National TV Games:
Sporting Kansas City at DC United
NBC Sports Network, 5 PM Friday
Houston Dynamo at New York TBD
NBC Sports Network, 3 PM Saturday
Three Big Storylines:
- The other Cascadia teams are battling for one playoff spot. Portland lost Will Johnson and a 2-0 lead in Toronto last week and fell below the Red Line when Vancouver beat RSL at home. Vancouver are again at home, this time against FC Dallas. Fabian Castillo has been nursing a hamstring injury; with Dallas all but assured of a playoff spot it seems that they might rest Castillo on the Vancouver turf. Portland are at San Jose who are without Steven Lenhart for the rest of the year after Lenhart suffered a foot injury while riding a bicycle. The Earthquakes are playing amidst rumors that San Jose is trying to lure Dominic Kinnear from Houston while Mark Watson is still employed in the same capacity.
- Chicago is all but eliminated from the playoffs. But they have a chance to make history on Thursday night. With five matches to go, the Fire already have 16 draws from 29 played and own the all-time MLS Draw Record. The Fire can assure themselves of being the first team to Draw at least 50% of their matches over an entire season with a Draw against Philly on ESPN2. They will also have another chance at home against Montreal on Sunday.
- The Eastern Conference playoff race continues to be compelling. Sporting are going to make the playoffs but since #TimeToPanic, they have earned three points from their last seven played. Sporting KC could go a long way towards getting the momentum back with a win at DC United. The Dynamo might have started their late push to the playoffs even later than normal this year, but a win at New York Red Bulls would make the game in hand the Dynamo own very intriguing. With rumors swirling around the Red Bulls future, how focused are Thierry Henry and company going to be?
When it comes to Sounders rooting interests the summary for the rest of the season parallels Chivas USA Supporter's Groups for the next two years, we are all fans of whoever is playing the Galaxy. This week we are all Toronto FC fans. Toronto comes into Saturday night's match in Carson off a win over Portland where Michael Bradley started to somewhat resemble Michael Bradley. Jermain Defoe is reportedly "close to ready" to returning for Toronto. With all the National TV Listing this week, it is curious this was not one of the choices.
Great matchups across the league all weekend with an inordinately high number of those games on National TV; enjoy your Week 30 Gamethread.