Three Big Storylines:
- The three teams with the longest current winning streaks in MLS are the Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and LA Galaxy. While it was expected that the Galaxy would right the ship the other two names on that list are surprising. Of course the longest current winning streak in MLS is only two games. The Union are at a DC United team who are on short rest after losing in Portland Wednesday night while the Impact have a winnable game against in Bridgeview against the Chicago Fire.
- With big news coming out of the world of soccer this week, you might have missed the fact that there were three midweek MLS matches on Wednesday. In each case the home team scored an early goal and held on for a 1-0 win. After being beaten on Wednesday by the Seattle Sounders the Colorado Rapids host the Portland Timbers on Saturday (MLS Live 6 PM Pacific and Root Sports on tape delay after the Mariners), the Timbers are coming in off a Wednesday win over DC United. The LA Galaxy head to New England for the other half of the Sunday national TV doubleheader to take on a depleted Revolution squad. If either of these two teams or the Sounders can take three points it will complete the rare six point week. Looking back at the end of the year, whichever team is able to handle the double game weeks is invariably towards the top of the Supporters Shield table.
- The Vancouver Whitecaps will play the inaugural game on BC Place's new turf which was laid specifically for the Women's World Cup before embarking on a five match road streak during the aforementioned World Cup. The Whitecaps will host Real Salt Lake (Saturday 3 PM, MLS Live) and do not return until July 12th. The Whitecaps will be looking for their second win over RSL on the year. RSL are only one point below the red line but have played a game more than the teams above them. At 1.31 PPG (points per game) RSL really needs to pick up the pace if they are going to make the playoffs.
From a Sounders Point of View:
As painful as it is, we should probably be cheering for Sporting Kansas City on Friday night. In one of the best matchups of the weekend SKC host FC Dallas. Dallas is only two points back of the Sounders, who sit atop the Supporters' Shield Standings, but unless Dallas hit their typical summer swoon with a vengeance they look like a team that is going to challenge for that particular trophy all year long.
San Jose Earthquakes are in Toronto to play Toronto FC, thus the standard of cheering for the Eastern Conference to do something applies. But outside of a game in March I have erased from memory, the Earthquakes just do not look like a team that might trouble the Sounders over a 34 game schedule.
A win by a depleted Revolution (Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen are suspended, Jermaine Jones looked ready for the Over-40 league in his last start at CB) over the Galaxy would be great from a Sounders Point of View. Charlie Davies and Juan Agudelo have looked dynamic for the Revs as of late and with the 253's Kelyn Rowe likely to get the start for Nguyen this is a result we can realistically hope for.
National TV Listings:
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas
Friday, 6:00 PM Pacific
TV: Univision Deportes*
Streaming: Univision Deportes
*SAP Button will have English commentary provided by Ramses Sandoval and Paul Caligiuri. As they are only doing one match tonight, the commentary might be better received.
New England Revolution v LA Galaxy
Sunday, 4:00 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
John Strong and Alexi Lalas are the typical announcer team but a new team might be cycled in with the Women's World Cup preparations on Fox in full force.