August 10, 2012
A look at the upcoming games
Real Salt Lake (13-8-3, 42 pts) @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9-7-7, 34 pts), 6:00 pm CT (ABC4, SNPac)
Real Salt Lake will look for their first-ever road win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday at BC Place. The ‘Caps, meanwhile, are itching to avenge a 2-1 loss at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 27, in which they surrendered two goals to RSL’s Alvaro Saborio. That was their last league game, and cost them the services of veteran netminder Joe Cannon for the rematch. He was red-carded for handling the ball outside the box in the 76th minute. Brad Knighton is expected to get his first start of the season on Saturday. Vancouver are winless in four matches, but three of them were on the road, offering some consolation for this weekend’s return to their home pitch. Another positive is the play of rookie Darren Mattocks, who scored his seventh goal in his last 12 matches in the loss to RSL. The Whitecaps bulked up a bit this week by signing Ireland international back Andy O’Brien and Brazilian midfielder Tiago Ulisses. RSL have dropped their last three road games, after last weekend’s 2-1 stumble to Colorado, and are mired in a 289-minute MLS scoring drought.
DC United (11-7-3, 36 pts) @ Sporting Kansas City (12-7-4, 40 pts), 7:30 pm CT (CSNMA, KSMO)
DC United will try to bring high-flying Sporting Kansas City back to earth Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sporting ended a three-match league winless streak last weekend against New England, and are on quick turnaround after dethroning three-time US Open Cup champions Seattle in penalty kicks on Wednesday. They already have notched one win over United this season, prevailing 1-0 on CJ Sapong’s stoppage-time goal March 10 at RFK Stadium. Roger Espinoza will be back in Sporting Blue after garnering some international attention as part of the Honduras Olympic Team. Sporting are tied with Houston at the top of the MLS East, four points ahead of fourth-place DC. United also will have an Olympic returnee in Espinoza’s Honduran teammate Andy Najar, as well as some defensive reinforcement in Mike Chabala, acquired from Portland earlier this week and arriving just in time to help DC compensate for the absence of Daniel Woolard, who is expected to miss the start with a head injury. Dwayne De Rosario is still nursing an injured shoulder, but is expected to play against Kansas City.
Colorado Rapids (8-14-1, 25 pts) @ FC Dallas (5-11-8, 23 pts), 8:00 pm CT (Alt, TXA21)
The Colorado Rapids snapped a six-game losing streak with last weekend’s 1-0 squeaker over Real Salt Lake, and can wrap up their season series against FC Dallas on Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium. The Hoops posted a 1-1 road draw against Portland last weekend, and were buoyed by Brek Shea’s return to the lineup. He assisted on the Dallas goal. They also finished the match shorthanded, and will be without defender Zach Loyd on Saturday due to a red card suspension. The Rapids blanked Dallas 2-0 on May 6, and fell 2-1 on July 14. Matt Pickens became Colorado’s all-time leader in goalkeeper wins with last weekend’s shutout, his 40th win for the Rapids. Once again, Colorado were without their productive attacking tandem of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey, with Casey nursing a hamstring injury. Joseph Nane filled in at attacking midfielder, feeding Cummings as the lone striker.
Seattle Sounders FC (10-5-7, 37 pts) @ San Jose Earthquakes (13-5-5, 44 pts), 9:30 pm CT (KONG, CSN-Ca)
Two of MLS’s hottest goalscorers, Golden Boot leader Chris Wondolowski and Seattle striker Eddie Johnson, face off Saturday night when the Sounders visit the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes. Wondolowski leads the Quakes with 17 goals, but served as playmaker in their last match, on July 28, setting up Stephen Lenhart for a last-second equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Chicago. Wondolowski also scored the only goal as San Jose edged the Sounders 1-0 on March 31. Seattle is unbeaten in six games, and pounded the defending champion LA Galaxy 4-0 last Sunday before bowing to Kansas City in penalty kicks in Wednesday’s US Open Cup Final. Johnson opened the scoring against LA, followed by Fredy Montero and youngsters Alex Caskey and Andy Rose, both of whom scored their first MLS goals. Johnson has six goals in his last seven games, and ten overall. Mauro Rosales had two assists against the Galaxy, giving him six helpers in as many games.