The Seattle Sounders lost for the second time in their last three games, as the Los Angeles Galaxy crushed the hosts 3-0 at CenturyLink Field on Monday night. Thanks to that win, LA catapulted into a playoff spot, sitting third in the Western Conference. Seattle remains on top with a six-point gap between second place Real Salt Lake with a game in hand.
The Sounders have now lost six of their last seven regular-season meetings against the Galaxy.
However, head coach Sigi Schmid didn't have center back Chad Marshall available due to back spasms from a car accident. His absence was felt as Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring, and LA didn't look back.
Here are five things we learned from Monday's match.Begin Slideshow
Following the United States men's national team's exciting run in the 2014 World Cup, many turned their attention to how that enthusiasm could be transformed into larger support for North America's domestic professional league, Major League Soccer.
While much of the media focused on inane questions, such as "Has soccer in America finally made it?" or "Will the U.S.'s World Cup run finally make soccer in America popular?", the reality is that no single event will ever be a watershed moment in the growth of the game in America.
From the glory days of the North American Soccer League, inspired by Pele and a host international stars, to the U.S.'s 1994 World Cup run, the inaugural season of MLS in 1996 and the league's signing of David Beckham in 2007, soccer's growth in America has always occurred incrementally.
And the numbers show 2014 is no different.
According to the blog MLS Attendance, the league in 2014 is slightly above its 2013 attendance numbers with a 0.58 percent increase. The average attendance at an MLS game in 2014 is currently within 100 fans per game of its record average attendance year, 2012.
The numbers on television are up significantly, according to Sports Media Watch, with ESPN ...
After a great week for the attacking players in Major League Soccer, the gap between Bradley Wright-Phillips and the rest of the top 20 players in the league grew smaller.
Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls had the week off, which meant players such as Robbie Keane and Javier Morales were able to gain ground on the Golden Boot leader in the MLS Player Power Rankings.
Beneath the top three, a slew of players swapped positions after a week that saw a total of 31 goals scored across eight games.
Continue reading on to see who landed where in the list of the top 20 players in MLS.Begin Slideshow
There was plenty to see in Major League Soccer's Week 20, headlined by action on and off the field.
Vancouver Whitecaps and United States men's national team fan favorite Jay DeMerit called time on his career early in the week, announcing his retirement. DeMerit's rise from obscurity and English pub league games to the Premier League and eventually a starting spot for the USMNT in the World Cup was chronicled in the documentary Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story.
On the field, Sporting KC kept things rolling, while the New England Revolution and the Montreal Impact continued their respective slides.
There were also a number of beautiful goals, highlighted by Gaby Torres', Nick LaBrocca's, Federico Higuain's and Maxi Urruti's tallies.
Check out all the action in 10 Things We Learned from MLS Week 20.Begin Slideshow
Week 20 was quite the unique one in Major League Soccer, as the schedule saw just seven games thanks to a slew of friendlies.
Mixed in with the high-scoring week of league play, and the friendlies against European sides, was a major announcement made by a struggling side.
Speaking of struggles, there were a few defenders who suffered from them in Week 20, and they did not escape criticism.
Read on to see who were the biggest winners and losers from the 20th week of play in MLS. Begin Slideshow
The 20th week of play in Major League Soccer saw seven games played across five days, and in most of those matchups, offense reigned supreme.
Only one team, Colorado, recorded a clean sheet in a week that averaged four goals per game.
Thanks to the attacking breakout, our MLS Team of the Week is set up in a 4-3-1-2 to cram as many attack-minded players into the best 11 as possible.
Continue reading on to see which players were named to the list of the week's best performers.Begin Slideshow
One of the major talking points from this past weekend in MLS surrounds the referees. In Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 win over Toronto FC on Saturday, referee Ted Unkel was the center of attention for the wrong reasons.
His indiscriminate use of yellow cards, combined with poor foul calls, are just two of his blatant errors. This is the latest example of why commissioner Don Garber has to work on improving the officiating in the league.
Refereeing is one of the most difficult jobs. A decision has to be made on the spot without any help from replays. Also, Unkel is inexperienced in MLS. He took charge of just three games during the 2013 season, per the official PRO website. He's officiated four this season.
Unkel hasn't been the only referee that's been guilty of making incorrect calls or being too card happy. There have been 5,221 fouls called in 190 games in both MLS and the US Open Cup, per the PRO website. That's an average of 27.48 per match. There's also been 621 yellow cards issued (3.27 per game) and 57 reds (0.3 per match).
MLS has significantly higher foul numbers per team than the Premier League, per Whoscored.com. In the 2013-14 season, ...
Michael Bradley didn't mince words when speaking out against the officiating in Toronto FC's 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
The American midfielder was extremely critical of the referees and implored the Major League Soccer home office in New York City to do something to remedy what he feels is a systemic problem throughout the league, per The Associated Press, via ESPN FC:
It's by no means an excuse, it was the same for both teams, but the referee was absolutely awful. The people at the MLS office in New York, when they talk about wanting to improve the league, the first thing that needs to be improved is the refereeing, bottom line.
That shouldn't come across as sour grapes because that's just the reality. And it was bad for both teams and I'm sure they're sitting in their locker room saying the same thing to themselves, but they've got three points with them and that certainly makes it a little easier to swallow.
TFC picked up five yellow cards in the defeat, including four in the first half. Sporting KC had three of their own, including two for Matt Besler, who was sent off in the 75th minute. According ...
New York City FC unveiled former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard on Thursday as the newest addition to the Big Apple.
The England international signed a two-year designated player contract with NYCFC, per MLSSoccer.com. Lampard is the second big-name acquisition for the club after David Villa joined in June, per the team's official website.
Lampard is 36 years old, and the ageing player is no longer at the top of his game. However, this signing is still beneficial for everyone involved. For the England international, he remains a star as part of one of the fastest growing leagues in the world.
He is also set to make around $150,000 a week, per Sports Illustrated, which would make him the highest-paid player in MLS. Lampard will also reside in one of the most vibrant cities on the planet, which probably enticed him to move across the pond.
NYCFC benefits in many ways as well. The profile of the club is raised significantly with the addition of Lampard. Even with a two-year contract, this will still grab the attention of the casual fan and could hook them on both the team and MLS.
If Lampard leaves at the end of his contract, other players might be drawn to NYCFC if ...
Frank Lampard joining New York City FC—which the club announced today—is a pretty big deal to the MLS.
But over on the West Coast the Seattle Sounders were doing their best to play it down, talking up the superhuman powers of U.S. men's national team star Clint Dempsey instead:
But can Frank Lampard conjure fire? pic.twitter.com/wViAooMFli
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 24, 2014
Can he? Can he conjure fire? Your move, Frank.
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