Saturday 7th July
LAFC vs Orlando City
What a signing Adam Diomande has proved to be. Seven goals in five games and another win this weekend could see LAFC leapfrog SKC into 2nd in the Western Conference.
LAFC’s late 2-2 draw against Houston was the only game Diomande failed to score in so Bob Bradley and his half of LA will hope he’s back firing this weekend.
With Diomande and Bradley, there seems to be a great relationship as when the two worked together at Stabæk the striker netted 15 goals in 20 games. Something that may scare a fragile Orlando defence.
Their losing streak stretched to eight games on the weekend as they were thrashed 4-0 by Atlanta and this week I don’t see much possibility of them snapping that streak, especially as Latif Blessing is also finding form for LAFC.
Philadelphia Union vs Atlanta United
Surprisingly in midweek, Atlanta were beaten for the first time since May as two late Tesho Akindele goals knocked Atlanta back down to earth.
Still top of the Eastern Conference, however, Atlanta will need to prove they can bounce back at a Philly side formidable at home.
In their last five home games, they’ve scored three or more in four of those games.
They’ll also be looking to avenge their 3-1 loss to Atlanta a few weeks ago. Something that with the confidence they’ve been building and Atlanta’s slip against Dallas, could happen.
Montreal Impact vs Colorado Rapids
Are they back? Its very possible as Montreal have won their last three games, keeping clean sheets in all three.
Despite having a newfound confidence, Ignacio Piatti remains Montreal’s only real threat as he’s close to reaching double figures for goals this season at the age of 33.
This opposition could lend itself to Piatti and co however, as Colorado seemed to be finding good form but were sucker-punched by Seattle in midweek.
Colorado did, however, prove they can go toe to toe with some of the better teams in the league with their 1-0 win over Vancouver and should take belief from that result into this game.
New England Revolution vs Seattle Sounders
In his first managerial season, Brad Friedel has impressed many as he currently sees his New England Revs sitting 5th in the east.
This weekend, however, his side could move into fourth with a win over a Seattle side yet to hit their usual heights this year.
Going into this one you’d have to fancy Friedel’s side who haven’t lost in six games and could continue Seattle’s unfortunate trend of failing to win back to back games this season.
Especially with hitman Teal Bunbury in their team as he scored in five of his last six games which include some top opposition like Atlanta and the Red Bulls.
Seattle will hope their midweek victory will see them kickstart their season with top scorer Will Bruin getting on the scoresheet.
Sporting Kansas City vs Toronto FC
The last week has confirmed that SKC’s standards have been slipping as after weeks of taking trips to Ikea and fishing out draws, they’ve lost two games straight.
The strange thing, however, is the fact that these losses came to the hands of teams who would be considered much weaker at the moment in Montreal and RSL.
Now coming up against Toronto there is a chance that losing streak could stretch but Toronto have just been rocked in what brought them their 3rd straight loss.
The losses came to the two New York sides and Minnesota but having scored three against Minnesota, they’ll feel they can inflict more pain on SKC who could slip to 3rd in the west this weekend.
Houston Dynamo vs Minnesota United
If this game is anything like either side’s previous games we’ll be in for quite a treat.
Houston left it late to rescue a point from LAFC as Mauro Manotas became their top scorer for the season with nine goals.
As for Minnesota, their season’s top scorer stole the show against Toronto has he scored possibly the most audacious hat trick ever here:
When each goal in a hat trick is pure class >>>
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 5, 2018
Hopefully, both sides bring their shooting boots yet again this weekend where a win for Minnesota will bring them level on points with Houston who are currently 7th in the east.
Real Salt Lake vs FC Dallas
RSL and FC Dallas both pulled off great upsets last week as both took 3-2 victories from SKC and Atlanta United respectively.
With that in mind, both should be very confident going into this game which could lead to a great attacking spectacle.
Especially as Dallas will be looking to protect their new position as the best in the west, something I feel should be relatively straightforward for them as they’ve won six of their last seven games.
If RSL manages to pull off yet another upset they’ll cement their place in 4th place of the Western Conference.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Chicago Fire
Vancouver have had a very mixed season seen in their record of 6 wins, 5 draws and 7 losses.
The last two losses suffered by Vancouver, however, were sure to be the most shocking as they lost 4-0 to Philly and 1-0 to Colorado who have been underwhelming for most of this season.
Unfortunately for the Caps, they have a date with a side who pulled off the surprises of last weekend in Chicago Fire who thanks to in-form loanee Aleksandr Katai beat NYCFC 3-2.
Having put the Red Bulls through their paces last month also, Chicago should relish this game as a chance to move closer to the top five.
LA Galaxy vs Columbus Crew
Zlatan is well and truly back and announced himself in classic style with this strike minutes into the midweek clash with DC:
🦁 STILL. HUNGRY. 🦁 pic.twitter.com/9SpCXglgeA
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 5, 2018
However, even though he followed that up with another goal in midweek, his LA Galaxy drew both games. Something almost too familiar to the Galaxy as they’ve amassed seven draws this season.
This weekend does seem like it could end that way again as even though Columbus Crew are back to winning ways they don’t look like the proposition they did early in the year.
Gyasi Zardes may be back scoring goals but I think three points will be a stretch too far which will see New England leapfrog them into 4th.
Portland Timber vs San Jose Earthquakes
It may have taken a while but Portland finally left Ikea left week as they beat Seattle 3-2 and kept their top five status for the time being.
This week, however, they face a team who seems are bound to win a game of football sooner or later.
Especially when regarding the form of Danny Hoesen along with Chris Wondolowski who put in a great shift against LA Galaxy with a couple of goals.
So, yet again Portland should be prepared for a difficult game but don’t be surprised if San Jose comes out with their first win in eight games.
Sunday 8th July
New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls
The second Hudson River Derby of the season is on the horizon for this weekend’s standout game.
Many say form goes out of the window in derbies and Domènec Torrent definitely hope as the form books aren’t in NYCFC’s favour at the moment.
He picked up his first loss as NYCFC manager last week against Chicago and NYCFC lost the last meeting between the two 4-0.
The one aspect that does favour NYCFC, however, is their home form as they have won every game at Yankee Stadium this stadium.
However, having leapfrogged NYCFC into 2nd place last week, the Red Bulls will want to heap even more salt into sky blue wounds this weekend.
Something that seems more than likely as they’ve racked up three wins on the bounce. But we’ll just have to wait and see if they can turn up in the Bronx.