After a thrilling slate of MLS action during Week 8, many of the league’s top clubs will search for bounce-back results in Week 9.
Both Minnesota United and the Seattle Sounders suffered defeats last weekend and will be eager to get back on track against one another. The Sounders desperately need a statement result after a 4-1 thrashing from their local rivals, Portland Timbers. Minnesota United will feel that they didn’t take advantage of a match against Orlando City, falling 2-1 to the Lions.
The last undefeated team in MLS, Los Angeles FC, will take a trip across the country to the Music City to face Nashville SC. Nashville SC have proven to be a tough team to break down this season, with five clean sheets earned through eight matches. However, LAFC have scored the second most goals per 90 minutes this season with a 2.14 average.
Two of the top-five teams in each conference will also square off as New York City FC welcomes FC Dallas to Yankee Stadium. Elsewhere, FC Cincinnati hosts the Portland Timbers with both teams coming off opposite results last weekend.
Here is a closer look at the top matches in MLS:
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United
Saturday 10:30 pm ET, AppleTV+
Both of these teams suffered rare losses in Week 8 so they will be eager to bounce back.
After leading their match against the Portland Timbers for 70 minutes last week, the Seattle Sounders imploded to concede four goals in the last 20 minutes of the match. Seattle had only conceded three goals so far this season, but will now try and frustrate the Loons on home soil.
Minnesota United have won three of their four away matches to start the season, so they’ll come to Seattle with their eyes on three points. The Loons have conceded only seven goals so far, which are tied for the second-fewest in the Western Conference to date.
Nashville SC vs. LAFC
Saturday 8:30 pm ET, AppleTV+
It’s an unstoppable force visiting an immovable object in this cross-conference matchup in Nashville.
After a massive win in ‘El Trafico’, LAFC will have their sights set on remaining the only unbeaten team in MLS for yet another week. The defending champs have picked up where they left off, scoring 12 goals and only conceding two to start the year.
Nashville’s Joe Willis will want to add another clean sheet to his name this season after keeping five so far. Hany Mukhtar once again headlines the Nashville SC attack for Gary Smith’s squad. Walker Zimmerman, Kellyn Acosta, and Aaron Long all return to league play after U.S. men’s national team duty midweek.
NYCFC vs. FC Dallas
Saturday 7:30 pm ET, AppleTV+
Seven of NYCFC’s nine goals this season have come at home, with ten points also being picked up at Yankee Stadium. Nick Cushing’s squad will aim to continue that early-season success and finish Week 9 in the top-three of the Eastern Conference.
USMNT attacker Richie Ledezma enjoyed a stellar first MLS start last week and will be among the playmakers for Cushing to call on.
FC Dallas has had mixed performances on the road this season, with only one win to its name so far. Jesus Ferreira leads the team with five goals scored in eight league appearances, while Paul Arriola will hope to return after missing USMNT duty due to a tight hamstring.
FC Dallas hasn’t defeated NYCFC since their first head-to-head meeting in September 2015.
FC Cincinnati vs. Portland Timbers
Saturday 7:30 pm ET, AppleTV+
FC Cincinnati witnessed St. Louis CITY SC roll by them in a Week 8 beatdown and Pat Noonan’s squad will try to show a short memory this Saturday.
A 5-1 road loss at CITYPARK cost FC Cincy the top spot in the Supporters’ Shield rankings and their unbeaten start to the 2023 season. Matt Miazga, Roman Celentano, and Brandon Vazquez all return to Cincinnati after being called in for USMNT duty.
Vazquez and Miazga featured in Wednesday’s 1-1 daw with Mexico while Celentano was an unused substitute.
The Timbers jumped up to ninth place following a 4-1 Cascadia Cup victory over rivals Seattle. Four different players found the back of the net with Dairon Asprilla kickstarting a busy final 20+ minutes from Providence Park.
Portland has yet to win on the road though in 2023 and will need to be prepared for a focused FC Cincy squad.
MLS Week 9 Schedule:
7:30 pm – Philidelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – FC Cincinnati vs. Portland Timbers, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – Orlando City vs. DC United, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – NYCFC vs. FC Dallas, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – Charlotte FC vs. Columbus Crew, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – New England Revolution vs. Sporting KC, AppleTV+
7:30 pm – CF Montreal vs. New York Red Bulls, AppleTV+
8:30 pm – Nashville SC vs. LAFC, AppleTV+
8:30 pm – Houston Dynamo vs. Inter Miami, AppleTV+
9:30 pm – Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, AppleTV+
9:30 pm – Colorado Rapids vs. St. Louis City SC, AppleTV+
10:30 pm – Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United, AppleTV+
10:30 pm – LA Galaxy vs. Austin FC, AppleTV+
4:30 pm – Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire, AppleTV+
I hope Konrad de La Fuente follows Ledezma lead and joins MLS too. He could be a great addition in Miami or Orlando.