SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 10: Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC battles goalkeeper Nick Rimando #18 of Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on September 10, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Real Salt Lake defeated the Sounders 2-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Even with the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium, Sounders-RSL should be the most interesting game of the weekend.
This may not be the most exciting week on the MLS calendar, but there are at least a couple intriguing games. Unfortunately, only one of them is on national TV.
That honor goes to Houston where the latest North American soccer palace is set to open. BBVA Compass Stadium looks to be an absolute beauty.
The other interesting game is between the Sounders and RSL, arguably the best teams in the league. You'll need a special subscription to catch that one, though.
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Just think, in an alternate universe somewhere the LA Galaxy are going into this game as the overwhelming favorites over the expansion Impact.
Pick: Draw, 1-1.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
After a hot start, the Dynamo finally open BBVA Compass Stadium running on fumes. They are winless in their past five as the road has clearly started to get to them. They face a United team that is as dangerous as any in the league.
Pick: Dynamo, 3-2.
New England Revolution vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live
The Whitecaps are massively improved from a year ago and are riding a franchise-record three-game winning streak. The Revolution are looking better, but not getting the results.
Pick: Tied, 0-0.
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Ah, the famed Pioneer Cup... the intrigue and majesty of two teams squaring off who are owned by the same group. At least with the unbalanced schedule it's a once-a-year kind of thing.
Pick: Crew, 1-0.
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIve
It wasn't so long ago that we had all dubbed Sporting KC to be this year's "it" team. Two consecutive losses later, to the likes of the Timbers and Impact, no less, they are fourth in the overall table and just two points ahead of the pack in the Eastern Conference.
Pick: Tied, 1-1.
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, MLS Live
Now this is what we're talking about. Sure, it's early, but the winner of this game will be leading the Supporters' Shield race. RSL haven't lost in four games and the Sounders are riding a five-game winning streak. Both sides should be reasonably close to full strength too. It's the biggest test the Sounders have faced this year. Really should be a showcase game...
Pick: Sounders, 2-1. (Fine, I'm a homer)
Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
... Instead we'll be getting this game. I get it. The national TV schedule was decided a long time ago and these are two big markets. But there's nothing really all that compelling about this game. Now, if a rivalry can ever really get going in the Northeast, that would be something. As it is, the best thing we can look forward to is how much Rafael Marquez's return will harsh the Red Bulls' mellow.
Pick: Red Bulls, 2-1.
Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, Galavision
Their last-second loss to the Whitecaps aside, the Earthquakes are among the hottest teams in MLS. Chivas USA are not. Chris Wondolowski is currently averaging more than a goal per game. He might be able to improve that average.
Pick: Earthquakes, 3-0.