MLS UK TV Schedule: May 2017 – 12 live games in four weeks

We’re nine weeks into the 2017 MLS season and it’s already proven to be as unpredictable as ever. The likes of Orlando City and Portland Timbers are flying, while LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union are in danger of being left behind after slow starts.

May will see a total of 52 MLS games played across the league and UK fans will be able to catch 12 of the games live on Sky Sports. Seattle, Atlanta and NYCFC fans will be able to watch their teams play three times each this month, with 14 of the league’s 22 sides live on Sky at least once over the next four weeks.

Saturday, May 6th

Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports Mix

DC United vs Montreal Impact – 23:00 BST – Sky Sports Mix

Sunday, May 7th

Minnesota United vs Sporting Kansas City – 18:30 BST – Sky Sports Mix

New York City FC vs Atlanta United – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Saturday, May 13th

Montreal Impact vs Columbus Crew – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Sunday, May 14th

Portland Timbers vs Atlanta United – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

NY Red Bulls vs LA Galaxy – 23:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

Saturday, May 20th

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

Sunday, May 21st

Minnesota United vs LA Galaxy – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

Orlando City vs New York City FC – 00:00* BST – Sky Sports 2

*This game is officially listed as Monday, May 22nd but will take place late on the Sunday evening.

Saturday, May 27th

Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Sunday, May 28th

Atlanta United vs New York City FC – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

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MLS UK TV Schedule: April 2017 – 14 games to be shown live over next 5 weeks

The 2017 MLS season has got off to a flyer, with 99 goals scored in the first 35 games of the new season – an average of 2.83 per game. Atlanta United have taken to the league without any real struggle, while fellow expansion side Minnesota United have been conceding goals for fun. They have shipped 18 in just four matches, accounting for 18% of the league’s goals in March.

April is now upon us and with some form now in the books, plenty of teams will be heading into the first full month of the season with varying degrees of optimism. There are 55 MLS games to enjoy over the next five weeks and UK viewers will be able to enjoy 14 of them live on Sky Sports. More games could be added to the TV listings as the month goes on and they will be added to the list below when confirmed.

 

17 of the league’s 22 sides will play at least once on UK television in April, with Orlando City fans set to see their team play all five of their fixtures on Sky Sports over the next month.

Saturday, April 1st

New York City FC vs San Jose Earthquakes – 19:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Columbus Crew SC vs Orlando City – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Saturday, April 8th

Toronto FC vs Atlanta United – *00:30 BST – Sky Sports 3

*This game is officially listed as Sunday, April 9th but will take place late on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, April 9th

Orlando City vs New York Red Bulls – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Saturday, April 15th

Orlando City vs LA Galaxy – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Saturday, April 22nd

Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact – 18:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Sunday, April 23rd

New York City FC vs Orlando City – 18:30 BST – Sky Sports 3

LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Saturday, April 29th

Orlando City vs Colorado Rapids – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports Mix

New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire – *00:30 BST – Sky Sports 2

*This game officially takes place on Sunday, April 30th but will be played late on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, April 30th

Atlanta United vs DC United – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

MLS UK TV Schedule: March 2017 – 12 games in 5 weeks as season begins

The 2017 MLS season is here at last. A record-high 22 teams will be competing for glory in the league’s 22nd year. There are 374 games between now and the end of the regular season, at which point 12 teams will once again go through the drama of the MLS Cup Playoffs until the 2017 MLS Cup Champions is announced in December.

The first month of MLS action will showcase the two new expansion franchises, Atlanta United and Minnesota United – who face each other in Minnesota on the second weekend of the new season. We’ll also see Orlando City’s brand new soccer-specific stadium in action from the opening weekend when the Lions host New York City FC on Sunday, March 5th at 10pm GMT (5pm ET).

