Three Big Storylines:
- The will he or won't he question continues. This space has touted the (possible) debut of Frank Lampard for most of July. Well, we are back today with Lampard's debut likely when NYCFC open the MLS weekend with Orlando City at home (11 AM, MLS Live). Regardless of Lampard's off again - off again relationship with playing time in MLS, this match should be interesting. David Villa played a half in the All Star Game partnering Clint Dempsey as a starting striker, while Andrea Pirlo made his debut last weekend with a 57th minute substitute appearance and could play more today. These teams have played twice with NYCFC winning both and a combined 7 goals have been scored, expect another entertaining game as NYCFC's offense is playing well while the defense is struggling.
- The LA Galaxy visit the site of this year's All Star Game when they take on the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Good Park (6 PM, MLS Live). The Rapids are still eight points below the red line, but they are on a three game winning streak and their DP striker, Kevin Doyle, is not only not suspended for a high elbow on Gonzalo Pineda (double negative intended, your author is still annoyed at the non-call) but he is on a three game scoring streak. The Galaxy are winless away from the StubHub Center this year with a 0-6-5 record and have not won in 15 away matches stretching back to last season.
- With the Gold Cup and Women's World Cup over, we are finally back to the standard Sunday national TV schedule with a 2 PM game on ESPN2 followed by 4 PM on Fox Sports 1. The San Jose Earthquakes host the Portland Timbers to open Sunday's games. The Quakes have lost four in a row, while Portland only has one point from their last three. Chris Wondolowski is back for San Jose and it is a good thing as he has nine goals on the season while second on the team is Quincy Amarikwa at three. San Jose was so desperate for a result last weekend they took the extraordinary measure of starting Wondolowski on Sunday night in Vancouver after he had started for the USMNT on Saturday and flew into Vancouver from Philadelphia on Sunday morning. It did not work, the Whitecaps still won 3-1.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Three points. August is here, July is a rapidly fading memory. We just need points now.
But since you are here, let's cheer for the Chicago Fire to somehow get a result at home against the hottest team in MLS, FC Dallas. DC United host Real Salt Lake (4 PM, MLS Live), and while an RSL win would be good for Supporters' Shield implications, a DC United win would keep RSL below the red line. Let's just cheer for a Draw? The Houston Dynamo are at Sporting KC (5:30 PM, MLS Live), if the Dynamo could get a result that would be great.
National TV Listings:
San Jose Earthquakes v Portland Timbers
Sunday, 2:00 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Chicago Fire v FC Dallas
Sunday, 4:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 21 Gamethread. Watch with us.