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MLS Gamethread: Week 23 (Cascadia Week)

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Portland hosts Vancouver in a critical Cascadia clash. Alliteration.

A key Cascadia matchup
A key Cascadia matchup
Jeff Vinnick

Sporting Kansas City-New York Red Bulls (NBCSN)
Our first game of the afternoon is on national television, as John Strong of NBC Sports brings a marquee match between two Sounders-Dempsey trolls Eastern powerhouses. The winner stakes claim to the top of the Eastern Conference. The KC crowd will be raucus coming off of their All-Star Game showing.
Prediction: KC
Ideal: Draw

DC United-Montreal Impact
With Montreal only a point out of first place, this is truly a David and Goliath matchup (hint: DC is David). The aging and addled Impact team are on a very poor run of form, but even with canes and walkers the Impact should be well favored. Winless in their last five, it's about time to put a fork in DC's team. But hey, at least they have a stadium deal.
Prediction: MON
Ideal: DC

Philadelphia Union-Chicago Fire
This is the last time this season these two teams will play, after going back to back in May. That was when Chicago was fighting for the bottom of the Eastern Conference, before acquiring a resurgent Mike Magee. Suddenly, scoring is part of the Fire repertoire. Those 1-0 losses are a thing of the past, and the top teams in the east have reason to look over their shoulder.
Prediction: CHI
Ideal: NA

Colorado Rapids-Real Salt Lake
Why the league schedules multiple rivalry cup clashes on the same day I'll never understand. The underrated Rocky Mountain Cup will be decided on this day, and a Colorado win would send them into a tie for first place in the west. With Salt Lake's games in hand, they're still clearly the better team, and it's in Seattle's best interest for the rocketing Commerce City team to knock off their Rio Tinto rivals.
Prediction: Rapids
Ideal: Rapids

Houston Dynamo-Columbus Crew (Stream of the Week)
Time is growing short for the Columbus Crew to pick up momentum for a playoff push. Currently sitting seven points behind two teams with points enough for the final playoff spot, Columbus needs wins badly. But Houston is one of the teams sitting ahead of them for a spot. With some players coming back from injury, the Dynamo may be ready to make a drive for a high seed. The Crew have their work cut out for them Saturday.
Prediction: HOU
Ideal: COL

San Jose Earthquakes-Chivas USA (Univision Dep.)
This match is the opposite of the Stream of the Week, a matchup likely bereft of soccer skill. Chivas will suck and San Jose will hack, and in the end all who watch this one will be disappointed. To make matters worse, the game is on Univision, though the added benefit is that you don't have to worry about selecting it accidentally on your MLS Live page. Moreso even than the likes of Toronto-DC, this match deserves to have the lowest ratings of the year.
Prediction: Draw
Ideal: CHV

Portland Timbers-Vancouver Whitecaps (Root Sports)
While the country's attention is focused on Seattle, the other two northwest teams face off in a key Cascadia Cup clash. The winner will smite the other with their first Cascadian loss of the season and take first place in the competition. If that team is Vancouver, the lead will be 7 over Seattle's four. If Portland takes the victory at home, they will reach five points with a game in hand over the 'Caps. A draw would of course be ideal for the Sounders. Regardless of what happens, the August 25th match in Seattle will flip everything around.
Prediction: Portland
Ideal: Draw

New England Revolution-Toronto FC
The Reds will go for their first winning streak of the season as they visit the Gillette Field turf in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Even occupying the final playoff spot at the moment, the Revolution have nearly twice as many points on the same number of games played as their weekend opponents have earned.
Prediction: NE
Ideal: TOR