Three Big Storylines:
- Friday night sees the UniMas national TV game finally get a good game to open the weekend. The Portland Timbers host the Houston Dynamo in a match that Sounders fans will have a rooting interest in (see, From a Sounders Point of View below). The Timbers are on a two game winning streak, while Houston are four points below the red line but have a game in hand over the sixth place team. Houston comes off a marathon game in New England last weekend that took five hours to finish, encompassing a 2 hour and 52 minute weather delay. DaMarcus Beasley has been playing well for Houston and will get another start. Beasley should feature for the USMNT in the next two friendlies leading up to the Confederations Cup one game playoff with Mexico.
- FC Dallas head to BC Place to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the marquee game on Saturday night (7 PM, MLS Live). The Whitecaps are one point behind the LA Galaxy but with a game in hand. FC Dallas is four points back of Vancouver but with two games in hand. This is a pivotal game in the run in for the Western Conference's two top seeds that come with a bye. Vancouver are coming off a 4-3 loss in Sporting KC where they became only the second team in MLS history to have a two goal lead at 80 minutes and lose the game.
- Only one Sunday national TV game, but it is the marketing departments dream. New York City FC and Frank Lampard head to the StubHub Center to take on the LA Galaxy and Steven Gerrard. NYCFC have recently inserted Kwadwo Poku into the starting lineup and he has provided the spark needed behind David Villa. But the Galaxy are starting to hit on all cylinders with Giovani Dos Santos integrating with Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes in attack. Rumors of a Zardes move to Belgium have been picking up steam, if he is not starting then the rumors might be coming true.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Three points. We need to take the momentum from Sunday that continued through a legendary finish on Wednesday in CCL play and take another three points in Utah.
First up on Friday night, get the SAP button warmed up on UniMas and cheer for Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo to take three points in Portland. As Sounders fans, it's great to see Portland lose, but Portland has a four point lead on the Sounders right now with a visit looming next Sunday in a full stadium Century Link. The Timbers dropping any points this weekend would put the Sounders in position to leapfrog the Timbers in the standings with that game.
DC United lead the Supporter's Shield race with 44 points from 26 played and they host the San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes are only three points below the Sounders, separated by the red line. Do you harbor Supporters' Shield ambitions? Then go San Jose. Are you looking for just a little more breathing room between the Sounders and the red line? Then go DC United. Tough one.
Not so tough in Columbus as we are all Crew fans when they host Sporting Kansas City Saturday (4:30 PM, MLS Live).
FC Dallas at Vancouver, let's call that one a draw as two combined points is better than three.
And lastly, go NYCFC. Even a draw in LA would be great.
National TV Listings:
Houston Dynamo at Portland Timbers
Friday, 8:00 PM
Streaming: Univision Deportes
NYCFC at LA Galaxy
Streaming: Watch ESPN
No Fox Sports Game this Sunday.
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 25 Gamethread. Watch with us.