MLS Weekend Preview: Red Bulls travel west to meet surging Galaxy

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It seems like every year there’s one team that always turns it on at this point in the season, and Bruce Arena’s side appears to be doing it again in 2016.

We’ll talk about that in a minute, though.

With nine MLS matches on slate this weekend, this is the time of year where three points are a must, especially if you’re on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

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The transfer window for making trades is officially closed, and while there were clear winners and losers on paper, it’s now time for teams to prove what their rosters can do on the field.

Now let’s delve into the best to come in Week 22.

Game of the Week

Ah, the LA Galaxy. Has there ever been a more consistent franchise in Major League Soccer? Probably not. Arena’s men are at it again this season, currently sitting third in the West and going for their eighth straight match unbeaten.

With Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes, among others, leading the way, this Galaxy team could be the best in the league as the regular season winds down.

Meanwhile, their opponent this weekend, the New York Red Bulls, are looking to establish some consistency as the season hits the home stretch. The side’s convincing win against NYCFC two weeks ago was quickly cancelled out by a disappointing road draw vs. the Chicago Fire.

Jesse Marsch’s side did manage to put forth a solid 3-0 effort in the CONCACAF Champions League, though, on Wednesday night, giving the Red Bulls a lift before they head out west.

Elsewhere

Fresh off a thrashing of the Colorado Rapids, which was done so without star striker David Villa, NYCFC is back at it again against the San Jose Earthquakes. Although it’s a match that the Eastern Conference leaders should win, it’s also a game that they have to win if they want to be considered among the league’s elite. Simply put, Patrick Vieira’s group looked like a great team last week. As long as they are good, they should be able to manage at least a draw against Dominic Kinnear’s Quakes.

Full schedule

NYCFC at San Jose — 11 p.m. ET Friday
Philadelphia at D.C. United — 7 p.m. ET Saturday
New England at Toronto FC — 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Houston at Montreal — 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday
Vancouver at Colorado — 9 p.m. ET Saturday
Chicago at Real Salt Lake — 10 p.m. ET Saturday
Sporting KC at Portland — 4 p.m. ET Sunday
Seattle at Orlando City — 7 p.m. ET Sunday
New York Red Bulls at LA Galaxy — 9:30 p.m. ET Sunday