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That game is live on Sky Sports 2 for UK fans and is one of 12 fixtures currently scheduled to be broadcast live over the first five weeks of the new season. 15 of the 22 clubs will be in action live in the UK over the course of the opening month, with NYCFC fans lucky enough to see their team play three weeks in a row:

Saturday, March 4th

LA Galaxy vs FC Dallas – 21:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Sunday, March 5th

Orlando City vs New York City FC – 22:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday, March 11th

Montreal Impact vs Seattle Sounders – *00:00 GMT – Sky Sports 4

*This game is officially Sunday March 12th, but takes place at midnight on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, March 12th

New York City FC vs DC United – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Minnesota United vs Atlanta United – 21:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday, March 18th

New York City FC vs Montreal Impact – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC – 20:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Sunday, March 19th

Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls – 23:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday March 25th

New England Revolution vs Minnesota United – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports 5

New York Red Bulls vs Real Salt Lake – 20:00 GMT – Sky Sports 5

Friday, March 31st

Toronto FC vs Sporting Kansas City – *00:30 GMT – Sky Sports 2

This game is officially listed at Saturday, April 1 but will take place after midnight on the Friday evening.

Sky Sports pundits see funny side of Fabregas’ red card against West Brom

Chelsea may have won the league but they weren’t willing to take their game at West Brom on Monday night easy.

The Blues were fired up from the word go, with the returning Diego Costa adding some bite back into the team, but Jose Mourinho’s side went down to ten men early on as Cesc Fabregas saw red in the first-half for a bizarre incident.

The Spanish midfielder fired a ball at Chris Brunt’s head from distance while the referee was trying to calm the players down after an incident involving Diego Costa in the box, with the Blues already down 1-0.

Fabregas was sent off for the shot, and Chelsea were left to play the rest of their final away game of the season with ten men.

But Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville couldn’t help but see the funny side of the incident, with Neville labelling Fabregas’ hit as “a hell of a strike”.

“I’m not sure why Eden Hazard throws the ball to Fabregas. There’s definitely intent to want the ball [from Fabregas]. I have to say, it’s a hell of a strike. I think it’s a red, because it’s stupid,” he said laughing during the halftime analysis.

“The referee never really has control of the situation. It’s a bizarre one but it’s a red card because it’s dangerous. The ball could have hit the referee and broken someone’s nose.”

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Carragher also agreed the incident deserved a red card but feels that the whole situation could have been avoided if the defenders ignored Costa’s antics beforehand.

“I’d have loved to have played against him [Diego Costa]. If I was against him I’d say ‘stop there, get on with the game’. That would have stopped all that followed.

“I think it’s probably a red card but not my favourite of the season.”

Liverpool legend urges Arsenal to strengthen this summer

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has urged Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to strengthen his squad this summer.

The comments come as Arsenal drew 1-1 against Manchester United on Sunday, and Souness suggested that to win the title, Arsenal would need to strengthen over the summer.

“Forget spine, forget any names, if you’re a big football club and you’re not strengthening, you’re standing still as all the other big clubs will be strengthening.” Souness said on Sky Sports.

Arsenal’s title drought has stretched another year and it’s now eleven years without winning the league for the Gunners.

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A topic that has sparked debate is Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy recently. Arsenal have made a marquee signing in each of the last two summer transfer windows, adding Mesut Ozil in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez in 2014.

Both players have been brilliant recently and Souness has suggested that Arsenal should once again look to spend big in the market.

Should Arsenal look to strengthen again it would be interesting to see who they target, as it seems that they will be competing with rivals: Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea for the biggest names available.

Do Arsenal need to strengthen this summer, and which players should they be looking at?

Arsenal legends believe Premier League title race isn’t over

Former Arsenal strikers and club legends Thierry Henry and Alan Smith believe that the Premier League title race isn’t over yet despite Chelsea being four points clear of the Gunners with two games in hand.

“If they beat Chelsea, they will put some doubt in their mind,” Henry said on Sky Sports while talking after Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Burnley.

“But there is one thing I want to go back to what Aaron Ramsey said. He said, and we clearly understood because he said it two or three times, that he doesn’t like it much playing on the right of midfield. But this will do a job for the team.

