MLS Week 5 Preview: 5 Games to Watch


Courtesy of Sounders FC Facebook Page

MLS game of the week pits two bitter rivals, Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers, squaring off at Providence Park in Portland. Seattle enters this match 2-2-0(win-loss-draw). The Sounders have lost two of their last three games, those two losses being at home. Portland comes into the match winless at 0-2-2, losing their last two. The Timbers have scored a total of three goals this year with Gaston Fernandez scoring two. Seattle have scored five goals, all of which being scored by different players.

The Sounders will be without Djimi Traore, who is serving a one game ban for the red card he received last match, against Columbus. Clint Dempsey‘s availability heading into this match will be somewhat questionable as he participated in the USMNT friendly against Mexico. Lastly, Brad Evans is still hampered by an injury he picked up in week 2 against Toronto FC

The Timbers will be without Donovan Ricketts who is serving the final game of a two game ban he received for a reckless challenge against Colorado in week 3. Michael Harrington is also questionable due to a red card he picked up in the last match against FC Dallas. The Timbers are appealing the decision according to Caleb Porter.

Providence Park (3:00pm ET) REFEREE: HILARIO GRAJEDA, AR1: Kermit Quisenberry,AR2: Paul Scott, 4TH: Younes Marrakch

If you like to watch derby matches this is one to watch. These two teams hate each other and it shows on the field.

The Columbus Crew take on Toronto FC in the first match of Trillium Cup. Columbus are off to their best start in franchise history while Toronto are trying to pick themselves up off the ground after the 3-0 thrashing they received from Real Salt Lake. All three of Toronto’s goals have come from Jermain Defoe. This should be cause for concern considering the play makers they have on the pitch. With the likes of Michael Bradley and Dwayne De Rosario on the field, Toronto should have far more goals.

Columbus are led by Federico Higuain with three goals and Bernardo Anor with two goals. Columbus has been outstanding in possessing the ball. According to the league website they possess the ball 57.3% of the time. That is an outstanding amount of possession. Not to state the obvious but the more you possess the ball, the less of a chance your opponent has to score. On the other hand Toronto is only possessing the ball 36.8% of the time, this could be the main reason they are struggling to score. 

RFK Stadium (7:00pm ET) REFEREE: ISMAIL ELFATH, AR1: George Gansner, AR2: Jason White, 4TH: Sorin Stoica

DC United welcome the New England Revolution to RFK Stadium. United were able to score their first two goals of the season last week but that was not enough to help them secure their first win of the season. New England won their first game of the season last week in San Jose. Victor Bernardez  and  Lee Nguyen lead the the team with one goal apiece. United’s two goals were scored by Fabian Espindola and Perry Kitchen. Three games into the season and we have yet to see Eddie Johnson score a goal or register an assist.  I believe this is the week EJ gets on the board in one of those categories.

RFK Stadium (7:00pm ET) REFEREE: JORGE GONZALEZ, AR1: Greg Barkey, AR2: Richard Gamache, 4TH: Daniel Fitzgerald

The Houston Dynamo welcome FC Dallas to BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston lost their first game of the year last week on the road against the Vancouver WhitecapsThe Dynamo conceded their first two goals last match in Vancouver while having scored six through three games. Dallas comes into this match as one of the hottest teams in the league. In four matches they have scored nine goals while conceding five. Will Bruin has had a great start for the team so far, scoring three goals. I see FC Dallas taking this match between the Lone Star state rivals.

BBVA Stadium (9:00 pm ET) REFEREE: RICARDO SALAZAR, AR1: Peter Manikowski, AR2: Mike Kampmeinert, 4TH: Mark Kadlecik

Real Salt Lake heads back to the site of the 2013 MLS Cup Final to take on Sporting KCSporting KC topped RSL last year on penalty kicks to claim the MLS Cup. Both teams come into this match with two wins. RSL put three on the board in their last match against Toronto FC. Sporting KC scored three goals last week as well, which included a much needed goal in the 92nd minute to win the match against the Colorado RapidsI see RSL exacting a little revenge in Kansas City this time, walking away with the three points.

Sporting Park (8:30pm ET) REFEREE: ARMANDO VILLARREAL, AR1: Corey Parker, AR2: Craig Lowry, 4TH: Fotis Bazakos

For more referee assignments, you can visit the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) website.

Chris Blakely writes for Stoppage Time Soccer. You can follow him on Twitter at TheRealCBlakely.


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