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MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead


Photo by Stephen Brashear/


There won't be any silverware on the line this time around, but this weekend's clash between the Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire is sure to be a tense affair all the same.

After the Sounders claimed their third straight U.S. Open Cup title over the self-proclaimed "Kings of the Cup" from Chicago in October, the Fire will look to exact some revenge Saturday when Seattle travels to Toyota Park. It should be a tough test for the Sounders, who are only playing their second road game this season.

Elsewhere, D.C. United will look to make it two wins in a row for the first time in nearly three years with a triumph over the defending Eastern Conference champion Houston Dynamo. And the past two Western Conference champions will meet when the Los Angeles Galaxy host FC Dallas.

Here is a rundown of the full Week 8 slate:

MONTREAL IMPACT vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS (Saturday, 2 p.m., Direct Kick)

Although the Impact boast a less-than-stellar 1-5-2 record, Montreal actually has a win and a draw in its only two home games thus far. The club returns to Olympic Stadium for this one, hoping to enjoy some home cooking against another recent expansion side.

The Timbers, meanwhile, ended their four-game losing streak with a triumph last weekend over previously perfect Sporting Kansas City. With Portland's Kris Boyd and Montreal's Bernardo Corradi, this fixture will feature two poachers who are new to the league but have already made their mark.


A week after New York's embattled back line was carved to pieces by D.C. United, the Red Bulls should be without two more key defenders: Stephen Keel (back) and Jan Gunnar Solli (toe).

With Wilman Conde, Roy Miller and Rafa Marquez already out, that means New York could start a back line of Connor Lade, Tyler Ruthven, Markus Holgersson and Brandon Barklage. It goes without saying that New England strikers Jose Moreno and Saer Sene are licking their chops.


The first-place Earthquakes could have their hands full this weekend when they travel to PPL Park to take on a surging Union squad that is unbeaten in three since opening the season with three straight losses.

Philadelphia, however, will be short-handed, with Gabriel Farfan and Keon Daniel serving red card suspensions, and coach Peter Nowak banned from the touch line for his role in the fracas that followed Farfan's ejection last week against Chivas USA.

D.C. UNITED vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

For the second week in a row, D.C. United will have an opportunity at home to make it two wins in a row for the first time since the summer of 2009. But the Dynamo present a tough challenge, especially considering their set-piece proficiency and United's past struggles defending such opportunities.

In that regard, the return of Brad Davis and his lethal left foot from injury should make the Dynamo all the more imposing. But Houston will still be without suspended right winger Colin Clark.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Winless in three, the Crew could sure use three points at home against the Whitecaps, who were mired in a four-game winless stretch of their own before defeating FC Dallas last weekend.

After Vancouver coach Martin Rennie experimented with a three-man front line of Omar Salgado, Camilo and Sebastien Le Toux against Dallas, it'll be interesting to see what lineup he goes with Saturday.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Seattle is slowly but surely returning to health, with Eddie Johnson near full fitness and Mauro Rosales poised to make his return this weekend from a knee sprain. That could mean a spot on the bench for David Estrada.

Chicago, on the other hand, could debut the recently re-acquired Chris Rolfe after the midfielder-forward missed last weekend's win over Toronto with an ankle injury suffered in training.

REAL SALT LAKE vs. TORONTO FC (Saturday, 9 p.m., Direct Kick)

After going 0-2-1 on an imposing road trip comprised of visits to Kansas City, San Jose and Dallas, Salt Lake will return to the comforts of Rio Tinto Stadium for a clash against the league's worst team, 0-6 Toronto.

Although Salt Lake did play a midweek match against Dallas, suspensions served by centerback Jamison Olave and forward Fabian Espindola mean those players, at least, should be fresh for this weekend.

COLORADO RAPIDS vs. CHIVAS USA (Saturday, 9 p.m., Direct Kick)

After dropping their fourth-consecutive 1-0 game at home, Chivas again take to the road, where they remarkably are 3-0 this season. And the likely return of striker Juan Pablo Angel to the starting lineup presents even more reason for optimism.

Although new Brazilian forward Edu hasn't officially been added to the roster yet, the Rapids will get striker Conor Casey back from a long-term Achilles injury in this one, though he likely will be limited to a cameo appearance.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY vs. FC DALLAS (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

A rematch of the 2010 Western Conference final, won 3-0 by Dallas the Home Depot Center, this contest features a Galaxy side that has won two in a row against a Dallas team coming off a midweek tie against Salt Lake.

