Three Big Storylines:
1. Will DC United extend their Supporters' Shield lead and be the first team to 30 points this year? They have Toronto FC at home on Saturday, but they are on short rest after dispatching the visiting Chicago Fire Wednesday. For TFC this is a big game, as they've been on a bit of tear recently against weaker teams (and before that managed to return from New England with a point). Toronto also have 4 games in hand on DC, but would need to get maximum points from those to catch up the the Eastern Conference leaders. Also, Giovinco is really fun to watch.
2. The Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake are holding down the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but the first meeting of the rivals this Sunday kicks off the Rocky Mountain Cup, and could offer either team a big win to start a climb out of the basement. For RSL, a win at home could vault them into a playoff spot. For the struggling Rapids, the return of Marcelo Sarvas after a long recovery from knee surgery should be a boost to Dillon Powers and the rest of the midfield and could unlock the scoring boots of new(ish) signings Kevin Doyle and Luis Solignac.
3. Who comes out of the dogpile in the second tier in the West? The Sounders are enjoying their spot clearly at the top for now, but not much separates teams 2 to 6. FC Dallas, Sporting KC and LA Galaxy are tied on points. Is this the time in the season where LA starts figuring it out and raking in wins? LAG also managed to steal a point from a visit to the Revs, and now they get a chance to potentially get ahead of the pack with a win at home against a Whitecaps squad who played once already this week. Dallas, meanwhile, will look to take advantage of their games in hand by doing some work on the road at San Jose on Sunday.
From Seattle's point of view:
The longer other good teams in the West continue to fight it out with each other and trade points, obviously the better for the sounders. Getting a result from Kansas City would be massive for Seattle, but if the Earthquakes can hold off Dallas at home and LA can get a result in Vancouver (a draw would be ideal), those would be nice developments as well.
Some team or other in the East needs to knock DC down a notch or two, and Toronto seems a good a bet as any to get that started. Things seem to be clicking for one of the most expensive teams in MLS, and hopefully they can give United trouble in DC. Unfortunately, the number of awful teams in the East is going to inflate the points for the top squads, but on the plus side Seattle has games in hand and leads the league with a nice, even 2 PPG.
National TV Listings
*SAP Button will have English commentary
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids
Sunday, 2:00 PM Pacific
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes