National TV Listings:
Three Big Storylines:
- The New England Revolution have taken a lot of PR hits on how the Krafts support or do not support their MLS team. There have been suggestions (some snarky, some totally deserved) that the Krafts forget they own the Rev's the second NFL training camp opens (they also own a team called the New England Patriots who play in a league called the NFL). But big props need to go the way of the Revolution management. The Front Office is paying for busses for 1150 New England Revolution Supporter's to go to Red Bull Arena. That is 215 miles one way from Gillette Stadium to Red Bull Arena. To be clear, if you bought a ticket to the game the bus ride is FREE, courtesy of the New England Revolution. Well done New England, well done.
- Thierry Henry might be retiring after this season. If he is not retiring then it's clear Henry will not be coming back to the Red Bulls. This means you have either one or two more chances after today to watch one of the best players of his generation play one more time in MLS. And Henry is still absolutely a joy to watch, he can be quiet for 89 minutes and then crush your storybook season with one move (Sorry to the DC United fan reading this) or be engaged the entire game and be the best player on the pitch for 90 minutes. At home the latter is more likely. The additional subtext to #HenryWatch is that Henry does not play on turf (well except in Portland). New England has turf. Clarification: New England has bad turf. The return leg is still in New England. So the subtext to this game is what does Henry do for the return leg next Saturday? Stay tuned.
- New England added Jermaine Jones via blind draw over the Chicago Fire on August 24th. Once they added Jones, the Revs finished the season on an 8-1-1 tear and Lee Nguyen played so well in front of Jones that he forced his way into a USMNT call up after last being a part of the national team as part of a "B" squad that was taken to 2007 Copa America. (Side note totally not related to this article: Here is the link to the 2007 USMNT Copa America roster, it is a who's who of could have beens, what happened to him and "Oh I remember that guy"s. The roster also included Kasey Keller and since this is at heart a Sounders site, the link is now justified.) The Revolution have been playing great since adding Jones. Can they keep it up and make their first MLS Cup since Taylor Twellman was known as a great American goalscorer and not that guy on twitter that breaks stories?
This is where your author typically adds commentary about who to cheer for From A Sounders Standpoint. Pick your poison, do you want to see one of the best players in the world over the last twenty years play his last MLS game in Seattle while granting snarky interviews in order to focus on the turf at the CLink? Or do you want to see the best team over the last two months of the season come to the CLink featuring their own mini-hydra and cheer against someone who would be part of the Sounders 253 contingent (Kelyn Rowe) if the Sounders Academy was established only a few years earlier? Yep, let's go Red Bulls!
Enjoy your MLS Conference Finals Game One Gamethread.