Let's face it, the game people want to watch this week is the renewal of the Cascadia Cup between Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. These two teams have a history that goes back to 1975 and has been played across three different leagues (or four, depending on who you ask). But, there's enough to say about that game in a whole separate column and right now, we should remind that there's a full schedule of games going on in the rest of the league.
Last week's predictions: 5 of 9.
Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m., Saturday
It's been a bit of a one step forward, two steps back kind of season for both of the teams. Toronto FC, after a somewhat promising start in which they claimed six points in their first five games, have just three points in their past four. The Fire started the season with four points in two matches, but have just three points in their past six and have not won since Week 2. Neither team has much of an identity, despite promises from their coaches to establish one this year. Carlos de los Cobos' planned 3-5-2 has not been seen since Week 1. Aron Winter has at least stuck with his 4-3-3, but it's been hard to find anything resembling an attack. Pick: Tied 0-0.
New England Revolution vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
If there's a pair of teams that have been harder to figure out this season than these two, I'm not sure they could be. The Revolution defied the odds and picked up a bunch of unexpected results early in the season, then added two immensely talented players but still find themselves near the bottom of the standings. The Whitecaps are coming off another thrilling result at home (Davide Chiumiento scored the equalizer in stoppage time), but have yet to win on the road and have claimed just one point four matches away from Empire Field. The Revolution will once against be without Ousmane Dabo, who finally made his debut a week ago. Predicting a result does not seem to be any easier this week. Pick: Revolution 1-0.
DC United vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
Did I just call the Revolution and Whitecaps the hardest teams in MLS to figure out? Well, I hate to contradict myself, but these two might be even tougher. United has, at times, looked capable of making a serious playoff run. They are, after all, the only team to beat the Crew and did so handily. The Rapids started with a three-game winning streak, followed it up with a three-game losing streak and are now in the midst of a three-game unbeaten run despite continuing to battle injuries. This week, they are without Omar Cummings, but should get Conor Casey back. United are coming off consecutive matches with a result for just the second time this season and are Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff are looking dangerous on the attack once again. Pick: Tied 2-2.
FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30 p.m., Saturday
The injury to David Ferreira on April 23 was supposed to be a serious blow to the Toros, who had already gotten off to a disappointing 1-3-1 start. Instead, they seem to have been inspired by it as they have now claimed 10 points in their past four matches. The biggest key to this resurgence has been the defense, which has allowed just two goals during the four-game unbeaten run after allowing eight goals in their first five. Kevin Hartman, in particular, has rediscovered the form that made him arguably the best goalkeeper in 2010. The Union know a thing or two about defense, as well, allowing one goal or fewer in all eight of their matches. The big question for them is whether or not their offense can keep up, as they've failed to score more than a goal in any match, either. The biggest surprise has been the lack of production from Sebastien Le Toux, who has just one goal and one assist after registering 14 and 11 a year ago. Pick: FC Dallas 1-0.
Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo, 9 p.m., Saturday (FSC)
After an undefeated start that also featured a trip to the CONCACAF Champions League finals, RSL has looked far more pedestrian in recent weeks. The win over nine-man Chivas USA continued a rather unimpressive run. Well, unimpressive is probably the wrong way to put it ... just below the standard they've set for themselves. For all the hand-wringing, the Royals have lost just once in MLS play and still have a 28-match home unbeaten streak against league competition. They may have lost Javier Morales for the season, but if any team is capable of overcoming his loss, it's RSL. The Dynamo are at an ebb in their season, having lost two matches last week after a six-match unbeaten run. Sergio Koke should add to their attack, but it is going to take some time. Pick: RSL 2-1.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
When they embarked on their season-opening 10-game road trip, it seemed like the Sporks could probably be just fine if they could at least average a point per game. Six games in, they have just four points and have, arguably, their three toughest opponents still to play. The Galaxy have not been quite as dominant as they probably would like, but they have been getting plenty of results, including a tie against the Union on Wednesday. Landon Donovan has re-emerged as one of the top offensive threats in the league and has now scored five goals in his past four matches. David Beckham should also be back for this one, which won't be good for a SKC team that has struggled on defense all year. It would seem SKC's best hope would be to turn this into a shootout, but their high-scoring ways have petered out in recent weeks. Pick: Galaxy 3-1.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Columbus Crew, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
After a rough patch that had seem them lost three straight and claim just two points in their past five matches, the Earthquakes seemed to have victory in their hands on Wednesday. But a 91st minute equalizer forced them to settle for a single point, extending their winless streak to six matches. You'd think a home match would be just what they needed, but they have yet to win at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Crew, while still failing to impress, got another result and have no gone unbeaten in their past seven. Emilio Renteria continues to carry much of the scoring and the defense is still quietly among the best in the league, having allowed just three goals in their pat seven matches. Pick: Tied 1-1.
Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, 11 p.m., Saturday (ESPN2)
We'll have a separate preview up later today, but for now just know that these two teams and fanbases are not particularly fond of one another as this renews a 35-year-old rivalry. Pick: Sounders 2-1.
New York Red Bulls vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m., Sunday (Galavision)
With three goals allowed and 11 goals scored, the Red Bulls +8 goal difference is already the best in the league. But in their past five, they've been even better as they've gone 4-0-1 and outscored their opponents 10-1. The Red Bulls have long been considered the most talented team in MLS, but have been showing it in ways previously unseen. The Goats had quietly put together a five-match unbeaten stream before going down to nine men and falling 1-0 to RSL last week. They aren't the most talented team, but their defense has rounded into respectable shape as they've allowed just four goals in their past seven matches. With this game at Red Bull Arena, it would still be a bit shocking for the Goats to become the first team to win on a cross-country trip this year. Pick: Red Bulls 2-0.