MLS action kicks off on Friday with a very significant match in the Eastern Conference race. At the conclusion of Olympic action for the day, the New York Red Bulls will take on the Houston Dynamo, a rematch of last Friday's match that Houston won 2-0. Now New York are the hosts, two points behind Eastern Conference leaders Houston.
Two and Four in the Eastern Conference face off on Saturday, with Sporting Kansas City and DC United locking horns after Kansas City's midweek win of the USOC Final. The result of these two matches could reshape the Eastern Conference race, or Houston could create some distance between third place and the top two with a road victory.
The Western Conference coincidentally also has one and three, two and four facing each other. The San Jose Earthquakes host the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, with San Jose coming off a bye week. Vancouver takes on Real Salt Lake on Saturday as well.
This means by the time the Galaxy and Chivas USA kick off late Sunday night, either the gap between the top four and the fifth spot will have widened, or LA will have a chance to leapfrog into fourth just a point behind third. That third playoff spot is going to be quite important because not only will this keep the Galaxy from playing the play-in game, but avoiding San Jose in the aggregate series will be key for any team with aspirations to the MLS Cup Final.