Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – Vancouver looking to win conference as playoff race heats up

Western Conference Predictions: MLS Week 32 – The playoff race in the Western Conference is set to go down to the wire. The Vancouver Whitecaps lead Sporting Kansas City by three points heading into what should be an action-packed Week 32. Ten of the eleven Western Conference sides play each other, while Portland host DC United in the only inter-conference matchup of the weekend.

All of this week’s games involving sides from the West will kickoff at the same time on Sunday night at 19:30 ET (00:30 BST). So you can guarantee there will be drama as some teams look to nail down playoff berths, and others are fighting to keep their dreams alive. Read on for all of this weekend’s Western Conference predictions: MLS week 32 should be a good one…

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Real Salt Lake

This late-season Rocky Mountain Cup clash is a big deal. Real Salt Lake are still fighting to get into the playoffs with two games to go. But they must travel to the home of their fiercest rival in MLS. The Rapids’ playoffs hopes have been over for some time but they would love nothing more than to ruin RSL’s season on Sunday night. Real Salt Lake, though, have only lost one of their last six. A loss would likely spell the end to their season, depending on other results, so they must avoid defeat.

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Houston Dynamo

These two meet for the second time in five days on Sunday. The Dynamo prevented SKC going joint-top of the West with Wednesday night’s 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. They gave their own playoffs hopes a huge boost with that win and will be looking to take at least one more point off of SKC here. Sporting KC haven’t yet secured a playoff berth, despite sitting second with two games to go. A victory would solve that issue, but the absence of goalkeeper Tim Melia could be significant.

LA Galaxy 2-3 Minnesota United

Few people would have thought LA Galaxy would be coming into the penultimate weekend of the season seven points behind Minnesota United. But the problems in LA this season have left them with a year to forget. They will want to avoid finishing dead last in the West and need to try and end the season on a high. But Minnesota are in fairly good form, having only lost one of their last five. They beat Atlanta United in their latest road trip and could add to LA’s misery on Sunday.

Seattle Sounders 2-1 FC Dallas

Both these sides come into the weekend in playoff spots, but know a defeat on Sunday could put them in real trouble. Seattle have two home games remaining. They sit fourth and could still finish the season with a Knockout Round bye. FC Dallas are in a much more precarious position. They are only a point above RSL and San Jose in the final playoff spot and can’t really afford to drop any points. Head coach Oscar Pareja has called this game “the season”, and he’s not wrong. But they aren’t in good form and have lost four-straight games at CenturyLink Field.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes

The Whitecaps are the only Western Conference side to have sealed a playoff berth with 180 minutes of football to go. That’s quite incredible but also testament to their consistency this season. They can guarantee a Knockout Round bye with a home win agains San Jose on Sunday. But the visitors are fighting for their lives too. The Quakes beat Portland last time out to keep their top six hopes intact. But they still need to overtake RSL and Dallas to seal a playoff spot. Vancouver are a real force at home and should prove too much for San Jose.

Portland Timbers 3-0 DC United

Portland missed the chance to seal their playoff spot when they fell 2-1 at San Jose last time out. That result also saw them drop out of the top two. They do now have two home games to finish the season though and will expect to beat DC on Sunday. The Eastern Conference playoff race is over and DC United won’t be playing postseason football. They’ll still want to show some fight but the fact is they will finish bottom of the East after a poor season. Don’t expect them to spoil things in Portland.


MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: Sporting Park – Saturday, August 1 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 16/5

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City will want to continue their impressive home record on Saturday night as they welcome Houston Dynamo to Sporting Park in a Western Conference battle between the two sides moved over from the East last year.

Unbeaten at home this season, SKC have been in sensational form as performance after performance sees them now contenders for a highly coveted Western Conference title.

The form of Benny Feilhaber and star forward Krisztian Nemeth has inspired Kansas City so far and a solid finish to the season could see them in a great position going into the playoffs, with the Supporters’ Shield also a real possibility.

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Sporting Kansas City’s 2015 record in MLS: P19 – W9 – D6 – L4 

Houston Dynamo will want to follow up an impressive 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy last time out with another great result in Kansas City this weekend.

Having struggled to find consistency this year, Houston have impressed in places but progress has been halted with indifferent form along the way.

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Away from home they have been below par and form suggests they may fall short on Saturday in what will be a real test.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 record in MLS: P21 – W7 – D6 – L8

The reverse fixture back in April ended 4-4 in a crazy game at BBVA Compass Stadium so if this one’s anything like that, you’re not going to want to miss it!

Team News

Sporting Kansas City are still without Ike Opara, while Jalil Anibaba, Seth Sinovic and Bernardo Anor are all doubts. Graham Zusi should return to the starting line-up after being away with the USMNT.

Houston Dynamo will be missing Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jermaine Taylor through injury. Rob Lovejoy is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Erick Torres is now with the team and could start following his appearance last week.

Key Points

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

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City have won their last six home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Krisztian Nemeth – SKC forward Nemeth has been sensational so far this season and is always a threat on goal. We expect him to be influential on Saturday night.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Houston Dynamo – Houston are a better side under Owen Coyle this season, but Sporting Kansas City are becoming harder to beat all the time and should pick up three points here.