There will be a couple of MLS matches on cable today: DC United vs. Philadelphia live at 2 p.m. on NBSCN, and Portland-New York tape-delayed to 7:30 p.m. on Root.
Here’s a DC-Philly preview from the league:
If the playoffs were to start today, D.C. United would be in and Philadelphia Union would be out.
Last year, the clubs tied twice before their final League encounter ended 3-2 in favor of Philadelphia, who qualified for the postseason, while United fell short.
On Sunday, Philadelphia will look to bounce back from their two-game slide and make up ground in the standings against I-95 rivals D.C. United (NBC Sports Network, 2 p.m. PT).
This season, clubs will not only look to capture a spot in the playoffs, they will be gunning for the top spot in their conference as higher seeds will ride home-field advantage all of the way through the playoffs, including MLS Cup on Dec. 1.
With two games in hand, D.C. United (11-8-3, 36 pts.) are looking to put pressure on the top three in the Eastern Conference—Kansas City, New York, Houston – each of which has played 24 games.
The Union (7-12-2, 23 pts.) have plenty of time, 13 games to be exact, to pick up points in the backhalf of the season but are currently trailing D.C. by 13 points for that fifth place spot in the standings.
Philadelphia ousted D.C. from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 5, but United won the regular season duel 11 days later, 1-0.
D.C. United hope for the return of 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario, who missed United’s last match due to a shoulder injury. If he returns to action – on the night bobbleheads in his likeness are handed out – De Ro would be in a position to hit the century strike mark as he currently sits at 98 goals scored in regular season MLS matches (seventh on the all-time list).
And a few notes on the Timbers match:
New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers
· Clever Cahill: Making his second start for the Red Bulls, Tim Cahill played a part in both goals in Friday’s win vs. Houston, recording his first two MLS assists.
· Early Bird Gets the Worm: New York is 39-0-15 in its last 54 matches when scoring the first goal, an undefeated streak that dates back to 2008.
· Bouncing Back: The Timbers are returning to action after a weekend off, after a Jack Jewsbury goal gave them a 1-1 home draw with FC Dallas, snapping a five-game losing streak (and three-game goalless streak). Portland last won on July 3, a 2-1 victory vs. San Jose.