Los Angeles' win over Colorado last weekend marked the debut of the A.J. DeLaGarza-David Junior Lopes centerback pairing for the Galaxy, and that duo should get another chance to gel against Dallas.


  1. Dude, what kind of “conspiracy theory” BS are you pushin’ over there? Jermaine Taylor was used as a central defender under previous coaches but Houston already has several central defenders. They have Geoff Cameron and they signed another central defender from South America. There’s a shortage at Left Back on all teams, including the US Men’s National Team. It’s a hard spot to fill. Taylor has shown that he’s versatile and can play that position which is great! Why make it sound like Taylor was forced to play that position like a gun is to his head and that he’s under duress? Houston’s Front Office is great and has made great decisions regarding the club. Kinnear wants players that want to play there, if for whatever reason they wish to leave then he helps them. Holden, Clark, DeRo, Serioux, and Wondolowski all expressed that they wanted to leave and Kinnear helped them and are still on great terms. Some left for family reasons while others left for a chance to play overseas. Lastly, who cares where the jersey is from? It looks great, go buy one.

  2. From what I read on the Dynamo website they’ve already acknowledged that their new jersey is referencing European and Spanish influence so I’m not sure why you say they’d “deny the source”. What would they have to gain from that?

  3. Don’t buy the hype, it’s a darker orange riff on Spain 06. Same style pinstriping, etc.

    They’re trying to push that it’s like the old Hurricanes but they were bright orange like the Dynamo now. The old Dynamos (plural) are the ones Canetti does NOT reference, and they are the ones who had pinstripes, but I believe they wore red shirts.

    IMO it’s a Spain riff, no one remembers the old Houston teams unless you tell them. It’s a really nice color choice that would stand well on its own but as with so many things around here it has to be fit into some sort of accepted, packaged narrative, like how Jermaine Taylor has supposedly by chance found a LB home through Davis’ injury, when the reality is that Kinnear forced him into that particular box last year not to be heard from again — somehow he’s supposed to be worse than the awful Ashe even though he’s good enough for Jamaica — until his hand was forced for the semi and final in the playoffs when Davis hurt his quad.

    I’m a big Houston fan but the FO and SGs and Chronicle tend to like to manage their story a little too much. I find it hard to believe, whatever the canned history is, that they wandered into a Spain-similar jersey on accident. I buy more that they want to head in a darker orange direction without looking like RSL doing it.

  4. it is not from spain. It is based off an old Houston Hurricane’s jersey. Look it up on Dynamo Theory for some pictures of the old jersey.

  5. Random expression taking advantage of the broad post heading the thread: the Dynamo have a nice new third jersey in the manner of Spain (though they’ll deny the source), which they’ve released but won’t wear for a month. Arguably their best look. “Shame they’re not wearing it this weekend.”

  6. Not really a premium game on the schedule this week, maybe LA-DAL. Lots of teams I like watching playing teams I don’t really like watching. DC-HOU could be fun too.

  7. Dallas is doing fine considering we’re still missing David Ferreria (2010 mls mvp), Villar (Davids replacement), Kevin Hartman (starting keeper), Weideman (backup), Carlos Rodriguez (starter, recently lost vs RSL), and Blas Perez (was on suspension for his elbow in the Vancouver game).

    We just got Jackson back and he looked fine wed night subbed in for the injury.

    Once we can get one of our CAMs back we should take back off. Right now we struggle to create anything in the center mid area and can’t seem to link our defense with front line. We’re forced to play from the outside which is fine with the pace we’ve got. But the book on stopping speed is foul… we don’t do well at set pieces, our best free kick takers are injured.

  8. Given Toronto’s trajectory and their history at the RioT any result there would likely arise from some kind of fluke….

    Noting the flukes RSL has faced their last two matches I have to agree with you, I wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto pulled something out……

  9. Here’s hoping Casey gets to play.

    Also interested to see if DC is for real now following their explosion last week against NY. Likewise, is Dallas as bad as they’ve seemed this year?

    As crazy as the year has been so far, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Toronto beat Salt Lake.

    Some good storylines this weekend


    MON vs POR: 2-2
    NY vs NE: 0-1
    PHI vs SJ: 0-3
    DC vs HOU: 0-0
    BUS vs VAN: 1-1
    CHI vs SEA: 0-2
    RSL vs TOR: 1-1
    COL vs USA: 0-0
    LAG vs FCD: 1-2


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