Sounders Insider

Five MLS games today ... while waiting for Sunday

The Sounders will train this morning at Starfire, their final session before that 7 p.m. Sunday match against the Portland Timbers. I'll report back on that in a few hours.

In the meanwhile, there are five MLS games today. Below are brief previews provided by the league:

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 4 p.m.· The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A goal from Robert Earnshaw and an own goal led Toronto FC to a 2-1 victory June 15 at RFK Stadium.

· The win was the first for TFC vs. D.C. United since Oct. 23, 2010 at RFK Stadium.

· United’s Conor Doyle scored his second MLS goal in the 2-1 loss at the Montréal Impact on Saturday. Doyle has been involved in each of United’s last three goals, with two goals and an assist.

· TFC’s latest signing, Designated Player Maximiliano Urruti, made his MLS debut as a 65th-minute substitute in the 2-0 loss at Columbus on Saturday.

Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo, 4 p.m. (TSN2, RDS)· Marco Di Vaio scored his first goals since July 3, netting both goals in the Impact’s 2-1 home win against D.C. United. Di Vaio is now third in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 13 goals, one behind Chicago’s Mike Magee and Vancouver’s Camilo Sanvezzo.

· The Dynamo’s Giles Barnes netted his first goals since May 8, recording the first multiple-goal game of his MLS career with a brace in the 3-1 home win vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday.

· Both clubs face midweek assignments in the CONCACAF Champions League before meeting in league play. The Impact will take on Costa Rica’s CS Herediano, while Houston travel to take on W Connection FC in Trinidad.

· The teams are playing for the second time this season. First-half goals from Felipe and Marco Di Vaio led the Impact to a 2-0 win June 19 at Stade Saputo.

· The Impact have won both meetings all-time at Stade Saputo. The Dynamo have won one of the two meetings lifetime in Houston, with one draw.

FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 6 p.m.· The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Fabian Castillo scored the game’s lone goal in the 33rd minute for an FC Dallas victory May 25 in Frisco.

· The win ended a six-game FCD winless streak vs. San Jose. FC Dallas had last defeated the Earthquakes on June 5, 2010, a 2-0 victory in Frisco.

· Chris Wondolowski scored his third goal in as many games, getting the only marker in San Jose’s 1-0 win against Sporting KC on Sunday. Wondolowski has scored each of the Quakes’ last three goals, all since returning from CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with the U.S. national team.

· The FC Dallas 11-game winless streak following their 2-1 loss at Portland last weekend is the second-longest in club history – two games shy of the 13-game streak set last season, from April 21-July 7. FCD last won a league game on May 25 – the 1-0 win against San Jose.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. LA Galaxy, 6 p.m. (TSN2, RDS2)· Robbie Keane recorded his second MLS hat trick – both coming this season – in leading the Galaxy to the 4-2 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Keane also hit for a triple May 26 vs. Seattle; he has 10 goals and nine assists in 14 league appearances this year, and is tied for fourth in the MLS Golden Boot standings.

· Just days after signing a contract as the club’s newest Designated Player, Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez scored his first goal of the season, his first against an MLS opponent since netting in MLS Cup 2012 vs. Houston.

· The teams are separated by a point in the Western Conference standings, where second place through eighth place are separated by just six points. Before the crucial league match, the Galaxy face a test in the CONCACAF Champions League when they meet CS Cartagines of Costa Rica on Wednesday.

· The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Russell Teibert scored a pair of goals and Darren Mattocks added a third in a 3-1 Whitecaps FC victory on May 11 at BC Place. On July 20, goals from Gyasi Zardes and Jose Villarreal answered an early strike by Camilo, giving the Galaxy a 2-1 victory at StubHub Center.

· The first meeting victory was the first Whitecaps FC victory ever against the Galaxy, after five winless league meetings all-time (0-4-1), where LA had outscored Vancouver 14-2, and an LA win in the MLS Cup Playoffs last year.

Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew, 6:30 p.m.· Crew midfielder Federico Higuaín recorded his second consecutive two-goal game, again netting both goals in a 2-0 victory, this time in Saturday’s defeat of Toronto FC. Higuaín has nine goals this season, tied for sixth in the MLS Golden Boot standings, and for the second consecutive week scored on an audacious chip from outside the penalty area.

· Center back Nat Borchers played a part in both RSL goals in their 4-2 loss at the LA Galaxy last weekend, credited with assists on each, his first two assists this season and first since May 7, 2011.

· The Crew have won the last three meetings between the teams, including a 2-0 victory last June 30 at Crew Stadium. RSL’s last victory in the series came Aug. 14, 2010 in Sandy.