Three Big Storylines:
- After taking a few weeks off, Friday night MLS is back and they have an excellent game to return to as the New York Red Bulls travel to Cascadia to take on the Portland Timbers. The Red Bulls are fourth in the Eastern Conference but only five points behind the other New York team, NYCFC, for second place and a bye in the playoffs. The red part of New York can close the gap as they have a game in hand. The Timbers are on 34 points from 25 played and right in the midst of a jumbled Western Conference playoff picture in fifth place.
- As the MLS season approaches the home stretch, most teams have about 10 games to play. The Western Conference standings are quite tight with three teams; Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City; atop the standings all on 37 points from 24 played. FC Dallas is only two points back of the top three but has two games in hand with 22 played. The aforementioned Timbers are in fifth place while the San Jose Earthquakes currently sit in the last playoff spot with 32 points from 24 played but the Vancouver Whitecaps are looming one point back with two games in hand. Vancouver hosts Houston Saturday night (7 PM, MLS Live) while the Earthquakes kickoff 30 minutes later at home against the Philadelphia Union (7:30 PM, MLS Live).
- For the first time in a number of years the Eastern Conference in MLS has the stronger collection of teams atop the standings. Toronto FC lead the Supporters’ Shield with 47 points from 24 played. A win for TFC at the Chicago Fire on Saturday (5 PM, MLS Live) would see them at 2.0 points per game with almost three quarters of the season (okay, 73.5%) played. Atlanta United is looking to cap off their inaugural season with a playoff berth. They currently sit in the 6th and last playoff spot with 35 points from 22 played. But Atlanta still has eight home games to play, including an unprecedented six game home stand, as their schedule is backloaded with home games as they open up their new stadium.
From a Sounders Point of View:
This space is never shy in cheering for the Timbers to lose and nothing will change on Friday night as Fox Soccer is in Portland attempting to avoid the eclipse traffic apocalypse (trafficeclipsolis?), go Red Bulls.
Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas could use a Draw (Saturday, 5:30 PM, MLS Live) and we can cheer for our northern Cascadia brethren as they host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, go Whitecaps. Lastly we are all in on the Union, Philadelphia Union, as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.
National TV Listings:
Date/Time: Friday, 7:00 PM
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
Date/Time: Sunday, 7:00 PM
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 24 open gamethread. Watch with us.