Five matches you’d be crazy to miss
By David Rudin
*All times listed are listed in Eastern Standard Time.
Friday, July 10
USA vs. Haiti
8:30pm / Fox Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Having done the hard work against Honduras — a 2–1 win with goals from deposed captain Clint Dempsey — the USMNT now moves on to face a more limited Haitian side. Mind you, as Panama learned in its 1–1 draw against Les Grenadiers, this is not a side you can taken lightly. Insofar as a Jeff Louis, Duckens Nazon, and company can punish even the slightest moment of inattention, the USMNT will have to focus and on the other side of the TV screen, so will we.
Saturday, July 11
Sky Blue FC vs. Portland Thorns FC
7:00pm / YouTube Livestream
Last weekend, a 70th minute Allie Long penalty gave the Thorns a come-from-behind victory over Sky Blue FC, Portland’s first comeback this season. SBFC — winless in its last ten matches — will be hoping for a similar reversal of fortune in this week’s return fixture.
Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
9:00pm / MLS Live
Of late, this has not been an evenly matched rivalry, with the Rapids having failed to record a win in their last five meetings with Real Salt Lake. If the Rapids are to reverse this trend, they’ll have to be wary of Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Jaime, who has scored in his last four matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Sunday, July 12
NYCFC vs. Toronto FC
3:00pm / ESPN2 and TSN
While Toronto FC’s USMNT contingent is away, Sebastian Giovinco and whomever else is available will play. The Italian forward leads the team with eight goals, the same tally as NYCFC’s David Villa, who has scored twice in two of his last three appearances. Arguably the signing of the season, Giovinco will need to find yet another gear in the absence of Jozy Altidore (6 goals) and Michael Bradley (2). We wouldn’t bet against that happening this weekend.
Cuba vs. Trinidad and Tobago
6:30pm / Fox Sports 2
Look, we’re not going to sugar coat it: Cuba — shorn of players and playing staff due to defections — is not a very good team. But they are a very entertaining team, as their 0–6 defeat versus Mexico demonstrated. Trinidad and Tobago, which previously demonstrated its ability to take advantage of defensive mistakes in a 3–1 win over Guatemala at Soldier Field, may be able to put on a show on Sunday.