Three Big Storylines:
- The Supporters' Shield race is incredibly tight with the Vancouver Whitecaps leading on 48 points from 28 played while down in 10th place is the New England Revolution with 40 points from 27 played. But with 19 points from their last eight played and a finishing schedule exponentially easier than any of the their Western Conference challengers that looks like: Chicago, at New England, at Portland, Orlando, Columbus, Montreal, at Toronto, Philadelphia and at Chicago the New York Red Bulls might be the betting favorite. The Red Bulls have a red hot Sacha Kljestan, arguably the best young American CB in 20 year old Matt Miazga and the reigning Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips to go with the above schedule that starts this Friday night with the Chicago Fire in Red Bull Arena.
- New York City FC spent an immense amount heading into their inaugural season bringing in David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. It has not gone well. NYCFC is three points below the red line in the eminently winnable Eastern Conference. There have not been open revolts between manager Jason Kreis and the team's stars, although Kreis and Lampard shared vastly differing views about the recent run of bad form and perceived lack of effort. NYCFC think they can still make the playoffs, they start their last seven games in Frisco, Texas playing FC Dallas on Saturday (5:30 PM, MLS Live).
- Sunday sees the return of the National TV MLS double header, not that there is anything else starting this Sunday to compete for viewers, with two good matches. Toronto FC hosts the New England Revolution while Orlando City SC host Sporting Kansas City. TFC are hoping to have Sebastian Giovinco back from injury that kept him out of Italy's Euro Qualifiers, while Orlando City SC is seething that Brazil gave their Kaka back injured.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Three points, keep getting three points. The Sounders are in 4th place in the Western Conference on tiebreakers over Sporting KC and the Portland Timbers and three points up on this week's opponent the Earthquakes.
Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake is the least of the intra-Western Conference clashes with a bearing on the red line, slight lean to the draw.
NYCFC was the subject of #2 above and it would be great if their quest for the playoffs takes off with three points in Dallas. I'd take a draw right now.
For Supporters' Shield purposes we want the Colorado Rapids to turn DC United's three game losing streak into four.
On Sunday a struggling Orlando City SC host Sporting KC, let's go purple! Hopefully Kaka's hamstrings are better and Canada did not break Cyle Larin.
Lastly, in this space just a week ago we asked for one of the worst teams in MLS to fly across the country and take something from MLS's hottest team the San Jose Earthquakes. Well the Philadelphia Union not only took something, they subbed on attacking maestro Connor Casey in the 71st minute down 1-0 and Casey promptly scored twice to secure all three points. Now can the Montreal Impact please do the same in LA against the Galaxy? (Saturday 7:30 PM, MLS Live)
National TV Listings:
Toronto FC v New England Revolution
Sunday, 2:00 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Orlando City SC v Sporting Kansas City
Sunday, 4:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 28 Gamethread. Watch with us.