The MLS playoff push is coming to a head for teams such as the Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy and New England Revolution as four weeks remain in the 2022 regular season. Meanwhile, Los Angeles FC and the Philadelphia Union are locked into a power struggle for the Supporters’ Shield.
Key matchups in Week 30 of MLS action include Nashville SC looking to make it five wins in a row as Hany Mukhtar, Walker Zimmerman and Co. face the Galaxy at GEODIS Park. FC Dallas is picking up momentum at a key moment and can look to take it a step further with a matchup against LAFC.
In the Eastern Conference, the New England Revolution continue fighting for a playoff spot in a tight race with a matchup against the third-place New York Red Bulls. Another key match to watch will be the Union hosting Orlando City, with the Lions fresh off Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup win.
Here are the top matches to watch in Week 30 of MLS.
Nashville SC vs. LA Galaxy
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Univision, TUDN, Twitter
Hany Mukhtar grabbed hold of the MLS Golden Boot lead with five goals in two games last week, and Nashville SC is undoubtedly the hottest team in MLS right now with four wins in a row.
Nashville SC centerback Walker Zimmerman will go up against Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Douglas Costa and the Galaxy attack that has scored six goals in their last three games. However, the Galaxy have left some points begging, with Hernandez missing a last-second penalty kick last time out against Sporting KC with a botched Panenka attempt. Three of the Galaxy’s last five unbeaten matches have been draws.
The Galaxy continue searching for a way to make the playoffs, while Nashville SC vies to overtake FC Dallas for the first time this season for third-place in the Western Conference. The stakes are high, which makes for an excellent matchup in this game.
FC Dallas vs. LAFC
Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN+
Can LAFC fend off the Union in the final weeks to win a Supporters’ Shield race it has led most of the season? Can FC Dallas secure a first-round playoff bye and hold off a surging Nashville SC team? These are the questions following each side heading into this Saturday’s showdown from Frisco.
Two top scorers face off, with Jesus Ferreira leading FC Dallas’s attack. Ferreira has 16 goals in 2022, while LAFC top scorer Cristian Arango has 15 goals. FC Dallas is sitting third in the Western Conference with 46 points and can continue pacing Nashville SC with a win.
LAFC has been the class of MLS for most of the season, but cracks in the armor were exposed in a three-match losing streak that stretched from late August to early September. Arango and Ryan Hollingshead scored last weekend to end the slide, but LAFC gave up its lead over the Union for the Supporters’ Shield and both sides are now tied on 60 points.
Timbers vs. Loons
Saturday, 10 p.m., ESPN+
The previous matchup between these teams ended in a 4-4 draw which will be remembered as one of the best battles of the 2022 season.
Each team has plenty of attacking prowess to rely on. The Timbers’ Dairon Asprilla has scored twice in his last three games, while Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Sebastian Blanco have also provided steady scoring. The Loons could struggle with Franco Fragapane out due to yellow card accumulation and Emanuel Reynoso listed as questionable with an injury.
The Timbers remain on a hot streak, with two wins last week to lift Giovanni Savarese’s side to seventh in the Western Conference. Portland is anything but safe in the playoff race, which is constantly changing each week. The Loons’ excellent play down the stretch of the season keeps Adrian Heath’s side in fifth place, but Minnesota will need to improve after two losses in a row to FC Dallas and RSL.
Red Bulls vs. Revolution
Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN+
The Revolution are a trendy pick to thrive in the playoffs, with Bruce Arena’s leadership and a litany of attacking options when healthy. However, the Revs have only won two matches in the past month. Simply put, every game is a must-win for Arena and the Revs at this point.
Meanwhile, the Red Bulls are fighting to hold off NYCFC and stay in third in the Eastern Conference. A hot streak to end the regular season could help the Red Bulls rise to second, but they are five points behind CF Montreal.
This matchup features two strong back lines, with talented American centerbacks Aaron Long and Henry Kessler on either side. The Red Bulls’ attack led by Lewis Morgan and Luquinhas appears to have a slight edge over the Revs’ attack, which features Gustavo Bou. Fellow attackers Giacomo Vrioni and Dylan Borrero have been out injured and it’s unclear whether they can return for this match.
Sounders vs. Austin FC
Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN+
Six points adrift from a playoff spot, the Sounders are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in club history. This tough matchup with Austin FC could either reignite hopes for a desperate push, or put one of the final nails in the coffin for the Concacaf Champions League winners.
Sounders fans will have confidence from Austin FC’s recent struggles. A disastrous week, with losses to the Timbers and Nashville SC, sunk Austin’s Western Conference title challenge hopes. All of a sudden, Austin is having trouble scoring after managing only one goal against the Timbers and being shut out for just the third time this season.
The Sounders, on the other hand, come off a 2-1 win over the Dynamo to snap a winless run that lasted almost an entire month. Forwards Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz must find their form in the final four games of the season.
Full MLS Week 30 Schedule
7:30 p.m. – CF Montreal vs. Crew, ESPN+
1 p.m. – Charlotte FC vs. NYCFC, ESPN+
3:30 p.m. – Nashville SC vs. LA Galaxy, Univision, TUDN, Twitter
6 p.m. – Red Bulls vs. Revolution, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – FC Cincinnati vs. Earthquakes, ESPN+
7:30 p.m. – Union vs. Orlando City, ESPN+
8 p.m. – Fire vs. Inter Miami, ESPN+
8 p.m. – Sounders vs. Austin FC, ESPN+
8:30 p.m. – FC Dallas vs. LAFC, ESPN+
8:30 p.m. – Dynamo vs. Sporting KC, ESPN+
9:30 p.m. – Rapids vs. Whitecaps, ESPN+
9:30 p.m. – RSL vs. D.C. United, ESPN+
10 p.m. – Timbers vs. Loons, ESPN+
That Ferreira free kick!
Red card on Diaz was a joke. That being said Crew are constantly finding new ways to give away games late.