July 9, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
LA Galaxy (6-3-8, 26 pts) @ Seattle Sounders FC (5-9-2, 17 pts), 3 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN Deportes; TSN2)
The two most experienced coaches in MLS face off for the first of two times in 11 days when Bruce Arena's LA Galaxy clashes with Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders. They are set to collide again in Los Angeles on July 20 in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Seattle has only two goals in its last four games, and only two wins in its last five games – both in the Open Cup and one on penalties. The Galaxy finally managed to spice its offense last week with Robbie Keane finally returned from the European Championship. After going four games without scoring more than a goal, Los Angeles got one goal from Keane, his fifth of the season but first since May 8, and another from Jeff Larentowicz for a 2-0 win over Vancouver. But now the Galaxy will have to do without Nigel de Jong, who was ejected from the game with the 'Caps.
D.C. United (5-6-6, 21 pts) @ Philadelphia Union (7-6-5, 26 pts), 7 p.m. ET (NewsChannel 8; TCN-Phi)
Philly has slipped from the top perch in the Eastern Conference after two straight losses – the first time that's happened this season – and three in its last four games. One of its few successes has been the U.S. Open Cup, however, advancing to the quarterfinals, making Saturday's game the first of five in a 15-day stretch. Last week's 1-0 loss to Houston was only the third time the Union has been shut out this year and first since April 2. The club should be boosted by the return to the starting lineup of C.J. Sapong, who played 27 minutes last week after missing three games with a left ankle sprain. D.C. has gone unbeaten in its last three and has only one loss in five since Bill Hamid resumed his spot in goal after starting the season injured.
Chicago Fire (3-7-5, 14 pts) @ Toronto FC (5-6-5, 20 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-Chi; TSN4)
Chicago comes into the match after only its third victory of the season – and first since May 21 -- a 1-0 win over lightly regarded San Jose. However, it still is in the throes of an MLS-record 32-game road winless streak as it heads to Toronto, where it hasn't won in four games since 2012. Like Philly, the Fire's Open Cup success will test it over the next two weeks with five matches. Toronto has lost only once at home in six tries this season, but by contrast, has won only two. Twenty-year-old forward Jordan Hamilton, who only broke into the starting lineup three games ago, already has two goals while Sebastian Giovinco has been held without a goal during that stretch.
Columbus Crew SC (3-6-7, 16 pts) @ New England Revolution (4-7-7, 19 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (TWCSN-OH/CW Clb; CSN-NE)
This will be the first meeting between the clubs since Columbus traded Kei Kamara to the Revs following the on-field dispute he had with then Crew teammate Federico Higuain on May 7 that led to Columbus blowing a four-goal lead and settling for a 4-4 draw with Montreal. Since then, the Crew has won only two of nine (one of those against NASL side Tampa Bay in the Open Cup) and Higuain has been out of commission with a hernia problem since the beginning of June. After Kamara appeared to finally be warming to New England – three goals in two games – he was thwarted on Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to NYC. Hampering the Revs will be the absence of goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who was tossed from the NYC match in the 94th minute for tripping Khiry Shelton outside the penalty area. Brad Knighton, whose only three games this season game came last month, is expected to be back in goal.
Colorado Rapids (9-2-6) @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7-8-3), 10 p.m. ET (Altitude; TSN1)
Notwithstanding its Open Cup loss to Dallas last week, Colorado is riding an 11-game unbeaten streak, yet with only two wins in its last five. And it has been shut out its last two games. The Rapids have slipped four points behind FCD for the Western Conference lead, although it has played two fewer games. Tim Howard has been finally added to the roster, and he rejoins U.S. national teammate Jermaine Jones, as both have returned from the Copa America. Vancouver has won only one of its last five and was shut out last week for the first time since April 16. The match is the first of three straight at home in a week for the Whitecaps, which is 4-2-3 at B.C. Place this season.
Montreal Impact (6-4-6, 24 pts) @ Real Salt Lake (8-5-4, 28 pts), 10 p.m. ET (TVAS; KMYU-12)
Real Salt Lake has remained undefeated in MLS in the three games since it had the grass field at Rio Tinto replaced, but two of those were draws. And the friendly confines were no help in the Open Cup, which saw RSL eliminated from by Seattle on penalties. Especially troubling was RSL gave up an injury time goal last week to have to settle for a 1-1 draw with D.C. United – the fourth time it has conceded a winning or equalizing in the extra minutes this year. RSL will be without Tony Beltran for accumulated yellows. The Impact have lost only once in their last nine games, but have won only two as well. It's four-match unbeaten streak matches a season high. Didier Drogba missed last week's 3-2 win over New England with a leg injury, but does not appear on the injury report this week. And Harry Shipp returned to the lineup against New England, his first start since May 14.