Stream of the Week: Salt Lake vs Sporting KC
This is a great matchup though slightly watered down by Gold Cup callups. Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City are among the deepest teams in MLS, and there still will be some exciting talents to watch. Sporting Kansas City will feature forwards Claudio Beiler and Kei Kamara, the latter of whom Arsenal fans may remember from his recent loan stint with Norwich City (he earned an important free kick, but also conceded a penalty). However, centerback Matt Besler was just called up to join the Gold Cup squad. Real Salt Lake will feature playmakers Luis Gil and Javier Morales even if they have lost three players to the United States and a fourth to Costa Rica.
If Sporting are tempted to go after a Salt Lake backline that has been ravaged by injuries, this could end up being a very open game. The majority of Real Salt Lake's defections are on the defensive side, and they will featured talented group of attackers that includes not only the aformentioned Gil and Morales, but emerging young striker Olmes Garcia and the slippery Joao Plata. In other words, the Claret and Cobalt can match Sporting's firepower even if they can't hang defensively. Though Sporting could be tempted to play more defensively on the road, I think that would be a mistake, as they're up against a backline that has had to be assembled on the fly due to a rash of injuries. Considering Carlos Salcedo's fitness, it wouldn't even surprise me to see Brandon McDonald suit up this game despite the fact he was a member of DC United less than a week ago.
I'm reluctant to pick a road team to win at Rio Tinto, even if it isn't the fortress it used to be, so I'm going to go with a 2-2 draw for this one. Really though, watch this game, because with the attackers involved the real score is probably going to be fun to fun.
Toronto – New York
If there was a financial mismanagement rivalry cup, these two teams would compete for it. Henry is far too good for the Red Bulls, they don't deserve him. Though, in fairness, neither did Barcelona or really anyone other than Arsenal. The King should only be with his true loyal subjects who love him. Anyways, Red Bulls win.
Seattle – Colorado
If Seattle suit up 11 players for this game, they've won half the battle. Unfortunately for the Sounders the other half of the battle involves playing a solid Colorado team that bossed the midfield in a midweek game over New England. Draw.
Montreal – FC Dallas
Both Montreal and Dallas are coming off losses that wouldn't be that surprising giving the quality of opposition, but the lopsided natures of the scores do. Montreal seem to be in a phase where the league has them well scouted and they have yet to counter tactics designed to stop them, and I don't see them getting it right just yet.
Columbus – New England
Columbus are getting New England at the right time here, with Revolution centerback Stephen McCarthy potentially missing the game with an injury. Columbus should win this one.
Philadelphia – Portland
Portland get back Will Johnson even though they didn't really need him to beat Los Angeles last week. However the Union get back Jack McInerney, and that should be enough to let them eke out a draw at PPL Park.
Chicago – DC United
I don't want to say DC United suck. They could be really great guys to have around if you needed to form an all male acapella group or needed help moving. However, they really aren't all that good at soccer at the moment. Chicago wins.
LA Galaxy - Vancouver
The Galaxy haven't had much luck lately against teams from Cascadia, and with Russel Teibert ready to return for the Whitecaps, I could see their struggles against teams from the Northwest continuing. Vancouver win.
I thought I would also start mentioning anything big that happened in MLS (assuming something big happened). There were a few interesting things worth mentioning, though if I missed anything, you're more than encouraged to share in the comments.
Nick Rimando (RSL), Corey Ashe (HOU), Tony Beltran (RSL), DeAndre Yedlin (SEA), Kyle Beckerman (RSL), Patrice Bernier (MON), Tim Cahill (NYRB), Marco Di Vaio (MON), Robbie Keane (LA) and Camilo Sanvezzo (VAN) were all added to the All Star team.
RSL got Brandon McDonald from DC United for two draft picks.
San Jose got El Salvador international Jaime Alas on loan
Mauro Diaz has joined FC Dallas from River Plate
DC United acquired Conor Doyle on loan via a lottery process