Having already missed seven league matches for U.S. Men’s National Team duty this season, midfield general Michael Bradley will be sticking with Toronto FC (11-10-4) as it heads to Seattle for Saturday’s meeting with Seattle Sounders FC (12-13-2) (10 p.m. ET, TSN2). Bradley, who wears the captain’s armband for both TFC and the USMNT, is doing his best to balance club and country as the MLS playoffs and CONCACAF Cup near. He’ll miss the Americans’ match versus Peru on Friday, but is expected to meet up with his countrymen in Boston for next Tuesday’s game versus Brazil. Bradley is intent on helping the Reds rack up points and secure its first playoff appearance, and can help extend their winning streak to three matches with a road win in Seattle. Sounders FC are hungry for points as they cling onto the sixth-seed (the final playoff spot) in the Western Conference, and that desperation makes the club a dangerous adversary going forward. Seattle will become even more dangerous if Clint Dempsey – who hasn’t played since August 1 due to a lingering hamstring injury – makes his return on Saturday. With Dempsey potentially back in the fold alongside summer signings Nelson Valdez and Roman Torres, Sounders FC might be on the cusp of regaining early-season form and emerging as viable MLS Cup contenders at the perfect time.
Columbus Crew SC (11-8-8, East #3) welcomes FC Dallas (12-8-5, West #3) to MAPFRE Stadium on MLS Soccer Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes). Crew SC enters the match on a four-game unbeaten run (3-0-1) and will be relying more than ever on standout performer Ethan Finlay. The winger is having a breakout year thus far, compiling eight goals and a career-high 13 assists. Crew SC have been impressive at home this season, notching a record of 8-2-4 and are also undefeated in their last five matches in their friendly confines (3-0-2). FC Dallas enter the match coming off a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last week to move into third-place in the Western Conference standings. In only his second career start, 20-year-old Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez earned the first shutout of his MLS career. Gonzalez featured in Mexico’s U-20 team in this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this season and looks to have an exciting career ahead. Both clubs will be primed to take away all three points to move up the standings as the playoff race heats up.