MLS returned for the first time since the Gold Cup and Copa America started. MLS sides were still in action with the U.S. Open Cup, but league play started once again with a trimmed down slate. Real Salt Lake overcame an early Chicago goal to snag a solid point on the road. Dominique Badji and Jesus Ferreira dominated Toronto FC, as FC Dallas disposed of the Canadians 3-0 at home. While the performance of Badji and Ferreira was big, that wasn’t the biggest news to come out of this match. Sixteen-year-old Ricardo Pepi, who signed a homegrown deal with FC Dallas just the day before, made an anticipated MLS debut. Pepi came on in the 84th minute.
The Colorado Rapids went to the Pacific Northwest and took an early 2-0 lead in Vancouver, only to see it evaporate as the Whitecaps fought back to a 2-2 draw. The draw keeps the Whitecaps three points ahead of the last place Rapids. This season has been one for scoring goals on a players debut for the Portland Timbers. Brian Fernandez scored on his debut, and now you can add Marvin Loria to that list. Loria got the scoring started for the Timbers in their 4-0 pounding of the Houston Dynamo. It took 39 minutes for Portland to get on the scoreboard, but once they did the rout was on. The second half saw the Timbers add three goals in 14 minutes, including one through Fernandez. Fernandez has scored in every MLS appearance he has made and continues to put the ball in the back of the net. Diego Valeri was the man of the match for Portland. He scored a goal from the spot and added three assists, earning him MLS Player of the Week.
The state of Ohio has not been blessed in 2019 with good soccer. Both the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati were shut out at home. In front of a sold-out crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium, FC Cincinnati was once again handed another loss, this time at the hands of the LA Galaxy. Just up Interstate 71, the Columbus Crew were also held scoreless. Sporting Kansas City was victorious, 1-0 over a struggling Crew side.
The Gold Cup group stage is coming to a close, and the tournament has given us some incredible results. Haiti stunned Costa Rica, 2-1, in their Group B matchup, winning the group. The result was tough, forcing Costa Rica to now face tournament favorites Mexico. Before the nightcap, Bermuda notched its first Gold Cup victory. Minnows Curacao and Martinique, along with Bermuda, all captured a victory in the group stage.
The United States men’s national team rebounded from a rough stretch of friendlies before the Gold Cup to open up its tournament with two massive wins. It has outscored opponents 10-0 in its two matches. The most recent 6-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago was a much-needed result for the Americans. With the Gold Cup Quarterfinal round set to start this weekend, teams are looking to get into the best position to move towards capturing a Gold Cup championship.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
Jamaica vs. Curacao – 8 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
Honduras vs. El Salvador – 10:30 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
Trinidad & Tobago vs. Guyana – 6:30 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union – 7 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers – 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Orlando City – 8 p.m.
Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United – 8 p.m.
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 9 p.m.
Panama vs. United States – 9 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
San Jose Quakes vs. Houston Dynamo – 10:30 p.m.
New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire – 8 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Los Angeles FC – 10 p.m.
Minnesota United vs. FC Cincinnati – 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Atlanta United vs. Montreal Impact – 6 p.m.
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union – 7 p.m.
Haiti vs. Canada – 7 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City – 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Houston Dynamo – 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Toronto FC – 8 p.m.
Mexico vs. Costa Rica – 9:30 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
San Jose Quakes vs. LA Galaxy – 10 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City – 10 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 10 p.m.
Jamaica vs. Panama – 5:30 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
United States vs. Curacao – 8 p.m. (CONCACAF Gold Cup)
Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas – 11 p.m.
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for all things FC Cincinnati when they head west to face Minnesota United on Saturday.