The massive double gameweek didn’t start well. The first day was full of madness / drama with 26 goals staggering 29 yellow and 4 red cards. Two of the highest owned players were sent off, and a third ended with an injury scare. Nevertheless, it was a busy round with 56 goals including 6 braces and 7 clean sheets, and the Dream Team was dominated by Seattle and NYRB players.
Gameweek 20 Review
Montreal Impact took the three points against Philadelphia Union. Salazar opened the scoring earlier but Picault levelled it two minutes before half time. The winning goal came from Dzemaili in the 51st minute 2-1. New York City FC had to settle for a draw at home with Toronto FC. Morgan gave the lead to the visitors but Villa cancelled that before the end of the first half. Moralez got a second for NYC but the Canadians were awarded penalty at the closing stages of the game and it ended 2-2.
New York Red Bulls trashed San Jose Earthquakes. The only goal in the first half was produced by Davis. The action happened in the last 15 minutes when Kljestan scored to be followed by Felipe. Kazaishvili netted the consolation goal but Royer topped this with a brace within a minute 5-1. Despite the many chances Houston Dynamo remained winless on the road at Minnesota United. A big contribution for this was Bobby Shuttleworth who saved all four attempts from the guests 0-0. Once again LA Galaxy failed to win at home, this time they crashed under Vancouver Whitecaps. The visitors were missing five key players but that didn’t stop them to take the win with the only goal from Tchani 0-1.
There was a disastrous night at Providence Park when Portland Timbers welcomed Real Salt Lake. From the word go the host looked lost. Beckerman was quick to put the visitors in front and the Timbers managed somehow to hold further embarrassment in the first half. In the second Plata scored a PK but then the red card show started. Portland was left with nine men within two minutes when Arboleda and Adi were given the marching orders. A minute later Beckerman had to leave the field as well. The guests took advantage and Rusnak scored followed by Plata with his second. Barmby netted one in the last seconds 1-4.
The drama continued at CenturyLink Field between Seattle Sounders and D.C. United. The home team hardly found the ball in the first half allowing two goals from Brown and Harkes. Shortly in the second half, Sam added a third. That was the turning point when the host came back with four goals from Bruin, Evans, Svensson and Roldan. The pressure took over and Lodeiro’s frustration earned him a red card 4-3.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 20, 2017
Orlando City failed to win against Atlanta United at home. Despite the 14 shots and 6 corners the Lions couldn’t find the net as Guzan made his debut with five saves. Four minutes before regular time Villalba scored the winner 0-1. New York City FC was left with 10 men early in the game against Chicago Fire. Shortly after the start of the second half Villa scored and he was followed by Brilliant in three minutes. The only goal from the visitor came from Accam 2-1. Minnesota United ended with no points at home while hosting New York Red Bulls. Royer opened the scoring with BWP adding a second and Muyl made them three 0-3.
D.C United lost again this time against Houston Dynamo. Everything happened in the early stage of the game when the visitors were up three goals from Wenger, Manotas and Rodriguez. The consolation goal was scored by Boswell 1-3. Toronto FC finished with another draw in their second game of the round. The very early goal from Chapman was matched by one from Badji for Colorado Rapids 1-1. Columbus Crew took three points against Philadelphia Union. After a goalless first half the only goal came from Meram 1-0.
Meram with the shot deflected in by Yaro. 1-0 Columbus! pic.twitter.com/dfNBaxEusA
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 23, 2017
Montreal Impact lost their second home game hosting FC Dallas. Salazar gave the lead to the host but the guests came back with Colman brace 1-2. New England Revolution welcomed LA Galaxy and both teams produced a great show with 7 goals in it. It all started with Nguyen followed by Steres. Kamara reinstated the lead but Steres completed his brace. Banbury had a brace as well within three minutes. Lassiter scored the last one 4-3.
Bunbury again!! New England take a 4-2 lead!!!! pic.twitter.com/LmdEbVCmzr
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 23, 2017
Real Salt Lake shared the points with Sporting Kansas City. Silva netted for the host and Feilhaber levelled the score to 1-1. In the Cascadia derby Vancouver Whitecaps lost at home to Portland Timbers. Ebobisse opened the scoring with Jacobson equalising. The winning goal came from Blanco 1-2. Seattle Sounders got their second win of the week against San Jose Earthquakes. After a goalless first half, Roldan scored a brace within two minutes. Shortly after that, Leerdam added another one 3-0.
