What with the Galaxy playing a good team on the Fourth (i.e., one from east of the Mississippi), tonight's game might easily be How the West Was Won, at least in week 15.
The Royals are playing, and here's all you need to know about Salt Lake this year:
4 0 4 14 6
1 6 0 4 13
Wins, draws, losses, goals for, goals against. One line is home, one line is away. SEE IF YOU CAN GUESS WHICH IS WHICH. Someday, some team will have the bright idea of making visiting teams play on molten lava. Until October, though, we have Rice-Eccles Stadium, the last unconquered home field in MLS this season. (Beemoe Field was violated this week, and by a USL team, even. Technically, that's not an MLS loss, but that's like saying Vietnam wasn't technically a war.)
So the only question is, will the Dynamo get the point, or lose outright? Tough call. The Dynamo were all set to do to the West what DC United is doing in the East - clawing its way out of the grave to terrorize the neighborhood. Except, Zombie Dynamo hasn't beaten anyone in nearly a month. And yes, they're one win out of first place. God, the horse laughs in the West never stop.
Houston can in theory settle for a loss here - it isn't like anyone else is getting points in Utah - but because they stupidly won MLS Cup last year, they have to play in the Superliga and the CONCAliga, and their schedule gets absolutely sickening starting about....now.
It's tempting to say that regression to the mean kicks in, but just as Real Salt Lake's unusual home record has a solid, painful, concrete basis behind it, the Dynamo's poor luck isn't down to just luck. They pretty much sacrificed the US Open Cup for this game, and they must get something out of it. Ching is already starting to call out the defense publicly. They haven't given up a lot of goals, but when they've given them up has been downright brutal. They can't score, they can't hold a lead, and they can't catch a break. I hate to say Houston needs a player whose game I look down my nose upon, but without Eddie Robinson, Amigo Energy just isn't getting their money's worth. (At least I'm not saying nonsense like "Wow, RSL will really miss Dema Kovalenko tonight.)
I think we're looking at a 2-0 Royals win here, followed by some serious finger-pointing in southeast Texas.