By CARL SETTERLUND
The MLS Week 25 midweek action is all Western Conference this week, as two of the league’s marquee teams take on a pair of squads that need an upset or two to get back into the playoff hunt.
The reeling Colorado Rapids, fresh off the news of Drew Moor’s season-ending right knee injury, will try to regain their spirit as they host Landon Donovan for likely the final time at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Northwest in Seattle, the busy Sounders will play host to an up-and-down San Jose Earthquakes side that lost by five goals to FC Dallas last weekend.
Here is a rundown of the Week 25 midweek slate:
COLORADO RAPIDS vs. LA GALAXY (Wednesday, 9 p.m., MLS Live/Direct Kick)
The Rapids have now lost four straight matches to drop into seventh place in the competitive Western Conference, and the absence of Moor might compound their struggles.
With another tough fixture against the Sounders waiting after this, coach Pablo Mastroeni will hope his side can stave off matching the franchise record of a six-game skid. Colorado did beat the Galaxy in early May, and have enjoyed recent success at home against LA, but with the back line in tatters, the Rapids’ offense may be required to come through.
The Galaxy suffered a letdown against Columbus last weekend, losing by three goals, but were unbeaten in their previous three matches. On the positive side, Gyasi Zardes breakout continued as he’s scored in four straight matches and is likely salivating at the chance to take on the Rapids.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS vs. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (Wednesday, 10 p.m., MLS Live/Direct Kick)
The Sounders haven’t played quite up to their standards the past month or so, but the Earthquakes should provide a good opportunity to pick up three points at home, as Obafemi Martins returns from a red card suspension and both Marco Pappa and Brad Evans are believed to be healthy enough to play.
It’s been a busy period for the Sounders, which is playing its third match in eight days. Tonight could be a potential trap game, with an anticipated meeting with the Portland Timbers ahead this weekend.
The Earthquakes focus will be on fixing a leaky back line that allowed the club to suffer it’s worst margin of defeat ever against Dallas. However, the Earthquakes can take some confidence from a home win over the Sounders back on August 2.
Will the Galaxy be able to pile on against a vulnerable Rapids side? Can San Jose continue its recent success against the Sounders or will Seattle’s reinforcements overwhelm them?
Share your thoughts below.