Week 8 of the MLS season is upon us and with it comes a slew of nationally-televised matches. Five matches will be featured on national TV highlighted by a Friday night Univision Deportes Network doubleheader.
Aside from Sporting KC's Saturday night match against the Houston Dynamo (7pm; 38 the Spot), here are the MLS matches we'll be keeping an eye on.
Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC - Friday - 7pm CT | UDN
After losing their first three matches of the year, the Chicago Fire have rebounded with back-to-back wins over the Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC. Friday's match is a must-watch affair if for no other reason than Harry Shipp has emerged as one of the premier players in MLS. NYCFC have been reeling of late (winless in last five matches) and the road doesn't get any easier tonight as they'll likely play on the road without David Villa, Josh Saunders and Jason Hernandez.
Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas - Friday - 9pm CT | UDN
The last match between these two squads featured one of the more surprising results of 2015. The Rapids had entered the match without a win (or a goal) and put up four on the road in a 4-0 demolition of FC Dallas. Oscar Pareja's side rebounded quickly with a 3-2 win over Toronto FC last weekend. There is a lot of attacking talent to watch tonight including Dallas' Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez and Colorado's Dillon Powers.
New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy - Sunday - 4pm CT | ESPN2
Without Landon Donovan and Thierry Henry the glitz might be off this matchup, but it still features two of the top teams in MLS. The Red Bulls are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference, are the only undefeated team in MLS and have the best points per game in the League. The Galaxy are coming off a dramatic 2-1 win over Sporting KC and sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. Reports indicate that the defending MLS Cup champions could be without Robbie Keane for the third consecutive week as the reigning MLS MVP recovers from a groin injury.
Orlando City SC vs. Toronto FC - Sunday - 6pm CT | FOX Sports 1
MLS fans have a busy Sunday with three games including a FOX Sports 1 doubleheader. There is plenty of star power on display in the first match when Orlando City hosts Toronto FC. Orlando City features Kaka, the last World Player of the Year winner not named Ronaldo or Messi, while Toronto features USMNT stalwarts Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley as well as Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian international has three goals and two assists in five games this year.
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers - Sunday - 8:30pm CT | FOX Sports 1
After a great weekend of matches, we get to finish things off with arguably the best rivalry in MLS. The Sounders have won two of their past three matches including an emphatic 3-1 road win over the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Nigerian international Obafemi Martins is well worth the price of admission with his 29 goals in 56 League matches. Portland will look to carry the momentum from last week's road win over NYCFC into Sunday's match. The Timbers enter the weekend in a five-way tie for fourth place in the Western Conference
After a day off on Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City will return to training on Thursday ahead of this weekend's match against the Houston Dynamo. The Western Conference matchup will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast locally on 38 the Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV.
Sporting Kansas City assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin joined last night's Sporting KC Show (Sports Radio 810 WHB) to look ahead to this weekend's match. Listen to the podcast of the show below:
Tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual Westport Beer Festival. The event will be held on Saturday, June 13 from 5-9pm CT.
Hosted by Beer KC, McCoy's Public House and Sporting KC, the festival will feature more than 35 American craft and International breweries and more than 80 beers. The beer styles are geared toward refreshing summer quenchers including but not limited to Saison, Lagers, Wheats, Sours, Spring and Summer Seasonals, in addition to a commemorative tasting glass. Food will be provided for purchase by Beer KC.
This week's Sporting Spotlight on 38 the Spot featured Amadou Dia. The first year professional was born in France and spoke no English when he arrived to the United States as a youth. Now Dia is fluent in English and loves living in the USA, but there are some things from the homeland that he'll always find hard to live without.
Catch the two-part segment below with host Crystle Lampitt to find out what Dia misses the most from his childhood:
Forward Krisztian Nemeth scores his second goal of the season in the 22nd minute to tie it up at 1-1 at StubHub Center against LA Galaxy.
Things are starting to heat up as we head into week 7 of the MLS season. After a week that saw nine clubs get shut out in nine games, MLS teams will look to get their offenses back on track this weekend. 18 teams are in action with the Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact postponing their match to allow the Impact more time to prepare for their CONCACAF Champions League championship showdown with Club America. Sporting KC is in action Saturday night taking on the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. That match will kick off at 9:30pm CT with pregame coverage beginning at 9pm CT on 38 the Spot and SKCTV.
With that said, here are the nationally-televised matches that we'll be watching this weekend.
New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes - Friday - 6pm CT | UniMas
One of the surprise stories of 2015 has been the early success of the New York Red Bulls. Few knew what to make of the club after the departure of Designated Players Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill and head coach Mike Petke. But newly signed head coach Jesse Marsch has his team playing well and is one of two teams in MLS without a loss this year. They'll host a San Jose Earthquakes team that has also surprised pundits after six weeks. Dominic Kinnear's side is in a three-way tie for third place in the Western Conference with nine points and is tied for first with most road goals scored (4). They'll need to score a couple if they want to get out of Red Bull Arena with points tonight.
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution - Sunday - 4pm CT | ESPN2
After losing to Sporting KC in heartbreaking fashion on April 5, the Philadelphia Union earned four points in a home-and-away series with New York City FC. The Union earned a 1-1 draw against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium on Thursday with C.J. Sapong scoring the game-tying goal in the second half. Now, Jim Curtain's side with return to PPL Park to take on the New England Revolution in their third game in nine days. After getting shutout in their first two games, the Revs are unbeaten in four straight and have only allowed one goal in that span. On the flip side, they have only scored four goals all year, two of which came from an Kelyn Rowe brace against the Earthquakes on March 28.
NYCFC vs. Portland Timbers - Sunday - 6pm CT | Fox Sports 1
Sunday night's week 7 finale features a pair of teams with plenty of offensive firepower. NYCFC's attack features World Cup winner David Villa and USMNT stalwart Mix Diskerud. Darlington Nabge pulls the strings for the Timbers offense while Fanendo Adi has emerged as one of the leading goalscorers in MLS with 12 tallies in his 30 career games.
As a reminder, all out-of-market matches and non-nationally televised matches can be watched via MLS Live. Visit live.mlssoccer.com for more details.
A new Sporting KC Show aired Tuesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB. The weekly show was hosted by SKCTV's Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine. The trio of hosts discussed the latest news surrounding Sporting Kansas City included the recent injury to defender Ike Opara.
They were also joined by Goal.com Senior Writer and SoccerByIves.com Editor-In-Chief Ives Galarcep. The longtime MLS scribe discussed the recent trend of low-scoring MLS games and offered his thoughts on Wednesday's USMNT match vs. Mexico. Listen to the full podcast of the show below:
Sporting Kansas City welcomed 13 new players to the club's roster ahead of the 2015 season. Crystle Lampitt from 38 the Spot will be getting to know a handful of these guys over the next couple of months. Krisztian Nemeth was first in the hot seat. Watch the full interview below to get to know Sporting KC's newest goalscoring threat:
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes joined Sports Radio 810 WHB host Nate Bukaty on The Border Patrol earlier today to discuss Sporting KC's scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. The full podcast is available below:
With the draw, Sporting KC heads into week seven of the MLS regular season tied for third place with only one loss in the team's first six games (2-1-3). The LA Galaxy trail by one point in the standings and are next up to host Sporting KC. Saturday's match will kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT at StubHub Center live on SKCTV across the Midwest.