For the second time this season—and in league history—every MLS team will be in action on the same day, as eight games kick off tomorrow.
But while all the teams will be playing, not all of their key players will see the field as an injury bug has swept the league.
In tomorrow’s first game, the MetroBulls (4-1-0) travel to D.C. United (0-4-0) to take on a Red-and-Black side with no less than seven guys dinged up—defenders Marc Burch, Dejan Jakovic, and Bryan Namoff are all out, along with striker Chris Pontius, while defenders Juan Manuel Pena and Barry Rice and midfielder Clyde Simms are listed as probable.
If the Red Bulls—who are missing injured striker Macoumba Kandji—are going to get their first win in 10 tries (0-8-2) at RFK Stadium, now is the time to do it. TV: MSG/TeleFutura, 4:00 p.m. EST.
New England (2-3-0), which has lost two in a row, hosts FC Dallas (0-1-3), and will do so without striker Taylor Twellman, goalkeeper Matt Reis, and midfielder and team linchpin Shalrie Joseph, who checked into the league’s substance abuse program this week. TV: Fox Sports New England/MLS Direct Kick, 7:30
Houston (2-2-1) welcomes surprising Kansas City, which has given up just one goal while going 2-1-1. The Dynamo is missing forward Brian Ching (hamstring) and midfielder Geoff Cameron (torn PCL). Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad is listed as questionable with a calf strain. Can Houston D.P. Luis Landin (finally) step up? His injury-wracked team needs him to. TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30
Chivas USA (2-3-0) travels to Toyota Park to take on Chicago (2-2-1) in a battle of two teams that have shown flashes of great potential but have yet to find their identity. The Goats could debut their new Costa Rican attacker Jose Macotelo, 24, who signed today. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 8:30
The defending champs, Real Salt Lake (1-3-2), will look to shake their slow start as they take on Toronto FC (2-3-0) at Rio Tinto Stadium. Toronto is coming off its best performance of the season, a 2-0 win over Seattle, and midfielder Dwayne De Rosario is in great form. But RSL playmaker Javier Morales and striker Robbie Findley are both rounding into match fitness after recent knocks, and they are bound to make life difficult for the Reds’ backline, which has given up 10 goals in five games. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 9:00
Colorado (3-1-1) will try to pick up its third road win of the year when it travels to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the San Jose Earthquakes, who’ve shown some life since their terrible 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake in the season opener. They could welcome back midfielder Arturo Alvarez from the disabled list for this one. But Colorado, with Omar Cummings and Conor Casey in attack, and Pablo Mastroeni in midfield, may be too much for the young Quakes. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 10:00
Seattle Sounders FC (2-2-2) has played more games than any club—with half of them away, including the last two in a tough four-day road trip. They will be happy to get back to the home cooking of a rocking Qwest Field, even if their opponents, Columbus (2-0-1) will be no pushover. Guillermo Barros Schelotto has willed the Crew to its current record with three goals and an assist, but the team will need striker Steven Lenhart (goalless in 2010) and midfielder Eddie Gaven to contribute as well if they are to get points against their old coach Sigi Schmid and Seattle on the road. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 10:30
The L.A. Galaxy (4-0-1) has given up just one goal all year while scoring seven, and even though defenders Sean Franklin and Leonardo, midfielders Eddie Lewis and Dema Kovalenko, and striker Clint Mathis are all listed as questionable due to injuries, they should have enough to down visiting expansion team Philadelphia (1-3-0). Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Juninho could turn this one into a rout. Especially given the fact that Philly’s top scorer, Sebastian Le Toux (four goals), injured his knee in U.S. Open Cup play on Tuesday and is listed as questionable. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 10:30