MLS at Week 14: Congested conferences look for separation
Week 14 is here and a number of team puts their winning streaks on the line as the MLS season nears the halfway point.
[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings -- Week 13 ]
Toronto FC has kept a hold of MLS through 13 weeks, and Greg Vanney’s side has a comfortable advantage at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, several clubs like the LA Galaxy have found their footing as of late, and the surging side out west will put their recent form to test against D.C. United.
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes -- 11 p.m. EDT on Friday
The Timbers have allowed 21 goals thus far, the second-most of any team in either conference currently sitting in a playoff position. It’s quite clear what’s wrong with Portland to this point, but can they fix their defensive woes? Meanwhile, the Quakes will hope for similar fortunes against the Timbers from the last time the sides met, a 3-0 win for Dominic Kinnear and Co.
New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union -- 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The Union finally cooled off against RSL last time out, while NYCFC is the one going through some struggles now with just one win in five. NYCFC is fourth in MLS in goals scored (25)
Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United -- 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The Loons haven’t strung together back-to-back wins in their inaugural season. Can Adrian Heath get his side past that hurdle on Saturday?
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Atlanta United -- 5:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The Whitecaps have alternated wins and losses for the past three weeks and yet the Canadian side is just one point outside of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Atlanta, however, has returned to its shining form from early in the season with big victories over Houston and NYCFC as of late. With a lot of talented teams in the middle of the pack in the East it could be tricky getting a playoff position, but Atlanta is going to be fun to watch all season, regardless of where they finish.
D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy -- 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The Galaxy are the hottest side in MLS not named Toronto FC, but they’ll quietly go about their business for as long as they can. The Western Conference side has scored nine goals in their last three matches, all wins, and now the Galaxy have a chance to jump higher out west with a win over a topsy-turvy D.C. United side.
New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC -- 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday
Is anybody going to stop Toronto FC in the near future? Highly doubtful. TFC’s unbeaten run is up to eight matches now, and the Canadian side is smashing its opponents in that span with 19 goals for while only allowing six.
Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls -- 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The bleeding appears to have stopped for the Red Bulls after back-to-back results while the Impact picked up a huge victory over the Timbers. The Impact still sit buried at the bottom of the East to this point though, so a win would go a long way against the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake -- 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday
After starting off hot this season, Dallas has cooled off lately, with the club failing to win in their last three. The goals haven’t come in that span either, as Oscar Pareja’s group has tallied just one finish since their May 14 draw against NYCFC.
Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew -- 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday
The Rapids have something positive to build off of after knocking off Sporting KC last weekend, while the Crew continue to be a difficult puzzle to figure out. Greg Berhalter’s side went out a laid an egg in the form of a 5-0 defeat in Toronto last weekend before beating the Sounders at home. Consistency is certainly lacking for both clubs.
Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire -- 7:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday
In one of the clashes of the weekend the Lions look to regain their fortress status at home after falling to New York City FC last time out down in Orlando. Their opponent though is a side on a mission after the Fire have racked up four straight wins and five consecutive positive results in recent weeks. Veljko Paunovic’s men currently sit in second place in the East, a position most people didn’t expect the club to be in after last season’s struggles.
Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo -- 10 p.m. EDT on Sunday
The Sounders are only one point out of a playoff spot in the west but this isn’t the team we expected to see when the season began. Meanwhile, the Dynamo continue to be one of the most pleasantly surprising teams in MLS as the Texas club sits atop the Western Conference. They’ll go for their first away win of the season on Sunday despite boasting a perfect home record.