July 20, 2012
A look at the upcoming games
Philadelphia Union (6-9-2, 20 pts) @ New York Red Bulls (10-5-5, 35 pts), 2:30 pm ET (ESPN)
The New York Red Bulls close out a grueling midsummer week with their third midday matinee in seven days, against the Philadelphia Union Saturday at Red Bull Arena. On Wednesday, they outlasted the Chicago Fire 1-0 in 100-degree temperatures on a brilliant game-winner by Thierry Henry to remain one of only two MLS teams without a home loss this season. Former Union forward Sebastien Le Toux set the table, giving him a goal and an assist in two games since being traded from Vancouver at the end of last week. Despite a midweek 1-0 loss to England’s Aston Villa, the Union will field a relatively rested starting 11 on Saturday, since manager John Hackworth opted for a reserve-heavy lineup for the friendly. Philadelphia nipped Montreal 2-1 last weekend, on a stoppage-time strike by defender Carlos Valdes, for their third straight win. The two teams have met once already this season, a 3-2 New York win at PPL Park on May 13. Philadelphia’s Lionard Pajoy scored twice to bring the Union back from two goals down, but Kenny Cooper delivered the win to the Red Bulls in the 78th minute.
DC United (10-6-3, 33pts) @ Columbus Crew (6-7-4, 22 pts), 7:30 pm ET (CSNMA, FSO)
DC United will take on the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium on Saturday without starting netminder Bill Hamid, who leads the league with a save percentage of 82.0, but who was red-carded in the 17th minute of last weekend’s 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo and is suspended this weekend. Joe Willis will be in net as United try for their first win at Crew Stadium since 2007. The DC defense took another blow later in the week, with the news that veteran Robbie Russell will be sidelined for at least a month with a foot injury suffered against the Dynamo. Chris Korb, who has not had a start since May, will fill Russell’s spot. Fortunately for the makeshift DC defense, dangerous Crew forward Emilio Renteria (2g, 2a) is suspended from Saturday’s match for head-butting Sporting Kansas City’s Paulo Nagamura during last Saturday’s 2-0 home loss. Even with Renteria in the lineup, the Crew have scored only 17 goals in 17 games, and have been shut out six times.
Montreal Impact (7-12-3, 24 pts) @ Houston Dynamo (8-5-7, 31 pts), 8:30 PM ET (TSN, KPRC-2)
The Houston Dynamo are unbeaten in five games and have yet to lose at BBVA Compass Stadium going into Saturday’s match with the expansion Montreal Impact. The Dynamo are coming off a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, their second straight triumph over a shorthanded team after last weekend’s 4-0 romp over DC United, but already have lost to the Impact once this season, 4-2 on June 23 at Stade Saputo. Calen Carr scored both goals against KC, and MLS Golden Boot contender Will Bruin (10 goals) had an assist. The Impact are riding a two-game win streak after edging New England 2-1 at home on Wednesday. Sanna Nyassi scored the game-winner.
New England Revolution (11-6-3, 36 pts) @ Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 pts), 8:30 pm (CSNNE, KSMO)
Sporting Kansas City dominated the New England Revolution 3-0 when the teams last met on March 17, and have a daunting 6-2-1 record at Livestrong Sporting Park. But they come into Saturday’s match smarting from a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo and without the services of second-year Haitian midfielder Peterson Joseph, who was ejected in first-half stoppage time and is suspended for this weekend. Honduran international Roger Espinoza is on Olympic duty, and assists leader Graham Zusi is fighting an injury, leaving KC very thin in the middle. The Revolution also are fresh off a 2-1 midweek loss, to Montreal, and have dropped two straight. Center back Stephen McCarthy, whose red card in the 14th minute gave KC a leg up when the teams last met, is questionable for Saturday with concussion symptoms. Lee Nguyen scored New England’s lone goal against the Impact, his second strike in three games.
Portland Timbers (5-10-4, 19 pts)@ FC Dallas (4-10-7, 19 pts), 9:00 pm ET (KPTV, KTXA)
FC Dallas snapped a 13-game winless streak with last weekend’s 2-1 win over Colorado, but were back on the short end by midweek, falling 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes in heartbreaking fashion, with Jair Benitez sending a stoppage-time penalty kick over the bar. They’ll try again to establish some momentum Saturday night at home against the Portland Timbers, but will need to come up with some new offensive solutions while star forward Brek Shea remains mired in a season-long slump and more recent sulk that has seen him suspended for an onfield outburst and exchanging heated words with coach Schellas Hyndman after being subbed out on Wednesday. Portland has had the opposite of a new coach bump since John Spencer was fired in favor of GM and interim coach Gavin Wilkinson. They dropped a 5-3 decision at Jeld-Wen Field in Wilkinson’s debut, and followed that up with a 1-0 road loss to Chivas USA on Wednesday. They are tied with the Hoops at the bottom of the MLS West, and are yet to win a match on the road.
Chivas USA (6-7-5, 23 pts) @ LA Galaxy (8-10-3, 27 pts), 10:00 pm ET (Prime Ticket, KDOC, Telefutura)
For a change, Saturday’s SuperClasico at the Home Depot Center catches both the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA on the upswing. LA looked like world-beaters in last weekend’s 5-3 win over Portland, and mounted a two-goal comeback to salvage a 2-2 draw against Vancouver on Wednesday night. Since being snubbed by the Great Britain Olympic Team, David Beckham has been on a tear, scoring twice in five minutes against the Timbers and notching a goal and an assist in the final nine minutes to fuel Wednesday night’s resurgence. A 1-0 win over Portland on Wednesday afternoon pulled Chivas USA within four points of the Galaxy for the fifth and final playoff position in the MLS West. Miller Bolanos scored his first goal of the season in the 16th minute, and that was all the Goats needed. Chivas took the first installment of this year’s grudge match, 1-0 on a penalty kick by Jose Erick Correa, the Galaxy’s only loss to Chivas USA since 2008.
Colorado Rapids (7-12-1, 22 pts) @ Real Salt Lake (11-7-3, 36 pts), 10:00 pm ET (Alt, KUCW)
Two key figures will be missing when Real Salt Lake attempt to wrap up the 2012 Rocky Mountain Cup Saturday night against the Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL captain Kyle Beckerman will miss the match after collecting a red card in last weekend’s 5-0 loss to San Jose, and the Rapids will be missing attack-minded midfielder Jeff Larentowicz due to yellow card accumulation. RSL has not lost to the Rapids since May 2, 2009, and won the teams’ first match of the season 2-0 on goals by Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola. The Rapids have lost a season-high four straight, including a 2-1 defeat at the hands of league doormats Toronto FC on Wednesday, and have dropped their last four road games. Conor Casey scored the lone Colorado goal against the Reds, his second goal in five games.