It’s an international week, so you can be forgiven if you’re not fully focused on Major League Soccer, but there are a trio of intriguing matchups this weekend.
FC Dallas hosts the New York Red Bulls, the Chicago Fire travel north of the border to take on the Montreal Impact and the LA Galaxy host the struggling Colorado Rapids.
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Here’s a breakdown of the top three matchups in MLS action this weekend:
FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls — Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
Headlining the four-match weekend lineup is FC Dallas hosting the New York Red Bulls.
FC Dallas has been slumping, winless in its last six games including three straight defeats on the road. If the season ended today, FC Dallas, which at one point this season was leading the conference, would be out of the playoffs, a precipitous slide over the past two months.
The Red Bulls on the other side are winless in two games after winning five out of six games in July and August. The Red Bulls themselves are just three points above the red line and are in need of picking up points on the road.
Making life more difficult for Dallas is the fact that its without five starters including U.S. Men’s National Team callups Kellyn Acosta and Matt Hedges. The Red Bulls on the other hand are only missing three players due to international call-ups, with Kemar Lawrence the only notable absence.
Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire — Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
Similar to FC Dallas, the Chicago Fire are in a major slump and have dropped down the MLS standings.
The Fire have lost six of their last seven games and when star forward Nemanja Nikolic doesn’t score, the Fire have won just two games out of 14 (eight losses, four draws).
The Montreal Impact meanwhile saw their four-game winning streak snapped last weekend to rival and Eastern Conference-leading Toronto FC. But the Impact are on the upswing, with Ignacio Piatti recently being named MLS Player of the Month for August and leading the team up the standings.
Both teams will be missing starters due to international call-ups and injuries but it should still be a pretty entertaining game in Quebec.
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids — Saturday, 11 p.m. ET
It’s a battle of two teams with two new coaches after rough first halves of the season.
The Galaxy notably sacked Curt Onalfo and brought back Sigi Schmid to be the team’s next coach. The Rapids then quietly showed club legend Pablo Mastroeni the door after his team was sitting in the bottom half of the standings most of the season.
Now, both Schmid and new Rapids coach Steve Cooke look to get their first wins of the season and try and turn the season around, even though both team’s chances of making the playoffs are minuscule at this point.
With Tim Howard and the Dos Santos brothers all missing on international duty, the game misses some star power. However, it will be a great chance to look at the tactics of the two coaches and how they’re setting up their team for the rest of the season.
Full MLS schedule
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City SC — 7 p.m. ET
Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire — 7 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls — 9 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids — 11 p.m. ET