Week 15 Preview
We’ve got an incredibly short list of games this week due to the World Cup Qualifiers going on. With the USMNT getting ready to take on Mexico at Estadio Azteca Sunday evening, we only have three MLS games to pay attention to this week. Thankfully, they should all be fairly decent.
Best game of the week: Portland Timbers v. FC Dallas – Saturday, June 10, 10:30PM ET, MLS Live
The obvious downside to this game is the extremely late start time, especially for our East Coast friends. But the #3 and #4 teams in the West squaring off in one of the best atmospheres in MLS is worth the watch. The first time these two teams played earlier this year it didn’t disappoint. The two sides drew 2-2 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, which was the first result for an away team of the year at Toyota Stadium. Last week, we all know FC Dallas absolutely dismantled RSL 6-2 at home. The Timbers will obviously pose much more of a challenge, especially since they play well in Providence Park. The wild card in this game is all the missing players on international duty. Portland will be without midfielders Darlington Nagbe (USMNT), David Guzman (Costa Rica) and defender Alvas Powell (Jamaica). Dallas was hit a bit harder, as they will be missing defenders Matt Hedges (USMNT) and Maynor Figueroa (Honduras), midfielder Kellyn Acosta (USMNT) and forward Tesho Akindele (Canada).
Worst game of the week: Sporting Kansas City v. Montreal Impact – Saturday, June 10, 8:00PM ET, MLS Live
Sporting KC hosts Montreal for the second of back-to-back home games, and that is great news for SKC. Children’s Mercy Park is one of the toughest places for away teams to get a result in, and Sporting KC showed how good they can be when they beat MNUFC last week 3-0. Montreal is in the midst of a two game winning streak over Portland and RBNY, but they’re still 10th in the East and have struggled to score consistently all year. Once again, though, international call-ups could be a factor. Sporting KC will be without defenders Matt Besler (USMNT), Graham Zusi (USMNT) and Tyler Pasher (Canada). They were going to lose midfielder Roger Espinoza to Honduras, but an injury will keep him out of both the Honduran and SKC lineups. Montreal lost a whopping seven players to international duty, including forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Canada), midfielders Patrice Bernier (Canada) and Blerim Dzemaili (Switzerland), defenders Laurent Ciman (Belgium), Ambroise Oyongo (Cameroon) and Wandrille-Lefevre (Canada) as well as goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau (Canada). That will be tough for the Impact to overcome.
The other one:
Chicago Fire v. Atlanta United FC – 4:00PM ET, UniMás, facebook.com
This would be a very entertaining match in any other week. It loses a bit of its luster with some players gone for the international break, but it still should be a fun watch. Early in the year ATLUTD destroyed the Fire 4-0 in Atlanta, but that was pre-Schweinsteiger and pre-Josef Martinez injury. Both these teams are very different now, and Chicago has to be the favorite. Thanks to the international call-ups, the Fire will be without captain midfielder Dax McCarty (USMNT), but Atlanta is without midfielder Miguel Almiron (Paraguay) and forward Kenwyne Jones (Trinidad and Tobago). This one will be tough for Atlanta to get a result out of.
Hot take of the week: Going outside of MLS for this one. The USMNT will beat Mexico in Estadio Azteca. Yeah, I said it.
GIF of the week:
Tommy Mac’s hair
Gone, but not forgotten.
RIP, good friend.