GAME PREVIEWS

Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution

The Timbers are on the fringes of the playoff race and can't afford to drop points at home against a New England side just playing out the string. The Revs are dangerous though, as they showed last week in scoring four goals in Philadelphia and shutting out FC Dallas.

Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids

Which TFC side will show up? The one that dismantled the Columbus Crew, or the one that was embarrassed in CONCACAF Champions league play? Both teams will come in tired off mid-week Champions League action, but Colorado is the team in more dire need of snapping out of its recent funk.

Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA

Needed points: Robin Fraser takes his Chivas USA side to Toyota Park to battle the Chicago Fire on Saturday. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Chivas USA is three points out of a playoff spot and will need to find a way to secure a road win against a Fire team that has been much stronger in league play in the past month. Dom Oduro is one of the hottest strikers in the league and could have a field day versus a Chivas USA side still missing defensive leader Heath Pearce.

Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew

The suddenly slumping Crew (winless in three) travel to Philly to take on a Union side in an even deeper funk (winless in eight). What looked like a battle for first place a month ago is suddenly a battle to see who can stop the bleeding. Columbus has several key injuries and will be the underdog, but the Union needs to show off the attacking muscle it displayed against New England ten days ago to secure a much-needed victory.

Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes

The Dynamo have to be sick about settling for a draw against Columbus on Wednesday, a match Houston led by a goal and were up a man in. There's no time to sulk though. The Dynamo must secure all three points against a San Jose side reduced to playing the role of spoiler.

FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls

New York has not won a game in more than two months, a span of eight matches, but still find themselves within an earshot of a playoff spot. Do they have a chance against Dallas? They actually do, and only because MVP candidate Brek Shea is sidelined with a groin injury and Dallas played most of their starters in a mid-week Champions League match. A league-record 16th tie might be enough to keep New York's playoff hopes on life support, but the Red Bulls need a win to have a real chance of climbing back into the race.

Seattle Sounders vs. D.C. United

D.C. United looked great in dismantling Chivas USA, 3-0, last week, but must cope with losing the architect behind that destructing, midfielder Chris Pontius. The real challenge for D.C. will be stopping Seattle's high-powered offense, with Fredy Montero looking ready to finish the season strongly and Mauro Rosales playing like an MVP candidate.

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City

Dare we call this a potential MLS Cup Final preview? You very well could. Sporting Kansas City is the most in-form team in the East, while RSL is on a three-match winning streak that has helped them close the gap on the top teams in the West. The match-up between Sporting KC's strike force and Real Salt Lake's stingy defense is a can't-miss clash.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

The Galaxy posted a 4-0 mauling of Vancouver in Canada earlier in the season, and while it isn't likely to be that lop-sided this time around, it's tough to see the Whitecaps taking any points away at Home Depot Center this weekend. Look for LA to move a step closer to the Supporters Shield

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