New York City FC vs Orlando City | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Orlando City

Yankee Stadium – Saturday, June 2nd 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Preview

Saturday evening sees New York City FC welcome Orlando City to Yankee Stadium. Both the Eastern Conference sides are in an inconsistent run of form.

Patrick Vieira’s NYCFC come into this one having won just two of their last five games. As a result of their recent run they have lost a little ground in the race at the top of the East. Although they are sitting third, they are just two points behind the leaders.

Form at Yankee Stadium paints a completely different picture for New York City FC. They have won all five of their home fixtures and will be looking at this game as a winnable one.

Orlando City have lost three games on the bounce. They are in danger of slipping out of the top six and considering their form earlier in the season it will be disappointing for all involved.

Jason Kreis’ side saw their inability to find the back of the net when they are on top cost them last time out. They lost 2-1 for the third game in a row, this time at the hands of Chicago. In stark contrast, some clinical finishing was enough for Chicago to inflict that defeat on Orlando.

The Lions are hoping for the return of Dom Dwyer, they have not been the same side without him. The striker has six goals in the seven games he has played – so it’s no surprise they have missed his input.

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Team News

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🌏 International Duty: Ronald Matarrita and Rodney Wallace.

🚑 Out: Yangel Herrera (ankle).

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Dom Dwyer (lower body injury), Scott Sutter (lower body injury), Lamine Sane (lower body injury) and Jonathan Spector (concussion).

🌏 International Duty: Yoshi Yotun and Amro Tarek.

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar and Chris Schuler(broken arm).

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Key Stats

New York City’s MLS form: W/L/D/W/L

Orlando City’s MLS form: W/W/L/L/L

Key stat: New York City FC have a 100% record at Yankee Stadium in the 2018 regular season. They’ve won all five of their home fixtures.

New York City vs Orlando City venue for their next meeting

MLS: NYC FC vs. LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., USA, on Monday, Mar 12, 2018. Photo: Ashley Marshall

New York City FC vs Orlando City: Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 Orlando City: Despite Orlando being in a difficult run of form there is encouragement for them as they are still finding the back of the net. NYCFC’s Yankee Stadium form and superior league position makes it difficult to see anything but a home win. No game is a given, but Orlando have work to do if they are to bring that 100% home record to a stop.

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New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, May 26th 2018 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage – Live on Sky Sports Football

New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union: Preview

Saturday evening sees New York Red Bulls welcome Philadelphia Union to Red Bull Arena. The Eastern Conference rivals are separated by seven points ahead of the tie.

It’s been a very good run of form for the home side. They have won four on the bounce, coming into the game off the back of their 3-1 away win against Atlanta.

That win last time out was made all the more impressive as Jesse Marsch’s side came back from 1-0 to take all three points back to New York. More of the same will be expected from the Red Bulls faithful here.

Philadelphia Union have bounced back. They have won their last two after losing two on the bounce and now is the time for them to find some consistency.

A 4-1 win last time out against RSL was exactly the kind of performance the Union needed to produce having previously won 2-0 against Montreal.

If history is anything to go by, Philadelphia fans can expect a difficult game with a slim chance of taking anything away with them – managing just one win in the all-time series on the road.

New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union: Team News

New York Red Bulls

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Marc Rzatkowski (calf injury), Kemar Lawrence (head injury) and Tyler Adams (knee).

🌏 International Duty: Fidel Escobar and Derrick Etienne Jr.

🚑 Out: Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL) and Luis Robles (knee injury).

Philadelphia

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🌏 International Duty: None.

🚑 Out: Richie Marquez (sports hernia surgery) and Joshua Yaro (concussion).

New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union: Key Stats

New York Red Bulls’ MLS form: L/W/W/W/W

Philadelphia Union’s MLS form: W/L/L/W/W

Key stat: Philadelphia Union have won just once away at New York Red Bulls in the all-time series.

