🇺🇸🇨🇦 MLS Weekender: Shields up; 401 Derby; Another star for Galaxy? | OneFootball

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Seamus Leonard·3 September 2022

🇺🇸🇨🇦 MLS Weekender: Shields up; 401 Derby; Another star for Galaxy?

Article image:🇺🇸🇨🇦 MLS Weekender: Shields up; 401 Derby; Another star for Galaxy?

We’ve reached Week 29 of the Major League Soccer season and it’s certainly squeaky bum time now.

Most sides still have the ability to reach the post-season, and it’s at the stage now where negative results can have devastating effects.

Bring it on!

New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union

Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference face off on Saturday, with both Philadelphia and NYRB still harbouring hopes of landing the Supporters’ Shield.

Philly are now level on points with LAFC (albeit with a game more played) after the Californian side’s dip in form saw them lose their last three games, while Union picked up maximum points in the same period.

Jim Curtin’s side will hope to keep making hay while LAFC continue to integrate summer arrivals Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini into their set up.

Lifting the regular-season silverware may be too much of a stretch for the hosts, but they won’t want to waste their last chance to bloody their high-flying opponents’ noses before play-offs begin next month.

Toronto v Montréal

It’s not just domestic pride on the line when these two Canadian sides go toe-to-toe at BMO Field on Sunday.

Toronto have enjoyed a massive uptick in form since bringing in Italian trio Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and Domenico Criscito during the summer window.

Bernardeschi looked to have given TFC all three points against LA Galaxy in midweek when he converted an 81st-minute penalty, but Riqui Puig’s late thunderbolt secured the visitors a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Still the Reds have now lost just once in their last eight games (four wins and three draws), and victory against Montréal could lift them into the play-off spots.

There is ostensibly less on the line for the L’Impact, who sit second in the East.

However they lie just seven points behind Philadelphia with one game in hand, and manager Wilfried Nancy will be loth to see his charges follow up the midweek loss to NYRB with another defeat, especially considering the opposition.

New England Revolution v New York City FC

There will be no shortage of motivation for New England as they host New York City FC.

Collecting just two points from their last four games has undermined the Revolution’s play-off hopes, and they desperately need a win in order to steady the ship.

Bruce Arena’s side will also looking for revenge after a 4-2 defeat at Yankee Stadium in early July, during which centre-back Andrew Farrell was sent off four minutes before the break.

New York City appear to be now feeling the effects of losing manager Ronny Delia to Belgian side Standard Liège in June, as three losses in their last four outings attests.

Defeat at home to struggling DC United in midweek was a new low, however, and interim head coach Nick Cushing will want to see a reaction from the Pigeons at Gillette Stadium.

LA Galaxy v Sporting KC

While the noisy neighbours in the City of Angels were dominating the transfer market this summer, LA Galaxy had to bite their lips.

But they will hopefully have something more to shout about on Sunday with Uruguay international defender Martín Cáceres available for selection after joining as a free agent.

The well-travelled former Barcelona, Juventus and Fiorentina man comes into a Galaxy side on the up after a recent revival in fortunes.

Fellow recent arrival Riqui Puig has taken to MLS like a duck to water, and 34-year-old Javier Hernández is rolling back the years with five goals in his last five games.

‘Chicharito’ actually scored a brace when these two sides met recently in Kansas City. But that couldn’t prevent Sporting KC from recording a 4-2 win, which started a run of three wins in four games for the Wizards.

It came too late to keep them in the play-off picture, but there remains the opportunity to end the season on a relatively positive note.

Rest of schedule

  • Minnesota United v Dallas
  • Columbus Crew v Chicago Fire
  • Cincinnati v Charlotte
  • Nashville v Austin
  • Portland Timbers v Atlanta United
  • DC United v Colorado Rapids
  • Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo
  • San Jose Earthquakes v Vancouver Whitecaps
  • LAFC v Real Salt Lake