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Fire and Quakes need points in Yallop homecoming
by Ridge Mahoney, July 23rd, 2014 12:09AM

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TAGS:  chicago fire, mls, san jose earthquakes

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[MLS: Week 20]Ten league matches are sprinkled over the next six days to accommodate a heavy diet of international games. Though San Jose vs. Chicago is the only league match scheduled for Wednesday, five other MLS teams are in action against foreign teams. On Thursday, Real Salt Lake hosts Montreal.

YALLOP COMES HOME. For the first time since he left San Jose by mutual consent in June of 2013, ex-Quakes head coach Frank Yallop returns to Northern California to face his former team (live at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Counting a stint with the original San Jose team from 2001 to 2003, he coached a total of eight and a half seasons in San Jose.

“It’s going to feel really different,” he told chicago-fire.com. “You go back to a place that you were at for such a long time -- it’ll be an interesting feeling.”

Aside from the history and lingering animosity, both teams desperately need three points. The Quakes are winless in five games and 10 points out of the Western Conference playoff tier. Chicago is only three points out of an Eastern playoff spot but with 11 ties in 18 games isn’t showing the fortitude to make up even that small amount of ground.

The Fire seemingly had Philly on the ropes last weekend, leading 1-0 in the final quarter of an hour, but a questionable handball decision provided the Union an opportunity to post a 1-1 tie. Leading the Fire in scoring with six goals are rookie Harry Shipp and Quincy Amarikwa, drafted out of UC Davis by Yallop in 2009 and reunited with him in Chicago after stints in Toronto and Colorado.

San Jose also tied last week, 1-1, and did so with a late goal by Steven Lenhart, his first tally of the season. 

RIO TINTO RETURN. It’s been more than two years since the Impact played a road game at Real Salt Lake, and since then it has gone through two head coaches in a search for the right formula. Jesse Marsch was fired despite a creditable 12-16-6 record in Montreal’s first MLS season in 2012, and Marco Schallibaum departed last fall after a first-round playoff exit.

Frank Klopas hasn’t found the solutions. Montreal has lost three in a row and sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. It plays Thursday at Real Salt Lake (live at 10 p.m. ET on MLS Live) and though Jack McInerney has adjusted well enough after being traded by Philadelphia to lead the team with six goals, it sits nine points away from the red zone.

RSL has hit a rough patch -- one win in the last eight games -- and has yet to show the form expected once Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando got back into sync after their long stint with the U.S. World Cup team.

Joao Plata got RSL’s goal in a 1-1 tie with Vancouver last week on a sharp finish into the bottom corner. He’s taken on most of the scoring burden in the injury absence of Costa Rican international Alvaro Saborio and leads RSL with eight goals, but the return of Robbie Findley – who made just his third appearance of the season against the Whitecaps – could help revive an attack that has tallied only five goals in those last eight games.

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
35 Sporting KC 10-5-5 29/18
34 D.C. United 10-5-4 29/20
26 Toronto FC 7-5-5 26/23
24 New York 5-6-9 32/31
23 New England 7-10-2 24/31
------------------------------------------------
23 Philadelphia 5-8-8 33/35
23 Columbus 5-7-8 23/26
20 Chicago 3-4-11 26/28
19 Houston 5-11-4 22/40
14 Montreal 3-10-5 18/31

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
38 Seattle 12-4-2 35/24
29 FC Dallas 8-7-5 32/29
29 Real Salt Lake 7-4-8 28/25
27 LA Galaxy 7-4-6 26/16
27 Colorado 7-6-6 28/24
------------------------------------------------
27 Vancouver 6-4-9 29/27
24 Portland 5-6-9 32/33
23 Chivas USA 6-8-5 21/30
17 San Jose 4-8-5 17/19
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
17 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
14 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
14 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
11 Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
10 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
9 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
8 Obafemi Martins, Seattle
8 Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia
8 Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake
7 Will Bruin, Houston
7 Deshorn Brown, Colorado
7 Maximiliano Urruti, Portland
7 Jack McInerney, Montreal
7 Fabian Espindola, D.C. United

MLS WEEK 20: Schedule:
Wednesday, July 23
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Chicago, NBCSN

Thursday, July 24
10 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Montreal, UDN

Friday, July 25
9:30 pm ET
Colorado vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, July 26
7 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Sporting KC
7:30 pm ET
New England vs. Columbus

Sunday, July 27
5 pm ET
Vancouver vs. FC Dallas
8 pm ET
Montreal vs. Portland, UDN

MLS WEEK 21: Schedule:
Monday, July 28
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

Wednesday, July 30
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
New England vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. Vancouver
9 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. New York, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

Friday, August 1
8 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Philadelphia, NBCSN

Saturday, August 2
2:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Portland, NBC
5 pm ET
Montreal vs. Toronto FC
7 pm ET
New York vs. New England
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. Columbus
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. Real Salt Lake
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Seattle, NBCSN

Sunday, August 3
8 pm ET
Houston vs. D.C. United, UDN
10 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas

MLS WEEK 22: Schedule:
Wednesday, August 6  
9:30 pm ET
MLS All-Stars vs. Bayern Munich, ESPN2, UniMas

Friday, August 8   
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose, NBCSN

Saturday, August 9
7 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Montreal
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Toronto FC
9 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Colorado
10 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. D.C. United
10:30 pm ET
Portland vs. Chivas USA

Sunday, August 10
8 pm ET
Chicago vs. New York, UDN
Vancouver vs. Sporting KC
10:30 pm ET
Seattle vs. Houston, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

MLS WEEK 23: Schedule:
Friday, August 15
9 pm ET
Houston vs. Philadelphia, NBCSN

Saturday, August 16
2:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle, NBCSN
6:30 pm ET
Montreal vs. Chicago
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. LA Galaxy
New England vs. Portland
8:30 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Vancouver
San Jose vs. FC Dallas

Sunday, August 17
8 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Colorado, UDN



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