Three Big Storylines:
- Coming into this weekend, MLS games are averaging 3.22 goals per game. That is a pace that would be the highest since 2001. And to open Saturday morning’s slate of games we have one that particularly stands out. Atlanta United are hosting the Montreal Impact. Atlanta’s offense can be explosive, especially at home. While Montreal’s defense is doing it’s best to set records this year. But not the good type of records. The Impact have given up 17 goals in only seven games played.
- In a sign of maybe how much MLS has changed, Saturday night’s visit by the New York Red Bulls to Carson, California to play the LA Galaxy is not the marquee national TV game of the weekend. It is only on ESPN+ at 7:30. The Galaxy have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a full roster of three designated players, but they seem to be still settling on a system. Zlatan’s heroics in his first game earned the Galaxy a 4-3 home win against LAFC and Zlatan was again the goal scorer in their 1-0 win at the Chicago Fire, but sandwiched around those results are two troubling performances in matching 2-0 home losses to organized teams. The Columbus Crew and Atlanta United both dominated possession and neutralized any service to Zlatan while creating numerous chances. If there is anything that the New York Red Bulls can do, it is dominate possession and stay organized. Zlatan may be the headline and both dos Santos brothers may be extremely well compensated, but the best player on the field Saturday night will likely be 19 year old Tyler Adams.
- Sunday sees an MLS triple header to cap off the weekend. The entire league will be looking to Los Angeles as LAFC open their cathedral of a home stadium in downtown LA against the Seattle Sounders. But this is not the gamethread for that. To open the day Orlando City travel to altitude to take on the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids are coming in off a hapless 3-0 loss at rivals Real Salt Lake last weekend while Orlando City are quietly on a four game winning streak that has been anything but quiet with results of 4-3, 3-2 and 3-2 in home wins over respectively New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes sandwiched around a 2-0 away win in Philadelphia. Before the headline game of the weekend caps off the night at 6 PM, New York City FC will host FC Dallas at 3:30 on Sunday on ESPN+. With rumors swirling about NYCFC’s Patrick Vieira being a 10-1 betting odds favorite to be the next Arsenal manager, this will be an intriguing game as FC Dallas is the lone unbeaten team left in MLS with a 3-0-3 record.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Did you see what happened last night? Our neighbors to the north the Vancouver Whitecaps broke their three game losing streak with a 2-0 home win over Real Salt Lake. The game was not without calamity for the struggling ‘Caps as they took a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute on a Cristian Techera penalty kick, where he promptly was red carded in the celebration after the goal as Techera took his shirt off and earned a second yellow card for the action. There is a video circulating that is quite funny where the other Whitecaps players realize what Techera is doing and try to huddle around him with his freshly discarded jersey to get it back on quickly and maybe the referee will not see. The ref did spot the infraction.
As for the Sounders, just Bruin the the big opening weekend for LAFC.
National TV Listings:
Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 PM
Colorado Rapids v Orlando City
Date/Time: Sunday, 1:00 PM
Streaming: Watch ESPN
LAFC v Seattle Sounders
Date/Time: Sunday, 6:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Weekend Week 9 open gamethread. Watch with us.