Three Big Storylines:
- It is Rivalry Week in MLS. Apart from being a chance for MLS to sell the rights to a weekend to a corporate sponsor, that means that generally MLS schedules traditional rivals to play each other all in the same 10 match weekend. While the scheduling does not work perfectly (ahem, Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids or New England Revolution v FC Dallas) it is a pretty cool concept in a relatively empty weekend on the overall US sports calendar.
- Cascadia takes center stage when the Vancouver Whitecaps travel to take on a struggling Portland Timbers team. The two clubs are heading in opposite directions right now as the Timbers are on a three game losing streak while the Whitecaps have won three in a row including wins at Toronto FC, home to the Chicago Fire and both teams streak started with a 2-1 Whitecaps win in Vancouver on May 7th.
- The oddly named California Clásico caps the weekend's matches when the LA Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes. Chris Wondolowski is on fire this year making a push towards inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann's 23 man Copa America roster with 7 goals. This is the second meeting this year between these teams, Gyassi Zardes had a pair of goals in the Galaxy's 3-1 win on March 19th.
- Bonus 4th Storyline: MLS has added an extra National TV Game (see below) this week, so you get an extra storyline. Fox has the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace from Wembley Stadium at 9:30 AM on Saturday and is rolling that into a double header between New York City FC and New York Red Bulls from Yankee Stadium kicking off at Noon. Note, this game is on broadcast Fox, not Fox Sports. Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones are leading the studio coverage while John Strong and Alexi Lalas call the match with Julie Stewart-Binks on the sideline.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Rivalry week sees the vast majority of contests being conference rivals playing each other thus Sounders fans are going to be rooting for a lot of draws this weekend, but with a significant portion of the fanbase probably hoping the North part of Cascadia can continue the losing streak of the South part of Cascadia.
If the New England Revolution can harness the power of Kei Kamara in his second game with the club and defeat FC Dallas, that would be great to give next week's Sounder's opponent a false sense of security and take three points off a Western Conference rival.
National TV Listings:
New York City FC v New York Red Bulls
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps
Sunday, 1:30 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
LA Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes
Sunday, 4:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 12 Gamethread. Watch with us.