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Five MLS Games to Watch This Weekend

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Five MLS Games to Watch This Weekend

Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

If the mid-week games are any indication, this weekend's MLS action is going to be action packed and exciting until the end. If you thought Wednesday's Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers 3-3 goal fest was going to be the best match this week, then you are totally wrong. Two MLS games already happened this week, but there are nine games left this weekend. Action resumes Friday with games all the way through Sunday.

For most teams, every game will have a playoff-like atmosphere to it. Moreover, each game's result is crucial to the playoff picture. There is very little space for error as the standings in both the Western and Eastern Conference are very close. One loss could set a team back two or three positions in the playoff picture.

This weekend's MLS action is filled with some rivalry games, “six point” games, and others that opponents will be watching to see the end result. Other games are filled with some anticipated story lines that have many soccer fans on the edge of their seats.

Each game discussed in this article has various reasons why it is important to watch. At the same time, some games not mentioned are still worth tuning into, but some just don't make the cut.

For now, get ready for a goal-filled, action packed mid-season MLS weekend, by looking at five MLS games you should watch this weekend. Get excited for another weekend filled with Major League Soccer.

Phil Naegely is a writer for Like him on Facebook, follow on Twitter @PnaegelyRS, and on Google.

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5.San Jose Earthquakes-FC Dallas

FC Dallas
Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports

Both teams earned wins in their last games. For FC Dallas, they won their first game since June against Chivas USA. The win snapped an 11 game win-less streak and was done by coming from behind and down a man.

Just when we thought Dallas was falling out of the playoff picture, they could be right back in it with a win Saturday against San Jose. Currently, Dallas is in sixth place, but with a six point week they could propel themselves as high as tied for second with an idle Colorado Rapids and a Portland Timbers squad traveling to Seattle.

On the other hand, San Jose Earthquakes is coming off a dramatic Sunday 1-0 match against Sporting Kansas City. Like Dallas, San Jose is currently out of the playoff picture and has 33 points. Currently, they are three points out of both fifth place Houston Dynamo and sixth place FC Dallas.

In short, both teams need to win this “six-point” match. If Dallas wins, they will improve to 39 points, but if San Jose wins, then they will be tied with FC Dallas with 36 points.

Game time is scheduled for Saturday at 9:00 p.m.

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4. Houston Dynamo-Montreal Impact

Marco Di Vaio
Jean-Yves Ahren-USA Today Sports

Before you watch San Jose and Dallas face-off at 9:00 p.m, pre-game by watching eastern conference foes Houston Dynamo and Montreal Impact in another “six point” match. Currently Montreal is third in the east with 38 points, while Houston has 36 points and sits in fifth. Depending on how Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls, and the Philadelphia Union do over the weekend, the winner of this game could be first in the Eastern Conference.

Last week, Marco Di Vaio's two goal performance led the way for Montreal, and Houston exposed Seattle's defense en route to a 3-1 victory. Early this season, Montreal defeated Houston 2-0, but don't count on that result repeating this time around. This match kicks off Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

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3.Philadelphia Union-New England Revolution

Amobi Okugo
Jim O'Connor-USA Today Sports

After earning a historic point at Red Bull Arena, the Philadelphia Union is ready to get revenge on their next opponent. In their last meeting this season, New England Revolution earned their first win against the Union and won their first game of the season.

However, Philadelphia isn't ready to let three more points slip away. Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath is playing some of the best soccer he ever has right now, and the defense has been a formidable force to attack against. In particular, Philadelphia will need to watch Juan Agudelo closely, just like they had to do last week against Thierry Henry.

On the flip side, New England will need guard Connor Casey and Jack McInerney real close. In addition, Sheanon Williams' shot-put like long throw-ins has led to multiple goal-scoring opportunities and eventual goals. This weekend's game could be no different.

Philadelphia sits in fourth-place with 38 points and one point behind first place Sporting Kansas City. On the flip side, New England sits three points out of the playoff picture and is looking to build off of last week's 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire.

Sunday's first kick is schedule for 7:30 p.m.

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2.Los Angles Galaxy-Vancouver Whitecaps

LA Galaxy
Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports

After looking at two Eastern Conference match-ups, we head back out west and into Vancouver. Fourth-place Los Angeles Galaxy sit one point above Vancouver Whitecaps, and this game could bump the winner up in the standings. In the past two games, the Galaxy has had one player score a hat-trick. This weekend could provide Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane another chance for their teamwork lead the way for another hat-trick moment.

Nonetheless, Vancouver will need to bring their “A” game, or else the game could be over before it even begins.

This match kicks off Sunday at 9:00 p.m.

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1.Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders

Clint Dempsey
Joe Nicholson-USA Today Sports

Two Words -- Cascadia Cup. This Cascadia Cup match between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders has many storylines to follow. It most definitely looks like Clint Dempsey will start in his first Sounders home game and first Cascadia Cup match.

If you remember, Dempsey was wowed by the Sounders fan base, and he will get to see it first-hand while playing in Sounders green.

Portland is coming off short rest after fighting Real Salt Lake to a tie on Wednesday. Last weekend, Seattle lost against the Houston Dynamo. Additionally, the Timbers could move into first-place with an away win, but Seattle, who is out of the playoff picture, needs to get three home points here.

This match will feature many drama-filled moments. I would be surprised if 22 players are still on the field after 90 plus minutes of soccer. Goals will be scored and chances will be had.

Well, there is good news for you soccer fans. This game is featured in prime-time on national television. On Sunday, August 25th at 10:00 p.m. tune in to ESPN2 for a match you do not want to miss.