Three Big Storylines:
- 10 teams playing. 10 teams on bye. MLS's continued insistence to play through FIFA dates is exasperated this weekend by the fact that only half the league is playing. This is not the place to debate scheduling, I'll just leave it with the league needs to commit to either play or not play on dates, going with a 5 game weekend is a curious choice. Here is a running list of international call-ups, It is quite extensive.
- After being putrid for most of the season, the Chicago Fire are only two points below Orlando and the red line with a game in hand. The Eastern Conference is so much worse than the Western Conference right now, Orlando is clinging to the last playoff spot with a 1.07 ppg. The Fire have gotten four goals in the past four from 26 year old Nigerian DP Kennedy Igboananike, the insertion of Michael Stephens into the starting lineup has ignited the Fire's attack. Stephens is a player worth watching in the run in to the playoffs after spending the 2014 season in Norway with Stabaek. The Fire are at struggling Montreal, losers of three in a row, (Saturday 5 PM, MLS Live) and can leapfrog the Impact, NYCFC and Orlando with a win.
- The New England Revolution are unbeaten in five and have 13 points over that span. They host a struggling Orlando City SC team that has two points over the same timeframe. Kaka is with Brazil and likely MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin is with Canada, leaving Orlando severely short in attack. The Revs run of good form has coincided with the return of Jermaine Jones from hernia surgery. But Jones is off with the USMNT, can the Revs continue the hot form without their leader?
From a Sounders Point of View:
Three points. Just continue to get three points, this week against a shorthanded Toronto FC.
We are big Union fans this weekend. The Philadelphia Union visit the San Jose Earthquakes (Saturday 7:30 PM, MLS Live), the Quakes are on a four game winning streak and the big favorite in this match. Even a draw would be great.
And we are big Columbus Crew fans as well this weekend. The Crew host FC Dallas in a game that can see the home team draw level with DC United for first place in the Eastern Conference with a win. FC Dallas are third in the West with 41 points but have only played 25 games. A loss in Columbus would be beneficial.
National TV Listings:
Columbus Crew v FC Dallas
Sunday, 4 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
No Univision network game this week.
No ESPN game this week.
This is your (abbreviated) Sounder at Heart MLS Week 27 Gamethread. Watch with us.