Three Big Storylines:
- A rivalry is renewed. With the Houston Dynamo moving back to the Western Conference after a four year foray in the East they will again play FC Dallas three times in league play instead of just the once across conferences. This match kicks off the second consecutive week where Univision has featured a Friday night doubleheader. The nightcap will see San Jose Earthquakes travel to Real Salt Lake in a match where both teams could really use three points as they are both below the dreaded (and expanded this year!) red line with nine points from seven played.
- Vancouver Whitecaps will head way down I-5 on Saturday to take on the Portland Timbers Saturday night. (Bonus TV game in Northwest area. Root Sports, 7:30 PM Saturday) The Whitecaps lead MLS in total points with 16 from 9 played but come into this match as losers of two of their last three. Portland parked the bus in Seattle last weekend playing for a draw, will they be more expansive at home? With Diego Valeri expected to make his season debut, Caleb Porter will probably be playing for a win here. Vancouver might be the fastest team in MLS transitioning from defense to offense, if Portland does indeed open up the game plan then this could easily be the most entertaining match of the MLS weekend.
- After the Montreal Impact's near miss in the Concacaf Champions League Final on Wednesday they get back to league play. What's that? Montreal has another bye this weekend? Let's move on. With all teams but Montreal approaching the quarter pole of the MLS season (every other team has played between 7 and 9 league games, the Impact have played 4) the standings are starting to shake themselves out. Toronto FC end their seven match road streak to start the season at Philadelphia Union on Saturday (1 PM Pacific, MLS Live). Philly are arguably the worst team in the league and their defense is having issues, with only six points from nine played the Union are struggling. Toronto have six points from their first six and would like to continue the despair in Philadelphia by finishing their road trip with two wins in a row as they open up their newly expanded stadium next Sunday.
From a Sounders Point of View:
There are only two cross conference games this week and one involves the Sounders playing in a baseball stadium on Sunday. Before that game kicks off Sporting KC host the suddenly resurgent Chicago Fire. The Fire have won three in a row after looking abysmal to start the season while Sporting are winless in their last three. Look for the Fire to continue their hot streak. It would probably be too much to ask for the Colorado Rapids to take points off the LA Galaxy on Saturday (7:30 PM MLS Live) as the Rapids played on Wednesday in Red Bull Arena before hopping on a transcontinental flight to take on a rested Galaxy. One can hope. Speaking of hope, we are probably looking for a Draw in Portland as well.
National TV Listings:
FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo
Friday, 5:00 PM Pacific
TV: Univision Deportes*
Streaming: Univision Deportes
*SAP Button will have English commentary provided by Ramses Sandoval and Paul Caligiuri. If they do the same as last week, both matches will be called out of the studio by this announcer team.
Chicago Fire at Sporting KC
Sunday, 2:00 PM Pacific
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman