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MLS Week 26: A Midweek Look Ahead

MLS: Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports


The New York Red Bulls have been red hot for two months, and the team has shown no signs of slowing down as they travel to Chicago to take on the Fire on Wednesday.

Jesse Marsch’s men have won five of their last six MLS matches and now sit just five points behind D.C. United in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls look likely to push their rivals over the next two weeks, facing the league’s worst side in the Fire on either side of a home match against the current East leaders.

The Houston Dynamo will fight for an important road victory in Colorado, with a win against the Rapids being imperative in the fight for a playoff spot. The Dynamo’s blown lead in Portland, which saw Houston squander a 2-0 lead in an eventual 2-2 tie, could prove costly if they don’t rebound with a win in Colorado.

Here is a closer look at tonight’s midweek MLS games:

CHICAGO FIRE vs. NEW YORK RED BULLS (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., MLS Live)

It is no secret that 2015 has been another disappointing season for fans of the Fire. The team has produced only six MLS wins all year, tied for last in the league. Frank Yallop’s unimpressive side has lost five of their last eight league games.

The team’s struggles have not gone unnoticed, with fans organizing a blackout in protest of ownership for last weekend’s home match against the Colorado Rapids. The Fire lost that game 1-0.

The Fire’s leading scorer David Accam has shown that his speed and attacking capability can be lethal, but that has come with inconsistency. The same can be said for another Designated Player in Kennedy Igboananike, who has produced four goals and some outstanding moments in the midst of a bad year for the team.

When the Fire have been able to win big matches this year, it has been because of the work of those two strikers partnered with the work rate of rookie Matt Polster and the creative mind of Harry Shipp.

The Red Bulls have shut down two of the league’s most potent scorers in Sebastian Giovinco and David Villa in recent weeks. Coach Jesse Marsch has all of the team’s individual pieces working together to constantly pick up points, and the form of a recently engaged Dax McCarty has been central to it all.

COLORADO RAPIDS vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO (Wednesday, 9 p.m., MLS Live)

The Houston Dynamo have been all over the place since a 1-0 home win over the Rapids on June 30 in the U.S. Open Cup.

Owen Coyle’s men have drawn the league’s worst team in the Fire, defeated the LA Galaxy 3-0, beaten the San Jose Earthquakes twice and (most recently) given up a two-goal lead to tie Portland Timbers with only 14 minutes left in the match.

Giles Barnes, DaMarcus Beasley and Kofi Sarkodie are all questionable for Wednesday’s match, which could make winning in the altitude at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park difficult.

The Rapids will look to build on a 1-0 win in Chicago last Saturday, with Dillon Serna’s goal in the opening minute giving Pablo Mastroeni and his team their first points since July 18.

Colorado does hold the best defensive record in 2015, having allowed just 25 goals in league play. But the team has lacked any attacking firepower, with 21 goals being split between 15 players.


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