Welcome to Starting XI, our Friday rundown of what to watch for – and what we're watching.
Our recommended musical pairing this week, as per managing editor Jonah Freedman, is Radiohead's "Karma Police" – because some guys have given all they can, but it's apparently not enough.
- Click HERE for the Week 12 TV schedule
- Click HERE for the current MLS standings
- Click HERE for the week's news from FutbolMLS
I. THE SNUB OF ALL SNUBS: Speaking of that Radiohead lyric, you heard about that whole Landon Donovan thing, yeah? It was a weird scene at US national team camp on Thursday: Omar Gonzalez was telling reporters how he and Donovan were together at a sushi restaurant on Wednesday night, watching on an iPad as the Galaxy beat FC Dallas. Now LD is headed back south to join his club. And if I’m the Philadelphia Union, I’d be preparing for a Landon who’s ready to take out all his aggression at once – scoring the record goal No. 135, and then perhaps two, three, four (?) more. Sunday’s showdown at StubHub (8 pm ET, UDN) will be the biggest “you’re gonna regret this” moment MLS has ever seen. – JONAH FREEDMAN
X. THEM FEELS: Watch New England vs. D.C. United on Saturday (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE) mostly because it pits the top two teams in the East, and because of all the young talent on display for both sides.
But spare a thought for Eddie Johnson, who posted the following tribute to his long-time USMNT teammate a week after going through the emotional wringer himself. – MATT DOYLE
XI. DESTINY, THY NAME IS CRISTIANO: So, there's a certain well-coiffed Portuguese winger who is going to try to terrify USMNT fans even further on Saturday when he leads Real Madrid out of the tunnel at Estadio da Luz with a chance to win his club a record 10th European Cup (2:45 pm ET, Fox). And although newly crowned Spanish champions Atlético Madrid have been an inspirational story just to reach the Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo seems like a man possessed. Pay special attention to how to makes Atléti right back Juanfran look ridiculous. Because he’ll probably do that — and worse — to Timmy Chandler in Manaus on June 22. – JONAH FREEDMAN
FANTASY TIP FOR WEEK 12: Bet on the Revs. What's that? You didn't pick up Lee Nguyen or Diego Fagundez, even with D.C. playing on turf this weekend after a midweek slog vs. the Dynamo and New England dropping back-to-back five-goal performances? You can only blame yourself if it happens a third week in a row.