New York Red Bulls vs Philadelphia Union: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Philadelphia Union: Despite winning three of their last five, Philadelphia Union have struggled to make much of an impact away against New York Red Bulls. Jesse Marsch will be expecting his side to continue their winning streak but will be more than aware of the threat the Union pose.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Sunday, April 29 2018 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Preview

Sunday afternoon sees Colorado Rapids welcome Orlando City to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids sit 8th in the Western Conference, while Orlando are 3rd in the East.

Last weekend was Colorado’s first loss since Week 1. They can feel hard done by not to see performances reflect a higher position in the standings – having won two, drawn two and lost two.

This is going to be a test for Anthony Hudson’s side, who are welcoming an Orlando outfit in good form. They are going to be without their ‘keeper, Tim Howard, who saw red for handling the ball outside of the area.

Orlando have won four games on the bounce. That is most certainly playoff form and they are hoping the good run can continue here.

It is not going to straightforward though and they must iron out some defensive frailties. Their 3-2 win over San Jose last weekend should have been far more comfortable. At 3-0 up the game was out of sight but weak defending from crossing made for a cagey ending to that one.

The only previous meeting between the two in Colorado ended 0-0, while the Lions are yet to lose against the Rapids. That by no means implies an away is guaranteed, which Orlando will be all too aware of.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Team News

Colorado Rapids

❌ Suspensions: Tim Howard.

❓ Doubts: Danny Wilson (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: Kortne Ford (knee) and Marlon Hairston (knee).

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: RJ Allen (hamstring).

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (localized Ewing sarcoma), Scott Sutter (lower body) and Jonathan Spector.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Key Stats

Colorado Rapids’ MLS form: D/W/D/W/L

Orlando City’s MLS form: L/W/W/W/W

Key stat: Orlando City are one win away from equalling the longest win streak (five) since their inception to MLS.

Colorado Rapids vs Orlando City: Prediction

Colorado Rapids 2-2 Orlando City: Given Rapids recent form it’s difficult to see them losing this one, despite missing Howard and having lost last time out. Orlando’s winning run adds pressure to both sides – it is going to be an interesting tie which has the potential for goals. Score draw.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy

Toyota Park – Saturday, April 14th 2018 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Saturday afternoon sees Chicago Fire welcome LA Galaxy to Toyota Park. There is plenty of interest in this one, with Bastian Schweinsteiger facing off against former Manchester United teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The home side have picked up after a disappointing start to the 2018 season. Their back-to-back losses have been followed up with a draw and their first win of the campaign.

That 1-0 win came against Crew SC in a hard fought game. It’s not going to be an easy afternoon for Chicago this weekend, as their squad is still riddled with injuries. Much of the same fighting spirit from last weekend is going to be needed.

LA Galaxy are looking to get back to winning ways. They come into this one having lost 2-0 at home against Sporting KC. Despite that loss they still sit third in the Western Conference. It was a tough one to take given how many chance Galaxy created.

Cameras will once again be on Ibrahimovic, who is heading back to fitness and hoping for more involvement here. Both of his appearances have been off the bench, but whether he is ready to start from the off remains to be seen.

There are some questions surrounding The Galaxy defence, who have conceded five goals in their last two games. Given their recent form on the road they cannot afford to give Chicago easy chances.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Chicago Fire

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Mo Adams (left elbow), Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture) and Kevin Ellis (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), Jorge Corrales (infection), Matt Polster (MCL sprain) and Luis Solignac (left quad).

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring) and Michael Ciani (groin).

🚑 Out: Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Key Stats

Chicago Fire’s MLS form: L/L/D/W

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L/D/W/L

Key stat: Homesick – LA Galaxy haven’t won the road in their last 11 attempts.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Chicago Fire 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Fire look like they’re waking up after that sluggish start and are ready to climb the Eastern Conference. There is ground to make up – so a win here would be a more than welcomed result. LA Galaxy are still looking good in the West despite a couple of shaky results. It’s important that they can end a winless run on the road but a score draw looks a more likely outcome this weekend.

MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 6 – Atlanta winger stars in dominant win

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Week 6 saw plenty of action as 24 goals were scored across eight fixtures. Atlanta United made sure they played their part in contributing to that number, as they beat new boys LAFC 5-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At the heart of that performance was Julian Gressel. The winger put in an impressive display, scoring the opener and providing an assist – which is why he is MLSGB Attacking Player of the Week. 

It took Gressel just 17 minutes to break the deadlock. The game remained relatively even from that point onwards, up until just shy of the 70-minute mark when Gressel dinked in a perfect cross for Josef Martinez to make it 2-0. The second goal all but sealed it for Atlanta before they went on a three goal-spree in nine minutes at the end of the game.

Much like Atlanta’s performance, Gressel was efficient. He needed just one shot on target to score his goal, while his one chance created was taken by Martinez. His pass accuracy wasn’t overly impressive, however that won’t be seen as much of an issue by the Atlanta faithful.

From the statistical graphic below you can see just how busy Gressel was during the game. A vast majority of his failed passes (red arrows) were either balls into the box or from within his own half – which shows his desire to look to create chances and get his team moving forward. His assist came from a phase of play which every good winger is expected to provide from, getting down to the byline and delivering.

A detailed look at Julian Gressel’s display in the 5-0 win over LAFC (Stats via @StatsZone)

The 24 year old has been a regular in Tata Martino’s side this season, starting all five games. He will be hoping to continue to contribute, although his strike in the 5-0 win was his first goal of the season, he already has three assists, justifying his place in the starting XI.

Don’t miss: MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 6

Next up for Atlanta is a huge game at the top of the Eastern Conference, as they host NYCFC on Sunday evening. Gressel will be looking to continue his good run of early season form and help his side go top of the standings.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City

StubHub Center – Sunday, April 8th 2018 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Preview

Sunday evening sees LA Galaxy welcome Sporting Kansas City to StubHub Center. The Galaxy fans will be holding out for back-to-back wins.

Last weekend had it all in the LA Derby. With Galaxy’s new hero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, coming off the beach with his side 3-1 down, to bag a brace and help turn things around for a 4-3 victory.

While there was plenty of excitement across the globe for that game, the LA Galaxy faithful will be hoping for a calmer performance, with an improved defensive display.

Sporting Kansas City come into this one having won 1-0 at home against DC. The Western Conference leaders will be looking to send out a message to the chasing pack with an away win here.

Peter Vermes saw his side lose in their season opener and they have responded well. Unbeaten in their last four (W3, D1) they look like they mean business.

Sporting KC have had good form against the Galaxy in the last six meetings between the two, winning three and drawing three. There has been plenty of action in those six games, with 15 goals scored – if that’s anything to go by it should be a good one.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Team News

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring) and Michael Ciani (groin).

🚑 Out: Romain Alessandrini (hamstring) and Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

Sporting Kansas City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Felipe Gutierrez (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: None.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Key Stats

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L/D/W

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS form: L/W/W/D/W

Key stat: SKC have won just one of their last ten games on the road.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-2 Sporting Kansas City – Score draw. There isn’t much to split the two ahead of this fixture. The Galaxy will be buoyed by their dramatic comeback last week and with players returning from injury, things are looking up. Sporting KC know this is going to be a tough visit – however, given their recent form against LA Galaxy and that they’re top of the pile in the West, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them come away with a share of the spoils.

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake

BMO Field – Friday, March 30 2018 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST)

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake: Preview

The current MLS Cup holders Toronto FC are looking to pick up their first points of the 2018 season as they welcome Real Salt Lake to BMO Field on Friday evening.

It has not been a good start to the new campaign for Toronto, domestically that is, as they have lost their first two. However, before the alarm bells start ringing around the club, their success in reaching the Concacaf Champions League semifinals (this coming Tuesday) against Club America is partly the reason why.

