Our viewing guide is brief this week. There’s just one club game this week on national television, which a matchup between the top team in the west and a club looking to make a push for the final playoff spot in the East.
D.C. United v FC Dallas - 4:55p on Univision and Twitter
D.C. United are undefeated in their last seven games, and though they currently sit in seventh place, they are actually in good position to make the playoffs as the last team in. D.C. have two games in hand on the Montreal Impact, the current sixth place team, which seems likely to be enough to make up the two points separating the teams. In fact, with games Saturday and Wednesday, and Montreal not playing again until next weekend, D.C. will make up the two games, and possibly the two points as well, in that span. D.C. also owns a +13 goal differential when comparing the two teams so if they were to be tied on points at the end of the season it seems likely D.C. would maintain that goal differential.
Typically with an international break, even the teams that are playing would be devoid of players of interest to the United States Men’s National Team, but there seems to be an exception with D.C United. Perhaps, it was due to U.S. Soccer making some concessions, understanding the push that the club team is trying to make to reach the playoffs. Bill Hamid, Paul Arriola, and Russell Canouse have all been in the conversation for national team spots. In addition, 18-year-old Chris Durkin has had his moments over the summer and if development continues, he could work his way into the USMNT picture in the future.
The FC Dallas side has been a little more impacted by the International break, with USMNT member Reggie Cannon one of three members away on international duty. Dallas seems to have a lot less to play for in this game. They’re all but mathematically eliminated from the Supporters Shield race and they hold a four point lead for the top spot in the Western Conference with three games to play. Clearly, they’d like to wrap up that final spot and a win would get them nearly there, but DC’s situation seems a little more desperate.
Without Reggie Cannon, USMNT fans will have to be content watching Jesse Gonzalez and Matt Hedges on this side of the ball. Neither has been spoke of much recently, as it relates to the USMNT. Still, they are a part of one of the stingiest defenses in MLS, so perhaps we will seem them work their way back into the picture.