MLS Previews (Aug 3/4)
MLS Game Previews (Aug 3)
Sporting Kansas City V New York Red Bulls
In this top of the Eastern Conference clash the hosts will be looking to return to winning ways after last weeks reversal to the Montreal Impact. When the two met earlier in the season at Red Bull Arena it was Sporting who prevailed with a tight 1-0 victory.
A win for New York will see them jump KC as they look to continue their unbeaten run which currently stands at three games. Unfortunately the late win they got over Real Salt Lake came at a price as the opening goal scorer Tim Cahill suffered a torn PCL in his right knee and although surgery is not needed he is expected to out three to four weeks.
DC United V Montreal Impact
The home side will be looking to end a run of two consecutive defeats when they meet the Canadian team for the first time this campaign.
The Impact buoyed by their victory last time out over leaders Sporting Kansas City will be hoping to extend their unbeaten streak to three matches against the basement side.
Philadelphia Union V Chicago Fire
The hosts go looking for back-to-back wins that will extend their unbeaten run to four games to help them keep pace at the top end of the Eastern Conference. They should go into the game in a positive frame of mind as they have registered two victories over the Fire already this season.
The fire who sit five points behind New England, who occupies the final playoff spot are currently unbeaten in their last two outings. Fire defender Bakary Soumare who joined in a trade with the Union on May 23 is set to face his old team for the first time. Chicago’s new Designated Player, forward Juan Luis Anangonó, could also be available for this game.
Colorado Rapids V Real Salt Lake
A win for the Rapids would put them level on points with the Western Conference leaders RSL and they go into the encounter on the back of a six game unbeaten run. Having already defeated the visitors earlier in the campaign confidence will be high going into this contest.
The same cannot be said of RSL who have lost their last two outings including a heartbreak 4-3 loss to New York last week, although Costa Rican forward Alvaro Saborio, who was in the team for the first time since returning from playing for his National team at the Gold Cup was named MLS Player Of The Week for his suburb hat-trick. With the standings so tight however a prolonged slump in form would see the away side fall rapidly.
Houston Dynamo V Columbus Crew
The Dynamo come into this encounter protecting a three match unbeaten run. If other scores go their way a spot in the final playoff berth could be owned by them. The hosts will also be bolstered by the returning Will Bruin who was a squad member in the victorious USA team that lifted the Gold Cup last weekend.
By contrast the Crew enter preceding’s in woeful form having lost five of their last six games and in danger of falling out of contention for a playoff spot. There will also be a new owner in charge as well. The Hunt Sports Group sold the entirety of the Crew to the Precourt Sports Ventures LLC. Managing partner Anthony Precourt takes over as the new chairman and investor-operator of the team.
San Jose Earthquakes V Chivas USA
The Earthquakes will hope to keep up their improved form as they look to extend their two game winning streak as they push to claim a playoff berth against the cellar dwellers. It was also announced this week that the new Stadium being built would not not open to the second half of the 2014 season, due to the additional time it has taken to demolish the previous structures that were under the soil.
Chivas who themselves had a brief upturn in form are coming of a loss to Seattle in their previous outing. The one bright spot has being the play of Twenty-year-old striker Erick Torres who has being in sparkling form of late with goals in both of his two games since joining Chivas USA on loan from its Mexican League affiliate, Chivas de Guadelajara, on July 10.
Seattle Sounders V FC Dallas
The sounders will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run to three games as they continue to look to close the gap on the playoff places. Self belief should be high also as when the two met earlier in the season at the same venue Seattle ran out 4-2 winners. Marc Burch proved also they have versatility as he made the transition from his left back spot into midfield and his performance earned him a place in the MLS team of the week.
FC Dallas were idol last week in MLS but did manage to end their two game losing skid with a well earned 0-0 draw against Portland last time out. Sitting just outside the playoff places on goal difference in the ultra tight Western Conference they know a good spell of form could quickly propel them up the standings.
Portland Timbers V Vancouver Whitecaps
The Timbers will be looking to get back to winning ways after surprisingly tasting defeat last time out against San Jose. Sitting second in the Western Conference standings they know any more dropped points could see them freight-trained by the teams below them.
The Whitecaps have also hit a sticky patch themselves as two straight defeats have left them hanging precariously to the last playoff berth on goal difference. When these two teams met earlier in the campaign in Canada it ended in a 2-2 draw.
New England Revolution V Toronto FC (Aug 4th)
The Revs secured their second consecutive win last time out as came from behind to defeat DC United. More importantly Kevin Alston returned to the field making his first appearances since March 30 after being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), he played the last 10 minutes in front of about 50 family and friends. When the two teams met earlier in the season it was New England that prevailed with a 2-0 victory, a score they would gladly take this time around as they cling on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The visitors will be looking to gain back-to-back victories after their success over Columbus last time out. Even with that win they still remain thirteen points behind the hosts and this really is a must win game if they have a realistic chance of post season play.
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