April 21 3:30 EDT
After an impressive run in the CONCACAF Champions League, Toronto has since failed to win a single game this season. Many fans have been calling for head coach Aron Winter to be sacked. However, he seems to take it all pretty well. “I think we owned bad luck,” said Winter after losing to Chivas USA. He added, “You have to be honest also, we have played well, we have created chances.”
On the other hand, Chicago have had their own string of bad luck. They have yet to put up more than 1 goal in a game this season. The Fire had lost keeper Sean Johnson to Olympic duty, have only played 4 games, and have now lost veteran defender, Cory Gibbs, to injury. Their last game was even delayed twice for a storm and only went 65 minutes. Chicago will be looking to get some sort of momentum going against Toronto. They will be looking forward to the return of former Fire player and USMNT striker, Chris Rolfe. Rolfe has spent the last 3 seasons with Danish Superliga side Aalborg BK.
Will Rolfe be the final factor in the speedy Fire attack, or can Winter get his team to finally finish all these apparent chances?
San Jose Earthquakes v Real Salt Lake
April 21 10:30 EDT
After losing to current MLS frontrunners, Sporting Kansas City, Salt Lake will be looking to prove why they are still number 1 out West. Although, that could all change when they travel to the Bay Area. San Jose is trailing RSL by only 3 points.
With Steven Lenhart still injured and Alan Gordon listed as “doubtful,” the Earthquakes have proven that they are still a strong attacking threat, notching 2 goals to tie New York last week. However, it seems injuries continue to plague the Quakes. Now, Midfielder Shea Salinas and defender Victor Bernardez will sit out the RSL match after both suffering injuries against the Red Bulls.
Does San Jose have a deep enough team to field this Saturday, or will Salt Lake extend their hold on the Western Conference?
April 21 10:30 EDT
While one of these teams lived up to their pre-season hype, the other has basically fallen into a tailspin. One of 2011′s greatest challenges was beating Portland at home, but 2012 has seen the Timbers win only 1 home game so far. Looking to add to their attack, the TImbers just acquired 18-year-old forward Sebastián Rincón, from Uruguayan first-division side Club Atlético Atenas.
Sporting Kansas City has emerged as the current number 1 team both in the Eastern Conference and entire MLS. Their next games will take them on the road, away from the comfort of LiveStrong Sporting Park. Before they make their way to Portland on the 21st, they must first face Vancouver on the 18th. Head coach Peter Vermes will possibly be looking at his bench more to help continue their fast attacking style in this tight schedule.
Can the Timbers match the same intensity that their fans bring to each game, or will Kansas City extend their undefeated record?