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MLS Week 8: A Look Ahead


Once again the Major League Soccer spotlight will be on StubHub Center in Week 8, as the Zlatan Ibrahimovic-led LA Galaxy return home.

This time around Ibrahimovic won’t be the only star on display, as Atlanta United comes to town for what should be an electric Saturday night affair.

Also on the Week 8 slate is a top-three clash in the Western Conference, the renewal of the Rocky Mountain Cup and a Sunday night test for the early favorite to win the Supporters’ Shield

Game of the Week

Atlanta United at LA Galaxy (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Finally a 10:30 p.m. game worth staying up for.

Goals are expected to flow in with ease at StubHub Center, as Atlanta brings its 1-1-0 road record into the clash with the Galaxy, who are still working out the kinks in the back line.

Josef Martinez, Miguel Almrion, Ezequiel Barco, Ashley Cole and Ibrahimovic could be all be in their respective starting lineups.

With all the star power on display, look for an unheralded star to step up like Perry Kitchen, Daniel Steres or Jeff Larentowicz.

Other Games to Watch

Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting Kansas City (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, TSN2, ESPN+)

If if wasn’t for Saturday’s game in Carson, the clash between Vancouver and Sporting Kansas City would be the game of the week.

The Whitecaps, who are already playing their fifth road contest of the season, shutout Sporting Kansas City in both regular-season meetings a year ago.

Peter Vermes’ men haven’t lost since Week 1, and their defense is starting to come together by allowing two goals in the last three games.

Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Colorado Rapids, let’s catch you up on their early-season success.

New manager Anthony Hudson has his team unbeaten in four games with its most recent result being a 2-0 win over a depleted Toronto FC side.

The sixth-place Rapids take on seventh-place Real Salt Lake in the first game of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup, a competition won by RSL the past two seasons.

The Claret and Cobalt have been more up and down than their Mountain time zone rival, but they’ve won their last two at Rio Tinto Stadium.

New York City FC at Portland Timbers (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, FS1)

New York City FC comes into Week 8 as the favorite to win the Supporters’ Shield, and there’s a decent chance it’ll reach 20 points Sunday in Portland since the road team has won each of the three meetings between NYCFC and the Timbers.

Patrick Vieira, who might be in the running for the now-open Arsenal opening, has guided his team to eight points in four road games, and there’s no sign of NYCFC slowing down.

The Timbers earned a welcome victory, the first of the Giovanni Savarese era, in Week 7, but NYCFC is a much more difficult opponent than Minnesota United.

The Rest

LAFC at Montreal Impact (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TVA Sport)

LAFC’s final road game before its home opener next Sunday is a trip to Montreal to take on an Impact team with four losses in six games.

The Impact have given up 12 goals in their four losses, while LAFC scored eight goals in its three victories.

Toronto FC at Houston Dynamo (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET, CTV, ESPN+)

Saturday’s clash at BBVA Compass Stadium against Toronto FC is as straightforward as they come for Houston since the Reds are traveling with a reserve squad.

A win would be the perfect remedy for the Dynamo’s early struggles, as they haven’t won since Week 1’s blowout over Atlanta United.

Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Univision)

The New York Red Bulls alternated three wins and two losses in their first five games, while the Chicago Fire have four points from five contests.

The Eastern Conference showdown at Toyota Park should be a showcase of the league’s top scorers in Nemanja Nikolic and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

New England Revolution at Columbus Crew (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

After setting MLS on fire in March, the Columbus Crew enter Week 8 on a three-game losing streak.

Gregg Berhalter’s men host a New England Revolution team looking to rebound from a home loss to FC Dallas in Week 7.

The Revs are also trying to keep the Lee Nguyen situation on the backburner by performing well on the field with Diego Fagundez thriving in the No. 10 role.

Philadelphia Union at FC Dallas (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

After wasting chances to create momentum at home over the last two weeks, the Philadelphia Union slump into Toyota Stadium to play FC Dallas.

Oscar Pareja’s men have flown under the radar, as they’ve gone unbeaten in five games and could move into the top three of the Western Conference with a victory.

Minnesota United at Seattle Sounders (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN)

No one thought at this point of the season that Minnesota United would be five points ahead of the Seattle Sounders in the West, but that’s where we are in Week 8.

The Loons haven’t been spectacular, but neither have the Sounders, which puts more importance on Sunday’s game at CenturyLink Field.

The Sounders, who earned their lone point in Week 7, are the only team in MLS without a victory.

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