MLS Week 17: A mid-week look ahead

Robbie Keane (7)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

The Los Angeles Galaxy couldn’t have asked for a better time for star forward Robbie Keane to return, as the defending champions look to get back to winning ways when they host the one-loss Portland Timbers on Wednesday night at the newly christened StubHub Center.

While there is a top-five matchup on the West Coast, an equally compelling game is taking place in Montreal, when the Impact host the Houston Dynamo. The Chicago Fire takes on a weakened Colorado Rapids side missing their head coach and two starters due to suspension, and the Vancouver Whitecaps host Chivas USA, the first match under new manager Jose Luis Real.

Here is a rundown of the midweek Week 17 slate:

LOS ANGELES GALAXY vs. PORTLAND TIMBERS (Wednesday, 10:30pm, MLS Live/Direct Kick)

When the Los Angeles Galaxy and Portland Timbers take the field on Wednesday night, it will be a match of teams moving in different directions.

The defending MLS Cup champions are winless since May 26 with Keane and centerback Omar Gonzalez leaving the team to join their respective national teams. In addition, the Galaxy have lost five of their last seven matches since the start of May, dropping them all the way to fifth place. On the other side, the Timbers are undefeated since mid-March overall and haven’t lost on the road this season, as Caleb Porter has found a successful formula with the likes of Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, and Will Johnson starring consistently.

Although Keane has returned to the Galaxy, Gonzalez won’t be available after starting and going the full 90 for the U.S. Tuesday night in Utah, while Timbers midfielder Rodney Wallace will be traveling back from Costa Rica.

MONTREAL IMPACT vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO (Wednesday, 8pm, MLS Live/Direct Kick)

The Montreal Impact see the return of head coach Marco Schallibaum and defender Alessandro Nesta as they try to build off a defeat on Saturday to the Columbus Crew.

After three weeks away from league play, the Houston Dynamo return with a fresh squad as numerous players continue to come back from long-term injuries. Omar Cummings may be just a week or two away from returning to the field in a match.

CHICAGO FIRE vs. COLORADO RAPIDS (Wednesday, 8:30pm, MLS Live/Direct Kick)

The Colorado Rapids begin a three-game road trip with a visit to the Chicago Fire, but they’ll have to play Wednesday’s match without head coach Oscar Pareja and starters Hendry Thomas and Atiba Harris to suspension. In addition, the Rapids traded captain Pablo Mastroeni to the Galaxy, so they’ll be without a bit of experience in the midfield.

Since trading for Mike Magee, the Fire have seen an uptick in the offense, averaging two goals per game since May 26 in all competitions. The Fire should carry the confidence from their last league match, a 2-2 draw against the Timbers where they came back from a two-goal deficit.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS vs. CHIVAS USA (Wednesday, 10pm, MLS Live/Direct Kick)

It’s been 11 matches since Chivas USA has recorded a win, but the last time they did so was against the very Vancouver Whitecaps that they’ll be facing Wednesday. The Whitecaps are a different team though since March 30, as Kenny Miller has hit into form and the team is scoring at win, as evidenced by their four goals last Saturday.

Jose Luis Real makes his managerial debut for Chivas USA after assistant coach Sacha van der Most took control of the side’s last match, a 2-0 defeat to Seattle. The team is ditching their 3-5-2 formation for a more defensive 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 formation, which could lead to better results for the Goats.

This entry was posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to MLS Week 17: A mid-week look ahead

  1. Chance says:

    Small nitpick, the Timbers of unbeaten since mid MARCH not April. Week two v Montreal.

  2. Coco says:

    can someone give me a reason to care about the MLS regular season?

    • Jerrod says:

      if you don’t enjoy watching the games, why do you care about soccer at all?

      • Coco says:

        I don’t understand the question

        why should i follow the regular season in MLS?

        • The Big O says:

          Why watch any soccer? MLS quality soccer is quite good right now actually outside of a few clubs. But even the crappy clubs provide better clubs a chance to shine. Your question is dumb. And like Jerrod said, if you don’t like watching soccer, why follow it at all?

          • Coco says:

            the quality is fine. My point is, the regular season is pointless because over half the league makes the playoffs.

            • Landy Cakes says:

              i say the same thing about baseball. and the NBA. and hockey. nature of the beast.

            • Ghandi says:

              You can say the same thing about any sport with playoffs or any sport with halves/quarters.

              “Why watch the first 3 quarters if only the 4th matters?”

              It’s a pointless argument. Watch sports because you enjoy the game, not because of what happens at the end of the season.

              • Neruda says:

                well said.

                the EPL has the single table system and half of the years there is no drama on the final match day. There’s good and bad to both systems (playoffs and single table). Neither one is inherently superior to the other.

            • Neruda says:

              if you don’t follow an MLS club than i can see why you don’t care about MLS midseason matches. The the question is why comment on a story about MLS matches if you don’t see the point?

              There is a lot more intensity in regular season games than in years past.

        • Gary says:

          The real question is: Why did anyone waste their time responding to your pointless question.

    • Joe says:

      Yep. It’s different than other leagues, more support equals more money equals better players equals placating people like you who don’t seem to get that building something takes time. Think all the other leagues never encountered any hardship or had star players fromo the beginning. Go root for the Heat and claim you know who Rony Seikaly, Sherman Douglas, Bimbo Coles and Harold Minor are. Tool.

    • Gnarls says:

      If you can’t get on board with the regular season, how could you possibly care about the post-season? Ignore 34 games and then suddenly care about a team in October/November; that’s just weird.

      Also – and I may be beating a dead horse here – MLS has something call the Supporters’ Shield that is equivalent to a league trophy in other leagues. The race for the Supporters’ Shield, which starts on match day 1, is every bit as exciting for me as the playoffs.

      But you might just be a trolling.

  3. Fredo says:

    Galaxy are barely hanging on to a playoff spot. It’s a beautiful day in SoCal so I expect they’ll find a way to win at home tonight.

    • Neruda says:

      Timbers have to take advantage of this match because Omar G probably won’t play after working a full shift in yesterdays win. I hope they win big.

    • Gnarls says:

      Gotta believe! Come on you Gs.

  4. zztoppppp says:

    Timbers over Galaxy
    Impact-Dynamo Draw
    Colorado over Chicago
    Vancouver over Chivas