July 3, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
Portland Timbers (6-6-5, 23 pts) @ Colorado Rapids (9-2-5, 32 pts), 9 p.m. ET (ROOT-NW, Altitude)
Since going on a five-game unbeaten streak – not counting U.S. Open Cup games -- Portland has climbed four spots in the Western Conference. Diego Valeri has scored five goals during the run, three on penalties. Both teams are coming off Open Cup elimination losses on Wednesday, Portland to Los Angeles and Colorado to Dallas. The loss to FCD was the Rapids' first since April 11, an 11-game unbeaten streak that has seen them climb into the top spot in the conference and remain there for nearly two months. Monday's match is expected to mark the debut/return of Tim Howard to the Rapids/MLS after a 13-year absence, sitting Zac MacMath who leads the league in wins and goals against average. Colorado should be a heavy favorite, having gone 13-3-4 on Independence Day since it began its tradition of a July 4 match with fireworks 21 years ago.
Orlando City SC (4-3-8, 20 pts) @ FC Dallas (9-5-4), 9 p.m. ET (WRDQ-27, TWCSN-TX)
Dallas has the second-best record in the league at home (6-0-3) – behind only Colorado – and has only lost one of its last nine overall, including Open Cup. It brings the added momentum of beating Colorado in extra time of Wednesday's Open Cup game. Zach Lloyd will miss a third straight league game since breaking his nose and suffering a concussion in the Open Cup win over OKC on June 15. Orlando staggers into Dallas with a five-game unbeaten streak in MLS, but coming off a 2-1 loss to the NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers having given up the deciding goal in the final minute of extra time. Orlando has only one win away from home this year, that in New York City in the third week of the season.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-7-3, 24 pts) @ LA Galaxy (5-3-8, 23 pts), 10:30 p.m. ET (TSN1/RDS2; TWCSN-LA/TWCD)
Despite its high-profile roster, Los Angeles hasn't won in MLS since May 8, a stretch of seven games, although it has a couple of Open Cup wins against the amateur La Maqina FC and Portland Timbers on Wednesday. Whatever steam it gained from its 1-0 win over Portland could evaporate with the absences of Jelle van Damme (card accumulation), Ashley Cole (red card), Robbie Rogers (ankle injury) and maybe even Dan Kennedy (groin injury). Vancouver will look to recover after winning the battle of the Canadian Championship, a 2-1 win over Toronto in the second leg of the finals on Wednesday, but losing the war – TFC won the title on away goals. Last week's 3-2 win over Philly ended a three-game winless slide in MLS, including a goal by Kekuta Manneh, who has four goals in five games. This is the second meeting of the two teams this season, having drawn 0-0 in Vancouver on April 2.