Three big storylines
- Records. Records. Records? The final matchday of MLS in 2019 is all about the records. With a win, LAFC will break the all-time points record with 72, surpassing New York Red Bulls’ 2018 record of 71. The all-time goal scoring record in MLS is Josef Martinez’s 31 goal haul last year. Carlos Vela has already tied the record with 31 goals this year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is two back with 29 and Josef Martinez has 26 on the year, it would take a record breaking day for him to get into the Golden Boot conversation but his two-season haul of 57 goals is a record you probably didn’t know existed?
- Retirements. Retirements. Retirements? It’s actually not just about the records, it’s also about the retirements. Tim Howard will likely be playing his last game as a professional when he takes the field for the Colorado Rapids at LAFC (barring a miraculous playoff berth). Nick Rimando is going to play his last regular season game in MLS. He will retire as the all-time MLS career leader in games played, minutes played, wins, saves and shutouts. He is also the last player in MLS to have played for the Miami Fusion under Ray Hudson (yes, the announcer Ray Hudson was once an MLS manager). Hey Nick, how about play just one more year at an expansion team in South Florida? What better way to bookend a career than finishing where you left off? Speaking of Retirements? DaMarcus Beasley is also retiring. Your author only put a question mark on that last retirement because I just thought DMB would keep playing until he’s 50. Rimando might have been the only player to play for the Miami Fusion left in MLS, but DMB is the only player left to have signed for MLS in the previous millennium. Sadly he did not make an appearance in 1999 for the LA Galaxy, waiting to make his debut in 2000 for the Chicago Fire. After starting his career with the Fire, DMB had successful stints in the Netherlands (PSV), England (Manchester City), Scotland (Rangers), Germany (Hannover 96) and Mexico (Puebla). He will finish his career in Houston as the Dynamo host the LA Galaxy. Amazingly, after signing with Houston at the age of 32, the club for which he has the most career appearances is going to end up being the Houston Dynamo. Although he has more USMNT caps than games for the Dynamo.
- The Eastern Conference playoff spots are locked down, but in the Western Conference four teams are still playing for two spots. The Portland Timbers can still somehow miss the playoffs with a home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas beating Sporting Kansas City at home. The Colorado Rapids still have a sliver of hope but they need a lot of help. You can see the full scenarios here.
From a Sounders point of view
Win and the Sounders finish second in the Western Conference. Do that please.
There is still a chance that the Sounders can finish third in the Supporters’ Shield and possibly earn a Concacaf Champions League berth depending on playoff results. We need Atlanta United to lose to the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union to lose to New York City FC. Both teams we are cheering against are at home.
National TV listings
Portland Timbers v San Jose Earthquakes
Date/Time: Sunday, 1:00 PM PT (actual kickoff is 1:25)
Streaming: Watch ESPN
As a reminder, all 12 MLS matches kickoff at the same time today. Even though ESPN is focusing on the Timbers game, look for whip around style coverage throughout the broadcast.
Join the Discussion
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS final regular season matchday open gamethread. Watch with us.