Three Big Storylines:
- A Friday night doubleheader on UniMas opens with an almost meaningless expansion battle that sees Orlando hosting New York City FC. NYCFC has already been eliminated from the playoffs while Orlando needs to win their last two matches and improve their horrid goal differential enough to catch one of three teams above them that would also have to collapse. The second match of the doubleheader is a much better game seeing the San Jose Earthquakes hosting Sporting Kansas City. This game has big implications for the Seattle Sounders playoff hopes and seeding (see: From a Sounders Point of View below).
- Sebastian Giovinco is going to win MLS MVP. His goal on Wednesday for Toronto FC three hours after getting off a plane from Rome was a thing of beauty. But the Golden Boot is still being contested. Columbus Crew's Kei Kamara is tied with Giovinco for the lead with 22 goals apiece. Conveniently enough, TFC host the Crew on Saturday (11 AM, MLS Live). The Crew only need a point to secure a playoff spot and could jump to second, over TFC, with an away win.
- The Portland Timbers travel down to Carson, California to take on the LA Galaxy in the second part of the Sunday National TV doubleheader. Heading into the weekend the Timbers are above the red line but the playoffs are not assured. The Galaxy have been dominant at home this season with a 12-1-3 (W-L-T) record. The Timbers will likely be leaving it until the final game of the season to clinch a playoff spot.
From a Sounders Point of View:
If San Jose loses to Sporting KC on Friday night then the Sounders will be in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year in their seven seasons. It would be nice have that playoff spot locked up, even if Sporting KC is a point ahead of the Sounders.
We want the Sounders to finish in the top 4 in the West to assure a home game in the knockout round and finish ahead of as many Eastern Conference teams as possible in order to host the MLS Cup if the West is Won. To that end, three points against the Houston Dynamo is practically required. While we are cheering for a draw or Crew win in TFC v Columbus and the Chicago Fire to beat DC United.
Real Salt Lake is the Sounders final opponent. A loss for or tie against FC Dallas on Saturday (6:30 PM, MLS Live) sees RSL eliminated from the playoffs and they would have nothing to play for in the final match. With the Sounders likely needing a win at home to move up the standings, that might be desirable. Go FC Dallas.
National TV Listings:
Orlando v New York City FC
Friday, 4:00 PM
Streaming: Univision Deportes
San Jose Earthquakes v Sporting Kansas City
Friday, 8:00 PM
Streaming: Univision Deportes
Houston Dynamo v Seattle Sounders (this is not the gamethread you are looking for)
Sunday, 2:00 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
LA Galaxy v Portland Timbers
Sunday, 4:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart Week 33 Gamethread, watch with us.