Gallery: Seattle Sounders 1-1 Portland Timbers – Exclusive photos

Seattle Sounders 1-1 Portland Timbers – MLS Rivalry Week was rounded off by an ever-dramatic Cascadia Cup clash between two of the league’s fiercest rivals. There weren’t an abundance of goals but there was no shortage of talking points.

The Sounders took the lead in the 18th minute, with Cristian Roldan knocking a scrappy goal in after after a goalmouth scramble inside the six-yard box. The home fans didn’t care that it wasn’t pretty. They were on top.

But Portland didn’t give up, despite the fact they’ve still never won at CenturyLink Field in MLS. They pressed for an equaliser and were rewarded on the stroke of halftime.

Diego Valeri’s fine pass to Darren Mattocks resulted in the forward being brought down. Mark Geiger pointed to the spot and Valeri made no mistake, tying the game at 1-1.

That was how it would end. Both sides pressed for a potential winner but to no avail. Nouhou Tolo was sent off in the dying seconds for Seattle after raising his hands to the face of Diego Chara.

The two rivals end MLS Rivalry Week in first and second in the West. Seattle are top on 42 points, with Portland one behind on 41. However, both sides have played more games than Sporting KC, Vancouver and Houston, who are all chasing.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

Seattle Sounders 1-1 Portland Timbers – Exclusive photos:

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Gallery: Exclusive photos from Saturday’s crazy New York Derby as Red Bulls hit NYCFC for seven

New York saw its too MLS clubs go head-to-head for the first time this season on Saturday night, with the Red Bulls stunning everyone with an incredible 7-0 win at Yankee Stadium, leaving New York City FC fans in complete disarray.

The Red Bulls started the rout early as Dax McCarty scored after just three minutes to stun the home crowd. Things wouldn’t get any better for New York City as they watched goal after goal fly in at their expense.

The Red Bulls were rampant for the full 90 minutes with goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips (2), McCarty (2), Alex Muyl, Gonzalo Veron and Gideon Baah sealing a historic victory in the league’s newest rivalry.

The resounding win moved the Red Bulls up to third in the Eastern Conference, one place behind NYCFC in second.

The result saw the Red Bulls record the joint-largest winning margin in MLS history, with eight players chipping in with either a goal or an assist. Check out photos from Saturday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB Photographer, Ashley Marshall.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls 

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, May 21 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 6/4 – Draw 12/5 – NY Red Bulls 7/4

Match Preview

New York City FC host the New York Red Bulls in this season’s first New York Derby as part of MLS Rivalry Week on Saturday night.

Both sides were in action on Wednesday night and will hope fatigue doesn’t affect them here in what is a huge game for the city.

NYCFC have turned their season around in recent weeks and are in sublime form. Their 1-1 draw at Toronto on Wednesday saw them move to the top of the Eastern Conference and they are now unbeaten in five.

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New York City have only lost one of their six home games this term, but have only managed to win one too. Saturday’s game will be the first of four consecutive home games for the club in what is now an exciting period.

The Red Bulls aren’t quite in the same rich vein of form, but they have only lost one of their last five and have climbed up to fifth in the East ahead of the weekend’s fixtures.

Jesse Marsch watched his side win all three New York Derbies last season and getting three points here would be a major boost for the 2015 Supporters’ Shield winners.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

The problem is that New York haven’t performed well on the road at all this term. They have lost five of six games away from Red Bull Arena, drawing the only other one, and have only scored twice in those six outings.

As mentioned above, the Red Bulls emerged victorious in all three New York Derby clashes last season – the first year in MLS that the New York Derby was played – and so NYCFC would love to get a first-ever win over the Red Bulls on home soil here.

Team News

New York City FC will be without Connor Brandt yet again, while Frank Lampard’s long spell on the sidelines is also set to continue. Patrick Vieira made a number of changes for the midweek game at Toronto but the likes of Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Andoni Iraola and RJ Allen could all come back into the starting lineup for this huge clash.

New York Red Bulls remain without Damien Perrinelle, while Ryan Meara is still listed as ‘doubtful’. Gonzalo Veron might come into the starting lineup here but Jesse Marsch is unlikely to make many changes from the side that beat Chicago on Wednesday.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: D/W/W/W/D

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: New York City FC are on their longest unbeaten streak since joining MLS last year. Avoiding defeat here would stretch their run to six and would keep them in contention at the summit of the Eastern Conference.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker started Wednesday’s game in Toronto on the bench but should be even sharper here as a result. He has eight goals this season and has scored four in five at Yankee Stadium. Expect him to be in fine form on Saturday evening.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 New York Red Bulls – The Red Bulls have really struggled to produce results on the road this year and facing the conference’s most in-form team in an enormous rivalry game will really test the squad. NYCFC look in great shape and should retain their place at the top of the East with three huge points on Saturday.

