Friday 18th May
Toronto FC vs Orlando City
In what has been a tough start to their MLS season, things got even tougher for Toronto FC in their 3-2 defeat against New England.
However, it wasn’t just the result that frustrated Greg Vanney’s side. Following the game their two stars Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore won’t be available this weekend.
Coming off the bench, Giovinco managed to sink a penalty but was sent off minutes later for violent conduct. With the Italian somewhat coming into form with two goals in three games this could stunt their season even further.
As for Altidore, he’s been ruled out as he’s having surgery on his foot.
Orlando City have been in great form recently but fell to Atlanta United last week. Looking to bounce back to their play-off off place getting form, coming up against a wounded Toronto could help them possibly move to 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
Saturday 19th May
New York City FC vs Colorado Rapids
We then move to New York where NYCFC haven’t been having the best of times recently.
After a great start their 2018 campaign, the last four games have only seen them come out on top once. That slip in form has also seen them drop down to 4th in the East.
However, this could be the perfect opponent to get them back on track as the Rapids are on a four-game losing streak.
With this in mind, along with the last two meetings between the sides at Yankee Stadium, which ended 5-1 to NYCFC this will give Patrick Vieira’s side massive encouragement going into this one.
Especially as Colorado’s biggest goal threat, Dominique Badji is suspended.
Portland Timbers vs LAFC
Like Toronto, Portland Timbers had a terrible start to this season in MLS but look at have found the form which made them the best of the West last season.
From their last four games they’ve picked up maximum points and what would’ve pleased Giovanni Savarese was seeing Sebastian Blanco back on the scoresheet.
The Argentine was immense at the beginning of the season, scoring three in four, for the struggling side. But with two in his last three, it’s great that he contributes when the team is successful too.
However, their four-game winning streak could be seriously under threat as LAFC arrive in town with great confidence.
Bob Bradley’s side have remained unbeaten in their first four home games in their existence and could carry that fortress mentality over to Portland with them.
For the West Coast side Carlos Vela has shown time and again why he was brought to the club with six goals. Accompanied by Latif Blessing who created a career high five chances last week, Portland will need to be at their best to stop them.
FC Dallas vs Vancouver
Last week FC Dallas overcame adversity to continue the form that has taken them 3rd in the Western Conference.
Despite Reto Ziegler receiving his marching orders late on, the goals from star players Roland Lamah and Maximilliano Urruti were enough to beat a hit and miss LA Galaxy.
This weekend FC Dallas will go into this game as favourites and with that strike pairing its not hard to see why.
With Vancouver seemingly stuck in a rut this could also give them an upper hand in reaching the knockout stages of the MLS Cup again.
Following their midweek draw to San Jose, the Caps haven’t won in three and it could prove too tough an ask to switch that form around instantly.
Philadelphia Union vs Real Salt Lake
Next up are two of the more inconsistent sides in the league this year. However, with both bring LWLLW records into this game, it could be an interesting watch.
Philadelphia have been dealt a big blow though as striker CJ Sapong will miss out on the weekend’s action due to injury.
Although RSL have been inconsistent this season, beating the likes of Toronto and New York Red Bulls, they’ve shown they have the capabilities to go toe to toe with anyone.
With the hosts not quite hitting those heights I’d have to go for an RSL win here.
New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew
Brad Friedel has had a reasonable start to his managerial career and that continued with a 3-2 win over MLS Cup champions Toronto last week.
Now that his side are becoming more familiar with how he’d like them to play and with them coming close to beating the Crew already this season, they shouldn’t be scared this weekend.
Although they shouldn’t be scared, this season Gyasi Zardes is playing like a man with a point to prove. Hitting eight goals in 12 games this season, there will be some doubts as to whether the Revs can contain him.
Either way, this looks to be an interesting game in terms of how each side will combat each other.
San Jose Earthquakes vs D.C. United
This year in MLS, these two sides have disappointed largely. The Quakes sit 10th in the West as D.C. United remain stuck to the foot of the Eastern Conference. Something that makes me wonder why Wayne Rooney would apparently be interested in a move there.
I don’t think this weekend will make Rooney too keen on a move to D.C. either as San Jose’s Danny Hoesen’s form his picking up.
The striker has reached five league goals with two important strikes in as many games and with his finishing ability, just one chance could be enough for him to send his fans home happy.
Sunday 20th May
Minnesota United vs Sporting Kansas City
Moving onto Sunday and Minnesota United may need history to repeat itself if the hosts can get anything from the game.
In his last three games against SKC he’s made 17 saves and with them already on 23 goals for this season, you can guess he’ll be an important figure in the game.
Putting the visitors’ form into perspective, they already have as many away wins (3) and goals (10) as they did last season.
So, with such a strong attack it could prove too much for the hosts to handle.
They’ll also be boosted by getting one over Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United.
Chicago Fire vs Houston Dynamo
Heading to Chicago and we have another meeting between two very inconsistent sides. In both our their last six games they’ve won two, drawn two and lost two.
However, for both sides the difference maker is who is playing at home.
After a tough start, Chicago have begun to build in confidence in front of their own fans, and the same for Houston.
However, with Houston their home and away form show them out to be completely different teams. At home they can thrash Atlanta and Toronto but they’re yet to pick up an away win this season.
Unfortunately for them I see this continuing in Chicago.
Atlanta United vs New York Red Bulls
Quite possibly the game of the weekend, the top Eastern team take on a very talented side with some catching up to do.
Both teams, however, have been very entertaining going forward this year and that’s what is exciting me ahead of this one.
Whether it’s Bradley Wright-Phillips linking up with Kaku to add even more goals to their season tally. Or if its Miguel Almiron popping up with a late goal (all his six goals have come in the final 30 minutes) to add onto a Josef Martinez opener.
This will be a very closely fought game which is too hard to predict a winner from.
Sunday 21st May
Montreal Impact vs LA Galaxy
Montral and the Galaxy are both teams who’ve have topsy-tervy seasons. Going from high to low week by week, it’s almost impossible to foresee what will happen in Canada, other than a lot of goals.
Ignacio Piatti has been dragging Montreal through this MLS season with five goals and five assists. But whether he can continue that week in week out at the age of 33 is a big ask.
As for LA Galaxy, despite the huge signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, there seems to be much more of a team effort.
It’s not just Zlatan popping up with the goals but Ola Kamara (top scorer on four) and Giovanni Dos Santos too.
The big issue for the West Coast side however, is their defence. Now on a four game losing streak a defence low on confidence could be perfect for Piatti or they could group together to stop the one man show of Montreal.