Sounders Insider

NBCSN coverage starts tonight; Sounders Saturday

NBCSN's weekend MLS coverage begins at 5 PT tonight and continues Saturday with Rapids-Sounders.

Here's a preview from the network:

NBCSN presents two Major League Soccer matches this weekend kicking off Friday at 8 p.m. ET with the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champion D.C. United hosting the Chicago Fire Friday. Two top-tier MLS Western Conference teams meet Saturday at 10 p.m. ET as U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey leads the Seattle Sounders FC against the Colorado Rapids.

NBC Sports Group’s lead MLS play-by-play announcer John Strong will be joined by analyst Brian Dunseth and host Russ Thaler at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

Strong on NBCSN’s matches this weekend: “What a win that was for D.C. United on Tuesday night against Real Salt Lake, and this Friday they have the chance to ruin another team’s week against the Chicago Fire. Chicago have been pounding on the door of the playoffs ever since their remarkable turnaround in June, can they finally force their way in?

“The Colorado Rapids had to sit and watch everyone else last weekend after that frustrating loss in Portland, so they'll be well motivated to bounce back on Saturday against a Seattle team who feel similarly that they left something on the table against New York. Is this the week that Clint Dempsey can finally get that first Sounders goal? Add the cold in Denver, and this one will be fun.”

D.C. United (3-21-6, 15 pts.) looks to keep the momentum after a surprising victory to win the 2013 U.S. Open Cup title, while Chicago (11-12-7, 40 pts.) comes off a draw against Montreal. In the Western Conference, the No. 2 Seattle Sounders FC (15-8-6, 51 pts.), who are unbeaten in their last seven matches, face the fifth-ranked Colorado Rapids (12-9-9, 45 pts.).