MLS at Week 15: Three matches go on despite international window

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As they say in show business, the show must go on.

That’s the case this weekend as three MLS matches will be played despite the international window taking center stage for a multitude of World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies.

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Here’s a look at the six teams taking to the field as part of a concise MLS Week 15.

Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United — Saturday at 4 p.m. ET

It’s fair to say both clubs are very different from when they met on March 18 — a 4-0 thrashing in favor of Atlanta. With a game in hand, the Chicago Fire to move to within a point of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC on Saturday, a position that few thought was possible for the Fire based on their struggles over recent seasons. In 2016, the Fire had just 31 points all season (think about that for a second!). To this point, Veljko Paunovic and Co. have accumulated 25 points in their first 14 matches. Meanwhile, Atlanta sits on 18 points and is coming off of a loss on the road to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sporting KC vs. Montreal Impact — Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

Peter Vermes’ Sporting KC side has been up and down as of late but the West leaders managed to pull things together last weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win over Minnesota United to get back to winning ways. The Impact on the other hand have had more struggles this season and sit second-to-bottom in the East through 12 matches. The Canadian side has had their share of difficulties on the road to this point, taking just six out of a possible 18 points away from Saputo Stadium.

Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas — Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET

These are hands down two of the top sides out west and possibly in MLS. Even without Darlington Nagbe, who is off on USMNT duty, the Timbers boast one of the top attacks in the league, while Dallas is not too far behind. This fixture hasn’t been friendly to the Timbers over recent times though, with Oscar Pareja’s side winning three of the last five encounters and the other two ending in draws.