It’s been a fun and exciting midweek with the US Open Cup and all, and it really gets going in the coming week. Major League Soccer joins the mix next midweek and there are a few great games this weekend though before we get back into our national single elimination tournament. This last weekend saw the Sounders run over first place Dallas, New England steal a win in Houston. Cascadia produced an immensely exciting game. The Red Bulls beat the Galaxy on a late stunner. Chivas continues to fall further and further down. NASL saw Tampa Bay draw level with first place Carolina with their win over Minnesota. And in USLPRO Charleston kept pace with Orlando for first with an impressive win against the Dynamo reserves, and the weekend was punctuated by a slew of draws. No time wasting on this blog; let’s get down on this weekend’s games…
(All Times listed are EST and PM. Adjust Accordingly.)
USLPRO Friday Night
Just a couple of USLPRO games on Friday night. Pittsburgh Riverhounds host Antigua Barracuda in the bi-annual freebie win, and the Richmond Kickers host Harrisburg City Islanders in what should definitely be the game of the night. Both Richmond and HCI are eventual playoff teams, and since both teams have an MLS affiliation, the quality on the field should be noticeably better than the Hounds and Cudas. If the Hounds start to run riot over the Cudas and it becomes a goalfest, it may be worth tuning into, but it’s got tough competition in the same time slot considering the other game features the 3rd and 4th placed teams. I like Pittsburgh to get the win, and Harrisburg to rebound from a disappointing midweek Open Cup loss and steal the win in Richmond.
And come Saturday, the UEFA Champion’s League match kicks off in the morning to make up for the lack of American soccer earlier in the day. Dortmund and Munich are too much fun to watch against one another and this match should be a classic. I hope. My money is on Dortmund, and I’m hoping for Extra Time.
But don’t get too exhausted or drunk from watching this game. We’ve got some American Soccer to tend to…
7:00 MLS Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union MLS Live
I was going to put DC vs. Portland at this timeslot but if it’s on a Spanish language channel, and in all honesty, I’ll probably end up watching l’Impact and l’Union simply because I’ll be able to understand the commentators. This match isn’t without intrigue though. Montreal is a talented team, and they’re quite good at home. Philly has been very hit and miss, but have acquired a decent amount of points here in the early going for not having played very well consistently. I think Montreal wins this game, but Philly has been good for some surprises this season so the Impact are on upset alert here. I don’t think they’re sounding the alarms or anything, but it may have been sent out to the team as a general memo. Perhaps an email…
7:30 NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Minnesota United FC Online Stream
It’s a rematch of the rematch of last years NASL Title game. Tampa and Minnesota played just last week, and the Rowdies came out on top, bringing them to first place. Another win against Minnesota and Tampa will be well on it’s way to separating from the pack. They’d be 6 points clear of Minnesota with 5 games left, so they would likely control their destiny. And they’ve got this game at home. Minnesota comes into this one with the disappointment from a midweek loss, while Tampa is riding high off of a midweek win. I like Tampa Bay in this one, but there will be goals, and Minnesota won’t lay down and die on this one. It should be a heated game with urgency from both sides.
8:30 MLS FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes MLS Live
Of the Saturday matchups not called ‘The UEFA Champion’s League’ this is the one I’m looking forward to the most. Dallas is in first place, but looked pretty bad last week in Seattle. San Jose has been incredibly disappointing despite having moments in their games of the flair and brilliance they had in last years Supporter’s Shield run. The Quakes like to play spoilers though, and Dallas returns home slightly banged up, and a little down from last weeks loss in the Pacific Northwest. I think San Jose has a lot of upside on this one, and may go into Frisco and put Dallas on their heels early and often. If Dallas plays the high offside trap they played last week, Wondolowski will have himself a field day poaching chances. San Jose goes into Dallas and gets the upset here. I like Dallas. They’re a good side. They’re not the best team in the league though, and I think they’re in for a reality check in the weeks to come.
10:30 Final Half Hour Toss Up
MLS Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire OR Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA MLS Live
After Dallas and San Jose conclude, take a look at which match is the better contest and take your pick. Both feature laughably awful teams, so it’s hard to predict one over the other. So I won’t try.
10:30 USLPRO Los Angeles Blues vs. Charlotte Eagles Online Stream
The Blues host a red hot Charlotte Eagles team full of form and confidence on Saturday night for you night owls. Both teams are having success in the Open Cup, but the Blues have a lot more rest going into this one, with the Eagles having played in Phoenix on Thursday night. The Blues absolutely crushed the Ventura County Fusion, and the offense on this Blues team has been pleasantly surprising at times. I expect them to take advantage of a tired and road weary Eagles side, and get the home win. These are both teams I expect to see in the playoffs come the end of the season, and whenever you get a matchup like that, there is always potential for a heated game.
If you Only Watch One Thing on Sunday Watch…
Two Things. Sunday features the two most intriguing matches on the weekend schedule. Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo battle at 330 in Kansas City, and the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Seattle Sounders in a late night cap at 11. Both matches are nationally televised games, and feature two of the best playoff made, thorn in the side relationship type rivalries in the league. Kansas City ended the Dynamo’s home streak as a measure of revenge for being eliminated by Houston two years running in the playoffs. The Galaxy, have done a similar thing to Seattle in 2 of the last 3 seasons. Kansas City and Houston both come into this game struggling, so something has to give. Los Angeles comes into the game looking for answers after a bad game in New York, as Seattle has found it’s stride, putting in 8 goals in it’s last 2 games. They’ve been a treat to watch, and when you get two of the most offensive minded and technically talented teams in the league together, it’s a full blown gourmet desert.
And that does it for this week’s Primer. You can always follow me on twitter @JasonRiptide, and join the conversation this weekend with the #RCMD. Until next week, take care. And the schedule…
Friday May 24th, 2013
7:00 Pittsburgh Riverhounds vs Antigua Barracuda
7:00 Richmond Kickers vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Saturday May 25th, 2013
7:00 DC United vs. Portland Timbers
7:00 Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union
7:30 New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC
8:30 FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes
9:00 Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire
9:00 Colorado Rapids vs. Chivas USA
7:30 Atlanta Silverbacks vs. San Antonio Scorpions
7:30 Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Minnesota United FC
7:30 Charleston Battery vs. Rochester Rhinos
7:30 Orlando City SC vs. Wilmington Hammerheads
10:30 Los Angeles Blues vs. Charlotte Eagles
Sunday May 26th, 2013
3:30 Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo
5:00 New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew
11:00 Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC
4:00 FC Edmonton vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers
6:30 Dayton Dutch Lions vs. Antigua Barracuda
7:30 VSI Tampa Bay vs. Wilmington Hammerheads