Gameweek 21 Preview
After the massive DGW we are entering a mini double gameweek with only two teams playing twice: Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew. Just remember that it is another quick turnaround with deadline on Wednesday.
PHI ( W 6 D 5 L 9 ) vs CLB ( W 10 D 1 L 10 )
A reverse fixture from last week where the Crew will return to visit Philadelphia. After a four match unbeaten run Philly lost both games in the previous round. They are with the same points as NE and one place above due to goal difference. Their record away is nothing to be proud with one win back in the middle of May. Saying that they are not one of the teams conceding many goals on the road. The return of Pontius could be a boost to the team. The hype around Medunjanin is beginning to fade away. With Sapong and Picault listed with injuries it’s hard to think of any players for this game.
The Crew don’t win very often on the road. They did two weeks ago but that was against Minny. With Ola been inconsistent and Higuain, it is up to you if you want Meram. With two games away where substantial amount of goals have been conceded and only few scored it will be a hard decision to make.
ATL ( W 10 D 3 L 7 ) vs OLC ( W 8 D 5 L 8 )
This will be another reverse fixture for these two teams. The Five Stripes have found theirs groove at late. They will be coming to this game on the back of four straight wins. The last time they lost at home was at the end of April. No doubt the likes of Villalba, Ramirez and Almiron will be popular picks. Brad Guzan made his debut with a clean sheet and won’t surprise many if that happens again in this game.
The Lions are quickly sleeping down with only one win in the last eight games. We have to be honest when it comes to their record on the road, it isn’t the best, winning just twice and scoring six times. Larin appeared briefly at the end of the game just after 48 hours returning from the Gold Cup. Kaka is already hinting of retirement. I think Atlanta will be too good at Bobby Dodd stadium to let the visitors win.
NE ( W 6 D 5 L 9 ) vs PHI
The Revs ended the four games losing streak with a win over LA. The team is still 8 points out of the playoffs and it’s time to reorganise. Without saying Nguyen will be heavily represented after a goal in each of the last two games. Banbury has been excellent with a goal against NY and his first brace in five years but will he keep his place once Agudelo return from the Gold Cup?
Nguyen makes it 1-0 New England! pic.twitter.com/SuLWRCT5Sn
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 22, 2017
Philadelphia Union covered above.
NYRB ( W 10 D 2 L 8 ) vs MTL ( W 6 D 6 L 7 )
The Bulls seem to have turn the corner in the last few weeks. Three consecutive wins with 11 goals scored in them. Bradley is coming back to form and scored his tenth goal for the season. The same goes for Sacha , he became all time leader in assists, 43 so far, as surpassed Thierry Henry. Those two should find places in your team. If you want to save cash Felipe has made 27 points in the last three games.
The Falcons are still on the rollo coaster and I find them difficult to read at times. They are not good away from the Saputo Stadium, winning only once and conceding 20 goals. Yes, Piatti is back from injury but the outstanding player for the moment is Dzemaili who apart from the last game keeps bringing the points.
DAL( W 9 D 7 L 3 ) vs VAN ( W 8 D 3 L 8 )
The Texans are unbeaten in the last six games. They very seldom lose at home and when they win we are talking three or more goals. I would bet on Urruti for this one. Apart from just an assist in the last one, he has scored in all four previous games. With Gonzales, Hedges and Acosta expected back the choice is yours. After scoring his first ever MLS goals within 10 minutes, Colman might get more game time.
COLMAN AGAIN! HE'S GOING FOR THE GOLDEN BOOT!
2-1 FC Dallas. pic.twitter.com/SEkbbXCe44
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 23, 2017
The Caps are holding to the last playoff position in the West with a point more than their rivals SJ. They have lost five games on the road and this one looks like to be another one. There are better options for this week.
HOU ( W 9 D 5 L 7 ) vs POR( W 8 D 6 L 8 )
After a rather long spell of shaky performance, the Dynamo seem to be shaping things together at late. The BBVA Compass Stadium has been turned into fortress. When it comes to a home record they are second to Chicago with 8 wins and no losses including 28 goals scored. While few of the regulars were missing due to international duties, Wenger, Manotas and Rodriguez stepped in. Amazingly Alex assisted to all three of them to bring his tally to 10.
