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MLS Week 30: A Look Ahead

After an electric Wednesday across MLS in which two teams clinched playoff berths, a full weekend slate comes at us starting on Saturday.

The 10 games on Saturday present us with a different reach of excitement, with one key Western Conference showdown that could go a long way in determining the top seed.

The story in the Eastern Conference is the Columbus Crew and the New York Red Bulls looking to secure playoff berths, while, out West, we’re still trying to find clarity in terms of seeding and the sixth team to make the postseason.

Here’s a complete look at the weekend slate in Week 30:

FC Dallas at Orlando City (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, Univision)

FC Dallas and Orlando City both had incredibly successful Wednesday nights, as FC Dallas finally broke their winless streak of two months and Orlando CIty thumped the New England Revolution.

This game means more to ¬†Oscar Pareja’s men as they’re stuck in a battle for sixth place in the West, while the Lions are just trying to end the season on a positive note with the playoffs basically out of reach.

New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, TSN, MLS Live)

The Red Bulls are trying their hardest to pull off one of the most That’s So Metro moments in history by not locking up the sixth spot in the East. They dropped two points on Wednesday at home and have a tough task ahead on Saturday in Toronto.

TFC stumbled to a pair of defeats last week, and with the Supporters’ Shield ready to be clinched, it should rebound at BMO Field, which could give some hope to those clinging to life beneath the Red Bulls.

D.C. United at Columbus Crew (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

D.C. United has played some positive soccer in the last month, as they’ve won four, lost two and tied once. It’s a good sign for Ben Olsen that his club is fighting for every point despite it’s position in the table. That form has thrust the Black and Red into the role of spoiler.

The Crew are still flying somewhat under the radar in the East in fifth place and they’re on their way to securing a playoff berth without a ton of pressure on them from the teams below. Saturday is also the last home game for Gregg Berhalter’s men.

Atlanta United at New England Revolution (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Atlanta United finally takes their goalscoring spectacular on the road again on Saturday, and it’ll be against the team they destroyed 7-0 on Sept. 13. The Five Stripes have proven over the last month they can score at will at home, but they need to impress on the road in order to be seen as a true contender to Toronto in the East.

The Revs have plummeted since the thrashing in Atlanta and they’re coming off a 6-1 loss in Orlando on Wednesday. The goal for the Revs in the final three games of the season is try and take something positive into the offseason.

New York City FC at Chicago Fire (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

The best game in the East on Saturday is a potential playoff preview of teams that have taken a backseat to Toronto and Atlanta. New York City FC picked up a key road win in Montreal on Wednesday to stay in second, but they’ll need another positive result to fend off Atlanta.

The Fire have won three of its last five contests, including a 4-1 rout in San Jose on Wednesday that clinched its first playoff berth since 2012. The Fire haven’t beaten NYCFC since their first meeting on April 24, 2015.

Minnesota United at Houston Dynamo (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Minnesota United has scored seven goals in the last two games, both victories and they’ve taken points from Houston in two ties in 2017. Another positive result for the Loons would distance them further from cellar dwellers in the LA Galaxy and Colorado Rapids.

The Dynamo will have eyes on the goings on in Orlando on Saturday afternoon before hitting the BBVA Compass Stadium field at night. But regardless of what FC Dallas does, the Dynamo must pick up three points to end a six-game win drought that dates back to August 12.

Montreal Impact at Colorado Rapids (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

If there’s one team that can put pressure on the Red Bulls, it’s the Impact, but they’ve failed to take advantage of their opportunities so far. After falling at home to NYCFC on Wednesday, the Impact must win in Colorado to have any chance of a late run at sixth.

The Rapids have collected six points since the start of August and they haven’t won at home since July 1. With three straight games at home starting Saturday, the Rapids should at least attempt to go into 2018 on a high note.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, TSN, MLS Live)

This is the big one in MLS this weekend. The Whitecaps have been sitting atop the West for a few weeks, but its stranglehold on the top spot will be tested at Children’s Mercy Park. The Whitecaps have the best road record of the top six teams in the West at 5-7-2.

Sporting Kansas City could launch themselves into first place with a victory in a series in which the home side has won four of the last five games. Peter Vermes’ side is the lone unbeaten at home in MLS this season at 10-0-5.

Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Real Salt Lake’s last visit to the StubHub Center sparked their incredible run into a playoff position. While Saturday might not produce another 6-2 result, the Claret and Cobalt enter with plenty of confidence and could easily take points from the lowly Galaxy.

Avenging the 6-2 loss from the Fourth of July will be fresh on the minds of the Galaxy, as will getting a rare win at home where they are 2-9-4. A win would assure the Galaxy of not finishing with the worst home record in league history.

Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

The home team has been dominant in the Timbers-Quakes series, with each team winning at home in 2017. In the chance a draw occurs in Kansas City, the Timbers could end the weekend on top of the West if they go into Avaya Stadium and knocks off the Quakes.

The Earthquakes have to recover from Wednesday’s home loss to the Fire in order to stay in the race for sixth. They will also be scoreboard watching earlier on Saturday to see how FC Dallas and Houston fare.

Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The Sunday matinee features the Sounders making a cross-country trip on short rest and starting in the morning in Pacific Time. There are plenty of factors going against the Sounders, but they’ll still be prepared to avoid any slip up at Talen Energy Stadium.

The Union are coming off a defeat in Atlanta that effectively squashed any last glimmer of postseason hope they had. The focus for them, just like the other teams out of playoff contention, is to finish strong and create momentum for 2018.


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