July 31, 2017

The Semper Soccer MLS Week 21 Recap

Welcome back to the Semper Soccer blog’s weekly Major League Soccer recap series. After some time off for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and a vacation of our own here at the blog, it’s time to recap MLS once again. MLS Week 21 wrapped up over the weekend and now it’s All-Star week. From superstars being traded, national team heroes returning to their clubs and another coaching change, there’s a lot to cover from the past week so let’s jump in.

The Games

The MLS Week 21 scoreboard featured 12 games. Every squad was in action, including Philadelphia and Columbus who pulled double duty with a mid-week game on Wednesday. An incredible six of those matches finished with 3-0 or 4-0 scores so it wasn’t the most competitive week on the schedule. Here’s a look at the scores from those games.

  • Philadelphia Union 3 – Columbus Crew 0
  • Atlanta United 1 – Orlando City 1
  • New England Revolution 3 – Philadelphia Union 0
  • New York Red Bulls 4 – Montreal Impact 0
  • FC Dallas 0 – Vancouver Whitecaps 4
  • Houston Dynamo 2 – Portland Timbers 2
  • Sporting Kansas City 3 – Chicago Fire 2
  • Minnesota United 4 – D.C. United 0
  • Real Salt Lake 2 – Columbus Crew 2
  • San Jose Earthquakes 1 – Colorado Rapids 0
  • Los Angeles Galaxy 0 – Seattle Sounders 0
  • Toronto FC 4 – New York City FC 0

5 Things To Know

  1. Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City combined for a blockbuster trade. Orlando threw together a package of money that could amount to $1.6 million (a league record) in exchange for forward Dom Dwyer. Dwyer set the Kansas City club record for goals in a season with 22 in 2014 and scored 57 in 128 games for SKC. With five goals in 15 games, he was just selected as an All-Star. Orlando badly needed to add a goal scorer. Their 23 goals scored are third-worst in the league so far. Dwyer was the perfect fit. He spent plenty of time on loan to Orlando in 2013 when they were a USL team, even leading them to the USL championship. With his contract in Kansas City expiring, Dwyer made it clear he wasn’t interested in returning to the team when he turned down a $1.25 million per year contract earlier this season. Orlando City gets a goal scorer and Sporting gets a ton of money to sign a replacement instead of letting a player walk. This trade is a win-win for both sides.
  2. The Los Angeles Galaxy finally made a coaching change. LA fired Curt Onalfo after a 6-10-4 record in his 20 games in charge. They brought back Sigi Schmid who won the 2002 MLS Cup with Galaxy. The Galaxy job is Schmid’s first since being fired by Seattle in July of last year. Oddly enough, his first game back with LA pit his new team against the Sounders in a game that ended in a 0-0 draw. That’s not a bad scoreline considering the Galaxy gave up 15 goals in five consecutive losses before firing Onalfo. Schmid even got a nice welcome gift when the club signed Jonathan Dos Santos.
  3. Toronto pushed their Supporters’ Shield lead to five points. The Reds faced NYCFC at home and pummeled the New York team by a score of 4-0. They continue to roll along with 43 points through 22 games, also racking up a league-leading 1.95 points per game. That result coupled with Chicago’s 3-2 loss in Kansas City has Toronto comfortable atop the East. Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore returned from the Gold Cup tournament and Toronto is at full strength. They’re threatening to run away with the Supporters’ Shield this season.
  4. The United States lifted their sixth Gold Cup trophy. A team loaded with Major League Soccer stars defeated Jamaica in the Gold Cup final to give the USMNT their sixth CONCACAF championship. With the game tied at 1, Seattle’s Jordan MorrisĀ banged home a Gyasi Zardes cross in the 88th minute for the game-winning goal. USA head coach Bruce Arena also became the first coach to win three Gold Cups in a career. Finally, Toronto’s Michael Bradley earned the Golden Ball for being named the best player of the tournament.
  5. Next up: Real Madrid. The MLS All-Stars square off against the Spanish side and reigning UEFA Champions League winners Wednesday. You can see the complete roster chosen to face Real MadridĀ here. The August 2 exhibition is the last game of Real Madrid’s pre-season campaign before they begin the defense of their La Liga title on August 20.

Player Of The Week

Sebastian Giovinco scored two goals in Toronto's big weekend win and earned our MLS Week 21 Player of the Week honor.

Sebastian Giovinco scored two goals in Toronto’s big weekend win and earned our MLS Week 21 Player of the Week honor.

Sebastian Giovinco led Toronto FC to a 4-0 blowout victory over New York City FC with two goals. He opened the scoring with a left-footed strike from outside the box in the 32nd minute. In the second half, he placed a 67th-minute free kick over the wall and into the net for his second of the day. That brace now makes 50 goals in just 78 appearances during Giovinco’s MLS career. Now he heads off to Chicago for his third MLS All-Star Game appearance as well the Semper Soccer blog’s MLS Week 21 Player of the Week honor.

Standings

After MLS Week 21, let’s see how the teams stand at the All-Star Game.

MLS Week 21 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 21 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 21 Western Conference Standings

MLS Week 21 Western Conference Standings

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