Three Big Storylines:
- Friday Night MLS kicks off with a good Western Conference clash as the San Jose Earthquakes travel to Utah to take on Real Salt Lake. After a slow start to the season Viernes de Fútbol has started to get the good games. Real Salt Lake are one point above the red line and looking to solidify a playoff spot while San Jose are four points below the last playoff spot. The Earthquakes come off one of the more improbable wins in MLS history, after going down to 9 men in the 53rd minute with the score tied 1-1 they scored a 70th minute goal and held onto the lead with 9 men for the final 20 minutes. Jair Marrufo, the same ref from last weekend's Cascadia match, is the ref for this match thus there should not be a repeat as Marrufo liberally let's fouls play themselves out by keeping his cards (and whistle) in his pocket.
- The Seattle Sounders last two opponents play on Saturday as the LA Galaxy travel to Portland Timbers for a special 12:30 PM ESPN game featuring their first Sports Center on the Road broadcast from an MLS game. The Galaxy are on a three game winning streak in the league with three consecutive shutouts and the Timbers are on a nine game unbeaten run in league play, but including five draws in that span. Surprisingly the Galaxy's Nigel de Jong is not suspended for this game, look for him to battle with Diego Chara for 90 minutes.
- In what is a big weekend for MLS and national TV, FOX is bringing the big guns by putting MLS on broadcast air for the second weekend in a row. New York Red Bulls will host New York City FC at 10 AM on Sunday. This is the third meeting of the year between these teams. NYRB won at Yankee Stadium by an MLS record tying 7-0 score in the first meeting then NYCFC won the next game 2-0 also at Yankee Stadium, this will be the only game in New Jersey between these two this year. Since that 7-0 defeat, NYCFC has rebounded nicely with 16 points from 8 matches.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Just get three points.
At this point, just put the head down and accrue some points.
Every MLS game this weekend is an inter conference match. There is no Eastern Conference versus Western Conference games, so besides just concentrating on three points for the Sounders we can cheer for draws across the West.
National TV Listings:
Real Salt Lake v San Jose Earthquakes
Friday, 8:00 PM
Streaming: Univision Deportes
Portland Timbers v LA Galaxy
Saturday, 12:30 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
New York Red Bulls v New York City FC
Sunday, 10:00 AM
TV: FOX (Not Fox Sports, broadcast FOX)
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 19 Gamethread. Watch with us.