May 27, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
Houston Dynamo (3-7-2, 11 pts) @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6-6-2, 20 pts), 6 p.m. ET (ROOT-SW, TSN1/RDS)
With manager Owen Coyle resigning on Wednesday, Houston will be run by a committee of assistants: Wade Barrett, Paul Caffrey and Paul Roger. They will need to figure out how to rectify the Dynamo's woes on the road, where they have lost all six games and scored only two goals in their last five road matches. That's particularly ominous for Houston and encouraging to Vancouver, which has lost only one of seven at home, none since the season opener, and allowed only three goals during a home six-game unbeaten streak. Included in that streak is a 1-0 win by the Whitecaps over Houston in Canada on March 26. Vancouver had been on a three-game winning streak before a 4-2 loss in Portland on Sunday. The Whitecaps will be without Blas Perez, Christian Bolanos and Kendall Waston for international duty, while Giles Barnes will be absent for Houston. In eight meetings between the two, the home team has won every time.
Toronto FC (4-4-4, 16 pts) @ New York Red Bulls (5-7-1, 16 pts), 7 p.m. ET (SNet 360, MSG)
New York will try for a second time to topple Toronto, after losing at Red Bull Arena 2-0 in the season opener. The Red Bulls are coming off a very encouraging 7-0 thrashing of cross-Hudson rival NYC a week ago, and will be facing a Toronto side that will be without Michael Bradley in the middle due to U.S. national team call-up (and Jozy Altidore to another in his his seemingly never-ending string of injuries). New York will be without Kemar Lawrence due to international duty, as well as without Anatole Abang and Derrick Etienne – who have played 22 minutes this season between them (all Abang.) New York has won two straight for the first time this season and is unbeaten in five of its last six. Toronto comes into the game having been shut out for the third time this season, but first in its last eight. The 0-0 draw against Columbus also was the fifth time it has held an opponent without a goal.
Real Salt Lake (6-3-2, 20 pts) @ Columbus Crew SC (2-4-5, 11 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (KMYU-12, TWC-OH/CW Clb)
Real Salt Lake continues its extended road trip with a fourth straight game away from home while Rio Tinto has its grass field replaced. After a pair of 1-0 losses it stabilized itself with a 3-1 victory in Kansas City last week. RSL has won only once in nine tries at MAPFRE Stadium. Columbus is winless in four, including a run of three straight draws that started with its second-half, Kei Kamara/Federico Higuain-inspired second-half meltdown against Montreal three weeks ago. Since Kamara's trade to New England, the Crew have scored only one goal, keeping it with the third fewest in the league (12). After playing his second straight match following a three-game injury-induced absence Joao Plata assisted on RSL's first goal in a 3-1 win over KC last week. His form in which he scored a goal or assisted on one in the club's first six matches was key to the team's early season success.
Seattle Sounders FC (4-6-1, 13 pts) @ New England Revolution (2-4-7, 13 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (JOEtv/ROOT-NW Alt, CSN-NE)
The Revs have won only once at home in their five home games this season, which gives Seattle some hope since it's winless away from Century Link Field with three losses in four tries. Juan Agudelo has either a goal or an assist (or both) in each of New England's last four games while Lee Nguyen has a goal or assist in three of the last four. Seattle has yet to recover from its 5-3 aggregate loss to Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals to start the year, and after being shut out in consecutive matches now have scored the second-fewest goals in the league (10).
LA Galaxy (5-1-5, 20 pts) @ Montreal Impact (4-4-4, 16 pts), 8 p.m. ET (TWCSN-LA/TWCD, RDS)
Both teams will be without significant personnel on international duty: Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Baggio Husidic for the Galaxy, who haven't lost since the second week of the season and are riding a nine-game unbeaten streak, and Laurent Ciman, Ambroise Oyongo and Johan Venegas for Montreal, which hasn't won since April 16 and is mired in a six-game winless slump. The Impact hasn't appeared to get any boost from its three-goal, second-half rally against Columbus three weeks ago. Ignacio Piatti has been a bright light at least recently with three goals in three games. For all of LA's success, including only one loss, it still sits seven points behind Western Conference leader Colorado, although it has played two fewer games. And despite their noted offensive firepower, the Galaxy have been held to a goal or less in five of 11 games.
Portland Timbers (4-6-3 19 pts) @ Chicago Fire (2-5-4, 10 pts), 8:30 p.m. ET (KPDX, CSN-Chi)
Both teams snapped three-game losing streaks last week, but...: Chicago won for only the second time this season and that a 1-0 victory over the second-worst team in the league, Houston. Both of Chicago's wins have been 1-0 victories. Portland, on the other hand, scored a season-high four goals against Cascadia rival Vancouver in a 4-2 win at Providence Park. Away from home, the Timbers have yet to score more than goal in any game. Chicago has allowed a goal or less to opponents in four of its last five games in Bridgeview. The match will pit the worst offense (Chicago) against one of the worst defenses (Portland). The Fire have been shut out four times and scored the fewest goals (nine) in MLS. The Timbers are tied with three other teams for the most goals allowed (24).
Philadelphia Union (5-3-4, 19 pts) @ Colorado Rapids (8-2-3, 27 pts), 9 p.m. ET (TCN-Phi, Altitude)
This has to be the biggest surprise match of the season, with both teams sitting atop their respective conferences after finishing at or near the bottom last year. Colorado is unbeaten in eight matches, since April 9, and Philly hasn't lost in six, since April 16. The Rapids have been the more consistent side, with six wins in its run to the top of the Western Conference, while the Union have won only twice in their streak. At home, Colorado's been even better, winning all six and allowing only two goals. But the Rapids will be hampered by the absence of Jermaine Jones and DP Shkelzen Gashi. Philadelphia's Chris Pontius has two assists in his last three games, three overall and is within two of his career seasonal best.
FC Dallas (8-4-2, 26 pts) @ San Jose Earthquakes (5-3-4, 19 pts), 10:30 p.m. ET (KTXA-21, CSN-CA)
San Jose has won six of seven games at Avaya Stadium this season, tied the other and outscored opponents 12-3. Dallas, outside of a three-game slide where it couldn't score a goal, has won three times away from home already this year. Its 4-2 victory at New England last week ended a 336-minute goalless run. The departures of Chris Wondolowski, Alberto Quintero, Simon Dawkins and Anibal Godoy to national team duty will take away the scorers of 12 of the Quakes' 16 goals this season. Dallas will lose it on the back end with defender Maynor Figueroa and defensive midfielder Carlos Gruezo headed for the Copa America.