Jun 20, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT
Seattle hosts Kansas City in the premier match of tonight’s MLS half-dozen; thumb-nail sketches of the set (with games ranked in the order of wow-factor, best ones first):
- Sporting Kansas City at Seattle:
We all realize the Kansas City of the last six weeks was not the Kansas City of the first six weeks. Still, for a Sounders side battling a six-game winless streak, the high-pressure outfit from Livestrong Sporting Park is hardly a team they’d like to face. But there it is for Seattle, which gets critical defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso back for tonight’s test at CenturyLink Field.
Alonso, a quick-footed exercise in ball-winning determination, leads MLS in tackles. He is also the Sounders’ top midfield passer, with 546 completed and an 81.1 passing percentage.
- New York at Vancouver:
Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez are out for New York, and so is the team’s top center back, Wilman Conde. Manager Hans Backe has preferred to be cautions with Conde, who is just back from injury and probably not excited about the artificial turf of BC Place. So the Red Bulls will be defensive, look to nick the Whitecaps on counters and bide their time for this weekend’s big home match against MLS East rival D.C. United.
The Whitecaps have won two in a row and are undefeated in their last four.
- Los Angeles at Real Salt Lake:
A year ago, this would have been a premier MLS matchup, bathed in marquee lights and given the extra PR treatment from league HQ. This year? RSL is pulling its weight, but the champs have been shockingly poor. The Galaxy does, at least, have a little spindly sprout of momentum from a weekend win over Portland. No offense to anyone, but facing Portland at home is hardly the same as facing RSL at Rio Tinto.
RSL’s Kyle Beckerman, having his best season among a whole bunch of them, against Juninho and David Beckham (pictured) right in the center of the park, is the matchup to monitor in this one.
- Toronto at Houston:
Toronto’s season has officially become an exercise in the surreal. A historically pitiful losing streak to begin 2012, a coaching change that could indicate a shift in essential personnel and tactical philosophy (yes, again), and now an embarrassing trio of player arrests for late-night nonsense has spun this one into theater. So, good luck at BBVA Compass Stadium, where Houston is 3-0-1 this year.
- San Jose at Colorado:
The quirky scheduling of domestic soccer required San Jose to play two matches in three nights (one in league play, one in Open Cup competition) in late May – and then take a three week break. Naturally. So, suffice to say the Earthquakes are rested, and they’ve got three players back from injury and international duty who will add spice to the mix: leading scorer Chris Wondolowski, important center back Victor Bernardez and midfielder Shea Salinas.
- Montreal at Chivas USA:
If I devoted enough time for a PhD dissertation on the matter, I don’t think I could explain how Chivas has a very fashionable 3-1-2 record on the road and yet an implausible 1-6-1 mark at home. Their next chance to improve on that oddest of statistical oddities is tonight against expansion Montreal, whose record is exactly the reverse, 3-1-2 at home, 1-6-1 on the road.
May 25, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT
Santos confirmed that they have accepted two offers for Brazilian sensation Neymar.
May 24, 2013, 9:29 PM EDT
In a mind-blowing move, USA Today have reported the LA Galaxy have sent a player to the Chicago Fire in exchange for the rights to Robbie Rogers.
May 24, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT
With a victory in the Champions League final to complete Bayern Munich’s domination domestically and abroad plus their offseason acquisitions, would they be a force for years to come?
May 24, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Internazionale officially announced they have sacked Andrea Stramaccioni and hired the former Napoli boss.
May 24, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT
No question that two of the league’s most interesting teams will be at Stade Saputo on Saturday:
May 24, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT
Tony Fernandes has finally taken some blame for the relegation of QPR instead of shedding it left and right.
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Chelsea interm manager Rafa Benitez is set to move to Serie A on a 2-year deal with Napoli.
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Boyd left Dortmund last season, so is a USMNT player destined to never play in a Champions League final?
May 24, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT
Who knew that Jimmy Nielsen’s burst of white hair wasn’t the craziest thing about Sporting Kansas City’s talented goalkeeper?
May 24, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT
A blog post in the New Yorker looks at another side to this week’s huge expansion news:
May 24, 2013, 2:31 PM EDT
Does Hughes deserve another shot at managing an EPL club after past failures?
May 24, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT
Both teams are on streaks of success – even if “success” look so radically different in the two camps:
May 24, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT
See the sights around London, as Wembley Stadium welcomes German fans in abundance.
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
When Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund tomorrow at 2:45 ET at Wembley, they won’t be playing for the right to be recognized as permanent contenders. They’ve already done that.
May 24, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT
Monaco’s Russian oligarch owner is splashing the cash to bring Champions League success, can they do it?
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
We have five suggestions as MLS pivots its enhancement efforts away from expansion:
May 24, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT
Looking behind the incredible story of the tiny rock in the Mediterranean, that can now take on the giants of European soccer
May 24, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT
Which individual battles will determine which side lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy at Wembley on Saturday?
May 24, 2013, 11:04 AM EDT
We take a look at which US cities deserve an MLS expansion franchise and how close they are to getting it. Thoughts?
- USA Today reports LA Galaxy trade Mike Magee for rights to Robbie Rogers 5
- With MLS expansion done for now, where the league priorities should land 7
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? 24
- Champions League Final infographic: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich 0
- NWSL Game of the Week: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City 0
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (35)
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? (24)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (18)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (14)
- Gareth Bale set to re-sign with Tottenham – But is it a good deal for the Welshman? (9)
- Pacers even series with Heat
- Penguins bounce Senators | Highlights
- Tigers' Sanchez loses no-hitter in 9th vs. Twins
- PST: Report: Openly gay Rogers to play for Galaxy
- HBT: Granderson breaks pinky in Yanks' win
- PST: Bitter rivals Bayern, Dortmund collide in CL final
- PST: Key battles for Champions League final