Preview: There May Be an International Break But That Won’t Stop New York City FC From Trying to Maintain Their 100% Record in Week Four of MLS

MLS Preview

Coinciding with the international break, this week in MLS only sees six games take place but of these six games there are some interesting match ups. Check out all the fixtures below:

Saturday 24th March

New England Revolution vs NYCFC

Last week Brad Friedel’s New England Revolution weren’t in action, but that may not have been the best thing going into this week’s fixture.

Despite picking up their first win of the season against Colorado a couple of weeks ago, it would have been nice to build some momentum before welcoming the steam train that is NYCFC.

Patrick Vieira’s side may be without mainstays like Alex Ring and Rodney Wallace, who are away on international duty, and David Villa who is a doubt after picking up a calf injury, NYCFC should go into this game with confidence.

They come into this one being the only team to maintain a 100% record after three games this season in MLS. Also, with Villa only getting on the scoreboard once this season, the Bronx-based side have shown they can spread the goals throughout the team.

However, New England will take encouragement that since arriving in MLS, NYCFC have only won on one of their trips to Gillette Stadium.

FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers

The second game of the week looks to be very nicely poised as FC Dallas look to build on their strong win last week and Portland hope to avenge their poor start.

After a false start in a draw with Real Salt Lake, last week FC Dallas ran riot as they dispatched a disappointing Seattle Sounders 3-0.

Despite Dallas being a man up for most of the game that didn’t take away from Roland Lamah’s brace which was secured with a nice chip. He’ll be looking to continue his scoring form this weekend.

As for Portland, it’s been more than a disappointing start to 2018 for last year’s top dogs of the Western Conference.

In his first few competitive games as Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese lost out narrowly to LA Galaxy before getting thrashed 4-0 at New York Red Bulls.

However, unlike New England, Portland’s extra week’s rest could’ve helped them to pause and find out what has been going wrong before doing battle again this Saturday.

Columbus Crew vs D.C. United

Returning to Mapfre Stadium, Columbus Crew will be hoping to rediscover their form from the two opening weeks of this season.

After two convincing wins against Toronto FC and Monreal Impact, Crew stuttered last week as their visit to Philadelphia Union ended in a goalless draw.

The key man so far this season for the Crew has been Gyasi Zardes who bagged three goals in his first two games so if they are to find that early form again he will be instrumental. Despite his strong start to the season the 26-year-old wasn’t selected by the USMNT.

In D.C. United’s case, they’re still looking for their first win of the season have come away with two draws and a loss from their first three games.

Last week they showed great character to revive themselves and salvage a 2-2 draw against Houston Dynamo, however, this was after D.C. gave away two horrendous goals so it’s hard not to see Columbus Crew coming out on top in this one.

New York Red Bulls vs Minnesota United

After last week’s upset against Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls will look to bounce back to winning ways at the Red Bull Arena.

Some put their loss against RSL down to the CONCACAF Champions League ‘hangover’ after they beat Club Tijuana in midweek. Luckily, they haven’t had to deal with international travels this week.

With that in mind, this is a game that the Red Bulls should really be winning. However, in their second MLS season, Minnesota United have been picking up in form this year.

After losing their season opener 3-2 against Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota have responded in the best possible way by winning back to back games against Orlando City and Chicago Fire.

Yes, the Red Bulls will be favourites for this match but with momentum on their side, can Minnesota cause another early MLS upset?

Colorado Rapids vs Sporting Kansas City

After last week’s loss to New England Revolution this match may have come at the wrong time for the Colorado Rapids.

Despite being at home, they’ll be welcoming a Sporting Kansas City side who have been shelling out goals for fun this season.

After firing a blank in their season opener, SKC have scored seven goals in their last two games. The one player who has been prominent in those two games is Felipe Gutierrez who has three of those goals, however, it might not all go SKC’s way this weekend.

Side have also conceded seven goals in their first three MLS games of the season, a number that Colorado will look to increase with the inclusion of new striker Yannick Boli who arrives from the Chinese Super League.

One thing that should be a guarantee in this game is goals, goals, goals.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy

The final MLS game of the weekend will see Vancouver Whitecaps try to restore balance after the 4-0 thrashing given to them by Atlanta United last week.

Atlanta were somewhat assisted by Kendall Watson’s sending off who the Whitecaps would’ve been without anyway this week as he’s been selected to represent Costa Rica in this week’s international break.

Along with the absence of one of their designated players, there is also a doubt that Kei Kamara will return to action as he could still be affected by the groin strain which kept him out last week.

LA Galaxy find themselves in a somewhat similar situation as they look to return to winning ways after their 2-1 loss to NYCFC a couple of weeks ago. Along with the loss, Ashley Cole was sent off late in the game.

So, with both sides looking to avenge losses hopefully this game will see them both go for it.