It’s an abbreviated week of MLS action thanks to the international break, but there are still playoff places to be decided in both conferences, and this weekend’s action will have a big part to play in who gets them.
D.C. United continues its playoff push with a home game against FC Dallas, the leaders of the Western Conference. Los Angeles FC looks to put some pressure on the top two out West with a Friday night clash against the Houston Dynamo. Also, the New England Revolution look to keep their slim hopes alive when they take on Orlando City.
Here’s a look at all four games in Week 33 of MLS:
Game of the Week
d.c. united vs. fc dallas (saturday, 4:55 p.m. et, univision deportes)
D.C. United have been surging since Wayne Rooney joined the side and Audi Field opened up. They are on the brink of a playoff spot, but they are facing one of their stiffer tests this weekend.
FC Dallas comes to town with the best record in the Western Conference and having not lost a game in their last five tries. An away win against a surging D.C. side would all but clinch the top spot in the conference and take a lot of pressure off them when they face second place Sporting Kansas City next weekend.
As for D.C., a win will lift them above the Montreal Impact for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with three matches left to play. They are on a hot streak of their own as well since they haven’t lost since the end of August. Their last six games have seen them win four and draw two.
Other Games to Watch
Los Angeles FC vs. Houston Dynamo (Friday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Los Angeles FC is still in the hunt for one of the top two places in the crowded Western Conference, and a victory over the eliminated Houston Dynamo would go a long way towards that end.
LAFC are level on points with Sporting KC and both sides have three matches to play.
Even with a win, LAFC will still need help from the teams below them to hold second place. SKC would be only three points back with a game in hand and the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders are lurking just a few points back as well.
They get the benefit of playing a Houston Dynamo team that isn’t playing for anything. They have their U.S. Open Cup as their trophy for the year and are eliminated from the playoffs as of last week.
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
New England doesn’t have much to cling to in terms of playoff hopes, but they are still barely alive in the postseason chase. They are eight points back with three matches left to play. They need a lot of help from those in front of them, but if they drop points to lowly Orlando City at home, they will be done for.
The Revs would only have themselves to blame for their collapse. They have only won once since the end of June.
Orlando City, meanwhile, is playing to avoid the dubious honor of being the worst team in MLS. A point on the road in this one is enough to avoid dropping behind the San Jose Earthquakes at the bottom of the standings.
Minnesota United vs. Colorado Rapids (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Both of these sides have been out of the playoff hunt for a while now, so noth much is at stake as Minnesota United winds down their time at TCF Bank Stadium.
Much like Orlando City above, Colorado is playing to avoid being caught by San Jose in the MLS basement. They need a win to stay out of last place for good, but they have three games left overall to fight the Quakes off.