Friday 29th June
Minnesota United vs FC Dallas
We’re back to the Friday games as Minnesota United will look for a repeat of their last home meeting against FC Dallas and try to kick Óscar Pareja’s side while their down.
Coming up against fellow play-off hopefuls last week, Dallas were simply outclassed as New York Red Bulls thrashed them 3-0 despite being a man down for most of the game.
However, with that being only their second loss of the season, it’s hard to envisage another 4-1 victory at TCF Bank Stadium for a Minnesota side who fell apart last weekend.
After allowing league strugglers, Colorado Rapids to come from behind to win 3-2, Minnesota can be on a slippery slope which allows the bottom three teams in the west to catch up to them.
As for Dallas if they manage to win they could draw level on points with SKC at the top of the conference.
Saturday 30th June
Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers
Two of the early season strugglers, Portland have grown into this season much better than Seattle who sit just 10th in the east.
Portland on the other hand are 5th and go into this one with an unbeaten run of nine games with the last three of those being draws.
Two of those draws did come against form sides in Atlanta and SKC so they can use the proof that they can go toe to toe with the league’s best as motivation for this game.
Seattle could take motivation however, from the return of Clint Dempsey who last week equalled the club’s all-time goal-scoring record (47). With the drive to break that, that could help Seattle this weekend.
But with just four goals in their last five games that could be a task too tough for them.
Atlanta United vs Orlando City
Like Portland, Atlanta have been in and out of Ikea with three draws in their last five games.
The two sides have met already this season as Atlanta came out 2-1 winners and armed with the league’s top scorer, Josef Martinez, who came close but didn’t score last week, could be a dangerous side to face.
Especially when looking at Orlando’s form as they’re currently on a seven-game losing streak.
Coming up against a side wounded as badly as Orlando, the only foreseeable result from this game is an Atlanta win.
Especially as since his arrival in MLS last season, Martinez has found the net four times against Orlando.
Montreal Impact vs Sporting Kansas City
Coming back into some sort of form, Montreal face a massive test to see if they’ve truly turned a corner after a disastrous run throughout the spring.
This run improved massively in their last four games as Remi Garde’s men have won three of those.
However, last week, SKC proved just why they are top of the Western Conference. Having gone in at half time 2-0 down to Houston Dynamo they showed great spirit to go ahead and win the game 3-2.
The difference makers were substitutes Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton who could have played themselves into this weekends team.
Also, if SKC are able to keep Ignacio Piatti quiet it’ll be hard to see Montreal coming away with anything in this game.
Columbus Crew vs Real Salt Lake
With their form slipping, the Crew are in great need of a win this weekend to maintain pace with their play-off rivals.
However, even if they do come out on top, their five-game winless streak could have already done the damage as every team around them have games in hand over them.
With that in mind a win this week is vital. One key to a good result will be Federico Higuain who will want to end June in consistent form having created 18 chances this month, hopefully for him, they’ll be put away.
RSL have their own creator, however, as Albert Rusnak has created 99 chances since the start of last season. Seemingly coming up against the Crew at the perfect time he’ll have to surpass the 100 mark this weekend to cement his side as play-off contenders.
New England Revolution vs D.C. United
Creeping up on Columbus Crew are Brad Friedel’s Revs who are just three points behind them with two games in hand.
After having last week as a resting week, they should be going into this one ready to push on for three points, something they last won in the last home game against the Red Bulls.
DC United, however, will want to show Wayne Rooney just why he’s left Everton for a second time this weekend.
As the MLS transfer window doesn’t officially open until July, he wont be on the pitch for a few weeks.
This weekend, however, they’ll need Ben Olsen to continue to be a good luck charm against the Revs as he’s beaten them more than any other MLS side (eight times). With just two wins this season though, a draw looks more likely than a victory for D.C.
Chicago Fire vs New York City FC
With NYCFC one of the Supporters Shield favourites this season, Chicago are facing them at what could be a good time for them.
Veljko Paunović’s side are unbeaten in four games and despite three of those games being draws, being a current mid table side they could aspire for a similar outcome if not better on Saturday.
One player who has shone in that run is Brandt Bronico who has three assists so far this month.
Another player whose shone this month is Jo Inge Berget and when I say this month, I mean last week specifically. In Domènec Torrent’s first game as NYCFC manager, Berget tripled his season’s goal tally with two great finishes.
Possibly having more confidence than he did under Vieira this could spur on a purple patch to keep NYCFC hot on the heels of Atlanta. In the absence of David Villa this would be very much welcome.
LAFC vs Philadelphia Union
With star man Carlos Vela heading deeper into the World Cup with Mexico, LAFC will be counting on Adama Diomande to continue his great start to life on the West Coast.
Four goals in his first three games have taken Bob Bradley’s side to 3rd in the west but Philly will be thinking they can climb the Eastern Conference even further after last week.
The Union registered an unexpected 4-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps. To expect them to be as potent this weekend is very unlikely as they average the third lowest goals away from home in the last this year (0.4).
San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy
Danny Hoesen yet again. Somewhat the Quakes’ saviour, Hoesen has continued to perform even if his team hasn’t and has rescued two points for them in their last two games.
With Hoesen in unreal form and his team mates hopefully trying to get revenge for the 1-0 loss in the first California Clasico of the season they should have a promising game.
LA Galaxy, however, will be well rested and despite being without the Dos Santos brothers could be a tough test.
The outcome of the game could swing depending on whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still commentating in Russia, however.
Sunday 1st July
Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls
Possibly the blockbuster game of the weekend when you look at the names, but can Toronto just turn it on at the flick of a switch?
Well it seemed so for 45 minutes last week in New York as they took the lead against NYCFC but were eventually undone.
However, for Toronto a win could see them match 9th placed Montreal on 18 points so they’ll be hoping that Victor Vazquez’s purple patch continues, and he notches his fourth goal of June. He’s also made four assists this month
As ever though, with Bradley Wright-Phillips on their side the Red Bulls will come into this game with great confidence. He’s now on 11 goals for the season and continues to be a handful for defences.
However, they will be without Daniel Royer after he was red carded last week against FC Dallas.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Colorado Rapids
After last week’s embarrassment against Philadelphia, Vancouver are now in a very dangerous place having played the most games in the west (17) but sit 6th on the table.
One thing they could’ve taken encouragement from heading into this game a couple of weeks ago was its against Colorado.
However, after their draw and last-minute win last week, they could have the wind in their sails and kick a Vancouver side while they’re down.
That’ll be difficult, however, as the Whitecaps have only lost once at home this season.