With that said, they cannot afford to allow a winless streak to set in. They sit bottom of the East, already ten points behind the leaders, although that is with two games in hand.

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake: TFC fans hoping for first win of 2018 season

The bye week wasn’t exactly kind to Greg Vanney’s thoughts, eight of his squad were in International action and with the games coming thick and fast, he will be keeping a close eye on his players and their intensity levels.

Real Salt Lake visit BMO Field having experienced all three ups and downs at the opening of this season. They have played three games picking up four points (1-1-1). They will be aiming to find some consistency in their quest to be making the playoffs this season.

Their well-disciplined performance to pick up a 1-0 win against RBNY last time out was exactly what their fans wanted to see.

RSL haven’t enjoyed the best form in their away trips to Toronto, having won just one of four meetings between the sides. Away form is a concern for Real Salt Lake too, they have lost 22 games and conceded 72 goals since the start of the 2016 season. That is the third-worst record on the road in MLS during that time span.

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake: Team News

Toronto FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Justin Morrow (calf strain) and Chris Mavinga (abdominal discomfort).

🚑 Out: None.

Real Salt Lake

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Aaron Herrera (groin), Marcelo Silva (hamstring) and Joao Plata (hamstring).

🚑 Out: Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), Jordan Allen (knee) and Taylor Peay (knee).

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake: Key Stats

Toronto FC’s MLS form: L/L

Real Salt Lake’s MLS form: D/L/W

Key stat: Toronto will become the first defending champion to start the following season with three straight defeats if they lose this game.

Toronto FC vs Real Salt Lake: Prediction

Toronto FC 2-1 Real Salt Lake: It has the makings of a close game all things considered. TFC will have more than a close eye on their semifinal next week heading into this one. That is by no means through a lack of respect for RSL – just the nature of knockout competitions. Salt Lake will see this as a tie that they can pick up points from. However, the TFC faithful will be expecting their side to get their first win of the season.

MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 4 – RBNY striker makes history

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Draws were a common theme in a muted round of fixtures during Week 4. Despite four of the six games ending with teams sharing the spoils, there were still plenty of goals and exciting attacking play. New York Red Bulls will feel they had the best result of the week, with a comfortable 3-0 home win against Minnesota. At the heart of that attacking display was Mr Reliable, Bradley Wright-Phillips. He bagged himself a brace in a typically calm performance and that’s why he is the MLSGB Attacking Player of the Week.

BWP was in fine form in front of goal, scoring one in each half, putting his side third in the Eastern Conference. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Englishman during his time in MLS. However, those two goals mean he has scored more goals than any player in MLS history over a five-year span.

The forward needed just three shots on goal for his brace. He fell short in some of the other areas of his performance in terms of pass completion, but that won’t be much of a concern to the RBNY fans.

Wright-Phillips took his goal tally to three for the season. He laid on just the one chance for his teammates during his 81 minutes on the field.

It was a game of clinical finishing for BWP, which doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. He took his second goal in some style, showing great composure under pressure.

Don’t miss: MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 4

It’s already proving to be a very competitive battle in the Eastern Conference. With quite a few surprise results already being thrown into the mix, the pressure is going to be on forwards like Wright-Phillips to take the chances they are provided with.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy

BC Place – Saturday, March 24 2018 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps welcome a depleted LA Galaxy side to BC Place on Saturday evening. Both sides come into the game off the back of losses last time out. Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined LA Galaxy on Friday but will not be available this weekend.

The Whitecaps are sitting fourth in the Western Conference. Their 4-1 loss at Atlanta last weekend was a game to forget. Kendall Waston’s red card in the opening 15 minutes changed the course of that tie, leaving his side struggling a man down.

Carl Robinson will be expecting a response from his side. After winning their opening two games they are going to look to build upon a strong start to 2018.

LA Galaxy could be without up to 11 players for this tie through international call-ups, injuries and suspension to their captain, Ashley Cole.

