Three Big Storylines:
- It’s Rivalry Week in MLS, which means that MLS HQ gets to activate a sponsorship (hello Heineken) and we get a bunch of rivalry games plus a few awkward outliers (San Jose Earthquakes versus the Vancouver Whitecaps I’m looking at you) on the slate for the week. Rivalry week is more than just a weekend; it’s an entire week in MLS, and we already have 1-1 draws in four of the five games played this week. Only Atlanta United’s 2-1 win over Orlando City SC has broken the slate of 1-1 draws between New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew, the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas, and the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC.
- Toronto FC is facing a must win game hosting the Montreal Impact (Saturday, 5 PM, ESPN+). The reigning MLS Cup Champions have struggled to replicate their historic form from 2017 and are only 6-12-6 (W-L-D) on the season. A loss to Montreal would put them an untenable 12 points below the red line with only nine games to play, while a win would see them with a possibly manageable 6 points below the red line. Sebastian Giovinco has only eight goals on the season for Toronto, well off his average pace of over 18 goals in his first three seasons in MLS.
- The Rocky Mountain Cup will be decided on Saturday night in Colorado. Real Salt Lake lead the series with a 3-0 win and a 2-2 draw, but both games were played in Utah. The Colorado Rapids will need a big home win to stop RSL from claiming their third straight cup. RSL are coming into this match on a pretty big high, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat last weekend when they needed 93rd and 100th minute goals to beat the Houston Dynamo for only their second road win of the season — vaulting them up to fourth in the Western Conference. The Rapids are mostly playing for pride (and the Rocky Mountain Cup!), as they have 24 points from 25 played and sit 13 points below the red line.
From a Sounders Point of View:
The above Rocky Mountain Cup is of some interest to the Sounders; a win by Colorado would be ideal, as coupled with a win by the Sounders it would vault the Sounders above RSL on the goal differential tiebreaker.
The only other game of note this weekend in the Western Conference would be Minnesota United at Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 5:30 PM, ESPN+). A win by Minnesota might be too much to ask for, but how about we keep up the 1-1 draw theme that started the week?
National TV Listings:
New York Red Bulls v D.C. United
Date/Time: Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Steaming: Fox Sports Go
Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders (this is not the gamethread you are looking for)
Date/Time: Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Streaming: Fox Sports Go
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Weekend Week 26 open gamethread. Watch with us.