It may be an international break, but MLS features a trio of games to hold fans over through a busy weekend.
Kickstarting the weekend’s action is an Eastern Conference clash, as New York City FC takes on the New England Revolution at Yankee Stadium. The matchup presents two teams who have achieved a mixed bag of results in recent weeks, with the two combining for just one win and three draws through six games played.
FC Dallas is set to visit RFK Stadium to do battle with D.C. United, as the Texas side looks to continue in the aftermath of a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact last time out.
Finally, the Vancouver Whitecaps host the high-flying Houston Dynamo, who bring the league’s best goal-scoring record to BC Place.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s MLS action:
NEW YORK CITY FC vs. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (Saturday, 3 p.m., MLS Live)
With his team affected by international call-ups, Kwadwo Poku may finally be in line to make his debut on Saturday.
The Ghanian star has yet to appear this season under head coach Patrick Vieira, but Mix Diskerud’s U.S. Men’s National Team call-up could free a spot in the midfield. Joining Diskerud on NYCFC’s call-up list are winger Khiry Shelton and defender Ronald Matarrita, the latter of whom has impressed mightily in his first few games with NYCFC.
On the other side, the Revolution will be missing a playmaker of their own as Lee Nguyen heads to Guatemala with the U.S, while Je-Vaughn Watson will also be absent due to Jamaica duties. Helping the Revs’ case will be the return of Charlie Davies, who appears to have recovered from a hamstring injury.
D.C. UNITED vs. FC DALLAS (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., MLS Live)
In a matchup between one of the league’s most and least dynamic attacking teams, a shorthanded FC Dallas will take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
FC Dallas will be without a laundry list of players as Kellyn Acosta, Walker Zimmerman, Jesse Gonzalez, Maynor Figueroa, Atiba Harris, Moises Hernandez and Tesho Akindele all join their countries for international duty. D.C. United, meanwhile, will see key contributors missing as well with the call-ups of Steve Birnbaum and Alvaro Saborio.
In Birnbaum’s stead, Ben Olsen will likely turn to Kofi Opare, who the head coach has long seen as starting-level quality. Opare and fellow centerback Bobby Boswell will face the task of handling a relatively untouched FC Dallas attack featuring Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo and Maxi Urruti.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS vs. HOUSTON DYNAMO (Saturday, 10 p.m., MLS Live)
The Dynamo have been the league’s best attacking team to start the season, and Owen Coyle’s side will next take the field against a Whitecaps team missing the heart of its defense.
The Whitecaps will be without both starting centerbacks as Tim Parker and Kendall Waston will miss the game due to international duty. In the attack, the Whitecaps will also be moving on without the services of Christian Bolanos and Blas Perez, absences which will challenge the Canadian club in the aftermath of a win over the Seattle Sounders.
On the other side, the Dynamo enter as the league’s top scoring team with 11 goals through just three games. While Boniek Garcia and Erick Torres miss out, the Dynamo will likely include Cristian Maidana after the former Philadelphia Union midfielder missed out last week due to a concussion.
Ivan, it is not the league, it is the individual teams that make the decision. Some teams choose to play now rather than have a compressed schedule with more midweek games.
Allright, league games while the civilized world is playing world cup qualifiers and/or international friendlies. What’s the world I am looking to describe MLS scheduling here? Stupid, idiotic, dumb? Some things in life are guaranteed-death, taxes, and MLS vomit inducing scheduling decisions…
I don’t think it is accurate to say DC is one of the least dynamic attacking units. They are very dynamic this year, but not successful. They are a team that made many changes in the off-season. They have yet to gel. Creating a game plan against them is difficult. They have several capable players that could begin producing in any game, but they don’t have a focal point.