The Timbers haven’t had the best of run at late as they should. They managed to win the last game but that was after five winless ones. They will be visiting a team with immaculate home record and I don’t see a win here for them. Valeri went quiet in both previous games but Blanco showed a glimpse of hope. Adi disappointed many of as with the red card. Will he be forgiven? Yes but not for this game.
MIN ( W 5 D 4 L 12 ) vs DCU ( W 5 D 3 L 13 )
The Loons will be at home for a fourth consecutive round. They still can’t find the winning formula and take advantage of this like many other teams. This time they will be hosting a very poor team on the road but will they do it? It’s up to you.
The Capital boys are in a big mess and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Ben Olson must be feeling the pressure. Their road record is simply appalling, losing six games in a row. This matchup will be the strangest of all and only the very adventures managers can try their luck. I won’t be involved.
RSL( W 7 D 3 L 12 ) vs CLB
After hammering down Portland away in a mad game, the Claret and Cobalt managed just a draw at home with SKC. Their overall performance at home and away is utterly patchy and unpredictable. That said, Plata and Rusnak have been quite lively at late and could do well here. Clean sheets don’t occur very often with this team.
Columbus Crew covered above.
SJ ( W 7 D 5 L 9 ) vs COL ( W 6 D 2 L 11 )
The Quakes lost three consecutive games. They are back at home and since the dismissal of Dominic Kinnear there is some improvement at the Avaya Stadium. Wondolowski has been quiet at late but maybe that is his chance to bounce back. With the opponent they are facing it’s not a bad idea to think about players like Jungwirth, Bernardez or Lima. There is a potential clean sheet here.
The Rapids are fighting with Minnesota for the bottom place in the West. No need to mention that their away record is awful, still no win and just three goals scored, the least in the league. I think we should swiftly move on without looking back.
SKC ( W 8 D 9 L 4 ) vs CHI ( W 11 D 5 L 4 )
Sporting lost the top position in the Western Conference to Dallas and will be looking to reinstate it. Their home record is better than average which might help. Apart from 0 losses they are very stingy conceding, only five, one more than the visitors they are about to face. Dwyer should be back and a combination with Benny could be productive. When it comes to clean sheets, Melia is top with 9 of them.
The Fire span of 11 unbeaten games was extinguished in New York. It will be a hard task to beat SKC away but a draw can keep them afloat. Surely the brigade of Niko, Accam and Bastian will do their best. With the return of McCarthy it’s not impossible.
LA ( W 6 D 4 L 10 ) vs SEA ( W 8 D 6 L 7 )
The Galaxy failed to win for a fifth consecutive game in a row. The home atrocious record now becomes a classic of all times. I suppose many who had Alessandrini will keep him as a gesture of saving them in a weird round as it was. Some might even rush to add the not so cheap Steres after his brace but we need to look at their recent record.
The Sounders pulled off a historic comeback against DC United last Wednesday. They became the first team in MLS history to come from three goals down to win in normal time. They haven’t lost in the last five games. Their away record is not the best but knowing the host, they will give them a good chance for another win. Lodeiro served his suspension but if you want to save some cash Roldan has been exceptional with three goals in the last two games. Dempsey has been busy at the Gold Cup equalising Landon Donovan’s 57 international goals. He could make the difference.
Roldan again!!! 2-0 Seattle! pic.twitter.com/mxwbjlyH6C
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) July 24, 2017
TOR ( W 11 D 7 L 3 ) vs NYCFC ( W 11 D 4 L 6 )
The Canadians had a nice 7 home games unbeaten streak which was interrupted by Colorado. The high hope Giovinco disappointed everyone by leaving early in the first game with some sort of back problem. He returned in the second to do nothing. Will he be waving at us from the bandwagon again, I am not sure. Still, they haven’t lost at home yet and some cover at the back can be useful.
After hosting Toronto last week, they will pay them a visit. The record on the road is very scattered and what is going to happen here is anyone’s guess. Villa has scored in each of the last four games and is two goals behind the leader Niko. The team has scored at least two goals in the last seven games and this one will be no exception. It will be a massive game which most likely will end up with a draw.
1. Lee Nguyen (NE): You can always expect a goal from him at any time.
2. Maxi Urruti (DAL): He is a goal machine at home.
3. David Villa (NYCFC): Serious contender in the Golden Boot race and in great form.
Wednesday 26.07.17 at 7:30 PM EDT – 00:30 AM BST
Best of luck to all FFF Managers