Another round of matches in the MLS begins on Saturday evening when the majority of the division are on show as we move towards the quarter mark in what is already looking an incredibly wide open campaign with no standout side.
There are 12 matches taking place over the course of the day with three of those matches being live on TV in the UK. Those three and the other nine will be able to be watched on the bookmaker streams for us who like our MLS fix.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (UK kick off and TV in brackets)
CF Montréal v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (20.00)
San Jose Earthquakes v Nashville SC (20.30)
Atlanta United v FC Cincinnati (23.00 – Sky Football)
Houston Dynamo FC v Portland Timbers (23.00)
New York Red Bulls v FC Dallas (00.00 – Free Sports)
Columbus Crew v Orlando City SC (00.30)
D.C. United v Austin FC (00.30)
New England Revolution v Charlotte FC (00.30)
Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union (00.30)
Chicago Fire FC v LA Galaxy (01.00)
Minnesota United FC v Colorado Rapids (01.00)
Seattle Sounders FC v Inter Miami CF (03.00 – Free Sports)
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The first of the trio of TV matches comes from the Eastern Conference where Atlanta United will be looking to improve their good start to the campaign when they play host to an FC Cincinnati side who are beginning to struggle once again. The other two TV games are cross-Conference clashes with the first of those seeing the team third in the Eastern Conference, in New York Red Bulls, hosting FC Dallas who are on a run of four matches unbeaten themselves. The last TV match sees the Champions League finalists Seattle Sounders playing host to Inter Miami, who will be looking to build on their opening win of the season last week.
Best of the Rest
There is just one unbeaten team left in MLS this season and they are Philadelphia Union and they take their undefeated record to Canada to take on Toronto FC who look like they might be coming to the boil after a difficult start. Six teams can finish the weekend on top of the Western Conference. The current leaders Los Angeles FC aren’t on show on Saturday so LA Galaxy could be top of the pile but they face a tricky trip to Chicago Fire. Austin FC are another team who can finish top of the table but they will need to win at DC United and hope results go their way. Along with FC Dallas, the Houston Dynamo are the other team within two points of the top in the West. They host the Portland Timbers in one of the standout matches. Orlando City sit second in the Eastern Conference table and they face a tricky away match against the Columbus Crew.
Atlanta United have started the season fairly well. They suffered a couple of away defeats but in the main they have been solid enough at home and I expect them to have what it takes to get the better of FC Cincinnati. To be fair to Cincinnati they offered up signs of hope for the season with successive wins a few weeks ago but one of those was against Inter Miami who look a class below most teams this season so I would need to see more from them to prove that they are going to be competitive this season.
Atlanta United have been more than competitive ever since they came into the league and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium has by and large been a fortress in that time. They probably aren’t the side they were a few years ago but they are beginning to improve under Gonzalo Pineda. I think the Five Stripes will be a playoff team this season and I don’t see the same about FC Cincinnati. Atlanta have won two and drawn the other of their three home matches this season but they should have won that one too. Cincinnati have failed to score in two of their three on the road. This looks like a home win to me.
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