MLS Preview

Friday 8th June

Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC

Usually a meeting with Toronto means trouble for Philadelphia, but with the MLS champions still struggling for form this could give them confidence.

The Canadians have lost three of their last five games, and having struggled on their travels by conceding 14 goals in their last five away games their defence is looking very vulnerable.

Philly will be without both Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin in midfield after the pair were sent off in the 3-1 defeat to Atlanta last weekend.

With a second-string midfield having to come in this may say Toronto take hold of the game, but Philadelphia goalkeeper, Andre Blake seems to be in great form for the challenge. Since May 1st he’s made the most saves in MLS (34) and if he keeps that up he may keep Toronto 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Saturday 9th June

New York City FC vs Atlanta United

Probably the biggest game of the weekend, its 1st vs 2nd in the East as NYCFC will hope their home form can take them top.

When playing at Yankee Stadium this season, the only outcome has been a home win and in their last four home games, NYCFC haven’t failed to score three or more goals.

Arriving at the club for his first season, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi has impressed alongside David Villa as his brace last week to him just a goal behind the Spanish legend with seven so far this season. With such a reliable attack Atlanta will need to pack similar punches if they are to leave with any points.

They carry the league’s top scorer, Josef Martinez (12 goals) who comes into this one off a hat trick last week.

With both teams coming into this one feeling good, it’s a hard game to predict, but with so much at stake its sure to be the game of the weekend.

Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls

Another intriguing game sees more play off rivals in the East meet as the Crew and Red Bulls sit 3rd and 4th respectively.

Like the game above, this will be a great game to watch as a fight for superiority takes place.

The teams are in very similar situations at the moment having records of (WWWDD) and (WWWDL) respectively along with both of their top scorers (Gyasi Zardes & Bradley Wright-Phillips) on nine goals.

Both teams have had hot and cold spells already this season, so whoever comes out on top here could bounce back into the form that has made them such strong play-off contenders.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Orlando City

Talking about spells, the effects of Dom Dwyer’s return has definitely worn off for Orlando City as lost their fourth game in a row last week.

As for the hosts, they may have turned a corner last week putting an end to a five-game winless run at Colorado last weekend.

Continuing his great form was Cristian Techera who followed up his hat trick with his sixth goal of the season. Now finding a good goal-scoring rhythm he could find the net again this weekend.

Yet to beat the Whitecaps, in this form, the psychological factor of that may be too much to overcome for Orlando this weekend.

FC Dallas vs Montreal Impact

As we stay west, we move to the best place possible as FC Dallas have the chance to top the conference with a win.

When it comes to Dallas, their striking options have been great this season. Whenever Maximilliano Urutti doesn’t seem to be firing, Roland Lamah does which shows as both are on six goals this season.

This won’t be great news for Montreal who, despite ending their four-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over Houston, are still looking for good form.

With just one away win all season, it’s hard to see them coming out on top in this one.

Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution

Chicago have had an up and down season so far which could well continue as they face a play-off chasing New England.

So far this season Chicago are yet to win back to back games and coming up against play-off chasing New England could lead to the same outcome.

However, playing at home could give them a great boost as all four of their wins have come at Toyota Park. The fact that they’ve won the last four meetings between the sides may also give them a mental edge.

However, Brad Friedel’s New England look much more promising than the side that finished 7th in the East last season.

They currently sit 5th and with Teal Bunbury coming into form (eight goals) and coming off an impressive win over the 4th place Red Bulls, confidence will be sky high and hard to stop.

Houston Dynamo vs Colorado Rapids

It just seems to go from bad to worse for Colorado as they’ve now slipped into a seven-game losing run and Houston isn’t somewhere they’d want to go to fix that.

When playing at home this season, Houston have dished out thrashings to some of the biggest and best teams in the league. Atlanta, NYCFC, Toronto and LA Galaxy have all lost on their travels to Texas.

This welcome home will be especially important for them as two losses on the road have seen them slip to 7th in the West. But with two games in hand over 6th place Vancouver, a win could see them leapfrog the Canadians. With that motivation and home form, its hard to look past Houston in this one.

Seattle Sounders vs D.C. United

Seattle’s early season struggles have returned as they’re currently on a three-game losing streak.

Sitting second bottom in the West this week holds a massive chance for them to get back to winning ways against the worst team in the East.

Respectively the sides have only picked up 17 points between them (Seattle 8, D.C. 9) and haven’t looked too encouraging this season.

However, with D.C. coming into this one with a run up of a by-week and a 3-1 win I see them edging this one.

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

It seems Zlatan doesn’t fix everything as after his electric introduction to MLS he’s faded quite a bit having scored twice in seven games. With both of those goals coming in the same game.

However, Zlatan and co. will need to be on song this weekend as they face an RSL side that could have their way.

This weekend’s visitors are currently on a three-game winning streak with Lucas Silva and Corey Baird showing good form. Also, having won 6-2 against the Galaxy in the summer, there shouldn’t be any fear for RSL going into this one.

A win could help RSL stretch even further from 4th placed LAFC and four points clear in 3rd.

Portland Timber vs Sporting Kansas City

Portland’s rocky start to the season has been left in the distance as their six wins and a draw have catapulted them into 5th place in the West.

With morale relatively high, this will be much needed as they prepare to face probably their toughest test since their last defeat.

SKC are back to scoring goals having dispatched Minnesota 4-1 last week and being the best in the West, best believe they’ll go into this game thinking they can do the same.

Another possible strength for the visitors is they aren’t reliant on goals to come from Gutierrez or Jonny Russell, but everyone chips in.

A monumental effort will be needed from the hosts as a win here could lift them above LAFC into 4th.

San Jose Earthquakes vs LAFC

Danny Hoesen looks to be the Quakes’ player of the season so far as despite his team disappointing overall sitting 10th in the West, he’s still managed to notch up seven goals this season.

If he just keeps on keeping on like this a result is sure to come his way but a doubt that’ll be this weekend.

LAFC have a lot riding on this game as I mentioned earlier and won’t want to let slip of their impressive start to MLS life.

Having lost two on the bounce away from home, coming up against a side who has lost their last three games could be the perfect way for them to maintain pace with their neighbours.