MLS Week 16: A Look Ahead

MLS Week 16: A Look Ahead

Major League Soccer

MLS Week 16: A Look Ahead

Wednesday sees the final MLS action for 12 teams ahead of a 10-day break with the 2018 World Cup kicking off in Russia.

All of these teams will want to head into the break on a high note and will be searching for victories. Several of these sides are limping their way to the break and would like nothing more to have something positive to come back to on June 23.

The midweek slate features all six matches on Wednesday night, with two of those kicking off after 9:00 p.m. EST.

Below is a look at each of the games being played in Week 16:

Game of the Week

COLUMBUS CREW VS. ATLANTA UNITED (7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

The headliner on Wednesday features two of the top three sides in the East squaring off in Columbus. The third-place Crew will look to head into the break level with Atlanta United and a win on Wednesday will complete that task.

Gregg Berhalter’s men are coming off a 1-1 draw against the Red Bulls, where they should’ve gotten more for their performance. A Gyasi Zardes opener was canceled out by Alex Muyl’s second goal of the season. Zardes has 10 goals for the Crew this season, hitting double digits for the first time since 2014.

Atlanta snatched a point in the Bronx on Saturday as they drew NYCFC 1-1. Tata Martino’s side have only lost once on the road this season, a 4-0 thumping to Houston on Opening Day.

Other Matches to Watch:

MONTREAL IMPACT VS. ORLANDO CITY (7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

Two teams trying to right the ship will face off North of the Border on Wednesday, with Montreal hosting Orlando at Stade Saputo.

The Impact’s 1-0 win over the Dynamo to kick off June was washed away with a 2-0 road loss in Dallas last weekend. Remi Garde’s side has found it tough to score goals in 2018, with their 15 so far tied for the fewest in the East.

Ignacio Piatti will look to halt that run and add to his five tallies this season.

At one time, Orlando City looked like a team that would rise up the East and fight with the best in the conference. Five weeks later, Jason Kreis’ side cannot buy a win and are on a five-match losing streak.

The only positive is that Dom Dwyer returned to action last weekend, and got back on the scoresheet. His seven goals lead the Lions this season.

TORONTO FC VS. D.C. UNITED (8:00 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

Wednesday’s showdown at BMO Field poses different challenges for a pair of Eastern Conference teams fighting for form.

Toronto FC are coming off a 2-0 win in Philadelphia a week ago, where they snatched their first road win of 2018. Jonathan Osorio led the way with a brace, but Greg Vanney’s men are still a long way from the automatic playoff spots.

D.C. United fell 2-1 in Seattle over the weekend, and are last in the East with nine points from 11 matches. Ben Olsen’s side are seeking their first win Toronto since 2014, and will look to Darren Mattocks (six goals) to lead them offensively.

NEW YORK RED BULLS VS. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (8:00 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

Two of MLS’ most consistent teams over the last few seasons square off at Red Bull Arena coming off positive weekend results.

The Red Bulls fought back for a point in Columbus on Saturday, and will look to remain in fourth place. Bradley Wright-Phillips leads Jesse Marsch’s side with nine goals this season and has three in his last five appearances.

Brian Schmetzer’s Sounders are still a long way from where they want to be in the East, but last weekend’s 2-1 win over D.C. helped with confidence. Magnus Eikrem came off the bench and played the hero, scoring his first goal for the club.

NYRB won 2-0 in this fixture back in 2016, with then Mike Grella scoring both goals.

COLORADO RAPIDS VS. CHICAGO FIRE (9:00 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

The Colorado Rapids need to find a way to stop the bleeding of a dismal season so far. Anthony Hudson’s side are losers of eight straight and have only score five goals in that span.

Ghanaian striker Dominique Badji leads the team with five goals but has not scored in four straight. The positive for the Rapids is their only two wins this season have come at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The Fire drew 1-1 with the Revolution on Saturday, but allowed their Eastern Conference foes to claim a point late. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s second-half finish was canceled out by Teal Bunbury’s ninth goal of the season.

Nemanja Nikolic returned to the starting lineup, but left 20 minutes in with an injury. Expect Alan Gordon to start in the Hungarian’s place on Wednesday.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES VS. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (10:30 p.m. EST, ESPN+)

Wednesday’s after dark fixture sees two sides on opposite runs of form in their last few matches as they face off in California.

The host Earthquakes coughed up a lead at home on Saturday, allowing LAFC to win 4-3 after two stoppage time goals. Chris Wondolowski netted his first brace since May 7 in the defeat, bringing his tally to four goals this season.

Mikael Stahre can definitely feel the pressure rising after four straight defeats, and only two wins this season.

Brad Friedel has done a terrific job so far with the Revs, having them in fifth place so far. The team is on a four-match unbeaten run in league play, however with only one win to show from it.

Teal Bunbury leads the team with nine goals, while playmaking attackers Diego Fagundez and Cristian Penilla have totaled nine goals and nine assists in 2018.

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