“The run they are on is because they are doing things they don’t like, but they do it for the team. That’s why they are doing what they are doing, and maybe why they didn’t perform at the start of the season because they were not doing it,” the Frenchman added.

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Alan Smith agreed with Henry and thinks that Arsenal can put pressure on Chelsea if they win when the sides clash at the Emirates Stadium in two weeks time.

“They have to beat [Chelsea] if they are going to win the league, and that will put doubt in the mind of Jose Mourinho’s players,” Smith said.

“The way they’re playing, they’ve got more than enough going forward to make chances and score. Even against a defence like Chelsea’s.

“But they can’t afford any slip-ups you would probably say because you really cannot see Chelsea dropping many other points.”

Do you agree with Thierry Henry and Alan Smith? Can Arsenal win the Premier League this season?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union

Venue: Toyota Park – Sunday, March 29 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Chicago Fire 6/4 – Draw 23/10Philadelphia Union 7/4

Match Preview

Chicago Fire host Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park on Sunday evening in an all Eastern Conference clash as both sides look for their first win of the 2015 MLS campaign.

The Fire have had a slow start to the season, losing their first three games and they already find themselves rooted to the foot of both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.

Philadelphia suffered their first defeat at home to FC Dallas last weekend having previously tied their opening game at home to Colorado before an entertaining 3-3 draw with Real Salt Lake a week later. The Union are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference.

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Chicago have struggled to find the net in the early stages of this season but Harry Shipp did manage to notch their first goal during the 2-1 defeat at San Jose last time out.

Head coach Jim Curtin has only seen his Philadelphia side pick up one win out of their last ten games in MLS if you carry over from last season’s fixtures, and they will be desperately trying to pick up three points against a Chicago side that appear to be there for the taking.

The Fire have an even worse recent record in MLS, with just one win in their last 12 games and head coach Frank Yallop has got a lot of work to do in order to turn things round.

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The last meeting between these two was a 1-1 draw back in October. In-fact, all three of last season’s games between Chicago and Philadelphia ended in a tie.

Team News

Chicago Fire will be without long-term absentee Mike Magee. Midfielders Patrick Nyarko and Razvan Cocis are also out, while Shaun Maloney and David Accam are away on international duty. The Fire have signed midfielder Víctor Pérez on-loan from Spanish side Real Valladolid, so he could make his debut.

Philadelphia Union have survived the international duty exodus, but do have a long list injuries. C. J. Sapong, Cristian Maidana, Eric Bird, Sheanon Williams and Conor Casey are all out. Goalkeeper Andre Blake is also unlikely to return to the squad following knee surgery a month ago. Zach Pfeffer will miss out through suspension.

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Key Points

Chicago Fire’s form: L/L/L

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/D/L

Key Stat: There has never been a goalless draw between these two sides.

Key Player: Fernando Aristeguieta – With two goals from his opening three games, he is Philadelphia’s main goal threat and Chicago have got a job on their hands trying to contain him.

Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-2 Philadelphia Union – Chicago Fire have had a poor start and the Union should edge out their first victory of the season and heap more misery on Frank Yallop’s men.

Alan Curbishley says manager job insecurity to blame for lack of youth development

Ex-Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley has said that instability at Premier League clubs and regular managerial changes is affecting the development of young English players.

Gus Poyet was the most recent manager to succumb to the pressure to succeed in such a short space of time and he was sacked by Sunderland after being in charge for just one year and five months.

Poyet’s name is just another added to the long list of Premier League manager’s that have barely stepped foot in the door before being given the boot or walking away from the club.

Short-term Premier League managerial posts since 2011

Short-term Premier League managerial posts since 2011

“You’re averaging a year in the Premier League for a manager at the moment and if you think that you’re only going to be in the job for a year, then your thinking has got to be short-term and it’s about survival and doing well,” said Alan Curbishley while speaking on The Morning View for Sky Sports News.

