Friday 25th May
Toronto FC vs FC Dallas
Having unexpectedly struggled this season, Toronto FC got their 3rd win of the season when they may have been expected to lose.
Facing Orlando City without star men Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore their squad came into play and dug deep to steal a late win.
They’ll be hoping that win is the kickstart for their season, however, as they still sit just 9th in the East.
Coming up against a form side like FC Dallas may dent their hopes of climbing up the table, however. FC Dallas may have been getting a bit too familiar with drawing games (five this season) but they’ve proved to be one of the most prolific teams in the league this year.
If Maximilliano Urutti turns up in the same mood as usual, Toronto will be in for a tough game. Even if he doesn’t, FC Dallas will be expected to, having not lost in their last 11 away MLS games.
Houston Dynamo vs New York City FC
After the opening weeks, NYCFC would’ve relished this fixture but the attitude might not be quite the same this weekend.
Despite getting back on track with a 4-0 win over Colorado last weekend, Patrick Vieira’s side have gone off the boil a little bit. Having won twice in their last six games, coming up against this Houston side may be too much for them.
Time and again this season, Houston have overperformer against top sides in the league and playing against NYCFC could motivate them again.
With such a strong record at home this year, that could also tip the odds in Houston’s favour. Home form (WLLWW)
LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes
Coming up against a struggling Montreal last week LA Galaxy got back to winning ways but Ibrahimovic’s beginning to MLS life is still a difficult one.
Following his red card, Ibrahimovic won’t be involved this weekend but that might not be a completely bad thing.
His absence may allow Ola Kamara to shine even more and bag in fifth goal in as many MLS matches. A record that is held by just Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan.
As for San Jose they looked to be on the up but fell to D.C. United last weekend. Top scorer, Danny Hoesen never stopped trying, letting off eight shots and that determination is something he’ll have to carry into this weekend.
Saturday 26th May
Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake
The last five times these teams have met, the three points have gone to the home side and that’s something that might not happen this time around.
Seattle’s star man this season, Will Bruin who has five goals, is out injured and having helped his side regain some respectable form he will be a big miss.
However, despite a 1-0 loss last week, Seattle showed good fight last week against Portland and being back in front of their home fans could give them the edge.
Another thing that goes in Seattle’s favour is that RSL haven’t won away from home in ten MLS games.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs New England Revolution
Like many, Vancouver haven’t hit the heights many thought they would this season. However, despite not winning in five, they’re still 5th in the West.
Also, after last week’s late heroics from Kei Kamara and Maynor Figueroa against FC Dallas, this could give them confidence to retain their place in the play-off spots.
Sneaking into the Eastern play-off spots are Brad Friedel’s New England who have been quite inconsistent of late. With a record of DWLWL they’ll hope the pattern remains the same and they pick up another win in Canada.
But with Vancouver on a run of three straight 2-2 draws, don’t be surprised if you see another here.
New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union
In another all-Eastern battle, the Red Bulls will come into this one with all the confidence in the world having dispatched the top Eastern side, Atlanta United, 3-1 last week.
Keeping pace at the top of the scoring boards was Bradley Wright-Phillips whose brace took him up to eight MLS goals this season. Having such a prolific goalscorer being assisted by such an efficient creator like Kaku means I can’t look past a Red Bulls win this weekend.
However, their side will be weakened as both Tyler Adams and Luis Robles will miss out with knee problems.
With Philly building some momentum with two back to back wins this may be the perfect time to face a wounded Red Bulls side.
Orlando City vs Chicago Fire
After a couple of disappointing weeks, Orlando will be hoping a return home can help them bounce back and stay in the Eastern play-off spots.
However, the losses suffered by Orlando were against top sides in Toronto and Atlanta so coming up against an inconsistent side like Chicago could fare well for them.
However, the fact that Orlando haven’t beaten Chicago since September 2015 may way heavy in their minds.
As for Chicago, despite losing last week, top scorer Nemanja Nikolic (six goals) has come back into form so he’ll be looking to make his mark again down in Florida.
Minnesota United vs Montreal Impact
Next up are two teams in somewhat similar situations.
Minnesota have impressed at times this season, but their squad has proved to be too weak and they’re 8th in the East.
As for Montreal, their star man Ignacio Piatti has been performing with five goals and five assists but no one else has really matched his level. They sit at 10th in the West.
Going into this game, I see Minnesota as a side that still has hope. Its only their second season in MLS and Darwin Quintero gives them a massive lift to play expansive football. Something that doesn’t seem to be the case for Remi Garde’s side.
Colorado Rapids vs Portland Timber
This could be a very difficult challenge for a struggling Colorado as Portland seem to have found their stride from last season.
The two sides have opposite records as the hosts have lost their last five with Portland winning their last five.
The challenge will be made even harder for Colorado has they will be without top scorer Dominique Badji who is suspended.
The Timbers’ current win streak is the best in franchise history and with players like Sebastian Blanco personifying consistency, I see them stretching that to six games.
LAFC vs D.C. United
Its not every day MLS sides get to play European giants but in midweek LAFC got that chance. They hosted Christian Pulisic’s Borussia Dortmund to the Banc of California stadium where you couldn’t split the two sides:
.@LAFC earned their respect. ?
Aaron Kovar’s goal secured #LAFC a 1-1 draw ? German giants, #BVB. pic.twitter.com/5gxLcZugz8
— COPA90 US (@COPA90US) May 23, 2018
Coming into this weekend with a draw against one of Europe’s best, this could give Bob Bradley’s side a massive boost.
Especially after their six game unbeaten run came to an end against Portland last week.
However, they’ll be met by a D.C. United side who may be looking to impress Wayne Rooney before his arrival.
D.C. are still looking to kick on this season but a 3-1 away win against San Jose could give them encouragement for this week.
Sporting Kansas City vs Columbus Crew
Finally, we have a matchup between two of this year’s very exciting teams.
The best team in the West, SKC, have taken their foot off the pedal just a tad drawing their last game but having won four of their last five home games they’ll look to keep that going.
Meeting up at Children’s Mercy Park also fares well for SKC as they haven’t lost to the Crew there since 2012.
However, their two form men this season, Felipe Gutierrez and Jonny Russell who are both on five goals haven’t scored in over a month. Something that may have to change against a side like the Crew.
After coming out of a sticky patch, the Crew have impressed again to climb up to 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
One person they have to thank for this is the league’s joint top scorer, Gyasi Zardes who’s on eight goals. Since arriving at the club, Zardes has been a massive success and doesn’t look like he’ll be stopping anytime soon.
Its not just up top where the visitors impress, however. They’ve proved increasingly hard to break down and have kept four straight clean sheets. So, they could shut out a SKC side whose goals seem to be drying up a bit.