The All-Star weekend has wrapped up, everyone escaped without injuries, and the MLS regular season is upon us. Depending on who you ask, the All-Star game ranged from “Pathetic wheezing pile of rat grundles” to “Kaka And1 Slip-Tapes” to “Good.” Our boy Danny seemed to enjoy the festivities and wrote up a little post to commemorate it, but personally I would have rather watched Mauro Diaz pick apples off Chris Wondolowski’s head like a modern day Robin Hood with laser-beam right footers during the HotFooty Skillz Competition (which did not exist but should). Regardless of all that, there’s a bunch of good games to watch this coming weekend, and with MLS TV viewership up 32% this year, do you really want to be that one dummy who doesn’t know who all the Kamara’s are? Here’s a quick preview of some of the important games this weekend:
NYCFC vs Colorado – 3pm EST – Saturday July 30
One of the top two teams in the west versus the top dogs in the East. Coming off a tough loss against cross river rivals NYRB, New York City is going to need a strong result to get momentum back in their favor. Only problem is that basically the entire team is suspended due to last weeks yellow card spree from the incomprehensible Mark Geiger. Villa, Pirlo (edit: Pirlo is playing despite early reports saying he won’t), RJ Allen, Ethan White, and Frederico Bravo are all out. Rumor is that Vieira himself might even get out there in midfield, and that rumor was started right here in this very sentence and is impossible because Vieira is actually SUSPENDED. Seriously cannot understand the MLS sometimes. Don’t be surprised to see Tony Taylor or Khiry Shelton make their way into the starting lineup on offense and Matarrita and Hernandez back into the lineup on defense.
Colorado is coming in off of a disappointing draw against first place in the west FC Dallas, giving up an equalizer in the final 10 minutes. They’re going to be hungry, not nearly as depleted, Jermaine Jones is banged up he may actually get back into the game, and it’s not like his replacement Marlon Hairston has been that bad. This could get ugly. HotFooty favorite Kevin Doyle is in good form and will likely start up top, and lord only knows what his fiesty self will do to the uncomfortably inconsistent Frederic Brillant.
Score prediction: NYCFC definitely has their hands full, and with Villa out I’m not sure what to expect out of the offense, the one thing keeping us in games sometimes. 3-1 Colorado
Seattle vs Galaxy – 4pm EST – Sunday July 31
The Seattle Sounders have a new look. New coach, new players. Nic Lodeiro, the Uruguayan Boca Juniors alumni is signed sealed delivered and should be ready to go for this game. The Sounders are desperate for some creativity and consistency in the midfield, so don’t be surprised to see Lodeiro at a minimum get into the game and at best start in the midfield. Jordan Morris and Clint Dempsey will definitely be starting up top, but they’re going to have their hands full against one of the top defenses in the league. LA Galaxy have the best goal differential in the league at 15 and it’s not even close. Nigel De Jong should be back for this game as well so don’t be surprised if someone comes out of this game with a cartoonishly flat foot. If LA Galaxy gets a quick goal or two, this game is basically over.
Score prediction: I think this is going to be a very tough game for Seattle, even at home. 3-1 Galaxy
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 6pm EST – Sunday July 31
The top team in the league, FC Dallas has a bit of momentum after securing a late equalizer against Colorado. The super talented offense has been explosive this season, though with Fabian Castillo’s impending departure to Turkish club Trabzonspor being negotiated, we’re pretty sure he’ll be out this weekend. But with Mauro Diaz, Michael Barrios, Tesho Akindele, and Maximilliano Urruti all available to supply offensive firepower it honestly might not matter. We think Castillo leaving the league would be a shame, and can’t fathom wanting to transfer to Turkey right now, but hey to each their own. Dallas has to figure out how to not give up stinkers though on defense, too many games lost by big scorelines.
Vancouver has been a bit of a disappointment this season, with star midfielder Pedro Morales not being able to assert himself as much as he has in the past couple of seasons. An injury earlier in the year kept him sidelined for a few games and since then it hasn’t been that impressive. He’s talented though and experienced so I could see him turning it around against a team that’s proven to be vulnerable. The key to this game for Vancouver will be to get a goal early and force FCD to open up and rely less on the counter attack.
Score prediction: This is a tough one to predict, but with Fc Dallas at home and the temperatures being ridiculously hot, I think that favors Dallas. If Vancouver can get one or two in the first half, this could turn into a blowout because then Vancouver could just sit back, but with Vancouver struggling to score goals lately, I don’t know about that happening. 2-0 Dallas.
Lot’s of other games on, schedule here: MLS Schedule