking right. We are a team, and we want to be a top team. That means we want to play our best every week.  That’s how top teams work.”

New York Red Bulls v. Toronto FC – 6 p.m. ET Saturday

Both TFC and RBNY are in the thick of the race for the top spot in the East despite lengthy dry spells during this campaign.

Saturday’s match at Red Bull Arena will have the big names to provide fireworks (and probably no prairie dogs): Alejandro Pozuelo, Jozy Altidore, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Kaku… it should be a beauty.

Toronto is seven points out of first and two back of the Red Bulls heading into Saturday’s match.

The rest

New England v. LAFC – 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Orlando v. FC Dallas – 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
FC Cincinnati v. Vancouver Whitecaps – 8 p.m. ET Saturday
Colorado v. Montreal – 9 p.m. ET Saturday
Houston v. Chicago – 9 p.m. ET Saturday
Real Salt Lake v. NYCFC – 10 p.m. ET Saturday
San Jose v. Columbus – 10 p.m. ET Saturday
Minnesota United v. Portland – 4 p.m. ET Sunday
DC United v. Philadelphia – 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday
Seattle v. Sporting KC – 10 p.m. ET Sunday

MLS All-Star Game preview: Joao Felix visits Florida

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Some of the biggest generational names of soccer will be in the lineup when the MLS All Stars face Atletico Madrid in Orlando on Tueday, but many eyes will be trained on a teenager.

$134 million teenager Joao Felix will be in the fold for Atleti on Wednesday in Florida, on the heels of a 1-goal, 2-assist performance against Real Madrid and ahead of a La Liga debut in August.

[ MORE: Lukaku, Dybala swap? ]

So while it’ll be pretty cool to see Diego Costa test the MLS All-Stars, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Co. go up against Diego Simeone’s stingy defense, there will be a special focus on a youngster getting as much international focus as any teen star not named Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the past decade.

Once-capped by Portugal, Felix burst into stardom last season with Benfica. Felix scored 20 times in all competitions, including 15 in league play, and earned the big purchase from Atleti.

Now, he’ll show us what a 19-year-old megawatt potential can do against USMNT center back Walker Zimmerman, World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Atlanta United star defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez.

And if Felix is supposed to be worried about going up against physical defenders, let alone La Liga’s stars, he’s not letting on (via AS):

“Nothing can stop me playing my football. I might not have a lot physically, but I have other things that the rest don’t have. And that will help me a lot.”

The match kicks off after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

FOLLOW LIVE: Ten games to catch on busy MLS Saturday

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With MLS All-Star Week coming up, the remaining MLS weekend schedule is squeezed into Saturday, with no less than ten games on tap.

[ FOLLOW: MLS Scoreboard]

The Washington Post reported on Friday that Wayne Rooney is back with D.C. United after taking a few days to return to England with coach Ben Olsen’s blessing. That meant Rooney missed D.C. United’s 2-0 defeat to Atlanta United last weekend as well as their 8-1 thrashing (with mostly fringe players, to be fair) against Marseille in midweek.

Now, Rooney could be set to go up against former Manchester United Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Chicago Fire, which is looking to move up in the table and snatch a playoff place.

Meanwhile, coming off a dramatic 3-2 derby win over Los Angeles FC, the LA Galaxy now travel north to face the Portland Timbers. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in stellar form, as seen with his three-goal display last week, but it will be interesting to see how he plays on the turf at the renovated Providence Park. The Timbers meanwhile have predictably seen their form turn positive since returning home, losing just once in their last seven games.

Follow along with us at the link above and stay tuned for more reaction and analysis post game here on PST!

Saturday’s MLS schedule

New England Revolution v. Orlando City — 7 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls v. Columbus Crew — 7:30 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire v. D.C. United — 8 p.m. ET
FC Dallas v. Real Salt Lake — 8 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo v. Seattle Sounders — 8 p.m. ET
Minnesota United v. Vancouver Whitecaps — 8 p.m. ET
Montreal Union v. Philadelphia Union — 8 p.m. ET
Toronto FC v. FC Cincinnati — 8 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes v. Colorado Rapids — 10 p.m. ET
Portland Timbers v. LA Galaxy — 10:30 p.m. ET