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Around MLS: Week Eight Open Thread

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Ok, so the open thread might have disappeared for a week, but there are just too many good matches this week for me to slack on it again. There are plenty of cross conference battles, rivalries, and just plain old solid match-ups to pick from this weekend.

Bye Week: Montreal Impact, San Jose Earthquakes

Friday

Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC

Watch it on: UDN

Kickoff: 5:00 pm pacific at Toyota Stadium in Bridgeview, IL

Match Rating: 2/5

I want to like this match, I really do, but without David Villa it looses a big part of its spark. The Fire, of course, are suddenly not terrible, winning their last two matches with solid performances against Toronto and Philadelphia. Those two may not be the most impressive opposition, but right now neither is New York.

Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas

Watch it on: UDN

Kickoff: 7:00 pm pacific at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Match Rating: 3/5

Will the Rapids face the Dallas of the first half of their match against Toronto last weekend, and unstoppable scoring machine, or the side that took the pitch in the second half and did its able best to let Toronto back into the match? Either way, this match will be given some added spice by Colorado's first win of the season: their 4-0 demolishing of Dallas in Dallas two weeks ago.

Saturday

New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake

Watch it on: MLS Live

Kickoff: 4:30 pm pacific at Gillette Field in Foxboro, MA

Match Rating: 4/5

After a rough start to the season, New England are now unbeaten in their last five matches, three of which they have won and three of which have been shutouts. Real, on the other hand, are coming off their first loss of the season, breaking a five game unbeaten streak to start the season. This game might not threaten to turn into a shootout, but it will be a battle.

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union

Watch it on: MLS Live

Kickoff: 4:30 pm pacific at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, OH

Match Rating: 3/5

The Crew score some pretty goals when given the chance and the Union will give up those chances. It is MLS so anybody can win on any given day, but this feels like a great chance for Kai Kamara and Federico Higuaín to add to their highlight reels.

Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City

Watch it on: MLS Live

Kickoff: 5:30 BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, TX

Match Rating: 4/5

This match between two Western Conference transplants should be surprisingly good. These are two teams that have developed quite the history over the years and should forward to continuing it now that they are back in the conference that each has called home previously.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. D.C. United

Watch it on: MLS Live

Kickoff: 7:30 pm pacific at BC Place in Vancouver, BC

Match Rating: 4/5

If anyone from the Eastern Conference stands a good chance of knocking off the Whitecaps from their still surprising rise to the top of the league it is the Red Bulls. If we can't have the Red Bulls, however, we might as well get D.C. Ben Olson's scrappy side have a mix of young talent and well traveled veterans that is decidedly MLS 1.0, but still manages to grind out results wherever they go.

Sunday

New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy

Watch it on: ESPN2

Kickoff: 2:00 pm pacific at Red Bulls Arena in Harrison, NJ

Match Rating: 5/5

The league's best midfield pitted against the team that has refined counter-attacking like none other in MLS? Yes, please. Plus, I have a not-so-secret love for any member of Bob Bradley-era Chivas USA, so NYRB midfielder Sacha Kljestan is my boy, as is NYRB coach Jesse Marsch*.

*Fun Fact: In a pre-MLS blog that nobody ever read, I argued that the Timbers should pursue Marsch to coach the Timbers.

Orlando City SC vs. Toronto FC

Watch it on: FOX Sports 1

Kickoff: 4:00 pm pacific at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, FL

Match Rating: 4/5

This match pits the better of this year's two expansion teams against a side that, eight years after joining MLS, still seems like an expansion side. That aside, this game features some of MLS's most talented players and will not inflict Rafael Ramos on you as the annoying Orlando right back serves his two game suspension for a poorly thought out tackle in last weekend's match against the Crew.

Plus, this is the lead in for the only match I would consider giving a 6/5, so if you aren't traveling up to Seattle you might as well get ready for the match with even more soccer.