What To Watch Thurs. June 25th -Sun. June 28th

All times are Pacific.

Thursday June 25th

NBA Draft – 4pm ESPN: Well there isn’t a LeBron or Jordan in there but it’s entertaining none the less.

Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes – 4:30pm ESPN2: It’s Football!!!! We can only hope that the Redblacks will be better than the 2-16 they put up last year.

NY Yankees at Houston Astros – 5pm MLB Network: Yankees are game behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and the Astros are the surprise team of 2015 baseball season.

REMOTE

Friday June 26th

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Calgary Stampeders – 6pm ESPN2: A rematch of last years Grey Cup. Not a bad game for opening weekend.

NHL Draft – 4pm NBCSN: While it doesn’t get the fanfare the NBA Draft will get, it is still a first look at the future of the sport.

 

Saturday June 27th

Toronto FC vs DC United – 2pm MLS Live: Two of the better teams in the East and a chance to see some big time stars like Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.

College Soccer National Championship – 2pm ESPNU: Virginia vs UCLA as UVA goes their second National Title in four days in two different sports.

NE Revolution vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 4:30pm MLS Live: Second place team in the East vs the second place team in the West.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Saskatchewan Roughriders – 5pm ESPN3: Probably the best venue in all of the CFL plus Rider quarterback Darian Durantis back. If he can stay healthy the Riders are a force to be reckoned with in the East.

 

Sunday June 28th

NYCFC vs NY Red Bulls – 1:30pm ESPN: Three points separate these two teams. Hell, the distance between stadiums is more than that.

Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders – 4pm FS1: No Clint Dempsey but it’s still the best rivalry in MLS.

Chicago Cubs at St Louis Cardinals – 5pm ESPN: Two of baseball’s oldest rivals. Not to mention that they are first and second in the NL Central.

 

 

5 Things To Watch For This MLS Season

 

 

MLS 2013

 

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

A new MLS season is kicking off in North America. With any new season in any sport there are a lot of question marks. Below are our Top 5 things to look out for during this 18th MLS season.

5. New Coaches: There are 5 new head coaches roaming the sidelines in MLS this season and that now makes 12 former MLS players now managing clubs. Two of the biggest debuts square off in week one. Mike Petke of the New York Red Bulls and Caleb Porter for the Portland Timbers. Both teams have high expectations, a rabid fan base and a longing for MLS post season glory.                                                                                                  

4. The Donovan Odyssey: US Soccer poster boy Landon Donovan has taken a leave of absence from soccer but is returning to the the 2-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy at the end of March. Will he be the same player on and off the field? Can he lead, along with Robbie Keane, the Galaxy to a 3rd straight MLS Cup?

3. Can Toronto FC Make The Playoffs?: Only the Red Bulls have gone through more coaching changes than TFC. However, the Red Bulls have been in MLS for all 18 years (formerly known as the MetroStars) while TFC kicks off it’s 7th MLS season on Saturday. They have never made the playoffs and after another off season of sweeping changes it is left to 1st time coach Ryan Nelsen to get this team into the MLS playoffs for the 1st time.

2. Running With The Red Bulls: The New York Red Bulls have arguably the most dangerous player in MLS in Thierry Henry. They’ve shaken up the coaching staff and the team but is it enough to get them their 1st MLS Cup? Maybe. If new signee Juninho  can be half of what he was and the back-line and pull together then they may just be the team the beat. It’s a lot of ‘if’s’ but in the sports saturated New York market the Red Bulls have to win. Not just for the team but for the league.

1. No Beckham? No Problem: The loss of one of the world’s sports and entertainment icons shouldn’t slow down MLS or the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy will get Donovan back after a few games and they still have the man who lead them all the way to the MLS Cup glory in Robbie Keane. The league on the other hand is entering it’s 18th season and is bringing in more and more top talent from around the world. There is only one David Beckham but the level of play, energy and popularity of the sport are growing and with all due respect to Becks, he probably couldn’t have taken the league any further.

The Games Must Go On

Superstorm Sandy threw a serious body blow to the Northeastern United States and in particular to the New York metropolitan area. The word “distater” is not overstating this. People have lost their lives and the region will never be the same. All the more reason for sports to stand up and provide relief.

This is a time when people need something else to think about instead of “when is the power going to come back on?” or “how am I ever going to recover from this?” Sports can give these people a brief moment of grace. For a few hours they can recapture a moment of that “normal life” and cheer on their team.

The storm has effected the teams as well. From the New York Giants changing up their schedule to their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming into New Jersey the day of the game due to their host hotel in New Jersey not having power. The Giants players have had their own troubles with some moving into hotels and others rooming with each other.

These two teams were not the only ones effected. The Green Bay Packers star WR Greg Jennings was to have surgery in New York on Tuesday but had to postpone due to the storm. This postponement pushes his possible return to the field back a few more weeks.

The MLS Cup playoffs have swapped cities with the New York Red Bulls playing game one of their two game set in DC instead of their home ground of Harrison, New Jersey.

The NBA has postponed games including the home opener of the Brooklyn Nets in their new digs of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the New York Knicks.

The teams are not the only ones effected. Just about everyone has an office in the New York area. The NFL pushed back their trade deadline by 48 hours mainly because it was going to be too difficult for the league, who’s offices were closed Monday and Tuesday, to get the necessary paperwork done.

After all the cancellations, delays and postponements it’s time for sports to take center stage again. It’s time for sports to take the people’s mind’s off the distater, even if for only a few hours, and give them some relief. It’s for fans, players, and workers alike to find some sort of normalcy in the midsts of chaos.

Let the games continue.

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