With the MLS season coming to a close teams are aiming to secure home advantage for the new single-elimination format MLS Playoffs.
New York City have all but secured top seeding in the Eastern Conference while Carlos Vela’s Los Angeles FC already know they will be playing their Conference Semi-Final at home in the Banc of California Stadium.
Atlanta United vs San Jose Earthquakes, 21st September 3:30PM
All conquering Atlanta United face a difficult test against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon. Frank de Boer’s side have a short preparation time having faced Cincinnati FC on Thursday night. The current MLS Cup holders have already secured their post-season place but they still have an outside chance of clawing back Eastern Conference rivals NYCFC and claiming top seed.
Looking ahead to this game, a lot with rely on the broad shoulders of last season’s MVP Josef Martinez. Atlanta’s powerful striker has scored in 15 straight games and he’s on course to break the 30-goal mark once more. San José have recently got into the habit of dominating possession in games before going on to lose 2-1.
A repeat of that result may be on the cards here.
New England Revolution vs Real Salt Lake, 21st September 7:30PM
An interesting East-West match up between two teams on the playoff bubble. New England currently sit in 7th in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire with a game in-hand. There has been plenty of excitement in the Revolution’s games but unfortunately for manager Bruce Arena, most of the goals have come at the wrong end of the pitch. Despite only losing 10 games all season, they have conceded a staggering 52 goals.
Salt Lake are in 4th place in the congested Western Conference. They will probably spend the next few weeks looking over their shoulder with 8th place FC Dallas only three points behind. Six points in their next three games should be enough to see them through to the playoffs and they have every chance of picking up a win in Foxborough on Saturday. Expect there to be plenty of goals in this one.
Los Angeles FC vs Toronto FC, 21st September, 10:30PM
Western Conference leaders Los Angeles FC face Toronto FC at home on Saturday night. This match sees Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley face his father’s team. Former Swansea and USMNT Coach Bob Bradley will be in the dugout for LAFC.
The Black and Gold are going through a slump, four straight matches without a win. They ripped through the Western Conference in the early season and they have established a 14-point gap between them and nearest rivals Seattle. They have secured a bye into the Conference Semi-Finals already and they may just be easing off as we head towards the post-season.
In contrast, Toronto have found a good vein of form. The Reds are unbeaten in their last seven league games including a recent win against Colorado. A win for the Canadians in this fixture will all but guarantee home advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Expect Toronto to pull off a shock against the league leaders.