By DAN KARELL
After some memorable battles last season, the LA Galaxy and Bruce Arena visit Caleb Porter and the Portland Timbers for the first time this year.
The Timbers are coming off their first win of the season and though their defense struggled to hold on to a lead, the attack was arguably the best it’s been this season, scoring three goals against D.C. United. The Galaxy enter this weekend without Omar Gonzalez in the back line after picking up a minor knee injury, forcing Arena to go to his bench to face the fearsome Timbers attack.
Having Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan go up against Diego Valeri and Gaston Fernandez should make for one of the best games of the early season.
Elsewhere in MLS, the red-hot Seattle Sounders visit the New England Revolution looking to win their sixth match in a row, the Columbus Crew look to end their winless slide at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the Houston Dynamo host MLS Cup finalists Real Salt Lake.
Here is a rundown of the full Week 10 slate:
MONTREAL IMPACT vs. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (Saturday, 4pm, TSN/MLS Live)
One of the top teams in the league in Sporting KC takes on one of the league’s worst this weekend in the Montreal Impact.
This game will likely mark the last action for Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, and Zusi along with Dom Dwyer should have no trouble with the aging and struggling Impact defense. Sal Zizzo and C.J. Sapong are listed as questionable for Sporting KC this Saturday while Hernan Bernardello, Sanna Nyassi, Adrian Lopez, and Nelson Rivas all returned to full training this week and could make their returns to the lineup. Hassoun Camara is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs. D.C. UNITED (Saturday, 4pm, MLS Live)
The struggling Philadelphia Union return home to take on D.C. United with both teams needing a win to bring some positive momentum back to their fan-bases.
Patience is wearing thin for head coach John Hackworth but he has a nearly full squad to pick from, with only Danny Cruz listed as questionable. D.C. United are without Sean Franklin this weekend and Nick DeLeon is questionable. A key matchup to watch is Cristian Maidana vs. Perry Kitchen.
NEW YORK RED BULLS vs. CHICAGO FIRE (Saturday, 7pm, MLS Live)
The New York Red Bulls head into this match against the Chicago Fire knowing that it’s the last time they’ll see Tim Cahill and Roy Miller until June. Both players have been called into their respective national team’s World Cup training camps, and it’s still a doubt as to whether Cahill will play at all.
Last year against Chicago, the Red Bulls powered past the Fire with a second half barrage of goals. Lloyd Sam and Eric Alexander both had great games and look for them to wreak havoc on the wings. The Fire come into the match still without a win but with no one injured, Frank Yallop has a full squad to choose from. Only Marius Obekop is listed in the Red Bull’s injury report.
COLUMBUS CREW vs. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (Saturday, 7:30pm, TSN/MLS Live)
It’s now six games winless for the Columbus Crew as they get set to take on the speedy Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Crew have struggled to score with both Jairo Arrieta and Dom Oduro struggling from the run of play to finish in the box. The Whitecaps on the other hand are a terrific counter-attacking side and should give the Crew a lot of problems with the speed of Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado and the passing of Pedro Morales. Hector Jimenez is questionable again for the Crew while Darren Mattocks remains out for Vancouver.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs. FC DALLAS (Saturday, 10:30pm, MLS Live)
FC Dallas are learning about life without Mauro Diaz and have lost their last three games, giving the Earthquakes a tremendous opportunity to steal three points at home.
While FC Dallas has started off the season better, the Earthquakes style always keeps them in games and this weekend is likely Chris Wondolowski’s last chance to prove to Jurgen Klinsmann that he belongs on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Andy Gorlitz went down this week with a torn ACL and Yannick Djalo, Jason Hernandez, Clarence Goodson, and Steven Lenhart are all listed as questionable. Kellyn Acosta remains out for FC Dallas along with George John and Andres Escobar listed as questionable.
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs. LA GALAXY (Sunday, 2:30pm, NBC Sports Network)
The Timbers finally won their first match of the season and they carry positive momentum into one of the top Western Conference match-ups of the season.
Caleb Porter and Bruce Arena have mutual respect for one another but there’s no question that Porter loves beating Arena and will get his players up for the challenge. Without Omar Gonzalez, it’s up to the Galaxy’s defense to see if they can hold off Darlington Nagba, Diego Valeri, Gaston Fernandez, and Max Urruti.
COLORADO RAPIDS vs. CHIVAS USA (Sunday, 3pm, UniMas)
The Colorado Rapids try to continue their strong early season form when they welcome Chivas USA to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Vicente Sanchez, the hero from the Rapid’s victory against the Galaxy, is questionable but he’s a key for the home side in the midfield. Chivas haven’t won since opening day but they’ll get back Dan Kennedy from his red card suspension.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (Sunday, 6pm, MLS Live)
The New England Revolution face their most difficult challenge of the season when the red-hot Seattle Sounders visit Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
Thanks to Clint Dempsey’s eight goals and the play of Chad Marshall on defense and Obafemi Martins up top, the Sounders have won five games in a row and won their last two in comeback fashion. Jose Goncalves, Shalrie Joseph, and Kevin Alston are all out for the Revolution while Leo Gonzalez and Dylan Remick are questionable. Andrew Farrell and A.J. Soares will have their hands full with Dempsey and Martins.
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. REAL SALT LAKE (Sunday, 7pm, MLS Live)
The Houston Dynamo have some positive momentum finally returning after an early-season slump and Will Bruin has scored two straight.
Taking on Real Salt Lake, this match is right in Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear’s wheel-house, a physical battle that will be won in the air with 50/50 challenges. The Dynamo though will still be without Ricardo Clark due to a concussion and are coming in on four days rest. RSL will be playing balls up top trying to find Alvaro Saborio to dish off to Joao Plata, who has five goals already this season.