With the MLS season set to kickoff this afternoon, below are three of the biggest matches of the weekend.
Seattle Sounders FC vs Sporting Kansas City, 3pm ET, NBCSN
Graham Zusi, and the rest of the MLS Cup defending Champions, travel to Seattle as they play a new-look Seattle Sounders FC at 3pm ET.
Seattle holds the upper-hand when it comes to the series record, having lost just once in eight meetings, and recording a tie just once as well. The last game between the two, in Kansas City, ended in dramatic fashion with Djimi Traore getting the only goal deep in stoppage time.
I’m really interested in seeing how Dempsey will play in this game. I know, seems like there is so much more to talk about when it comes to the Sounders and most are only talking about Dempsey. However he’s the star now with Johnson gone. And as we’ve mentioned before, it doesn’t look as if Dempsey is ready to take over as “the man” especially after that disappointing loan with Fulham and the disappointing game versus Ukraine.
Dempsey is not scheduled to start for Seattle but expect him to come off the bench.
After a disappointing 2013 season, both clubs are looking to put the past behind them as the Crew visit the Red-and-Black on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium.
After making the playoff in 2012 with 58 points, United fell to the league’s worst record in 2013 with only 16 points, the largest drop in points in MLS history.
This season looks to be different. Eddie Johnson just signed his brand-new DP contract and will look to carry DC United back to the playoffs.
The Crew begin a new era with Gregg Berhalter as manager. The Crew missed out on the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second straight season last year and will look to change that this season.
In a Western Conference semifinal rematch, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy will take on Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at StubHub Center.
Real Salt Lake, who put an end to the Galaxy’s bid for a third consecutive MLS Cup last season, advanced to MLS Cup 2014 last season but lost on penalty kicks to Sporting Kansas City.
In 13 meetings at StubHub center, LA has won seven, Real Salt Lake has won five, and they have tied once.
With his next goal, Landon Donovan will become the all-time MLS leader in goals scored. Donovan enters the 2014 season tied with Jeff Cunningham atop the all-time standings with 134 league goals. When asked about the feat Donovan said, “To be honest, I don’t think about it until it’s brought up. There’s a good chance I’ll forget before the game starts. There’s no guarantee you’re ever going to score. Is it important? Yeah, it is. It means something to me. But I’ll be glad when it’s over, to be honest, so I can just get back to focusing.”
Will Donovan be able to make history tonight? Only time will tell.
What are the most important games for you this weekend?