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MLS Week 5: A Look Ahead

The busiest weekend of the Major League Soccer season to date gives a full slate of 11 games.

Saturday’s 10-game slate begins with a bang, as Sacha Kljestan faces the New York Red Bulls for the first time as an Orlando City player.

The inaugural clash between LAFC and the LA Galaxy follows with a packed night schedule behind it.

Twenty-two of the 23 teams in MLS are in action in Week 5, with FC Dallas on a bye.

Here’s a look at what to watch in Week 5.

Real Salt Lake at Toronto FC (Friday, 8 p.m. ET, TSN1, MLS Live)

Real Salt Lake enters BMO Field with three wins and a draw in its last five games against Toronto FC.

The Claret and Cobalt responded well after losing 5-1 to LAFC by recording a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in Week 3. However, winning in Ontario is going to be difficult given the current state of Toronto FC.

The Reds are in need of a victory in league play to set the wheels in motion ahead of Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League clash with Club America.

New York Red Bulls at Orlando City (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, UniMas)

There’s a feverish rush headed toward the panic button in Orlando, and dropping points for the third time at home on Saturday will force fans to smash it in earnest.

The Lions don’t have an easy task with the Red Bulls and red-hot Bradley Wright-Phillips coming to town. With three goals already in 2018, Wright-Phillips is now in serious pursuit of reaching the 100-goal mark.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Columbus Crew (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, CTV, MLS Live)

There’s always intrigue when Kei Kamara returns to play one of his former clubs, but that’s going to be on the league-wide backburner come Saturday.

If you do pull up a second screen to watch Vancouver’s trip to Columbus, you’ll see two of the best teams in MLS in March.

There’s also precedent for this contest to be a high-scoring affair, as four goals have been scored in each of the last three meetings between the intraconference foes.

LAFC at LA Galaxy (Saturday, 3 p.m. FOX)

This is the big one.

Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Ashley Cole, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos and Ibrahimovic could all be on the field at the same time during El Trafico.

The starpower alone should draw you to the game of the week, but there are plenty of other stars and storylines worth watching as well.

Portland Timbers at Chicago Fire (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Nothing has been fire about Chicago and Portland through four weeks of action.

The Fire and Timbers have a combined one point from five games, and both are hoping Saturday is an early turning point.

Veljko Paunovic’s side is dealing with a good amount of injuries, while Giovanni Savarese’s team is in the middle of a five-game road trip before the renovated Providence Park opens April 14.

Atlanta United at Minnesota United (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Atlanta’s first trip to TCF Bank Stadium featured a six-goal thrashing of Minnesota United last March.

The Loons got the best of their expansion sibling in October at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 3-2 victory.

Although the Five Stripes have the most talent, they aren’t guaranteed a victory, as the Loons have played some respectable soccer, even without Kevin Molino, to open up 2018.

New York City FC at San Jose Earthquakes (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

New York City FC hasn’t lost in three meetings against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Given their form to start the season, it’s easy to believe Patrick Vieira’s men might not lose any time in the near future.

The Earthquakes pose an intriguing test for NYCFC with a few in-form attackers in Vako and Danny Hoesen that could exploit the absence of Alexander Ring.

New England Revolution at Houston Dynamo (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

If you judged this matchup based on Week 1 results, you’d have the Houston Dynamo beating the New England Revolution by six or seven goals.

Now that Week 1 overreactions are far in the past, we should see a solid game at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Since beating Atlanta in Week 1, the Dynamo have one point in two games, while the Revs picked up four points from a pair of matches after having two players sent off in Philadelphia.

D.C. United at Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

The most electrifying attack in MLS belongs to Sporting Kansas City, who has answered the questions so far about replacing Dom Dwyer’s production.

Felipe Gutierrez is an early favorite for Newcomer of the Year with four goals, but he hasn’t experienced Benny Ball yet.

D.C. found a way to grind out two points from its first four games, and the Black and Red are going to play organized and frustrate the hell out of Sporting KC’s new attackers in order to leave Children’s Mercy Park with a result.

Philadelphia Union at Colorado Rapids (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Philadelphia comes into Dick’s Sporting Goods Park as the only team in MLS that hasn’t conceded this season.

Homegrown center back Auston Trusty looks the part, but Saturday is a new test for the Union, who played their first two games at home.

Colorado struggled out of the gates, and it fell victim to a Sporting KC comeback a week ago, robbing it of its first victory of the season.

Montreal Impact at Seattle Sounders (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

If you make it to the end of the MLS marathon, you’ll hopefully be rewarded by the Seattle Sounders.

Brian Schmetzer’s team has its full focus on the league after being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League, and it has a good chance to score its first win of 2018 against Montreal.

The Impact are 1-0 against CCL participants, as they earned the first win of the Remi Garde era in Week 3 over Toronto.

Although they are still coming together as a team, the Impact produced some positive performances in their first three games.


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