PREVIEWS FOR MLS WEEK 22 and USL WEEK 20:
Major League Soccer (MLS):
Real Salt Lake (RSL) (7-12-4-25 points-8th place) vs. (Houston Dynamo (9-7-6-33 points-3rd place)-Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT-9:00 p.m. CDT-Saturday, August 5, 2017.
- Dynamo beat RSL 5-1 earlier in the season, but face a much different side with key players returning from international duty and injuries who weren’t available at the loss in Houston.
- Houston is 2-6-4 playing RSL in Utah, but have won three straight against them overall.
Philadelphia Union (7-10-5-26 points-9th place East) vs. FC Dallas (9-4-7-34 points-2nd place West)-Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, PA-6:00 p.m. CDT-Saturday, August 5, 2017
- FC Dallas will be shorthanded again this week. Atiba Harris (yellow card accumulation), Carlos Gruezo (red card suspension) will miss the match.
- Philadelphia has never beaten FC Dallas (0-5-4) in regular season MLS action.
Preview from Big D Soccer:
United Soccer League (USL):
San Antonio FC (11-1-7-40 points-2nd place) vs. Orange County SC (7-5-4-25 points-9th place)-Toyota Field, San Antonio-7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 5, 2017
- San Antonio FC signed Mexican-American forward Ever Guzman for the rest of the 2017 USL season, pending league and federation clearance. Guzman joins the club with 10-plus years as a professional in the first and second divisions of Mexico and provides another needed good choice up front.
- Orange County is only one point out of a playoff spot despite having played anywhere between 2 and 5 less games than all the teams ahead of them in the standings. It comes to San Antonio after a midweek loss to LA Galaxy 2. The team has played so few games because it has been waiting for the opening of a new stadium described in the article below:
Game preview from the San Antonio FC website:
Seattle Sounders 2 FC (S2) (7-12-2-23 points-10th place) vs. Rio Grande Valley FC (RGV FC) (6-10-4-22 points-12th place)-Starfire Sports Complex-Tukwila, WA-08:30 p.m. C.D.T.-Sunday, August 6, 2017
- The Toros finish the three game Pacific Northwest trip in Seattle tonight. A loss to Portland and midweek draw with Vancouver leave the RGV FC in a position where wins are becoming very important to keep hopes for a playoff spot alive.
- Midfielder Jose Escalante was named as the winner of the USL Goal of the Week:
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):
Portland Thorns (7-4-4-25 points-3rd place) vs. Houston Dash (6-7-2-20 points-6th place)-Providence Park, Portland, OR-1:00 p.m. C.D.T
Article from Four Four Two on three possible explanations for the recent Houston Dash turnaround. They are now only 8 points out of first place and have renewed playoff hopes:
- Easier schedule recently (though Dash players avidly dispute this answer).
- Game day lineup stability since head coach Omar Morales took over a few months ago
- US International Carli Lloyd returned from her loan to Manchester City FC. This is maybe the best explanation. She is pretty good.