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MLS Week 12: A Look Ahead

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The Houston Dynamo will be out for revenge Saturday, and they'll be doing so against a Los Angeles Galaxy side that couldn't look more vulnerable.

Six months after defeating Houston in the MLS Cup final, the Galaxy and their Western Conference-worst 3-7-2 record will pay a visit to BBVA Compass Stadium. With Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane on international duty and Los Angeles coming off a demoralizing midweek loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, the odds seem firmly titled in Houston's favor.

Elsewhere this weekend, conference powers will collide when Sporting Kansas City hosts the Earthquakes, and another leg of the Cascadia Cup will be played in Portland as the Timbers host the Whitecaps.

Here is a rundown of the full Week 12 slate:

HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., NBC Sports)

The Galaxy may be missing bigger names to international obligations, but Houston will also be short-handed with centerback Geoff Cameron joining Landon Donovan on the U.S. roster. On the plus side, Houston has depth in the middle, with Jermaine Taylor and Andre Hainault capable of sliding inside.

Making matters more difficult for the Galaxy will be the absence of Hector Jimenez, who scored a goal while filling in for Donovan on Wednesday against San Jose before being sent off for a reckless tackle.

TORONTO FC vs. PHILADELPHIA UNION (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

With 0-9-0 Toronto, fresh off its fourth-straight Canadian Championship title, hosting a Union team with the second-worst record in MLS, will this be the match that finally gets Aron Winter's side a result in league play?

If not, Toronto will tie the 2005 Real Salt Lake team for the longest losing streak in league history. For the visitors, Freddy Adu will be the player to watch, with the playmaker fresh off a suspension and U.S. national team snub.

COLUMBUS CREW vs. CHICAGO FIRE (Saturday, 7 p.m., Univision)

After a dismal start to the season, the Crew have put together a nice four-game unbeaten streak to get into the middle of the Eastern Conference pack.

They're three points behind the Fire, who are 3-1-1 in their past five and could finally be getting recently re-acquired forward Chris Rolfe (ankle sprain) in the lineup. Chicago has won its past three meetings with Columbus. 

D.C. UNITED vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

With a win over New England on Saturday, United would pass the New York Red Bulls and take over first place in the Eastern Conference entering a three-week hiatus from league play.

For Revolution centerbacks A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy, this match will be all about slowing down United's Dwayne De Rosario and Hamdi Salihi, who have been filling the score sheet with regularity in recent weeks.

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

Two of the top teams in the Western Conference in recent years, Salt Lake and Dallas are going in different directions this season. Salt Lake is unbeaten in five and is one point out of first place, while Dallas is winless in eight.

Furthermore, this game will be played at Salt Lake, where Dallas hasn't won since 2007. And Schellas Hyndman's side is 0-5-1 on the road this season. 

COLORADO RAPIDS vs. MONTREAL IMPACT (Saturday, 9 p.m., Direct Kick)

An up-and-down team all season, Colorado will be looking to go into its hiatus from league play on a high note by holding serve at home and claiming the full three points against expansion Montreal.

The Impact won't have the services of Designated Player signing Marco Di Vaio just yet, but they'll look to Italian defender Matteo Ferrari and striker Bernardo Corradi to represent the Azzurri in the Colorado altitude.


On a game three-game unbeaten streak, the Timbers finally appear to have some momentum going after sludging through a tumultuous start to the campaign.

The Whitecaps, meanwhile, have slowed down in the past couple weeks, falling 4-1 to New England, settling for a 2-2 home draw against Seattle and dropping the Canadian Championship final to lowly Toronto on a 2-1 aggregate.

CHIVAS USA vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (Saturday, 10:30 p.m., Direct Kick)

Robin Fraser's new-look Chivas side will try to make it two wins in a row at home after dropping five straight there to start the season. After being cut from U.S. camp Friday, striker Juan Agudelo should be in the lineup for Chivas.

For the Sounders, who are winless in three, the emphasis will be on putting Wednesday's disappointing 2-0 home loss to the Crew in the rearview mirror. 


Can Kansas City use the Livestrong Sporting Park crowd to get back in a groove? Peter Vermes' side, winless in four, could sure use a result against a San Jose team that will be without forwards Chris Wondolowski (U.S. national team duty) and Steven Lenhart (yellow card accumulation).

Kansas City should have central midfielder Graham Zusi available after the playmaker was among U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's four cuts Friday.


  1. The Sounders will be playing without Alonso, and should sit Fernandez for pouting. It will be interesting to see if Sigi continues his high balls into the box that nobody can finish. The spacing on attack has been dreadful as both Montero and EJ want to face goal.

  2. MLS Players Union just release its salary data for this year. And wow.

    No wonder some teams are just terrible, they’re bleeding money to worthless players.

  3. looking forward to this SJ-KC match. Look for Alan “Stoppage Time” Gordon to get the start up top- with either Khari Stephenson or Simon Dawkins. Chavez may not be ready to start, but hope Yallop starts Sam Garza on the left if he isn’t- gotta keep some speed on the wings.


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