Three Big Storylines:
- The United States plays their only Gold Cup warmup match on Friday. After wins in Europe over Netherlands and Germany the team returns to Concacaf play with a friendly versus Guatemala. The Central American team is powered by Marco Pappa with 35 year old Carlos Ruiz still a goal scoring threat. This will be a full strength USMNT lead out by newly appointed captain Michael Bradley. In case you missed it, Clint Dempsey is now free to focus on scoring goals. Expect to see DeAndre Yedlin as an attacking substitute as Timothy Chandler is seemingly the first choice right back.
- The Red Bulls will be playing their sixth game in 18 days. After beating NYCFC on Sunday and the New York Cosmos in USOC on Wednesday it is fair to expect a bit of a letdown as they go to Columbus on Saturday (4:30 PM, MLS Live). Speaking of letdowns one of the Eastern Conference best teams, Toronto FC, will be visiting the LA Galaxy (7:30 PM Saturday, MLS Live) on Steven Gerrard revelation night without Bradley and Jozy Altidore who are with the USMNT. Even without it's two high priced stars, Toronto FC is expecting fireworks in LA. Mostly because it is 4th of July and there is an actual fireworks display after the game.
- The Portland Timbers were supposed to host the San Jose Earthquakes at 2 PM on Sunday. But due to the continued heat wave baking Cascadia, that match has been moved to 8 PM. ESPN and MLS were able to accommodate the move with little pushback on either side. With the USWNT celebrating
theirour third star at that time, it will be a good nightcap for an incredibly busy weekend of soccer that also includes the Copa America Final of Argentina versus Chile from Santiago, Chile (Saturday 1 PM, BeIN Sport).
From a Sounders Point of View:
The USMNT game will feature Dempsey, Yedlin and Brad Evans for the USA and Pappa on the other side. We are mostly cheering for both teams to leave healthy.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have won three road matches in row on their World Cup imposed road trip, it would be great if the Colorado Rapids could resemble a real MLS team and take three points at home over the Whitecaps. And if a short handed Toronto could steal a point in LA that would be great as well. The other cross conference matchups sees us cheering for the New England Revolution at FC Dallas and Orlando City SC at Real Salt Lake.
National TV Listings:
Here is your Week 18 Gamethread from Sounder at Heart. Enjoy your 4th of July weekend, if you watch soccer this weekend watch with us.