MLS Game Previews
Portland Timbers V Colorado Rapids 20 September
The Timbers will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to three games and gain their second straight win against the Rapids as they look to close the gap on the two teams above them. Colorado who have won two in a row and three of their last four currently hold down the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Montreal Impact V Vancouver Whitecaps 21 September
After losing last time out the home side will be hoping to get back to winnings ways as that result saw them drop a place from the head of the Eastern Conference as these two meet for the first time this campaign. The visitors gained a point in their last encounter but their push for the playoffs keeps getting derailed by their lack of consistency, at the moment they sit seventh and are five points out of a playoff place, as they have dropped three of their last five games and are winless during that time. Andy O’Brien and Johnny Leveron are expected to be in contention for this game after overcoming back and a calf strain they picked up in training last week. Captain Jay DeMerit may also be inline for his first start since he returned from a long injury lay-off.
Toronto FC V Sporting Kansas City
A loss in their last outing added to the hosts poor recent run of form which has seen them on the reverse end of the scoreline in four of their last seven outings to virtually eliminate themselves from playoff contention. They did however register a win against Sporting when the two side met in Canada back in March. Having won two consecutive matches the visitors would have probable have preferred not to have being idle last weekend. Their inactivity has meant although they still sit third in the Eastern Conference they do however now trail the leaders by three points. When the two teams last met in July though it was Sporting who come out comfortable on top 3-0, that game was however on their own ground. This week they added to their options when they signed defender Federico Bessone, most recently of Oldham Athletic. He will be added to the teams roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa, and will occupy a senior international roster spot.
New England Revolution V DC United
The Revs with be looking to snap their two game losing skid against the Eastern Conference basement side. When the two teams last squared off in July it was the hosts who came out on top by a score of 2-1 and that game was in DC as well. Juan Toja, original from Columbia this week gained permanent US residency and is therefore taken of the International quota for the club. The visitors stopped the bleeding last time out as a draw ended their two game losing run but they have still found defeats hard to avoid lately as they have lost four of their last six encounters.
Columbus Crew V Chicago Fire
The Crew will be looking to record back-to-back victories as they look to haul-back the two teams above them as they try to close the five point gap between them and a playoff place. Having only lost two of their last ten games the Fire finally got into the playoff places for the first time this campaign. With the tightness of the Eastern Conference they know now having got there the hard work is now to stay there, but they have recorded two successes already this term against the Crew so confidence will be high they can sweep the season series.
Houston Dynamo V Chivas USA
After they had lost their previous two the hosts ended that run with a victory last time out that cemented their position in fourth in the East, well at least for another week as they will still have an eye over their shoulder looking at the chasing pack. Chivas although marooned at the foot of the Western Conference are quietly on a decent run of form as they have only lost once in their last four matches and will be hoping to continue that form as they two squads meet for the first time this season.
Real Salt Lake V San Jose Earthquakes
After coming into their last game on a two game winning run and a three game unbeaten streak that was stopped as well as them losing the top spot in the Western Conference. In their two previous games this term against their opponents they have registered two wins and they will be hoping to make it a clean sweep for the season series as they look to reclaim the league leadership. With a two match unbeaten run to protect and with only having lost one of their previous five matches the Earthquakes know if they put together a strong run-in they could still make the post-season as they only trail the final playoff berth by five points even though they do have three places to make up and they have played one more match that most of the teams around them.
LA Galaxy V Seattle Sounders
After going two games without a victory the hosts have seen themselves slip to fourth in the Western Conference and five points behind their opponents. They do have a resounding success from when the teams last met here in May as they left the field celebrating a 4-0 win. After five straight wins and eight in their last nine games the Sounders are heading in the opposite direction and currently lead out West, although it is still tight with them just holding a slim one point advantage over their closes rival. After his fine performance at the weekend Obafemi Martins was named MLS Player of the Week.
New York Red Bulls V FC Dallas – 22 September
With three consecutive victories behind them the hosts now sit a top of the Eastern Conference with a three point advantage over their nearest competitor as they get set to meet FC Dallas for the first time this season. There may be some more good news for the Red Bulls also as coach Mike Petke hinted that Tim Cahill could see some action this week as he works his way back to full fitness from a torn ankle ligament. The visitors saw their three game unbeaten streak snapped when their were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline against Colorado last time out. Although they did manage to say in sixth position out West they now trail by three points the team holding the final playoff spot.