Photo by Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
It might be a relatively light weekend of MLS play, but the upcoming match-ups present plenty of intrigue as teams look to gain ground in the playoff races.
The Western Conference provides a clash of league contenders, as the Seattle Sounders play host to an FC Dallas side that has been slumping of late. In the East, leaders D.C. United are tasked with a trip south to face an Orlando City team that has begun its climb back into the playoff picture.
Elsewhere, the Columbus Crew face the LA Galaxy, New York City FC hosts the Montreal Impact, and the Chicago Fire visit the New England Revolution.
Here’s a closer look at all of this weekend’s MLS action:
NEW YORK CITY FC vs. MONTREAL IMPACT (Saturday, 7 p.m., MLS Live)
After snapping an 11-game winless streak last time out, NYCFC has a chance to go for two in a row in a home match-up with the Montreal Impact.
NYCFC topped the Philadelphia Union, 2-1, last week, but will be without Josh Williams and Javier Calle due to injury, as well as striker Adam Nemec due to international commitments. The Impact, meanwhile, enter with some absences as well, as Maxim Tissot has joined Canada for World Cup qualifying, while Marco Donadel and Dominic Oduro miss out due to a suspension and groin injury, respectively.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs. CHICAGO FIRE (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MLS Live)
Saturday night provides a match-up of two teams in sore need of a win, as the New England Revolution host the Chicago Fire.
The Revs’ 2014 streakiness has seemingly carried over into this season, as a 5-0-1 stretch has been washed away by a current six-game winless run. Without Jermaine Jones, the Revs now faceoff with a Fire team that has won just one of its last seven. In addition, the Fire will be without key players in Shaun Maloney, David Accam and Joevin Jones due to their respective international call-ups.
COLUMBUS CREW vs. LA GALAXY (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MLS LIVE)
After seeing Robbie Keane return to the starting lineup last weekend, the struggling Galaxy will once again be without their captain.
Keane will be away with Ireland on international duty, leaving the Galaxy shorthanded once again against a Crew team missing Justin Meram. A win would do wonders for both sides in their hunt for playoff positioning, as the Galaxy and Crew are 2-3-4 and 0-3-2, respectively, in recent weeks.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS vs. FC DALLAS (Saturday, 10 p.m., MLS Live)
Following last season’s playoff clash between the two, FC Dallas can exact a bit of revenge on the Sounders on Saturday while also climb back into the Supporters’ Shield picture.
FC Dallas enters facing a bit of a crisis at the fullback position with Moises Hernandez, Atiba Harris and Je-Vaughn Watson all absent due to national team duty. The Sounders, currently sitting atop the West with a four-point lead of fifth place FC Dallas, will be without just Marco Pappa, who will also be on international leave.
ORLANDO CITY vs. D.C. UNITED (Sunday, 7 p.m., MLS Live)
For the third time this season, Orlando City is set to take on a D.C. United team atop the Eastern Conference.
A 2-0-2 stretch has helped lift Orlando City all the way up to fourth in the Eastern Conference, 11 points behind a D.C. United team that is currently running away with the conference lead. Both sides will have to enter without key contributors at forward, as Cyle Larin departs for the Canadian national team while Chris Pontius look set to miss out due to his injury.
“…the Galaxy and Crew are 2-3-4 and 0-3-2…”
Best to give number of points earned over such a period since the US soccer media uses W-T-L and W-L-T formats pretty interchangeably, making comments like the above unclear.
I love when Keane is injured for 6 months and as soon as he’s better, he runs off to Ireland for a game that means nothing
Means nothing??? How do you figure? I’d say it’s a vital match for the Irish.
No Friday game? Glad the woman are playing, but I thought I would have a double header.