After some midweek action which saw NYCFC thrash Real Salt Lake 4-0 at Yankee Stadium, MLS returns this weekend with some legendary reunions, teams with points to prove and some heavyweight clashes also. Check out all the fixtures for week seven in MLS below.
Friday 13th April
Philadelphia Union vs Orlando City
Following Wednesday’s action, this weekend in MLS begins on a Friday yet again so if you don’t already have plans for tonight here you go.
Philadelphia are winless in their last three games and coming up against an Orlando City side in form, there’s a chance that can continue.
Since Dom Dwyer’s return to the Orlando starting eleven he’s proved to be the difference in the two games he’s played, scoring three goals and the winner in both against New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers last week.
However, Philly will take encouragement from the sides’ last meeting in October as they ran out 6-1 winners at the Talen Energy Stadium, something Fafa Picault is wary of:
Last time we played @OrlandoCitySC, we won 6-1.@Fafagoal23 says let's do it again in this match preview presented by @IBX. pic.twitter.com/pCaLwg00Fv
— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) April 12, 2018
Vancouver Whitecaps vs LAFC
Next up are Vancouver Whitecaps who return to Canada and welcome LAFC who continue their road adventures.
Both sides had relatively strong starts to the season but the last couple of weeks have been difficult.
After beating an in-form Columbus Crew, last week the Whitecaps endured a surprise 2-1 loss at the hands of Real Salt Lake.
As for LAFC, their LA Derby loss was followed by heavier embarrassment with a 5-0 defeat to Atlanta United where Daniel Garai concluded that LAFC’s wide men didn’t give their central midfielders enough help.
Bob Bradley will hope this issue will have been resolved so that people around MLS can start talking about his side for the right reasons again.
Saturday 14th April
New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact
Coming back below the border, and on the East Coast, New York Red Bulls play host to Montreal Impact who endured a heavy loss last week.
After the double giant-killing of Toronto and Seattle Sounders, Remi Garde’s side suffered a 4-0 loss against New England. All the goals were scored after Saphir Taider was dismissed early on.
Coming into this game after such a result is bound to knock the confidence of the Canadians, and with the opposition they’re up against, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be getting any better.
New York Red Bulls, despite losing their last MLS game 4-3 against Orlando, are a great outfit at the Red Bull Arena. In their last ten MLS games they’re unbeaten at home which should give them confidence.
Along with that, they’ve shown to be devasting in front of goal this season, scoring three goals or more in three games.
However, the Red Bulls may suffer from a Champions League hangover.
Colorado Rapids vs Toronto FC
Moving over to the West, Colorado Rapids welcome a Toronto side who have fell short of expectations so far this season.
They currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference after winning the MLS Cup last season but managed to claim their first win of the season last week.
However, Toronto may suffer from the continental hangover which has already hindered them this season as they were in Champions League action in midweek.
With this in mind and the fact that Colorado won their last home game 3-0 thanks to a Dominique Badji hat trick, they’ll be looking to cause a big upset if possible.
Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy
Heading over to Chicago, we have something of a reunion as ex-Manchester United players Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s side play each other.
Both of the footballing legends have proved to have had massive impacts on their teams this season and each side will be hoping for that to continue.
So far this season, Basti has notched three assists in three games and as Craig Thompson said earlier in the week, was key in their first win of the season against Columbus Crew.
As for LA Galaxy, I’m pretty sure everyone in the world has seen the instant impact made by Zlatan on his LA Derby debut a couple of weeks ago.
The Swede couldn’t bring the Galaxy back from behind in his next appearance, however, as they were beaten 2-0 by Sporting Kansas City last week.
So, going by those two player’s impacts on each other’s teams you may see a Chicago Fire victory this weekend
DC United vs Columbus Crew
Next up, is a game which has two teams looking to prove a point.
DC United are yet to win a game in MLS since September 2017 and currently sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with just two points this season.
On the other hand, Columbus Crew made a very encouraging start to this year’s MLS season, winning three of their first four games, however, they are yet to win in their last two.
Coming into gameweek seven they’ll be hoping to return to winning ways to maintain their good early position of fourth in the Eastern Conference with Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes possibly being their key men.
New England Revolution vs FC Dallas
What a few weeks its been for Brad Freidel. After a somewhat expected slow start to the 2018 MLS season, his New England Revolution side were sparked into life in their 2-2 draw with NYCFC in March.
Since then, Revolution have won back to back games, scoring six and conceding none in the process. A few consistent performers over that stretch of games have been Teal Bunbury and Diego Fagúndez who have both netted twice over the past three games so Freidel will hope the two can continue this form.
On the other hand, FC Dallas haven’t been in the best form coming into this game. Three draws from their last four games leave them seventh in the Eastern Conference but they’ll be hoping Roland Lamah will return to goalscoring form in an effort not to slip down the table.
Portland Timbers vs Minnesota United
Like Toronto FC, Portland are another big side looking to get back on track for this season.
Last season, the Timbers finished top of the Western Conference but are yet to register a win in this year’s MLS season.
Playing at home this could help their cause, along with Sebastian Blanco and Diego Valeri’s form but a win isn’t guaranteed but possibly very likely has Timbers have won six successive games at Providence Park.
San Jose Earthquakes vs Houston Dynamo
Taking a trip, a bit further south, San Jose host Houston Dynamo in a game that is an early bottom of the table clash.
Both sides impressed in their season openers with the Earthquakes beating Minnesota United 3-2 and Houston Dynamo thrashing Atlanta United 4-0, but since then both have struggled.
San Jose have since lost twice and drawn once, however, they have done well to score four goals in those three games. A record that if they keep up can help them to their second victory of the season.
Houston Dynamo have an identical record but with DaMarcus Beasley suspended after his red card in the last game, a 2-0 loss to New England, and this game being away from home it may be a tough ask for them to come away from the game with a win.
Sunday 15th April
Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders
Starting off Sunday’s action are Sporting Kansas City, who have been one of the most entertaining sides this season, and Seattle Sounders.
Whenever SKC are involved you can guarantee goals as they’ve struck 12 times already this season to take ensure they’ve been the best of the West so far.
A player who has been key to that is Felipe Gutierrez with five goals, who missed their victory over LA Galaxy through injury and is still questionable for this weekend.
However, they did prove they weren’t a one-man-team as last week’s goalscorers, Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russell making the MLS week six team of the week. With Russell’s goal winning goal of the week:
As for Seattle Sounders, things don’t look to be going in the right direction as, still in search for their first win of the season, with SKC keeping a couple of back to back clean sheets that may not be easy.
Also, Clint Dempsey has found his suspension to be carried over for this weekend which will only give the Sounders a tougher time.
Atlanta United vs NYCFC
Closing the weekend’s MLS action is possibly one of the most mouth-watering games.
Atlanta United host NYCFC and with both sides aiming for play off finishes, this could very much be a clash of the titans.
Since their season opener embarrassment, Atlanta have responded in great fashion, going on to win games comfortably and assert themselves on the league.
This was demonstrated expertly in their 5-0 rampage over LAFC last week, however, something has changed since then.
Star striker Josef Martinez, who has netted 24 times in 25 games for the Five Stripes, is questionable ahead of the game having left training this week with a cast on his left arm.
This will give an already strong NYCFC side even more encouragement as they’ll also be looking to continue their goalscoring form after that 4-0 win over RSL on Wednesday.
David Villa remains a doubt going into this one, however, Patrick Vieira’s side have been sharing the goals nicely this season and Villa doesn’t seem to be their only outlet for scoring goals which should help them go a long way.