Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union visit the Columbus Crew Stadium on Sunday night and will be hoping to leave with three points to follow up their 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City, and end the season on a high.

Columbus Crew will be looking secure the third playoff seed to avoid playing in the wildcard game, and will need to win to fight off Kansas City, whereas the Union’s season will definitely finish on Sunday.

The Union comes into the game having only won one in their last six. And the Crew hasn’t conceded in their last four matches at home.

Columbus’ home form: Played 16 – Won 8 – Drawn 4 – Lost 4

With the Crew having already secured a place in the playoffs, it makes for intriguing viewing to see just what side Gregg Berhalter will put out. But we expect a strong team.

Columbus will want to end the regular season on a high heading into the post-season, while Philadelphia will want to spoil the party, so hopefully we’ll get some goals.

Philadelphia’s away form: Played 16 – Won 4 – Drawn 4 – Lost 8

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Key Player: Federico Higuain – Sensational this year, expect him to finish strong too.

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have won their last five at home. Can they make it six?

Columbus’ last five: W/W/L/W/W

Philadelphia’s last five: D/L/D/L/W

Prediction: Columbus Crew 1 – 1 Philadelphia Union


Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Colorado Rapids

BC Place will play host to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night, as Vancouver will look to secure the final playoff berth with a win, and beat the Portland Timbers to it.

Vancouver is only one point ahead of the Timbers with one to play, so Vancouver’s fate is still in their own hands, and they kick-off just half an hour after Portland get underway in Dallas.

Colorado come into this game looking like a team that’s given up, as they haven’t registered a win in 13, whereas the Whitecaps haven’t conceded a goal since September.

Vancouver’s home form: Played 16 – Won 8 – Drawn 5 – Lost 3

However, in the previous meetings this season the Rapids have won both. Could the Rapids be going for a third straight win against the Whitecaps, and possibly end their playoff hopes?

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Vancouver has won their last three at home so the Rapids have it all to do, and all signs point towards a Whitecaps win as the Rapids have lost their last eight on the road.

Colorado’s away form: Played 16 – Won 2 – Drawn 3 – Lost 11

Colorado has nothing to play for but pride, and possibly the chance to deny Vancouver a playoff spot in what promises to be an entertaining finish to the regular season.

Key Player: Pedro Morales – Scoring ten goals and assisting nine this season has made Morales as hugely important figure in the Whitecaps team.

Key Stat: Colorado’s last away win was against Toronto FC – in April.

Vancouver’s last five: L/W/W/W/D

Colorado’s last five: L/D/L/L/L

Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 0 Colorado Rapids – Vancouver to seal final playoff spot with victory.

Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs New York Red Bulls

Sporting Kansas City welcome New York Red Bulls to Sporting Park for the final fixture in this year’s MLS regular season.

It’s a game that has implications for both Eastern Conference sides as they look to avoid the wildcard playoff fixture.

Victory for Kansas City guarantees them a third place finish meaning that they will definitely avoid the wildcard game – a draw could be enough for them but they would be relying on Columbus Crew failing to win in their game at home to Philadelphia Union.

New York Red Bulls have to win this game in order to stand any chance of finishing in the top three.

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[Dom Dwyer: Can Sporting’s top goalscorer inspire them to victory?]

Since an impressive run of form in the middle of the season that saw them go eight games without defeat, winning six and drawing two, Sporting Kansas City have hit the metaphorical wall.

After that purple patch, they’ve only managed three wins in 11 games and have suffered seven defeats in that time.

Fortunately for Kansas City, they had done enough beforehand to ensure that they’ve still secured a playoff position.

Sporting Kansas City’s home form: Played 16 – Won 6 – Drawn 6 – Lost 4

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[Thierry Henry: One of the main men for New York Red Bulls]

It has very much been a season of ups and downs for New York Red Bulls as they haven’t managed to string together a strong run of form at any stage.

Just as it looked like they were getting going, they would lose a game and it would disrupt the run they were on.

Their form away from home has certainly been an issue in this campaign with just two victories on the road from 16 attempts, so they will need to improve on that.

New York Red Bulls away form: Played 16 – Won 2 – Drawn 7 – Lost 7

Neither of these sides will be particularly high on confidence going in to it but they both know the importance of this fixture, so it should make for a good game.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – the Red Bulls forward is still desperately chasing the record as the top goalscorer in an MLS season although it’s going to take a minor miracle because he needs a hat-trick.

But with the bit between his teeth, he may put in that extra effort and it could inspire New York to victory.

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City haven’t beaten New York Red Bulls at home since October 2011, when they ran out 2-0 winners.

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: W/L/D/W/L

New York Red Bulls last five: W/L/W/W/L

Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 1 – 1 New York Red Bulls

Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs DC United

Montreal Impact entertain DC United this weekend in the Canadian side’s final game of the season, though looking at the game in short, it would appear an open and shut case.

The Impact have struggled all season to find any form and with 18 losses to their 33 played its not surprising they’re at the foot of the Eastern Conference.

DC just keep on rolling through the games, three wins on the bounce and unbeaten in eight in all competitions, it is the form of a side worthy of silverware, and they will hope for MLS Cup glory at the end of the playoffs.

The strength and experience in the DC midfield has certainly helped to make them one of the most consistent sides across the entire league.

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And with Eddie Johnson now finding form, United could be a real threat in the post-season.

Montreal will take some expectation into the game, with a commendable record in previous ties against DC, avoiding defeat in three of the last six.

DC will finish the regular season at the top of the Eastern Conference regardless of the result in Montreal, but they will want to continue to showcase their winning mentality and nothing but a win will be seen as acceptable.

Key Player: Fabian Espindola –  Again, it has to be his goal output to comment on and he will surely fancy his chances of finding the net against one of the league’s weakest sides.

Key stat: Connect four? Montreal have drawn their last three games, and they’ll have to be alert to take anything from the game but without a loss in three, there is no reason they can’t send the home fans happy for the winter.

Montreal Impact Last 5: W/L/D/D/D

DC United Last 5: W/W/D/W/W

Prediction: Montreal Impact 1-3 DC United