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The Daily Dirt, July 31: Soccer Sunday in full effect

Nine games on the MLS docket today

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLS All-Star Game falling on Thursday, all but one of the weekend’s matches are today rather than the usual Saturday. Here’s a rundown on today’s menu of games:

  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers, 2:00 p.m., FOX: The Timbers are currently on the outside looking in on the playoffs by one point. Sporting is two points clear of Portland in fourth place. The game will likely be decided on the flanks, where the Timbers have been susceptible defending attacks. Portland will try to hit on the counter, which has been a weakness for Kansas City.
  • Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 4:00 p.m., ESPN: Tough assignment for interim coach Brian Schmetzer as the Galaxy come to town on a four game winning streak. New signings Nicolas Lodeiro and Alvaro Fernandez are eligible to play today for the Sounders.
  • FC Dallas vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 6:00 p.m., MLS Live: Will the on-going Fabian Castillo transfer soap opera affect Dallas? Vancouver is unbeaten in their last four games and are trying to solidify their playoff position in the tightly packed Western Conference. The Whitecaps struggle with counterattacks and through balls, areas in which Dallas excels.
  • DC United vs. Montreal Impact, 6:30 p.m., MLS Live: DC has made moves within the league in order to try to make a playoff run, they are currently four points out of the last spot. Montreal will likely have the majority of the possession in this one, which is extremely dangerous with players like Nacho Piatti and Didier Drogba there to take advantage.
  • Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:00 p.m., MLS Live: New York needs a win to keep pace with their crosstown rivals NYCFC at the top of the Eastern Conference. Chicago is the worst team in the league this season, and just traded away one of the Designated Players to DC United. David Accam is dangerous for the Fire on counterattacks and will likely be their biggest threat.
  • Philadelphia Union vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:00 p.m., MLS Live: The Union have come back to the pack a bit in the East, with only two wins in their last six games. RSL has done the same in the West, with four draws and no wins in their last six. The Union have only lost once at home this season and are clear favorites tonight.
  • Orlando City vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m., MLS Live: Jason Kreis makes his MLS debut with Orlando tonight at Camping World Stadium. It has been a month since the Lions have won a game. Kreis’ first task is to figure out a way to improve Orlando’s consistency. Both games between these teams in 2016 have ended as 2-2 draws. Expect more fireworks tonight.
  • Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m., MLS Live: The Crew are in real danger of not making the playoffs after falling in MLS Cup last year. They are winless in their last six games. Columbus have been busy in the transfer window to try to turn things around, especially defensively. This is the first of the Trillium Cup matches in 2016. Jozy Altidore might see extended time tonight as he returns from injury.
  • Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 9:00 p.m., MLS Live: The Earthquakes defeated Houston 3-1 back in May in their first encounter this year. Both teams desperately need three points here to stay in the playoff mix. Goals have been at a premium for both teams, with both barely averaging over a goal per game.

Domestic

Missing David Villa, NYCFC routed Colorado 5-1 at Yankee Stadium (Hudson River Blue)

Charlie Davies diagnosed with cancer, it is now in remission and he has rejoined the Revolution (The Bent Musket)

League leaders Dallas host Vancouver tonight (Big D Soccer)

Speaking of Vancouver, the Whitecaps acquired Giles Barnes from Houston in a big trade (Eighty Six Forever)

Seattle will have Nicolas Lodeiro and Alvaro Fernandez available as they host LA this afternoon (Sounder at Heart)

Speaking of Lodeiro, his transfer is among the most expensive in MLS history (Sounder at Heart)

San Jose traded forward Adam Jahn to Columbus for allocation money (Massive Report)

Columbus’ Mohammed Saeid implies that Toronto FC is a one man team (Toronto Sun)


International

Julian Green had a hat trick in the first half for Bayern Munich in their International Champions Cup match with Inter Milan:

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored a beauty in the Estadio Azteca against América:

Zlatan scored his first goal in a Manchester United kit less than four minutes after kickoff:

Real Madrid vs. Chelsea drew 105,826 to Michigan Stadium, second largest all-time soccer crowd in the U.S. (Twitter)


Local

The San Diego Sea Lions defeated the Atlanta Silverbacks Women 3-1 yesterday in the WPSL semifinals in Columbus, Ohio.

The Falcons wear pads for the first time in the third day of training camp (The Falcoholic)

Braves trade Hector Olivera for Matt Kemp (Talking Chop)