 

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: RFK Stadium – Friday, May 13 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: DC United 15/8 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 29/20

Match Preview

DC United host the New York Red Bulls in the latest Atlantic Cup rivalry clash on Friday night between two Eastern Conference sides that need to improve after slow starts.

DC have won just two of their ten games so far and are sitting seventh in the East, level on points with the Red Bulls who sit one place above them heading into the contest.

Both of United’s wins have come at home and so they will be fairly confident ahead of Friday’s game, though last week’s 2-0 home loss to NYCFC will have dented confidence.

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DC know they need to improve quickly if they are to remain in contention for the playoffs come the end of the campaign. They play seven of their next ten games away from RFK Stadium so a crucial period of their season is approaching.

The Red Bulls looked doomed until three weeks ago. They had lost six of their first seven before then picking up seven points from their last three games.

Last week’s 1-1 draw in Orlando moved them into the top six for the first time this season and they will now have their eyes set on sides above them, with Jesse Marsch’s team just five points off the top of the East.

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Injuries have hampered their chances so far but key players are returning with each week and so things are starting to look up for the Red Bulls, who play three of their next four at home following Friday’s trip to DC.

These rivals met five times last year, three times in the regular season and twice in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the playoffs. The Red Bulls won four of the five meetings in total, with the only other game ending in a 2-2 draw at RFK Stadium back in April.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Team News

DC United will welcome back Chris Rolfe following his suspension, while Fabian Espindola could return from the hamstring problem that has kept him out for three weeks. Bill Hamid remains out, along with Andrew Dykstra, Charlie Horton, Chris Korb and Collin Martin.

New York still have doubts hanging over Gideon Baah and Connor Lade, though Gonzalo Veron made his return to action last week and will be in contention to start here. Aurelien Collin made his debut in defence alongside Ronald Zubar and the pair may play again here, with Baah unlikely to make the starting lineup. Damien Perrinelle and Ryan Meara remain sidelined.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

NY Red Bulls’ last five: L/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in five matches against DC United (W4 D1), all of which took place last year in the regular season and playoffs combined.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls striker endured a tough start to the season but has now scored three in three and will hope to continue to add to his tally in this important rivalry clash. He bagged four goals in five games against DC last term and will be confident of finding the net again here.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 New York Red Bulls – Both sides will be fired up for this game but the Red Bulls look in much better shape coming into the contest. DC are struggling for any sort of form and have not beaten their rivals in their last five attempts. It should be an entertaining game but the Red Bulls look more likely to walk away with three points.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, August 30 – 16:30 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 13/10  – Draw 12/5 – Portland 2/1

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders take on the Portland Timbers in the latest Cascadia Cup clash on Sunday night as part of Heineken Rivalry Week in MLS, with more than just bragging rights at stake in this Western Conference showdown.

The Sounders come into the game in horrendous form, having lost six of their last seven. They fell 2-0 at Real Salt Lake last weekend, failing to score for the fifth time in their past seven games and they come into the weekend outside of the playoff places – something very few could have predicted after 25 weeks of the regular season.

Seattle still have time to get back to their best but with games running out, and a playoff place far from guaranteed, the pressure is really on Sigi Schmid and his team to deliver.

Seattle’s 2015 MLS record: P26 – W11 – D2 – L13

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City

A fierce rivalry game against the Timbers will get the fans excited and a loss at home here would go down as a major disaster.

Portland come into the game in much better shape having gone unbeaten through their last four in MLS. They rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to the Houston Dynamo last Friday, with Lucas Melano scoring his first goal for his new side in that game.

 

Portland’s 2015 MLS record: P26 – W11 – D7 – L8

They travel to CenturyLink Field five points further ahead of the Sounders in fourth place in the West and know a win here will give their playoff chances a huge boost with just seven to go after Sunday’s clash.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

These two rivals will be meeting for the fourth time this season on Sunday. The two previous league games have seen each side win. Seattle took the first meeting 1-0 before Portland then won the reverse fixture 4-1 in June.

They also met in the US Open Cup in a crazy game that Portland won 3-1 after extra-time as the Sounders ended the game with seven players.

Photo: Max Aquino

Photo: Max Aquino

Team News

Seattle have several injury concerns ahead of this one. Andreas Correa, Andy Craven, Damion Lowe and Chad Barrett are all out, while Osvaldo Alonso, Leonardo Gonzalez and Clint Dempsey remain doubtful but could feature. Obafemi Martins is fit and will start in attack.

Portland will be without Diego Chara as the midfielder serves a one-game suspension following a red card last time out. Ben Zemanski is the Timbers’ only injury worry as he remains out with a torn ACL. Fanendo Adi and Lucas Melano will be battling for the starting striker role.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/W/L

Portland Timbers’ last five in MLS: L/D/W/W/D

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have never won away at Seattle in an MLS regular season game.

Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian forward is back to full fitness and is always a threat at CenturyLink Field. He has scored twice in Seattle’s last home game and will need to lead the attack on Sunday night to give the Sounders a chance of victory.

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City Obafemi Martins

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-2 Portland Timbers – Games between these two are often highly enjoyable affairs and this one should be no different. It’s tough to pick a winner going into the game and a score draw could be the most likely outcome and both will be so worried about losing such a big game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Toyota Park – Sunday, August 2 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Chicago 6/4 – Draw 12/5 – Dallas 17/10

Match Preview

Chicago Fire take on FC Dallas in this season’s only regular season meeting as the two sides at either end of the Supporters’ Shield standings go head-to-head in the latest Brimstone Cup matchup.

Chicago come into the game off the back of a 2-2 draw with New England Revolution last weekend. They ended a two-game losing run with that draw but will be disappointed to have let a 2-1 lead slip in the final 15 minutes.

Frank Yallop’s team sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and are watching their playoff hopes fade on a weekly basis as sides around them pick up points. The Fire are five points off sixth place and need to start winning their home games to stand any chance.

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That won’t be easy this week against a Dallas side in unstoppable form right now, though the Fire have won this fixture in each of the last three seasons and have now officially won four Brimstone Cup titles – four less than Dallas.

FCD will expect to claim the bragging rights in this rivalry on Sunday though for the first time in four years, since they beat Chicago 2-1 at Toyota Park in 2011.

They come into the game off the back of five-straight wins and are just one victory away from equalling their best ever winning streak record of six games. They did that at the end of 1999 and start of 2000 so it would be quite a feat if they can secure all three points on Sunday.

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Three points would also see them remain at the top of both the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings so there is so much at stake for Oscar Pareja’s men this weekend.

Team News

Chicago will be without Jeff Larentowicz and Ty Harden, while Mike Magee is a doubt. Kennedy Igboananike will expect to start as the lone striker once again with David Accam out wide.

FC Dallas have no injury concerns ahead of this one and could name an unchanged side from the team that beat Portland 4-1 last week. Michael Barrios score twice last week and will look to impress again.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/W/L/L/D

FC Dallas’ last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: FC Dallas have scored at least two goals in each of their last five games, winning all of those.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Colombian winger impressed in the second-half of the MLS All-Star game and has four goals in his last six games for FCD. Expect him to hurt Chicago on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-3 FC Dallas – Chicago may have won the last three meetings between the two but Dallas look to be unbeatable. They will be too strong for the Fire here and will equal their best ever winning streak record of six games come the end of play on Sunday night.

Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake settle for draw as fierce rivalry continues

By Keave Tollington – Twitter: @KeaveT

Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten in their 2015 campaign as they took home a hard-earned point on the road in Sporting Kansas City‘s ‘Blue Hell’ this weekend, after the sides played out a competitive 0-0 draw at Sporting Park.

Sporting Park was of course the scene of the 2013 MLS Cup final, in a game where RSL lost on penalties as SKC were crowned MLS Cup Champions. Real Salt Lake have now had 3 clean sheets in just 5 league games with MLS shutout king Nick Rimando responsible for most of those.

After strong yields from each team it is easy to see why a goalless scoreline might of felt unjust to both sets of supporters – particularly Sporting Kansas City, as they managed 12 shots on goal compared to RSL’s 4.

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The teams have built up a fierce rivalry in the past few seasons that was only accentuated by Sporting KC’s move to the Western Conference this year.

According to former RSL manager, Jason Kreis, the feud began during an extremely physical preseason match between the pair in Arizona back in 2011.

Kreis told MLSsoccer.com back in 2013 that the “very, very physical affair” came as “Kansas City was just starting to implement a really competitive nature about themselves. And we were embarrassing them a little bit preseason, 2-0, knocking the ball around,” the current New York City FC boss said.

The preseason game was halted at 2-2 after a brawl broke out amongst players, as the referee had reportedly sent off the wrong Sporting KC player. Many match reports have disputed whether Real Salt Lake midfielder, Javier Morales, was kicked in the head shortly after the match was stopped but the ‘uncontrollable’ melee has most probably left both camps with ill feelings towards each other.

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Head coach Jeff Cassar will now look to extend RSL’s unbeaten run when Rio Tinto plays host to MLS leaders, Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, while Sporting Kansas City face a tough trip to reigning champions, LA Galaxy next weekend.

Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City are both tied on nine points in the Western Conference after six weeks and will meet each other twice more this season at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The next installment of their rivalry will come on June 22, with the third and final matchup coming on July 25.