Major League Soccer’s race to the postseason resumes this weekend with every team back in action following the international break.
Two of the league’s’ top teams will square off at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night in what could be a preview of the MLS Cup final. Jim Curtin’s Philadelphia Union welcome LAFC to Chester, hoping to once again prove they can contend with the top sides in the league. Both clubs have clinched a playoff berth, but will look to continue pushing towards the Supporters Shield title. Carlos Vela could be back for LAFC, while Kacper Przybylko headlines the Union’s lively attack.
Elsewhere, the LA Galaxy welcome Sporting KC to town on Sunday night, while the Seattle Sounders also are at home against the New York Red Bulls. D.C. United faces off with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday afternoon in one of five matches that day. East leaders NYCFC will look to remain top of the East against the San Jose Earthquakes at Yankee Stadium in Saturday’s early contest.
Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s top five MLS matches:
Philadelphia Union vs. LAFC – Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Two of MLS’ top three teams will square off on City of Brotherly Love on Saturday night.
Jim Curtin’s side will look knock off West leaders LAFC in the only meeting between these teams this season. The Union are currently second in the East, but could finish the weekend level on points with NYCFC. Kacper Przybylko has been one of the league’s top scorers with 13 goals. The German will look to connect with homegrown midfielder Brenden Aaronson and veteran Haris Medunjanin in attack as Philly tries to end its home stand on a high note.
LAFC has failed to win in three consecutive matches and will look to turn the tide at Philly. Bob Bradley’s side tied Orlando City 2-2 last weekend in one of the few league matches over the international break. Carlos Vela should be ready to play following an injury, while Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande could also pose the Union backline trouble.
Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls – Sunday, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
A pair of top six sides in respective conferences will meet in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday.
The New York Red Bulls travel to the Seattle Sounders looking to snap a two-match losing streak. Chris Armas side fell to both Colorado and NYCFC before the break and will need a positive performance to remain ahead of several teams chasing them. If the Red Bulls want to get back to winning ways, they need to be better offensive and get stronger outings from playmakers Alex Muyl and Daniel Royer.
Seattle are third in the West, but that could change this weekend if they fail to pick up three points. Brian Schmetzer’s side are 2-1-3 in their last five league matches, but luckily have plenty of players returning from international duty. Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz, and Cristian Roldan will all look to jump back into the Sounders attack at CenturyLink Field.
LA Galaxy vs. Sporting KC – Sunday, 10 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Sporting KC may be in ninth place in the West, but are on a good run of form heading into Sunday’s late night showdown with the L.A. Galaxy.
Peter Vermes’ side are six points out of the final playoff spot, but come to Dignity Health Sports Park winners of three of their last four matches. A 2-1 loss to Portland last weekend saw Vermes have limited options offensively, but should have his full squad ready to go. Johnny Russell and Krisztian Nemeth are KC’s go-to guys if they want to find the back of the net in Carson.
The Galaxy are also on the outside looking in, currently a point behind seventh-place FC Dallas. Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side have only tasted victory once out of their past five league matches and need more than just Zlatan Ibrahimovic to carry the load. The Galaxy could be forced to rely on Efrain Alvarez, Sebastian Lletget, and others to help chip in on Sunday.
Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United – Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Another entertaining showdown on Sunday comes from Providence Park as the Portland Timbers host D.C. United.
Giovanni Savarese’s side is 3-2-0 in its last five matches and is currently above the red line in the West. A 2-1 win over SKC made it back-to-back wins for the defending West champs who will once again rely on their playmaking midfielders. Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco, and others will see plenty of the ball against struggling D.C.
Ben Olsen’s side snapped a three-match losing run before the international break in Montreal, but need to build off that win at this point of the season. Wayne Rooney returns for the Black and Red while Paul Arriola, Ola Kamara, and Luciano Acosta all can provide goals as well. Playing on the road may see D.C. have to do plenty of chasing if they want to have cracks on goal.
NYCFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes- Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Saturday’s early contest comes from Yankee Stadium with NYCFC hosting the San Jose Earthquakes.
Domenec Torrent’s side failed to take advantage of its game in hand over the Philadelphia Union, tying Toronto FC 1-1 midweek. Alexandru Mitrita scored in the tie, while Valentin Castellanos was surprisingly kept quiet. This duo will be the likeliest to score for NYCFC who would love to extend their lead over Philly in the East.
San Jose is fifth in the West, but only two points ahead of eighth place L.A. Galaxy. The Quakes have hit a small road bump of late, winning only two of their last five league matches. Matias Almeyda may be forced to rely more on veterans like Shea Salinas, Chris Wondolowski, and others in order to pick up three points this weekend.
Here’s this weekend’s full MLS schedule:
- NYCFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas, 3:30 p.m. (Univision)
- Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Orlando City vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Montreal Impact vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Philadelphia Union vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo, 10 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Portland Timbers vs. D.C. United, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
- Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 5 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Minnesota United vs. Real Salt Lake, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
- Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls, 6 p.m. (ESPN+)
- L.A. Galaxy vs. Sporting KC, 10 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)