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.

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.

Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City

Toyota Park – Saturday, March 10th 2018 – 18:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City: Preview

MLS is back for Chicago Fire after their week one bye. They start their 2018 campaign by welcoming Sporting Kansas City to Toyota Park.

After an impressive 2017 regular season, where they finished up third in the Eastern Conference, Chicago Fire fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs.

This season Veljko Paunović will be hoping to take his side into the playoffs again and reach the latter stages of the postseason competition. He has strengthened his squad in the hope of continuing to head his side in the right direction.

Sporting Kansas City didn’t start their 2018 campaign in the fashion they would have wanted to. They lost 2-0 to NYCFC in a surprising home defeat. Now they have to bounce back.

However, Sporting KC struggled on the road in their last eight games of 2017. They failed to pick up a win in any of those ties. The last time they made the trip to Bridgeview (2016) they lost 1-0, so the SKC faithful will be hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.

The pressure will ramp up on Peter Vermes and his side if they fail to take a positive result this weekend. They are at the foot of the Western Conference after week one and could potentially find themselves four points adrift of the playoffs if they lose this game.

Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City: Team News

Chicago Fire

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery) and Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture)

(Take a look at all Chicago Fire’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

Sporting Kansas City

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts:  Brad Evans (lower back) and Khiry Shelton (leg bruise)

🚑 Out: None

Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City: Key Stats

Chicago Fire’s MLS form: N/A

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS form: L

Key stat: Homesick – Sporting KC have not won any of their last eight MLS outings on the road.

Chicago Fire vs Sporting Kansas City: Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-1 Sporting Kansas City – Given that it is Chicago’s opening game there is going to be a buzz around Toyota Park, so the expectancy for them to deliver will be high. Sporting KC need to pick up a point at the very least here but that is by no means going to be an easy task. A draw looks a likely outcome for this one.

MLS debutants run riot on opening weekend

The opening weekend of MLS has set the tone for the rest of the season. There was plenty of drama with goals, video assistant referees, red cards and shock results. However, one astonishing stat that has come from week one was from MLS debutants.

A total of 26 goals were scored across the ten games with nine of those coming from debutants – which equates to 35% of the goals scored on opening weekend.

What makes it all the more impressive is that all nine goal scorers came from different clubs, adding to the excitement.

WATCH 📹 – Take a look at all nine debutant goals from week one

2018 Key Transfers: Philadelphia Union

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Philadelphia Union and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

There wasn’t really a lot for Philadelphia Union fans to shout about during in the 2017 campaign – finishing 8th in the Eastern Conference, outside of the playoffs. With that in mind it would be fair to say they could do with revamping their squad in hope of reaching the post season. They’ve signed just five players so far, while some notable players have been moved on. It’s going to require a big effort for them to force their way into a playoff spot considering how competitive the Eastern Conference is, but the squad will be ready and raring to go come the start of the season.

Key Signings

David Accam: Easily the biggest signing for Philadelphia Union during the window. David Accam comes in as a designated player from Chicago. He has an impressive MLS record in his three seasons so far, scoring 33 in 78, with a further 15 assists. His goal contribution makes him an ideal forward to help Philadelphia push in the right direction. At 27 they have picked up a player nearing the peak of his powers and the Union faithful will be hoping he can produce on their opener to give everyone a lift and positive start to the 2018 season.

Cory Burke: Firepower is what Philly have needed and this is another signing who will be hoping to make a difference. Cory Burke isn’t exactly a household name but he has international experience under his belt with Jamaica. Coming in from USL side Bethlehem Steel FC, he bagged an nine goals in 25 games last season. He will be looking to put pressure on his teammates Jay Simpson and C.J. Sapong for a starting place.

Notable Departures

Chris Pontius: Heading into his tenth MLS campaign having scored 45 goals in 215 games, Chris Pontius leaves Philly after two seasons. His experience will be missed but it seems a good time for him to be moved on as both parties look to freshen things up.

Roland Alberg: Having played 52 times for Philadelphia over two seasons Roland Alberg is on the move. He scored 16 goals and picked up four assists during his time at the club and will be a miss in the middle of the park.

2018 Key Transfers: New York City FC

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at New York City FC and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

New York City FC had an impressive 2017 season, finishing second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve continued to build and improve since their inception into the league. They fell short at the conference semifinal stage of the playoffs for the second year in a row last season and they will now be looking to go one better in 2018. Some key players have departed the club and while the players they have signed might not be overly familiar to the masses, they look likely to make a positive impact.

Key Signings

Saad Abdul-Slaam: NYCFC have chosen to bolster their defensive options with the signing of Saad Abdul-Salaam. The right back comes in from SKC having played second fiddle last season, making just 12 appearances. He has experience of playing, and losing, in an MLS Cup final. This will be his fourth MLS season and this looks to be a good pick-up for Patrick Vieira’s side.

Jesus Medina: A new attacking midfielder who comes in for New York City to help the squad rebuild after some big names have departed. Jesus Medina has been signed as a DP and is a versatile option as he can also play on the wing. He’s known for a quick change of pace and footwork which have given him a reputation as a creator. That is something NYCFC are going to need considering both Andrea Pirlo and Jack Harrison have departed. At 20 he’s been signed for the long-term. One to watch…

Ismael Tajouri: Another young, versatile signing for NYCFC. 23 year old Ismael Tajouri is predominately a right winger can also play as a second striker. Vieira has sung his praises, speaking of his ‘power, pace and skill’ in one-on-one situations. With his ability to play in more than one attacking role it looks to be a signing with promise, similarly to Medina, to help fill the void left by big name departures.

Notable Departures

Andrea Pirlo: There isn’t much to be said that people don’t know about Pirlo and he is going to be a huge loss for NYCFC. He made a total of 60 appearances for the club, scoring once. Pirlo will go down in the history books as a designated player who was part of the first ever NYCFC squad in their inaugural season. His experience will be extremely hard to replace but now it’s time for Vieira’s side to build for the future, while Pirlo is set to enjoy retirement after a stunning career that’s seen him do it all.

Jack Harrison: This is a departure that NYCFC fans will be disappointed about. Jack Harrison has left for partner club Manchester City and has since gone on loan to Middlesbrough in the Championship. Harrison had a very impressive 2017, scoring ten goals in 34 games and he is going to be another player who is difficult to replace.

RJ Allen: NYCFC have said goodbye to another face who has been there from the beginning of their MLS journey. RJ Allen played 53 games for the club but has been traded to Orlando, to join forces with former NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis. He made 15 appearances in 2017, but only really established himself as a regular in the 2016 season. A good move for both player and club based on that, however he is still going to be a miss.

Mikey Lopez: Another midfielder who is moving on, Mikey Lopez will take plenty from his time at NYCFC. Learning from the likes of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo put any midfielder in good standing to build on and now at 24 the time is right for him to look to push his career forwards. He made 27 appearances during his two-year spell at the club.

Khiry Shelton: Big things were expected from Khiry Shelton back in 2015 when he was the No.2 overall pick in the SuperDraft, but he has been unlucky with injuries that have lead to his progress being a little stifled. However, he has shown form in stages to suggest the excitement around his name is justified. He moves on the SKC having scored six goals and a further ten assists in his 54 appearances in the hope of locking down a more regular role that a clean bill of health should allow him to do.