CRUNCH TIME. Ethan Finlay, with a goal or an assist in six of his last seven matches, is in good form. His team is not. The Crew (4-6-8, 20 points) has just one win in its last seven games and is glad to be home after absorbing a 4-1 lashing at Red Bull Arena last Saturday. Finlay set up the first MLS goal scored by Adam Bedell but Thierry Henry ran away with the Player of the Week award by notching three assists when he wasn’t scoring the winning goal.
Federico Higuain started his first MLS game since June 4 and took over the attacking midfield role in New York. Head coach Gregg Berhalter will also have Bernardo Anor available. The MLS Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday rescinded the red card he received against the Red Bulls.
Jacob Peterson and Claudio Bieler scored the goals in a 2-0 SKC win over Columbus May 4, but Dom Dwyer is the main danger man. Second in the league with 14 goals, he scored both goals in a 2-1 defeat of Montreal last weekend that was the third straight road victory for SKC (8-5-5). Losses in the last four meetings with Sporting KC means the Crew hasn’t managed a point since a 1-1 tie at home on Oct. 7, 2012.
Sporting KC didn't exactly arrive in Columbus in a good mood. The team's senior
14 players were stuck in New York after an electrical storm wrecked havoc to their travel plans. The delay in the connection from Montreal to Columbus lasted 29 hours and included two canceled
flights, a three-hour wait on the airport runway and an overnight stay in Manhattan.
You already know about the Red Bulls (5-5-8), who edged into the playoff quintet by beating the Crew and have also won or tied each of their last five games. Bradley Wright-Phillips maintained his lead in the scoring race by tucking away a great feed from Henry for his 15th league goal
Philly (4-8-7, 19 points) is 2-2-1 in its last five games as interim head coach Jim Curtin goes about the difficult business of straightening things out. (Both of those wins
came against struggling New England.) A 1-2-5 home mark at PPL Park is a good place to start.
The former centerback has tried various combinations in the middle and even though Philly blew a two-goal lead Saturday in a 3-3 tie with Colorado, he praised the work of Ethan White, who got his first start for the Union four months after being acquired in a trade with D.C. United for Jeff Parke.
There will be changes in central midfield. Both Amobi Okugo and Michael Lahoud, who had been paired by Curtin in each of his three matches in charge, are suspended. Coming off suspension is Maurice Edu, who started the season in midfield but has been moved to centerback since Curtin took over.
In the other two midweek games, Canadian rivals Toronto FC and Vancouver square off at BMO Field, and the Revs try to snap a five-game losing streak against Los Angeles at StubHub Center.MLS Standings: