MLS 2012, Week 15 Preview And Fixtures: They're Just Waiting For Euros To End

CARSON, CA - MAY 23: Sam Cronin #4 of the San Jose Earthquakes heads the ball clear from a cornerkick in the second half during the MLS match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on May 23, 2012 in Carson, California. The Earthquakes defeated the Galaxy 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

MLS will get the spotlight when the Euros end, but this week is strangely exciting too so suck it, Euros.

They're still playing matches in MLS, which is cool. It's a nice respite from Euro 2012 for those of you bored with high level soccer with some of the best players in the world. Luckily, that little tournament is over after this weekend and the world can properly focus on MLS, as it should be.

Wait, MLS is awesome this week. Seriously, it is. Whatchu got to say now, Euros?

As preparation for the eyes of the world (the soccer nerd world) turning to them next week, MLS scheduled a slew of good matches this week just to keep everyone on their toes. None of the league's top teams play each other, but there are a lot of top teams playing up-and-comers or teams trying to get turned around or teams trying to stop skids against teams on a run. It's narrative heaven. Average writers of the sports world (right here!) assemble!

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire

Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

The Fire are fourth in the East and only five points behind Sporting. No, seriously. Unfortunately, they are piss poor on the road and Sporting are exceptional at home, but eight points back isn't bad either!

Pick: Kansas City, 2-0.

Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, Galavision

Are the Reds figuring it out or did they just play the Impact? Danny Koevermans says the former.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Will someone remind the city of Montreal that they have a soccer team? D.C. forgot that they do a while ago, but at least they have a good team so there's that.

Pick: D.C., 3-1.

New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

Is Sigi Schmid's job on the line? Adrian Hanauer says someone's job is on the line so odds are he isn't going to fire himself. The Sounders better get it sorted in Foxborough or maybe they will be bidding goodbye to the only manager the club has ever had.

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Columbus Crew vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Crew aren't good, but they aren't bad either. It's almost like they are waiting around and waiting for something. At some point this summer they will rub their magic lamp, but Satan is as likely to come out as a genie. Or their being Columbus, the most non-descript, bland, nothing being ever will come out of the lamp and do absolutely nothing.

Pick: Draw, 2-2.

Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live

If the Union become a real team that looks like their players get paid and actually intend to win upon occasion then John Hackworth deserves Coach of the Year. But beating the Dynamo won't prove it. Good trying, though!

Pick: Draw, 1-1.

Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live

The Rapids used to be the worst. They were horrible to watch and worst of all, they won. That kind of play should not have been rewarded with wins. Then Gary Smith left before the season and they got bearable. The Timbers have picked up the "worst team in the league to watch and should be expelled from the league" title, but, thankfully, they do not win and are not rewarded for their terrible ways.

Pick: Colorado, 1-0.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy

Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2

This is all kinds of tremendous and easily the match of the weekend so let's just list the reasons it is fantastic:

  1. This one is at Stanford Stadium and has already sold out all 50,000 tickets so the atmosphere should be top notch.
  2. Not even the biggest Earthquakes doubters can say that they are not a legitimate MLS Cup contender.
  3. The Galaxy are turning things around with three wins in their last three, moving into a playoff spot and a win over the Quakes would be a shout to the league, "we're baaaaaaack".
  4. This used to be arguably the best rivalry in MLS, but then San Jose moved to Houston and their new franchise was nothing short of abysmal. Teams that are irrelevant aren't involved in good rivalries. Now the Quakes are getting it together and maybe the great California Clasico of old can be revived again. What better time than in front of a massive crowd with both teams trying to make a statement?
  5. There are fireworks after the match. Go 'Murrrrrrica.
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