The international break gave Major League Soccer teams a needed breather as the summer kicks into gear and some important months lie ahead in MLS play. Week 15 brings a pivotal Western Conference clash between the Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles FC and an interesting cross-conference matchup between New York City FC and the Colorado Rapids.
A matchup between two of the highest-scoring teams in the league awaits with Austin FC traveling to take on CF Montreal. American midfielder Djordje Mihailovic will likely remain out injured, but Montreal will try to carry on against Austin FC.
New England Revolution takes on Minnesota United in a match that will be worth watching as the farewell of Matt Turner, who is set to leave MLS to complete his transfer to Arsenal.
Ronny Deila’s move to Standard Liege leaves New York City FC without the man who led the team to the 2021 MLS Cup. NYCFC remains one of the hottest teams in MLS, but the Rapids could have a chance to capitalize on the upheaval when they visit Yankee Stadium.
Here is a look ahead to the top matches in MLS Week 15.
Sounders vs. LAFC
Saturday, 3 p.m., ABC, ESPN Deportes
The Sounders still hold one or two games in hand on most teams in the Western Conference, and continue to bound up the standings. The Sounders dominated the Vancouver Whitecaps in Tuesday’s 4-0 win. LAFC, on the other hand, look to continue leading the Western Conference with strong midfield production from Kellyn Acosta and a deep attack that is getting along just fine without Carlos Vela in recent matches.
Vela remains questionable to play after he left LAFC’s U.S. Open Cup match on May 25 with a left thigh injury. On the Sounders’ side, striker Raul Ruidiaz is set to miss at least two games with a hamstring injury. Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said the team does not want to rush him back into action. Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan rejoin the Sounders after international duty with the U.S. men’s national team.
CF Montreal vs. Austin FC
Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
CF Montreal has a golden opportunity in this match to solidify its place in the top three in the Eastern Conference, but Austin FC seeks to maintain a similar status in the Western Conference and packs a difficult challenge in visiting Stade Saputo. Austin FC’s back line has a lot to prove after falling 4-1 to the Galaxy before the international break. CF Montreal leads the Eastern Conference in goals, but the Canadian side will likely be without midfield playmaker and leading scorer Djordje Mihailovic.
Mihailovic missed out on his shot at his first USMNT appearance in two years with an ankle injury, and Montreal coach Wilfired Nancy said Mihailovic is “unlikely” to play in this match. Montreal’s remaining attacking players such as Romell Quioto, Kei Kamara and Joaquin Torres will try to match one of the most potent attacks in the league.
Revolution vs. Minnesota United
Sunday, 5 p.m., ESPN+
Matt Turner will close a chapter of his incredible career Sunday, when he plays his final game with the Revs before joining Arsenal. Turner, also the U.S. men’s national team’s starting goalkeeper, worked his way into the Revs’ plans after playing college soccer at Fairfield.
The Loons will look to continue emerging from a three-game losing streak that defined late April and early May. Minnesota lost last time out to NYCFC, and a result on the road against the Revs would be a needed boost.
The Revs will look to move on from the departure of Adam Buksa, who has almost singlehandedly powered the team’s attack by scoring in six straight matches. Buksa is off to French club RC Lens, leaving Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil and Sebastian Lletget in charge of the team’s attack. Gil scored Wednesday, but the Revs slumped to a 1-1 draw at home against Orlando City.
Union vs. FC Cincinnati
Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
New FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan, who spent the last three years as an assistant under Jim Curtin, faces his old boss at Subaru Park Saturday night. The Union seek to unseat NYCFC from the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a win, while FC Cincinnati sits just under the playoff line with 19 points.
FC Cincinnati’s recent history in MLS has been poor, so it’s no surprise that FC Cincy has lost five times and drawn once in prior meetings with the Union. However, Cincinnati is reborn in 2022 and have scored more than one goal in each of the past four games. Noonan’s squad lost its last two matches, a sign that the back line needs a return to form if it is to beat the Union.
The Union’s Daniel Gazdag is coming off a successful international stint, having scored for Hungary in a 4-0 win against England in the UEFA Nations League. Gazdag’s availability remains to be seen after traveling back from international duty, but Curtin confirmed that DP striker Mikael Uhre is back from injury and will be available.
NYCFC vs. Rapids
Sunday, 5 p.m., ESPN+
NYCFC coach Ronny Deila shocked the league this week when he bolted the defending MLS Cup champions for Standard Liege in Belgium. NYCFC is excelling at the top of the Eastern Conference, but it bears watching the team’s response to Nick Cushing leading as interim coach.
The Rapids have been inconsistent lately, alternating wins and losses in their last six games. Both teams bring exciting attacking talents into this matchup, with the Rapids’ Jonathan Lewis enjoying good form in 2022 and NYCFC’s potent attack led by Talles Magno, Valentin “Taty” Castellanos and Maxi Moralez. The Rapids remain in the mix in the Western Conference thanks to outstanding defensive performances. Defenders Auston Trusty and Lalas Aboubakar give the Rapids hope that they can pull off an upset.
NYCFC has called a few different venues home in the 2022 season, but the team’s home form hasn’t struggled one bit. NYCFC looks to further improve on a 6-1-1 home record as it welcomes the Rapids, which have one of the league’s worst away records at 0-5-1.
MLS Week 15 Schedule
3 p.m. – Sounders vs. LAFC, ABC, ESPN Deportes
5 p.m. – LA Galaxy vs. Timbers, ESPN, ESPN Deportes
7 p.m. – Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – Crew vs. Charlotte FC, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – CF Montreal vs. Austin FC, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – Orlando City vs. Dynamo, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – Union vs. FC Cincinnati, ESPN+
8 p.m. – Fire vs. D.C. United, ESPN+
9 p.m. – FC Dallas vs. Whitecaps, ESPN+
9:30 p.m. – Earthquakes vs. RSL, ESPN+
3 p.m. – Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
5 p.m. – Revolution vs. Minnesota United, ESPN+
5 p.m. – NYCFC vs. Rapids, ESPN+
6 p.m. – Nashville SC vs. Sporting KC, FS1, FOX Deportes