Sigi Schmid has an unenviable task on his hands here. The last thing the Galaxy will have wanted is an away trip on top of all those absentees.

Galaxy didn’t play last weekend and are looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to NYCFC in Week 2. You could forgive Galaxy fans for thinking they have very little chance of coming away from BC Place with a positive result, but stranger things have happened.

The Galaxy will hope the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic could spark fresh life into the team, especially if he is available to make his debut in next week’s LA Derby.

LA Galaxy defender Ashley Cole (3) hands the captain’s armband to midfielder Jonathan dos Santos (8) in an MLS game between NYCFC and the LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., USA, on Monday, Mar 12, 2018. Photo: Ashley Marshall

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps

🌎 International duty: Kendall Waston and Myer Bevan.

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Doneil Henry, Marcel de Jong and Kei Kamara.

🚑 Out: Aly Ghazal (left hamstring strain) and Justin Fiddes (right ankle sprain).

LA Galaxy

🌎 International duty: Ola Kamara and Emrah Klimenta.

❌ Suspensions: Ashley Cole.

❓ Doubts: Chris Pontius (lower back), Michael Ciani (groin) and Perry Kitchen (MCL).

🚑 Out: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (yet to join up with team), Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring), Romain Alessandrini (hamstring), Joao Pedro (hamstring) and Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy: Key Stats

Vancouver Whitecaps’ MLS form: W/W/L

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L

Key stat: The Whitecaps have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven games against LA Galaxy in all competitions.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 LA Galaxy: Given that LA Galaxy have got so many players missing, a Vancouver win looks likely. The Whitecaps have enjoyed good form in recent times against Galaxy, they’re unbeaten in their last three meetings, winning the last two. Schmid will be hoping to avoid anymore injuries to his side and get this one out of the way.

Columbus Crew vs DC United | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Columbus Crew vs DC United

MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 25 2018 – 18:00 ET (22:00 GMT)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Preview

Saturday evening sees Columbus Crew take on Eastern Conference rivals DC United live on Sky Sports Football for UK fans.

Columbus Crew sit second in the East after failing to make it three wins in a row to start their 2018 campaign. Their 0-0 draw with Philadelphia did however keep their unbeaten run intact and they will be hoping to continue that streak here.

An impressive start to the season has been helped by the partnership formed by new signing Gyasi Zardes and Crew SC favourite Federico Higuain. Although they failed to combine to break the deadlock last time out, they are already proving to be a very real threat to opposition defences.

DC’s comeback from being two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 last weekend against Houston will have been celebrated like a win. They showed great desire not to let the scoreline get on top of them and it stopped it being two losses on the bounce.

It hasn’t been the ideal start to 2018 for the Black-and-Red, who are yet to win a game. This wouldn’t exactly be the fixture of choice in that hunt for three points for the DC faithful either, as they have failed to win in ten on the road against Columbus.

However, all winless runs have to come to an end at some point and that is exactly what Ben Olsen will be reminding his side of ahead of this one.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Team News

Columbus Crew

🌎 International duty: Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Mike Grella (left knee) and Gaston Sauro (left knee).

DC United

🌎 International duty: Oniel Fisher, Dane Kelly, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber and Bruno Miranda

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee), Taylor Kemp (groin) and Junior Moreno.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Key Stats

Columbus Crew’s MLS form: W/W/D

DC United’s MLS form: D/L/D

Key stat: Columbus Crew are unbeaten in their last ten home games against DC United.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 DC United: Given their strong start to 2018 and home record against DC, Columbus will be going into this one looking at it as a must win game. They will want to bounce back to winning ways after their draw last weekend and have a great chance of doing so here. DC won’t roll over easily. This fixture is far from a foregone conclusion and they have more than enough talent to come away from Columbus with a point at the very least. But it is a real possibility that history will repeat itself and we see DC going home empty handed.