July 15, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
D.C. United (5-7-6, 21 pts) @ Columbus Crew SC (3-7-8, 17 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (NewsChannel8, TWCSN-OH/CW Clb)
Neither team comes into the match particularly strong. Columbus is winless in its last six, and D.C., although it has a win, has only three goals in its last half dozen matches (and that includes a goalless penalty kick loss to the NASL's Fort Lauderdale in the U.S. Open Cup). The Crew have fallen all the way to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. About the only good thing one can say about Columbus is that its unbeaten at home in its last eight (nine if you count the Open Cup), which should provide comfort considering this game will be the first of three straight at MAPFRE Stadium. DCU's offensive production of late really can't be considered a drop, since it has only 17 goals this season, better than only Chicago.
Sporting Kansas City (8-9-4, 28 pts) @ Colorado Rapids (9-2-7, 34 pts), 9 p.m. ET (KMCI-38/SKCTVN, Altitude)
Unbeaten in 13 but with only one victory in their last five, Colorado has slid to second place in the Western Conference, three points behind FC Dallas. The Rapids will try to build off the 95th-minute goal by Axel Sjoberg, which earned them a 2-2 draw with Vancouver last Saturday in a match that ended a two-game goalless skid. Colorado will have to replace right back Eric Miller, who got tossed in the 71st minute against the Caps. Sporting is hoping the third time is the charm, having lost twice already to Colorado this season (and the last two times in 2015), 2-1 in KC and 1-0 in Commerce City. It also hopes there are no scars from losing to Chicago on Wednesday, only the Fire's fourth win and 16th goal of the season – the lowest total in the league.
Chicago Fire (4-8-5, 17 pts) @ FC Dallas (11-6-4, 37 pts), 9 p.m. ET (CSN-Chi+, KTXA-21/TWCSN-TX)
FC Dallas, which had a 5-0 outlier loss against Houston in the second week of the season, had another on Wednesday when it was blitzed 5-0 in Seattle. Besides losing Maynor Figueroa in the fourth minute – which rules him out of Saturday's match -- the loss came in FCD's fifth game in 19 days, and comes amid a stretch where Dallas is playing eight matches in 29 days, including Open Cup. Including Open Cup, Chicago has won three of its last four, including two shutouts. All three victories came at home and the Fire is one of five teams yet to win away from home this season.
Orlando City SC (4-5-9, 21 pts) @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-8-4, 28 pts), 10 p.m. ET (WRDQ-27, TSN1/RDS2)
Bobby Murphy's ascension to head coach at Orlando in place of Adrian Heath hasn't done much to change Orlando's slide, extending its goalless streak another two matches to 345 minutes. The absence of Brek Shea due to accumulated yellows probably won't help on Saturday. Kaka is still listed as day-to-day after missing the past 2½ games with a calf injury. With a third straight game at home – and in a week – the Whitecaps will try to extend their three-game unbeaten streak (including Canadian Championship). Their 2-0 win last week over RSL was the first in MLS at B.C. Place since May 11. The shutout was a welcome sight to coach Carl Robinson, whose club is tied for allowing the second-most goals in MLS (33).
New England Revolution (5-7-7, 22 pts) @ Real Salt Lake (8-6-5, 29 pts), 10 p.m. ET (CSN-NE, KMYU-12)
Real Salt Lake is winless in five – and only one win at home in its last five -- while the Revs are looking to break their Rio Tinto duck. New England has not won in Utah since RSL played at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2007. Of course New England only has two wins in its last five (including a 3-1 win over Columbus last week), and has only one victory in nine MLS games away from home this season. And RSL is one of five teams still unbeaten at home (5-0-3). Kei Kamara has scored in three of the Revs' last four games, and Bobby Shuttleworth will be back in goal having had to sit out the Columbus win due a red card against NYC. Joao Plata is listed as probable for RSL with his quadriceps injury after missing the last four games.
Toronto FC (6-6-6, 24 pts) @ San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-7, 22 pts), 10:30 p.m. ET (SNet 360, CSN-CA)
The Quakes are winless since May 11, a run of seven games (eight if you include the Open Cup) and have scored only three goals in seven games. Chris Wondolowski, who started the season among the league scoring leaders before heading off to the Copa America, hasn't tallied since April 24, and has neither a goal nor an assist since he came back from the U.S. national team. Avaya Stadium had been a safe haven for the Quakes until a first loss this season there last Friday to Dallas. Toronto has gone unbeaten since clinching the Canadian Championship title (a win and two draws), with Jordan Hamilton scoring three goals since he broke into the starting lineup against the LA Galaxy five games ago.