“There’s pressure on clubs to do well, so if there is a choice between playing a young player for the future of the club or bring in an experienced player, if your job’s on the line, you’re invariably going to go for the experienced player.”

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Curbishley is currently coaching at Championship side Fulham and believes that unless manager’s are given the chance to be in the job for a significant period of time, they won’t be able to think about the club’s future.

“When you think long-term, that’s when you become more open to bringing in young players and developing them.

“That’s the problem at the moment, there’s only a couple of managers in the Premier League, and I’ll probably say Arsene Wenger’s one of them, who has been there for the long run, so he can afford to bring his young players through if he can.

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“There’s managers that get into a job and think they’re only going to be around for a year or a little bit longer than that – they’re the ones who have got the problem.

“I think until we make it more stable for the manager, the manager’s only going to start thinking short-term, and that then is detrimental to the young players.”

Do Premier League manager’s need longer in the job in order to develop young players?

Arsenal Invincible says Premier League refs are ‘worst he’s seen’

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour believes the standard of refereeing in the Premier League this season is the worst he has seen.

Talking on ‘The Morning View’ on Sky Sports News on Monday, Parlour was asked about the need for video technology to aid referees.

“The only reason we’re talking about this is because there have been such bad performances by referees this season,” Parlour said.

He went on to add that the standard of officiating is “probably the worst I’ve seen in a season”. A very bold claim when you consider that he spent twelve years playing for Arsenal and has been following Premier League football for 23 years now.

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PHOTO: Referee Neil Swarbrick sent off the wrong man in Saturday’s Premier League game between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion.


He did, however, give a brief reason as to why the standard has dropped: “Look, maybe it’s tougher now. Maybe it’s tougher to keep an eye on everything, maybe the game is quicker now.

“The standard of refereeing has definitely gone down. There’s too many mistakes, and that’s crucial for clubs.”

The comments made by Parlour come after UEFA general secretary, Gianni Infantino suggested there is no need for video technology to be introduced.

“There would be no mistaken identity if you had the additional assistant referees, because they will see immediately what happens and can rectify all decisions,” said Infantino. “It is easy to say technology is needed.

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“It seems easy to call for technology as soon as you see an action that seems a bit controversial. It depends on which team you support; you have a different point of view. I think what is needed is an appropriate debate as well on this topic.

“What does it mean? What are we speaking about here? Technology is already in football with goalline technology.

“But, for everything else, it’s very much a judgement question for the referee – and has to remain with the referee as well in the future.”

Well what does it mean?

If the standard of refereeing in Premier League is dropping, surely actions should be taken to improve the officiating? Especially when there is technology available that will help.

Jamie Carragher says being sold by Mourinho has hindered Juan Mata

Juan Mata has struggled to live up to his £37.1m transfer value since moving to Manchester United and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher thinks Jose Mourinho’s decision to sell him has led people to believe he isn’t the same player he was.

Carragher believes Mata was one of Chelsea‘s best players when he joined from Valencia in 2011.

“Lets not forget about Mata, he was outstanding in those first two years,” he said while working as pundit for Sky Sports during the match coverage of Liverpool vs Manchester United on Sunday.

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But Carragher thinks the sale of Mata has lead to people questioning the qualities of the 26-year-old.

“You can’t argue with Jose Mourinho for what he has done in the game, for the trophies he has won, so if he thinks Mata is not good enough, people have question marks against him.”

Mata was the star of the show at Anfield on Sunday as he scored both goals in Man United’s 2-1 win against Liverpool – one of which a contender for goal of the season.

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The Spanish international has seven goals in 25 Premier League appearances this season – four more than record signing Angel Di Maria. Mata has also created an impressive 31 chances.

Mata needs just five more goals this season to equal his 2012/13 tally in his final full season at Chelsea, which is something he can achieve if he plays with the same intensity and freedom as he did against Liverpool.

Has Juan Mata been worth the fee Manchester United paid for him?