Author’s Note: MLS Live will be replaced by a new service called ESPN+ this spring. Until ESPN+ rolls out, MLS Live is free for everyone on MLSSoccer.com or via your preferred streaming platform (I use a Roku box and it works great). Details on registering here.
Three Big Storylines:
- Zlatan! The long rumored arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the LA Galaxy went from rumor to signing practically overnight and Zlatan has arrived in MLS. The Galaxy are in Canada on Saturday to play the Vancouver Whitecaps (7 PM, MLS Live) and if there is a chance Zlatan can play they could use him as the Galaxy are likely to be without 11 players due to injury and international duty. Ola Kamara (Norway) and Emrah Klimenta (Montenegro) are with their national teams while Ashley Cole is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the Galaxy’s 2-1 loss at New York City FC on March 11. On the injury report and unlikely to play are Designated Players Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos (I refrained from making the dos dos Santos joke) and Romain Alessandrini along with Michael Ciani, Joao Pedro, Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen and Bradford Jamieson IV. In the unlikely event that Zlatan is cleared to play, can survive the coach class flight from LAX to YVR and wants to make his debut on FieldTurf then we might see the biggest MLS debut of the season on Saturday night in Cascadia.
- On the FIFA calendar this weekend is a designated international break. So naturally there are six MLS games on the schedule while 11 teams have a bye. The United States Men’s National Team featuring DeAndre Yedlin likely earning his 50th cap will host Paraguay on Tuesday from Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on Tuesday. Cristian Roldan was again called into the squad for the second time in 2018 after spending most of January in USMNT camp.
- The Portland Timbers are one of only five MLS teams without a point earned this year and will look to rectify that situation when they travel to FC Dallas on Saturday. FC Dallas is coming in off a 3-0 victory over another Cascadia team last week and will hope to earn their seventh point on the year from three played if they can continue their winning ways at home against traveling Cascadia squads. The Timbers are on an extended road trip to start the season as Providence Park undergoes the first of two off seasons worth of upgrades. Portland’s home slate begins on April 14th with Minnesota United.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Likely due to the NCAA tournaments taking all the attention from MLS’s national TV partners, ESPN and Fox Sports, there is only one national TV game this weekend and it is on UniMas.
Gustav Svensson is with Sweden as they host Chile on Saturday morning (TV details below). Sweden is in an extremely tough World Cup group in Russia this summer as they play in order: South Korea, Germany and Mexico.
Roman Torres and Panama played Denmark in Denmark on Friday and lost 1-0. Torres was on the bench but did not play. Panama next travel to Switzerland to play the Swiss on Tuesday.
National TV Listings:
Sweden v Chile
Location: Friends Arena, Solan, Sweden
Date/Time: Saturday, 10:00 AM
TV: BeIN Sports
Streaming: BeIN Sports Connect
FC Dallas v Portland Timbers
Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 PM
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Weekend Week 4 open gamethread. Watch with us.