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MLS Week 17 Preview: Union visit Earthquakes, Five Stripes host DC United, and more


The 2023 MLS regular season is nearing the midway point and several teams will be pushing to earn three points in Week 17 action.

Defending MLS Cup finalists Philadelphia Union are starting to find their groove after winning four-consecutive matches and riding a nine-match unbeaten league run. Jim Curtin’s squad will visit the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in the first of two back-to-back road matches.

The Quakes have won only one of their last five matches and will be eager for a statement win against the Union at PayPal Park.

Wayne Rooney’s DC United have quietly snuck up the Eastern Conference table and will next try and defeat Atlanta United this weekend. The Five Stripes have drawn each of their last three matches despite scoring seven goals over that span.

Christian Benteke and Thiago Almada will headline the attacking talent for both squads.

MLS leaders FC Cincinnati will face a tough road matchup this week as they visit the Vancouver Whitecaps. Elsewhere, the Columbus Crew visit Soldier Field for a showdown with the Chicago Fire.

Here is a closer look at the Top Week 17 Matches in MLS:

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philadelphia Union

Saturday, 9:30 pm ET, AppleTV+

Julian Carranza scored a brace last time out for the Philadelphia Union and he’ll be eager to build on his team-leading nine goals on Saturday in San Jose. The Union are currently on a nine-match unbeaten run in the league, which have seen them move up to third in the East table.

Philadelphia’s +12 goal differential is the second-best in the conference so far.

San Jose has is one of five MLS clubs that has not lost on home soil, winning five of its seven matches so far. However, Luchi Gonzalez’s squad have only won one of their last five matches overall, a trend that will need to change to move up the West standings.

Cristian Espinoza leads the team with eight goals while Jeremy Ebobisse has six off his own. Jamiro Montero will face off against his former club after spending three seasons in Philadelphia from 2019-21.

Atlanta United vs. DC United

Saturday, 7:30 pm ET, AppleTV+

Sixth meets seventh in Eastern Conference play on Saturday as DC United visits Atlanta United.

Atlanta United has only lost once at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season, but will be seeking to snap a three-match winless run in league play. Georgios Giakoumakis has continued to be a stellar signing for the Five Stripes after contributing nine goals in 12 league appearances. Thiago Almada is also dangerous with seven goals and seven assists to his name.

DC United has earned 11 points from nine road matches in 2023 and overall has only lost one of its last six matches. Christian Benteke has three goals scored in his last four appearances, continuing a strong first half of the season.

A win this weekend would put DC United one point off of its 2022 season tally of 27 points earned.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Cincinnati

Saturday, 9:30 pm ET, AppleTV+

FC Cincinnati holds a commanding eight-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield race heading into Week 17 action.

Pat Noonan’s squad have been firing on all cylinders, riding a 12-match unbeaten run across all competitions. A 3-1 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals victory over Pittsburgh Riverhounds advanced FC Cincy into the final four of the historic competition.

Brandon Vazquez has two goals in his last three appearances in all competitions.

The Vancouver Whitecaps have only lost once in their last five matches in all competitions, picking up recent victory over the Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo. Vanni Sartini’s men are sixth in the West standings with 21 points earned through 16 matches. Brian White and Julian Gressel have both been key in 2023, combining for nine goals and six assists to date.

Houston Dynamo vs. LAFC

Saturday, 8:30 pm ET, AppleTV+

The Houston Dynamo advanced to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals midweek and now will look to ride that form into a tough league showdown with Los Angeles FC.

Ben Olsen’s squad rolled past the Chicago Fire 4-1 midweek, using a brace from Ibrahim Aliyu to help pave the way. The Dynamo have been up-and-down overall in 2023, winning three of their last five matches overall in all competitions. Amine Bassi (six league goals) also scored midweek and has been the Dynamo’s leading attacker in league play.

LAFC will try and rebound from three-consecutive defeats in all competitions, which also featured last weekend’s Concacaf Champions League Finals loss to Club Leon. Steve Cherundolo’s squad was also eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in recent weeks, leaving just three trophies up for grabs later this year. Denis Bouanga continues to be the leading man for LAFC, totaling 10 league goals so far.

MLS Week 17 Schedule


7:30 pm – Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC, AppleTV+

7:30 pm – Atlanta United vs. DC United, AppleTV+

7:30 pm – Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids, AppleTV+

7:30 pm – CF Montreal vs. Minnesota United, AppleTV+

7:30 pm – Charlotte FC vs. Seattle Sounders, AppleTV+

7:30 pm – New England Revolution vs. Inter Miami, AppleTV+

8:30 pm – Houston Dynamo vs. LAFC, AppleTV+

8:30 pm – Sporting Kansas City vs. Austin FC, AppleTV+

8:30 pm – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew, AppleTV+

9:30 pm – Real Salt Lake vs. NYCFC, AppleTV+

10:30 pm – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philidelphia Union, AppleTV+

10:30 pm – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Cincinnati, AppleTV+


1:00 pm – St. Louis City SC vs. LA Galaxy, AppleTV+

10:00 pm – Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas, AppleTV+

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