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MLS Week 11: A Look Ahead

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Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy may be toiling near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but their annual rivalry clash at the Home Depot Center on Saturday has become a must-see event.

The match comes two days after Chivas pulled off a pair of high-profile trades, sending Heath Pearce to the New York Red Bulls for Juan Agudelo and acquiring Danny Califf from the Philadelphia Union for Michael Lahoud.

Elsewhere around the league, the Cascadia Cup gets under way when the Vancouver Whitecaps host the Seattle Sounders. And two of the season's biggest disappointments thus far, FC Dallas and the Union, will try to get back on track when they meet in Frisco, Texas.

Here is a rundown of the full Week 11 slate:


A pair of in-form strikers will be the focus in this one, with Vancouver's Eric Hassli and Seattle's Fredy Montero both finding the net with regularity (and often in spectacular fashion) during recent weeks.

With a win at home, the Whitecaps would hand the Sounders their first MLS loss in the Cascadia Cup, as Seattle went 2-0-2 en route to claiming the regional rivalry trophy last year.

MONTREAL IMPACT vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Heath Pearce seems poised to make his New York debut against the Impact, who are unbeaten in four. But whether he will be used as a centerback or at left back remains to be seen.

Although the likes of Thierry Henry, Wilman Conde and Teemu Tainio remain out for the Red Bulls, the club has done just fine without them, reeling off four consecutive wins.

D.C. UNITED vs. TORONTO FC (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., TSN2)

Winless Toronto returns to MLS play with a rematch against a D.C. United team that two weeks ago handed Aron Winter's club its eighth consecutive league loss.

After D.C. defeated Colorado midweek behind strong performances from reserves Hamdi Salihi, Branko Boskovic and Lewis Neal, United coach Ben Olsen will have some tough decisions to make when he picks his starting 11 against Toronto.

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

It's back to the road for the Dynamo, who took four points away from a quick two-game homestand to open BBVA Compass Stadium. Look for Houston to get Brian Ching back in the starting lineup after he came off the bench Tuesday against Portland.

The Revolution, meanwhile, will be aiming to put together a repeat performance of last weekend, when Lee Nguyen paced an offensive outburst in a 4-1 win over a defensively sound Vancouver side. 

FC DALLAS vs. PHILADELPHIA UNION (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Much of the star power in this affair will be absent, as Philadelphia playmaker Freddy Adu and Dallas winger Brek Shea will both sit out with suspensions. Shea's three-game ban for kicking a ball at an assistant referee is a particularly tough blow, with Dallas already missing the suspended Zach Loyd.

With both teams on three-game losing streaks, this match presents a crucial opportunity for points for struggling clubs coming off playoff appearances a year ago.

COLORADO RAPIDS vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (Saturday, 9 p.m., Direct Kick)

Kansas City coach Peter Vermes hasn't had to do much lineup juggling this season, but he'll have to find a replacement for the suspended Roger Espinoza in this one, with Paulo Nagamura looking like the strongest candidate.

With Kansas City on a three-game losing streak, some new blood in the lineup could be helpful. Although the Rapids have been inconsistent this season, they are an impressive 3-1-0 at home.

CHIVAS USA vs. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2, TSN2)

In acquiring Juan Agudelo, Chivas reunited him with Juan Pablo Angel, the young striker's former New York teammate. With contrasting skill sets, that pairing could finally get Chivas' struggling offense going and help improve the club's 3-14-5 all-time record against Los Angeles in league play.

The Galaxy will hope David Beckham's jet lag isn't too much of a factor, with the English star set to fly back to Los Angeles after handling Olympic torch duties in London on Friday.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs. COLUMBUS CREW (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Despite suffering through an extended winless drought that ended last week against Dallas, the Crew could get back to .500 with a triumph over the Earthquakes, who have been held to a one point the past two weeks.

San Jose striker Steven Lenhart will face off against his old Crew team, for whom he scored 14 goals in three seasons. The physical forward has bagged four goals in his past four matches. 

PORTLAND TIMBERS vs. CHICAGO FIRE (Sunday, 7 p.m., Galavision)

In a rematch of the first MLS game played at Jeld-Wen Field, the Timbers will look to recapture the energy of that emotional match — a 4-2 Portland win — and get out of the Western Conference cellar.

With defender Arne Friedrich out, the Fire could depend on a youthful centerback pairing of Austin Berry and Jalil Anibaba against the Timbers, with Dan Gargan returning to the starting lineup at right back.


  1. SEA at VAN will be a great match. Last year was fantastic even though VAN was thoroughly embarrassed on and off the pitch. I sense a repeat!

  2. Gals/Chivas is not much of a “rivalry” except in the media and MLS hype and certainly not a “must see” any more than the other match ups.


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