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Three MLS games to watch
by Ridge Mahoney, May 15th, 2014 8:58PM

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TAGS:  mls

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[PREVIEW: Week 11] Toronto FC will be without midfield linchpin Michael Bradley while mired in a three-game losing streak for its match at New York though it would probably have opted for an opponent other than New York.

Though it gets the Red Bulls at home Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live), TFC hasn’t been able to beat them at BMO Field the past two years. The teams tied there, 0-0, last July after the Red Bulls won, 2-1, earlier in the season. New York also won at Red Bull Arena, 2-0, last September and garnered a 1-1 tie at BMO Field in July 2012.

So far in 2014, the Red Bulls (3-3-5) haven’t look much like the 2013 Supporters’ Shield winners. Though Bradley Wright-Phillips leads the league in goals with nine, surrendering five goals to previously winless Chicago last week (in a 5-4 home defeat) took the luster off his second hat trick of the young season. Roy Miller (Costa Rica) and Tim Cahill (Australia) have left to start World Cup preparations, and with three of the next four on the road, how successful were head coach Mike Petke’s offseason squad strengthening measures are to examined closely.

Loser of three straight after a smart start, TFC (3-4-0) won’t have to replace forward Jermain Defoe, as he didn’t make the England primary squad and instead has been placed on a stand-by list. TFC defeated Vancouver on penalty kicks Wednesday in the Amway Canadian Championship but the confidence generated by that victory may be drained away by the long flight back from British Columbia.

PHILADELPHIA-NEW ENGLAND. It will be interesting to see what kind of greeting the Union receives when it returns home to play New England after upsetting Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, on Wednesday. That win snapped a nine-game winless streak but the truest test will be how the team responds after that emotional result.

Every field player ran to embrace Coach John Hackworth after Victor Nogueira scored to give the Union a 1-0 lead early in the second half, and a minute after conceding an equalizer when Dom Dwyer scored, Philly struck back to nail the winner. That’s a sign of players who haven’t quit on their coach, or each other. Still, there will be pressure to perform at home.

HOUSTON-LA GALAXY. The Galaxy’s reputation always draws attention, and its tepid start to 2014 (2-2-3) is mitigated by the fact this game in Houston is already their sixth away test of the season.

Landon Donovan’s slow start has been compensated for somewhat by Robbie Keane, though at times he hasn’t looked as impressive as his six goals might suggest. With Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, as well as Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, in the USA preparation camp, the game might be even grittier than is typical between these two rivals.

Houston (4-5-2) is coming off a 5-2 thumping at home handed out by Real Salt Lake notable only for the two goals scored by rookie Mark Sherrod in his MLS debut. More than figuring out how to replace Davis, Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear will have spent the week tightening up the back line and devising ways to stop Keane.

MLS WEEK 11, Results:
Wednesday, May 14
Sporting KC 1 Philadelphia 2.
PHI: Danny Cruz 40
SKC: Dom Dwyer (Paulo Nagamura) 80
PHI: Cristian Maidana (Andrew Wenger) 81
Red Card: PHI -- Corben Bone 90.
Att.: 19,073.



MLS WEEK 11, Schedule:
Saturday, May 17
4:30 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. New York, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Montreal, MLS LIVE
Philadelphia vs. New England, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA, MLS LIVE
Houston vs. LA Galaxy, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
Portland vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
Sunday, May 18
3 pm ET
Chicago vs. Sporting KC, UniMas

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
17 Sporting KC 5-3-2 15/68
17 New England 5-3-2 14/10
14 D.C. United 4-3-2 13/11
14 Houston 4-5-2 17/19
14 New York 3-3-5 18/17
------------------------------------------------
12 Columbus 3-4-3 10/11
11 Philadelphia 2-5-5 12/15
9 Toronto FC 3-4-0 7/9
9 Chicago 1-2-6 17/16
6 Montreal 1-5-3 7/17

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
22 Seattle 7-3-1 22/19
20 Real Salt Lake 5-0-5 21/12
16 FC Dallas 5-5-1 20/19
16 Vancouver 4-2-4 16/12
15 Colorado 4-3-3 11/12
------------------------------------------------
10 San Jose 2-3-4 10/11
9 LA Galaxy 2-2-3 8/6
9 Chivas USA 2-5-3 12/19
9 Portland 1-3-6 13/156
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
9 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
8 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
8 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
7+1 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
6 Will Bruin
, Houston
6 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
5 Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago
5 Michel, FC Dallas
5 Joao Plata
, Real Salt Lake
5 Chris Wondolowski
, San Jose
5 Vicente Sanchez, Colorado

MLS WEEK 12, Schedule:
Wednesday, May 21
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Houston, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
Friday, May 23
8:30 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC, MLS LIVE, UDN
Saturday, May 24
7 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Seattle, MLS LIVE
New York vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Chicago, MLS LIVE
New England vs. D.C. United, MLS LIVE
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. Montreal, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
Sunday, May 25
8 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia, UDN
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Houston

MLS WEEK 13, Schedule:
Tuesday, May 27
8 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. New York, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Wednesday, May 28
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
Saturday, May 31, 2014
4 pm ET
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS LIVE
5 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
Montreal vs. New England, MLS LIVE
D.C. United vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE, UDN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE



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