MLS at Week 5: Crew picking up steam, Sounders face Atlanta

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

With international fixtures over for the time being, MLS is ready to get back into full swing, starting with a pair of Friday night matches. Here’s a look at this weekend’s action:

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Toronto FC vs. Sporting KC – 7:30 p.m. ET Friday

The visitors have only allowed one goal so far in the new season, however, Sporting KC’s attack hasn’t lived up to the billing yet, with just two finishes in the first three matches. Both sides come into Friday’s contest unbeaten to start, however, TFC has done so in its opening three fixtures all on the road. Greg Vanney’s side will have their home opener at BMO Field on Friday.

Seattle Sounders vs. Atlanta United – 10 p.m. ET Friday

Clint Dempsey and the Sounders impressed their last time out against the New York Red Bulls, and now another hot Eastern Conference side is coming to the Pacific Northwest on Friday. Atlanta has been one of the most exciting teams to watch over the first few weeks of the season, particularly the club’s attack led by Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba. The team’s 11 goals scored are the second most in MLS, trailing only the Portland Timbers (12).

New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 2 p.m. ET Saturday

The Earthquakes have yet to beat NYCFC in their first two tries, but the Western Conference side has looked revamped to start the 2017 season. Currently fourth place in the West, the Quakes are unbeaten in their first two home matches, but Saturday will give the club an opportunity to get its first point(s) away from Avaya Stadium. Meanwhile, NYCFC has had its share of ups and downs to start the season, mostly because of its lack of finishing despite having plenty of chances.

Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact – 3 p.m. ET Saturday

It’s been a tough start for the Impact, and without Ignacio Piatti it leaves a tremendous burden on the rest of the attack. For the Fire, it has been an up and down start after making a lot of intriguing moves during the offseason.

Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City – 4 p.m. ET Saturday

The Crew have revamped after a disappointing 2016 season and the new addition of Kekuta Manneh should make their side’s attacking presence all the more dangerous. Meanwhile, Orlando has started well out of the gate, however, the Lions continue to play without captain Kaka, who was injured in the team’s first match against NYCFC.

D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union – 7 p.m. ET Saturday

D.C. is the only team in MLS without a goal so far this season, which should be good news for the Union, who are also trying to get their 2017 campaign off on a higher note. Both sides are seeking their first win.

Minnesota United vs. Real Salt Lake – 8 p.m. ET Saturday

If there’s a week that Minnesota might sneak out their first win it could be Saturday night when they face RSL. The Loons have started off very poorly, especially defensively, with 18 goals allowed in four matches. However, RSL has struggled mightily to score goals, with just two to show thus far.

Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls – 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday

The Red Bulls will be happy to get Sacha Kljestan back from international duty after drawing with RSL last weekend, while the Dynamo hope to continue their early-season success. Romell Quioto’s three goals leads the club thus far, however, the striker will miss time after suffering a shoulder injury for Honduras.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy – 10 p.m. ET Saturday

It’s been a slow start for the Western Conference sides for different reasons. The Galaxy have had to cope with a multitude of injuries through the opening four weeks, while the Whitecaps have failed to find success in the attacking third. With just two goals thus far and now the loss of Kekuta Manneh through a trade to the Crew, Carl Robinson’s side must find a way to pick up the offensive slack.

Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution – 9 p.m. ET Sunday

The Timbers are coming off their first loss of 2017 last weekend, while the Revs put on a show against Minnesota (even though most teams are having that same success). Caleb Porter’s side currently leads MLS with 12 goals in the first four matches, and the Timbers look capable of scoring a lot more goals this season with their crop of attacking talent.