MLS Game Previews (August 10/11)
Toronto FC V Seattle Sounders (Aug 10)
The hosts will be looking to gain their third straight win and extended their unbeaten run to four matches as they get set to face the Sounders for the first time this season. New signing Swiss defender Jonas Elmer may be in the squad if his international clearance comes through in time.
The visitors are also looking to match the streaks of their hosts and are buoyed with the signing of Clint Dempsey who started training with his new team mates on Tuesday and Head Coach Sigi Schmid indicated after Saturdays match that he should be available to face Toronto this week as they look push for a playoff place in the Western Conference.
Columbus Crew V New York Red Bulls
The Crew will be hoping to put an end to their disastrous recent form which has seen them lose three in a row and six of their last seven. If the two previous encounters are anything to go by that is going to be a tall order as they lost the first meeting at home 1-0 then gained a 2-2 at Red Bull Arena.
The is no such problems for the Red Bulls leading the Eastern Conference by two points and looking to claim their third consecutive success and extend their unbeaten streak to five games after last weeks win over Sporting Kansas City, in which Lloyd Sam with a goal and an assist off the bench was named the MLS Player of the Week. Kosuke Kimura has being ruled out of this game though after he was concussed against Sporting.
Vancouver Whitecaps V San Jose Earthquakes
After a draw at high flying Portland last week which snapped their two game losing skid they will need to get back to winnings ways soon if they are not to be swallowed up by the chasing pack who are hunting down the final playoff spot in the Western Conference that the Whitecaps currently hold. Striker Kenny Miller could be available for the match having returned to training on Tuesday after sitting out the Portland game with a right adductor strain. When the squads met earlier in the campaign in San Jose it ended in a 1-1 draw. Danish keeper David Ousted is poised for his home debut after a solid effort in his first game in nets against the Timbers.
After recording three straight victories to get their season back on track San Jose will be looking to keep the momentum going knowing a win would put them level on points with their opponents as the fight for playoff spots in the ultra tight Western Conference continues.
Philadelphia Union V DC United
The Union will be wanting to get back to winnings ways as quickly as possible after having their three game unbeaten run ended by a 2-1 reversal against the Chicago Fire last time out. When the two teams squared off earlier in the champagne in DC it was Philadelphia who came out on top by the odd goal in five and they would settle for the same outcome on Saturday as the jostle for playoffs places continues in the Eastern Conference.
United experienced the sweet taste of success for the first time in six outings as they stocked the higher ranked Montreal team 3-1. Luis Silva will be hoping to continue his phenomenal goal scoring streak having scored in his first three outings for the visitors. With youngsters like Collin Martin who got an assist in his first MLS game against the Impact starting to get playing time a good end of season run-in would set them up nicely going into next season.
Sporting Kansas City V New England Revolution
After two straight reversals which has seen Sporting lose the lead in the Eastern Conference, now the injury bug is starting to bite. Midfielder Graham Zusi, who pulled up with a sore right quad in last week’s MLS All-Star Game, heads the list of unavailable players. Midfielder Paulo Nagamura is still working back from an ankle sprain, and left back Josh Gardner is out with a hamstring strain. Fullback Kevin Ellis is also a doubt with a hip injury and is being evaluated this week.
The Revs will also be looking to get back on the winning trail after their two match wining run was ended with a 1-0 defeat by Toronto last time out. There has also being plenty of off-field activities as well. Firstly they resigned left sided player Chris Tierney who has being with the club six years after they had drafted him thirteenth overall in 2008. Leaving the club by mutual consent is midfielder Kalifa Cisse, the former Mali international has made six MLS appearances this term since signing in November 2012. When the clubs played earlier in the season in Foxborough it finished scoreless.
Chicago Fire V Montreal Impact
The hosts come into this encounter on the back of a three game undefeated streak. Forward Mike Magee is in a rich vain of form and will be looking to find the net for the fourth MLS match running. New Fire Designated Player, striker Juan Luis Anangonó may also make his MLS debut after recovering from a tweaked hamstring.
Montreal will be hoping last weeks surprise loss 3-1 in DC is just a blip on the landscape, as they continue to cling on to third place in the Eastern Conference. They did however manage a 2-0 success when the two teams met in Canada back in April.
Real Salt Lake V Houston Dynamo
A draw last week against the Colorado Rapids got their points tally moving again after two consecutive defeats for the Western Conference leaders. The only positive outcome has being the fact that the other teams around them have also continued to drop points so their lead still stayed at three.
Houston who sit in the final playoff spot at the moment in the Eastern Conference are in fine form and come in to this game unbeaten in their last four. They know however with the standings so tight any slip ups and that place would be seriously under duress. The Dynamo also signed Honduran midfielder Alexander López on Tuesday. The 21-year-old will be added to the Dynamo roster as a Young Designated Player upon receipt of his P-1 Visa and international transfer certificate. This will be the first time these two sides have faced each other this season.
FC Dallas V LA Galaxy (August 11)
Only the fact that they started the season with six win out of their first eight games is keeping the Texas side in with a chance of post season play. Without a victory in nine and having tasted defeat in three out of their last four encounter it is testimony to how they have had to rely on that early points accumulation to sit only one point out of the playoff places.
Having lost two out of their last three encounters including last time out 2-0 to Colorado, the fact LA had no MLS game last week will have given time to regroup. Robbie Rogers, hamstring strain and captain Robbie Keane left hip flexor strain are now back to fitness, whilst they have a new recruit as the Galaxy have signed Goal-keeper Jaime Penedo on a free transfer from Municipal in Guatemala. He will be added to the roster as soon as he is in receipt of his P1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. In the previous two encounters this term it has being the home side that has prevailed on both occasions firstly in April when Dallas won 1-0 and most recently last month when LA gained revenge with a 2-0 success.
Chivas USA V Colorado Rapids
Despite Chivas having lost two in a row and three of their last four encounters, being marooned at the foot of the Western Conference and a massive thirteen points behind eighth placed San Jose, although they do have a game in hand! there is contented optimism that a bright future lie ahead with the policy of youth. The reason is their U23 team went undefeated to win the State Championship and the hope is to blood these players and make them the focal point of the first team for the coming years. If they want inspiration they just have to look at midfielder Marco Delgado who at just sixteen years of age broke into the first team last year. At the other end of the age scale Carlos Bocanegra is unavailable for this game after his red card in his last outing against San Jose.
Colorado ride in on a wave of euphoria as they hope to stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches as they solidify their place near the top of the Western Conference. By gaining at least a point it will see them jump the idol Portland Timbers and a large win and heavy defeat by Salt Lake could see them looking down at everyone else by the end of the evening. This week they also added Uruguayan forward Vicente Sánchez who played most recently in his home county for Nacional to bolster their attacking options and he will be eligible pending receipt of his P-1 work visa and International Transfer Certificate. After already defeating Chivas twice previously this term, back in April here when it finished 1-0 and when they had home advantage a month later by double that amount they will certainly go into this encounter with bags of confidence.
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