July 6, 2012
A look at the upcoming games
Houston Dynamo (6-5-6, 24 pts)@ Sporting Kansas City (10-5-2, 32 pts), 8:00 pm ET (FSH, KSMO)
The Houston Dynamo knocked Sporting Kansas City out of last season’s MLS Cup playoffs in the Eastern Conference Final, and it’s taken half a season for Sporting to have a chance at revenge, Saturday night at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sporting took over second place in the Eastern Conference standings with a controversial 3-1 comeback win over the Montreal Impact, in which two of their goals came on penalty kicks. Kei Kamara and Graham Zusi did the honors, with Jacob Peterson netting the capper. Houston snapped the Chicago Fire’s three-game winning streak on Wednesday, with a scoreless draw that kept their unbeaten streak at BBVA Compass Stadium alive.
San Jose Earthquakes (11-4-3, 36 pts) @ FC Dallas (3-9-6, 15 pts), 9:00 pm ET (CSNBA, FSSW)
FC Dallas will try to snap their 12-game winless streak against June MLS Player of the Month Chris Wondolowki and the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium. The Hoops are coming off a 1-1 Fourth of July draw with Toronto FC. Zach Loyd’s early header staked Dallas to a 1-0 lead, but Danny Koevermans scored in his fifth straight game to level the score before halftime. David Ferreira came off the bench in the 58th minute for his first MLS appearance since suffering a broken leg last April 23, and Hoops netminder Kevin Hartman made a clutch save on Koevermans in the 82nd minute to preserve the result. The Quakes suffered a rare setback with Tuesday’s 2-1 road loss in Portland. Alan Gordon got credit for the San Jose goal, redirecting a 19-yard shot from Marvin Chavez into the net. Jon Busch will return to the net for San Jose after missing time with an eye injury.
Portland Timbers (5-7-4, 19 pts)@ Real Salt Lake (10-6-3, 33 pts), 9:00 pm ET (KPDX, KUCW-30)
Real Salt Lake snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with Wednesday’s scoreless draw against Seattle, and will be trying for their second win of the season over the Portland Timbers Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Portland have won two of their last three, but it hasn’t been enough to lift them higher than eighth place in the nine-team MLS West. And despite their recent struggles, RSL continue to flirt with the top of the table, and could move into a tie for first in both the league and the West with a win over the Timbers and San Jose loss to Dallas, also on Saturday. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando will be going for his 131st career win, tying him with Zach Thornton for second place all-time in MLS. RSL midfielder Fabian Espindola will miss the match because of yellow card accumulation. The Timbers knocked off conference leaders San Jose 2-1 at Jeld-Wen Field on Wednesday, behind goals by Danny Mwanga and Jack Jewsbury, but have yet to win on the road this season.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-4-5, 29 pts) @ Chivas USA (5-7-4, 19 pts), 10:30 pm ET (SNETPac, KDOC)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC moved into third place in the MLS West with Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Colorado, but the hero of that victory, Darren Mattocks, will miss Saturday’s match against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center after picking up his fifth yellow card in stoppage time. Shortly before halftime, Mattocks darted into the penalty area for a ball that had been misplayed by defender Drew Moor and pounded it into the net. Chivas also will be missing a sparkplug midfielder, Oswaldo Minda, because of yellow card accumulation. The Whitecaps have beaten the Goats once already this season, 1-0 March 17 on a goal by defender Jay DeMerit, and will have new DP Barry Robson in their lineup on Saturday. Chivas have the advantage of rest, having been idle since a scoreless draw with FC Dallas on June 23. Injuries remain a concern for Chivas, with midfielder Nick Labrocca still gimpy with a sore hamstring and dynamic forward Juan Agudelo (2g, 3a in five games) listed as questionable with a knee injury.
Colorado Rapids (7-9-1, 22 pts) @ Seattle Sounders FC (7-5-6, 27 pts), 11:00 pm ET (NBC Sports)
The Seattle Sounders will try to lay their nine-game winless streak to rest on Saturday against a team they have all but owned in the past, the Colorado Rapids. Since joining the league in 2009, Seattle has gone 5-1-1 against the Rapids, including a 1-0 win earlier this season. The Sounders played Real Salt Lake to a scoreless tie on the road last Wednesday, with backup netminder Bryan Meredith posting his third shutout in relief of injured starter Andrew Weber. The Rapids were stung 1-0 by Vancouver at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday, falling to fifth place in the MLS West with their second straight loss. A Rapids frontline bolstered by the presence of both Omar Cummings and Conor Casey forced Whitecaps ‘keeper Joe Cannon to make six saves, while Darren Mattocks scored on Vancouver’s only on-target shot of the match.