May 15, 2012
News and notes from around the league
|Philadelphia forward Lionard Pajoy scores in the 31st minute of Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park, snapping rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara’s league-record shutout streak at 321 minutes.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Mired in one of the worst starts in Major League Soccer history, Toronto FC has begun reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.
First Team Assistant Bob de Klerk has been promoted to Technical Manager and Toronto FC Junior Academy Coach Jim Brennan moves to the First Team as an Assistant Coach.
In his new role, de Klerk will be responsible for Toronto FC’s technical program, including advance and international scouting, as well as serving as the technical conduit between the First Team and Academy program. He also will assist players transitioning from the Academy into the First Team and support the education of Toronto FC coaches at all levels.
Brennan joins Toronto FC’s First Team after spending the last 15 months coaching TFC's (U-17) Junior Academy Team. Brennan became Toronto FC's first roster player and team captain in club history in September 2006. He retired as a player in 2010. Brennan joins First Team Coach Jason Bent and Goalkeeping Coach Stewart Kerr. Additionally, Director of Player Development Paul Mariner will take a more active role on the pitch, occasionally coaching the team’s strikers, in addition to his regular responsibilities.
Player of the week
New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen has been named the MLS Player of the Week after he scored two goals on Saturday in a 4-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
After Vancouver took an early lead, Nguyen’s first goal leveled the score, 1-1, in just the sixth minute. The Richardson, Texas native finished on a deflected shot by teammate Blake Brettschneider, placing strong shot into the corner of the net.
Nguyen’s next strike came in the 72nd minute, giving New England the 4-1 lead. From the left side of the field, 25 yards out, Nguyen controlled a throw-in and struck a half-volley into the far corner to notch his second goal of the night.
The goals were his first two of the season and of his MLS career.
New York’s Kenny Cooper and Houston’s Brad Davis received five votes and two votes respectively this week.
STREAK SNAPPED, BUT A NEW RECORD
When the New York Red Bulls surrendered a goal to Philadelphia Union forward Lionard Pajoy in the 31st minute of Sunday’s 3-2 victory, it snapped a 321-minute shutout streak by Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara. The streak is a record for MLS rookie goalkeepers, besting Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath's previous mark.
The Houston Dynamo’s May 26 match against the LA Galaxy is sold out.
“Ticket sales have been soaring for the last few weeks, but we have seen an even more heightened level of interest since Saturday’s successful opening,” said Dynamo President Chris Canetti. “We are pleased to see the first few games sold out and we look forward to carrying this momentum to the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup vs. Valencia on May 31 and the Texas Derby match vs. FC Dallas on June 16.”
An old rivalry renewed
Saturday will mark the 119th meeting between Seattle and Vancouver teams in league or cup play since the Sounders and Whitecaps first collided on June 9, 1974 at the old Empire Stadium in a North American Soccer League match.
Following the demise of the Sounders in 1983, a new club comprised almost entirely of homegrown players, FC Seattle, made its debut on June 10, 1984 at Memorial Stadium against the Whitecaps-one of four matches versus NASL teams in a challenge series. FC Seattle earned a 2-2 draw in the first match with Vancouver and scored its first victory against the 'Caps, 2-1, on August 4 at B.C. Place.
After the NASL folded, Vancouver also formed a club around its plentiful native talent. The 86ers began play in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987, and faced FC Seattle in seven friendlies beginning that season through 1990.
The rivalry was renewed in 1994, when the Sounders joined the 86ers in the A-League. Vancouver adopted the Whitecaps brand once again beginning in 2001, and soon after supporters groups from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver founded the Cascadia Cup, a three-way competition to determine Pacific Northwest supremacy amongst the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps.
Seattle vs. Vancouver Series
1974-83: NASL - Sounders 13 wins; Whitecaps 17 wins; 1 draw
1984: Friendlies - FC Seattle 1 win; Whitecaps 0 wins; 1 draw
1987-90: WSL/Friendlies - FC Seattle 3 wins; 86ers 3 wins; 0 draws
1994-08: USL-1 - Sounders 43 wins; 86ers/Whitecaps 25 wins; 16 draws
2011-present: MLS - Sounders 1 win; Whitecaps 0 wins; 1 draw
Totals: 125 matches played - Seattle 61 wins, Vancouver 45 wins; 19 draws
Saturday marks Seattle's first match at BC Place as a MLS franchise. On June 20, 1983, a crowd of 60,342 - a Pacific Northwest record attendance for soccer - packed BC Place for the first sporting event, Vancouver's 2-1 victory over Seattle. Nearly 20 years later, on July 28, 2002, the first event at Qwest Field drew a USL-1 record 25,515 for the Sounders' 4-1 win over the Caps.